Normally the Bioscope doesn’t advertise single screenings of silents, because other sites perform that service very well, but when a silent film comes to Leicester Square, London’s cinema heartland, then we have to take notice. So, on Monday 4 May there is to be a screening of Salome (1923), starring Nazimova, at the Odeon Leiceste Square, with accompaniment on the cinema’s organ by Donald Mackenzie. The screening is at 10.30am, please note.
There’s information at the Cinema Organs site on the screening here, and the organ itself here.
I went to the Odeon yesterday and saw Donald accompany another silent. Just a comedy short but very good none the less. A thestre organ is definitely the next best thing to a full orchestra to accompany silent films, and indeed is what they were principally designed for.
My company have restored the wonderful Compton theatre organ at Catford’s 1932 Broadway Theatre and we are looking to put on a silent film event with live organ accompaniment too.
If Paul Merton is interested in this perhaps he or someone from Bioscope could get in touch please.
I’ve never experienced live organ accompaniment to a silent film (heard plenty on DVD, mind), so I’m looking forward to the SALOME show.
I don’t know if the busy Paul Merton ever reads the Bioscope, but friends of his do, so who knows?