It’s impossible to avoid superlatives when describing the Silent Society’s inaugural program, on June 20th, in cooperation with the management of the Castle Green in Pasadena. What an evening!
For those unfamiliar with the Castle Green, it is the surviving half (of two parts, originally) of a spectacular Moorish-cum-Craftsman-cum-National Parks Style structure, c. 1899, now -condos but with public rooms decorated in late Victorian style having original furniture and faithfully copied carpets. Many film rentals have enabled management to achieve a beautifully decorated lobby, (with parlors, no less!!) and the grounds are equally enticing.
The ‘viewing room,’ which is a large public parlor with a gigantic fireplace (one of three in the lobby area!) had rows of faux bamboo gold chairs near the grand piano, at which Michael Mortilla worked his usual magic during the films. The program opened with a short, featuring Laurel and Hardy (with a cameo by a very young Jean Harlow) in Double Whoopie, with wonderful shots taken along Hollywood Boulevard, 1928, followed by a brief intermission for refreshments on the super-wide, super-long porch/veranda, looking out over the park that was once the south grounds of the building. The main feature was Show People, starring Marion Davies (who was hilarious and wonderful-looking) and William Haines, Directed by King Vidor with cameos by (get this!) Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Eleanor Glyn (writer), and others.
A highly entertaining film in a beautiful and fascinating setting adds up to a wonderful and unforgettable evening. Film fans should know by now that any program presented by Randy Haberkamp, as this one was, will be well-worth the (modest) admission price so get on the Silent Society mailing list and don’t miss the next screening at Castle Green!!!!