There was a small stage up at the front, it was more like a dais really, and was just about the right height for curious 3-year-old to want to sit on. I ran straight down the aisle, and as I was starting to get settled on it, a voice came on the overhead speaker and said, “Get off the stage, little girl.”
Surprisingly, I was not as scared as you might think, and the experience did not turn me off from either movies or the Marx Brothers — I still love them today!
So, you can imagine how my interest peaked when film historian Frank Thompson’s book crossed my desk in connection with my role as the producer/director of North Carolina Bookwatch. Asheville Movies Volume I would have made a great episode of NC Bookwatch, but it also made for a fun Muse story!
It was so exciting to go to two screenings with Frank, and watch and talk about these amazing films (or portions of films). Shot around 100 years ago, the movies are like a window into history — and the screenings were being held in venues very near the original film locales! We walked around downtown Asheville, looking at how much had changed as well as what was still the same.
Before that weekend, I had never seen a silent film all the way through — sure, I’ve seen some Chaplin on TV and whatnot — but this was a first for me, a real screening, a nearly complete film, live piano accompaniment. At first, it’s a little weird that the actors aren’t talking, but once you get past that, it’s pretty neat.