Silence is Golden

Silent films have an innate beauty, what with the actors’ expressive eyes and exaggerated features, the images arranged on the screen and their ability to tell a story without the spoken word.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., the Chautauqua Community House will run a double feature of silent fun as part of its Silent Film Series: Big Business (1929), starring Laurel and Hardy, and Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush (1925). And if you’d like to have a meal beforehand, the dining hall is offering a 15 percent discount on dinner for those attending the films.

“It’s fun to see and to enhance the movie with the mood,” says Hank Troy, who’s played piano for the series for the past 24 years. “It’s great to be a part of that experience.”

Troy says silent-film piano accompaniment is an esoteric niche. Arranging and performing original music for silent film has become a lost skill, and Chautauqua’s emphasis on style and authenticity makes its screenings something special.

A national historic landmark located at 900 Baseline Road in Boulder, the Chautauqua Community House is more than 100 years old. How often do you have the opportunity to watch a silent movie in a building that was screening them during their golden era? Reminiscent of that time, this series isn’t always so silent: Audiences often cheer on the heroes or hiss at the villains.

Tickets are $4 to $8; for more information, call 303 442-3282 or visit
Wed., Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., 2008

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Elena Brown

Latest Stories