At most movie screenings, audiences are told to shut up during the film. But there are exceptions.Campy cult showings, for example. And then there's the Chautauqua Silent Film Series, during which viewers are encouraged to become moderately interactive. Just because the movie has no soundtrack doesn't mean there can't be anynoise in the theater.
The Boulder showings include a couple of sonic layers designed to bolster the flickering black-and-white images. The versatile Hank Troy provides live musical accompaniment, just as genuine pre-talkie musicians did for films way back when. And series organizers encourage good, old-fashioned hissing and cheering by viewers, which livens up the gathering. Think Rocky Horrorwithout squirt guns and toilet paper.
Tonight's 7 p.m. show is a double bill: Laurel and Hardy's Big Business, a 1929 goof about the duo selling Christmas trees in July, is paired with Charlie Chaplin's Gold Rush, a 1925 vehicle that allows the Yukon-bound Little Tramp to chew on plenty of comic fodder (including a stewed boot).
The films are shown at the Chautauqua Community House, 900 Baseline Road; admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children and seniors. For more information on the monthly series, which runs through April, visit www.chautauqua.com. -- Ernie Tucker