See Buster Keaton as 'The Navigator' Jan. 7 at the Arcada

  • The Silent Film Series at the Arcada Theatre will feature Buster Keaton's 1924 film "The Navigator" on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

    The Silent Film Series at the Arcada Theatre will feature Buster Keaton's 1924 film "The Navigator" on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Posted1/2/2020 10:05 PM

The Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St. in St. Charles, continues its "Silent Film Night" series with a screening of the 1924 Buster Keaton comedy classic "The Navigator" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7. The movie will be accompanied live by Jay Warren on the historic 1927 Arcada organ. Tickets are $10. Visit

There will be an introduction by film historian and TCM personality Annette Bochenek.


"The Navigator" is a comedy directed by and starring Buster Keaton. The film was written by Clyde Bruckman and codirected by Donald Crisp.

In the film, wealthy Rollo Treadway (Keaton) suddenly decides to propose to his neighbor across the street, Betsy O'Brien (Kathryn McGuire), and sends his servant to book passage for a honeymoon sea cruise to Honolulu. When Betsy rejects his sudden offer however, he decides to go on the trip anyway, boarding without delay that night. Because the pier number is partially covered, he ends up on the wrong ship, the Navigator, which Betsy's rich father (Frederick Vroom) has just sold to a small country at war.

Agents for the other small nation in the conflict decide to set the ship adrift that same night. When Betsy's father checks up on the ship, he is captured and tied up ashore by the saboteurs. Betsy hears his cry for help and boards the ship to look for him, just before it is cut loose.

On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the series will feature "Girl Shy," a 1924 romantic comedy silent film starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston. The movie was written by Sam Taylor, Tim Whelan and Ted Wilde and was directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Taylor. In the film, Harold Meadows (Lloyd) is a tailor's apprentice for his uncle in Little Bend, California. He is so shy around women that he can barely speak to them (to stop his stuttering, his uncle has to blow a whistle). Despite this, Harold writes a "how to" book for young men entitled "The Secret of Making Love," detailing how to woo different types of young women, such as "the vampire" and "the flapper," and takes a train to see a publisher in Los Angeles.

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On Tuesday, March 10, see a screening of the 1924 Buster Keaton classic "Sherlock Jr." along with a showing of his 1921 two-reel short film "The Goat."

"Sherlock Jr." is a 1924 American silent comedy film directed by and starring Keaton and written by Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez and Joseph A. Mitchell.

In the film, a movie theater projectionist and janitor (Buster Keaton) is in love with a beautiful girl (Kathryn McGuire). However, he has a rival (Ward Crane). Neither has much money. The projectionist buys a $1 box of chocolates, all he can afford, and changes the price to $4 before giving it and a ring to her. The rival steals and pawns the girl's father's pocket watch for $4. With the money, he buys a $3 box of chocolates for the girl. When the father notices his watch is missing, the rival slips the pawn ticket into the projectionist's pocket unnoticed. The projectionist, studying to be a detective, offers to solve the crime, but when the pawn ticket is found in his pocket, he is banished from the girl's home.

On Tuesday, April 14, the series continues with Harold Lloyd's "Hot Water," a 1924 American silent comedy film directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor. It features three episodes in the life of Hubby (Lloyd) as he struggles with domestic life with Wifey (Jobyna Ralston) and his in-laws.


Episodic in nature (effectively three short films merged into one), the first episode features Hubby winning a live turkey in a raffle and taking it home on a crowded streetcar, much to the chagrin of the other passengers. The second features Hubby grudgingly taking the family en masse out on his new Butterfly Six automobile, and the third is an escapade with his sleepwalking mother-in-law.

On Tuesday, May 20, the silent film series will feature the "Lubitsch touch" with a showing of the 1924 film "The Marriage Circle" by Ernst Lubitsch. Based on the play "Only a Dream" by Lothar Schmidt, the screenplay was written by Paul Bern. The "circle" of the title refers to the ring of infidelities (suspected and otherwise) central to the plot. It features Adolphe Menjou, Monte Blue, Marie Prevost and Florence Vidor. The film was later remade as a 1932 musical featuring Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier titled "One Hour With You."

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.

To learn about upcoming silent film showing with Jay Warren and the Silent Film Society of Chicago, visit or

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