The 1928 Picture Palace Experience at The Wolfsonian-FIU

Friday, April 18, 2014 from 7:00pm to 9:30pm

What was it like to visit one of the finest cinemas in the country eighty-six years ago? This was the age of the picture palace with opulent new amenities (marble floors, smoking rooms, playgrounds) and surprising new technologies; chief amongst them, sound. The Wolfsonian-FIU aims to revive this specific moment in film history, reproducing a typical evening’s programming at Los Angeles’ Tower Theater in 1928. The Tower was one of the earliest movie theaters designed by architect S. Charles Lee.

As a complement to the exhibition The Theaters of S. Charles Lee, the feature-length Seventh Heaven (1928) will be screened. Directed by Frank Borzage, an elaborate Parisian set is the backdrop for an unlikely courtship between a street cleaner (Charles Farrell) and a gamine (Janet Gaynor). This wartime romance ultimately won three Oscars at the very first Academy Awards ceremony. The film will be preceded by the “usual prologues”: a full-sound Movietone Newsreel and lighthearted Vitaphone shorts, showcasing late-vaudeville performers Waring’s Pennsylvanians and Chaz Chase, “the unique comedian.”

Wolfsonian-FIU Fellow Patrick Ellis, PhD Candidate (Department of Media and Film at the University of California at Berkeley) will introduce the program.

Free and open to the public.

The Wolfsonian-Florida International University
1001 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, Fl 33139

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