Step Right up and See The Sideshow – 35mm Silent with Live Accompaniment by Dennis Scott – Oct. 26

Music Box Theatre / 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $11

Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott

Saturday, October 26 @ 11:00 AM
Directed by Erle C. Kenton • 1928
One of a handful of surviving silent features from Columbia Pictures, and made when Frank Capra was just another name on the call sheet and not yet the Poverty Row studio’s ticket to respectability, The Sideshow is the kind of unpretentious, bread-and-butter entertainment that regularly tumbled out of the Gower Gulch assembly line to meet the demands of small-town exhibitors. After the dissolution of her family’s trapeze act, Queenie (Marie Prevost) takes up with the traveling sideshow troupe of P. W. Melrose (“Little Billy” Rhodes), a circle of social outcasts harboring a saboteur. Melrose suspects carnival barker Ted Rogers (Ralph Graves) to be the culprit, an accusation that could also serve as a swift resolution to their mutual pursuit of Queenie. The Sideshow offered a role with rare dramatic shading for Rhodes, a little person who built his career on stereotyped gigs in The Wizard of Oz and The Terror of Tiny Town. Alas, the uncommon respect went little noticed because the film itself was treated like a sideshow on the fringe of a changing industry. “Here is a picture made last winter by Columbia before the talking era really hit,” observed Motion Picture News. “It’s too bad. [The] story and scenario … would go across strong with dialogue …. The picture should go over quite well in those houses which are denied the feature talkies.” (KW)
67 min • Columbia Pictures • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory

Preceded by: “Felix the Cat Trumps the Ace” (Otto Mesmer, 1926) – 8 min – 16mm

Coming Soon

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, October 30 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Edward F. Cline • 1944
Somewhere between Abbott & Costello and Wheeler & Woolsey in the pantheon of classic Hollywood comedy duos reside the brilliantly anarchic vaudevillians Olsen & Johnson, best known for their first screen vehicle Hellzapoppin’ but for whom wacky meta-farces would become something of a stock-in-trade. Their third film for Universal Pictures, Ghost Catchers found the pair plopped into the sort of creaky haunted house creepshow the studio was furiously churning out at the time. (It would arrive in theaters a week after The Invisible Man’s Revenge and three weeks before The Mummy’s Ghost.) Employed to help a pair of singing sisters exorcise a paranormal pest from their rented mansion, nightclub owners Olsen and Johnson cook up a series of delightful and ghastly musical numbers (including a ludicrous swing dance routine inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”) chaotic enough to drive out any ghoul holding himself to a haughty standard of good taste. Featuring appearances by Andy Devine, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Ed Wood stalwart Tor Johnson as self-conscious horror movie heavies, Ghost Catchers anticipated the likes of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and sundry other horror-comedies and proved the Olsen & Johnson brand could be pushed to glorious new heights of spooky stupidity. (CW)
68 min • Universal Pictures •  35mm from Universal
Short: Andy Clyde in “Spook to Me” (Harry Edwards, 1945) – 35mm – 17 min

View the full season schedule here!

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