Arcada silent film series continues with Buster Keaton classic Dec. 18

  • Courtesy of Arcada TheatreThe Arcada Theatre's "Silent Film Night" series is accompanied live by Jay Warren on the historic 1926 organ. The next film will be Buster Keaton's comedy classic "The General" on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

    Courtesy of Arcada TheatreThe Arcada Theatre's "Silent Film Night" series is accompanied live by Jay Warren on the historic 1926 organ. The next film will be Buster Keaton's comedy classic "The General" on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Submitted by Arcada Theatre
Posted12/13/2018 9:37 PM

The Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St. in St. Charles, continues its "Silent Film Night" series with a screening of the 1926 comedy classic "The General" by Buster Keaton at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18. The movie will be accompanied live by Jay Warren on the historic 1926 Arcada organ. Tickets are $10. Visit

One of the most revered comedies of the silent era, this film finds hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Buster Keaton) facing off against Union soldiers during the American Civil War. When Johnny's fiancée, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), is accidentally taken away while on a train stolen by Northern forces, Gray pursues the soldiers, using various modes of transportation in comic action scenes that highlight Keaton's boundless wit and dexterity.


The series will continue on Jan. 8 with another comedy classic "Safety Last!" starring another one of the great silent film comedians, Harold Lloyd. In "Safety Last!" Harold goes off to the big city to make good, with the intention of sending for his girl when he achieves his goal. He has a difficult time doing so, toiling in a department store, but writing home with the impression that he is at management level. When his fiancé takes the train into the big city to visit him, he must quickly make good in order for her to continuing believing in him. Overhearing the actual store management wondering about a publicity stunt to attract customers, Harold suggests they hire his friend Bill (Bill Strother) to climb the building, a spectacle he had seen before when Bill was trying to elude police. The officer from whom Bill escaped reads about the stunt in the paper and shows up at the building. Bill must stay away from the officer, so Harold is forced to climb the building himself.

On Feb. 12, the series will feature a 1923 Charlie Chaplin movie, "The Pilgrim." A tramp (Charles Chaplin) breaks out of jail and chances upon the deserted robes of a clergyman. He dons the disguise and train-hops his way to a tiny Texas town, where the residents just happen to be awaiting the arrival of their new priest. The runaway convict is welcomed into the community with open arms, and through quick wit he is able to convince the locals he's a man of God. But, just as he begins wooing the lovely Miss Brown (Edna Purviance), an old cellmate arrives and stirs up trouble.

Live accompaniment provided by Chicagoland's premiere organist, Jay Warren, on Arcada's historic 1926 pipe organ!

The Arcada Theatre opened in 1926 as a silent film and vaudeville theater. Relive those glory days of the Roaring Twenties' silent film era the first Tuesday of each month. Jay Warren, Chicago's foremost pipe organ expert will perform on the Arcada's 1926 classically restored 3/16 Marr Colton/Geneva organ.

Enjoy fresh popcorn while watching a silent film in a 1920s vaudeville theater.

In addition to popcorn, there are food and drink specials, including hot dogs, Bavarian pretzels, pizza grinders, and regular or jumbo Guinness beer brats.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Tickets for members of the Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts or the Silent Film Society of Chicago are $8.

The Chicago Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society helps maintain the organ which has about 1,000 pipes, plus real drums, cymbals and the usual noisemakers used in the days of the silent movies to make the background sound.

To learn more about the Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts and other upcoming events, visit

For more on the Silent Film Society of Chicago, visit


Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.