The Theatre is funded in part with a Facility Operating Grant from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax Funds


The Historic Elsinore Theatre and Chemeketa Community College

The Wednesday Evening Film Series


The Historic Elsinore Theatre, in partnership with the Chemeketa Community College Humanities Department & Film Studies Program, presents a program of classic movies.

Our winter 2015 series begins January 21st with George Steven’s delightful comedy, The More the Merrier.  It’s the first of three movies featuring three very interesting young women who each find the boundaries of their world broadened, by disruptive events in their town and by the doors they each open –– for themselves and for others.  Then on March 4th, with screening of a newly restored The Maltese Falcon, we’ll commence a three-week mini-festival of masterpieces from the cycle of complicated American detective films, mysteries, and underworld thrillers known as film noir.  Visually dynamic, and populated by antiheroes and unforgettably ambiguous characters, noir cinema also harbors a particularly formidable, shape-shifting figure, the femme fatale.  Classic noir movies provide exciting journeys into a stylized urban world of shadow and light, and they deliver vivid cautionary fables –– meditations on truth and illusion, opportunity and transgression, free will and fate.  Program notes offering commentary are provided at these six Classic Program screenings.

The Silent Program will offer three movie evenings, beginning January 28th with the first film version of Peter Pan.

Silent Program presentations feature the latest digital restorations from archival discoveries whenever possible and live musical accompaniment by Rick Parks on the “Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.”

Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the Historic Elsinore Theatre, and at all Tickets West locations.  Phone 503.375.3574 for information.  Box office and doors open at 6:15 pm, movies start at 7:00 pm. 

Series Coordinator:  Robert Bibler, Chemeketa CC Film Studies Program.
Silent Film Organist:  Rick Parks.
Sustaining Partner: 
Allied Video Productions  

January 28
7:00 pm  Peter Pan  
(Herbert Brenon, USA, 1924)

Peter Pan (Betty Bronson) charms Wendy Darling and her brothers into flying away with him to a magical realm of enchantment, in this adaptation of James M. Barrie’s famous play.  In Never Never Land, Peter and the gang meet Tiger Lilly (Anna May Wong), a kind-hearted fairy named Tinkerbelle, a tribe of valiant Indians, and the mean Captain Hook, who commands a band of pirates.  For this first movie version of his play, author Barrie himself chose actress Bronson to be the first Peter on film.  Cinematography by the great James Wong Howe.  Digitally restored from an original, color tinted 35mm nitrate print.  102 minutes.

Delightful adaptation of the James M. Barrie classic….  Bronson makes the role of Peter all her own in this charming fantasy.”  ––Leonard Maltin

February 4
7:00 pm  To Kill a Mockingbird 
(Richard Mulligan, USA, 1962)

Based on Harper Lee’s beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is a partly autobiographical tale of three children growing up in the deep South during the Depression:  tomboy Scout (Mary Badham), her brother Jem (Phillip Alford), and their friend “Dill” (John Megna) –– a character based on Lee’s own childhood friend, Truman Capote.  Led by the daring Scout, the children’s innocent summer quest to explore their town’s little dark mysteries is suddenly enlarged when their widowed father, lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), is appointed to defend a black man (Brock Peters) charged with raping a white woman.  Nominated for eight Academy Awards, the film won three: Best Actor (Peck), Best Screenplay, and Art Direction.  Hauntingly beautiful score by Elmer Bernstein.  With Robert Duvall as Boo Radley and Estelle Evens as Calpurnia.  Restored, and widescreen.  129 minutes.

"This outstanding film only gains in stature as time passes.  One of the best of the 1960s.”  ––Leonard Maltin

#2 film of “America’s Most Inspirational Movies” survey  ––American Film Institute

February 11
7:00 pm  Speedy 
(Ted Wilde, USA, 1928)

“Speedy” Swift (Harold Lloyd) is an obsessed baseball fan living in New York in the roaring 1920s.  If Speedy expects to marry his girlfriend (Ann Christy), he must first save her grandfather’s business from ruin ––the last remaining horse-drawn trolley in the city.  Memorable for its comic staging, extensive NYC locations, a hair-raising trolley chase sequence, and an appearance by “Babe” Ruth himself.  86 minutes.

“One of its star’s most stylish comedies and his last silent film.”  ––Halliwell’s Film Guide

February 18
7:00 pm  National Velvet 
(Clarence Brown, USA, 1944)

A spirited young English girl named Velvet Brown (Elizabeth Taylor), daughter of the village butcher (Donald Crisp), first takes under her wing an itinerant, troubled lad (Mickey Rooney).  Then she sets her sights on a gorgeous, unruly horse –– regarded by many as an uncontrollable menace –– with the intention of riding him in competition racing.  Obstacles abound, but Velvet’s mother (Anne Revere, in an Oscar-winning performance) knows a thing or two about determination and breaking barriers.  Mrs. Brown’s polite marital discourse with Mr. Brown is priceless.  A beautiful, grand production, marked by classical MGM craftsmanship, the film made Taylor (who did her own riding and stunts) a major star.  Nominated for five Oscars, it won two.  Angela Lansbury plays Velvet’s sister.  In Technicolor.  125 minutes.

“One of the most likable movies of all time.  Under the direction of Clarence Brown, the 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor rings true on every line she speaks; she gives what is possibly her most dedicated performance….  The film is a high spirited, childish dream; like The Wizard of Oz, it makes people smile when they recall it.”  ––Pauline Kael

“ Outstanding….  Taylor is irresistible, Rooney was never better, and they're surrounded by a perfect supporting cast. ––Leonard Maltin

“A charmer…, with a captivating performance from the young Liz Taylor as Velvet, and graceful, fluent direction.”   ––Time Out

February 25
7:00 pm  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 
(Robert Wiene, Germany, 1919)

Francis, a student who finds himself in a world that is not quite all that it seems, grapples with the deranged Dr. Caligari, whose disturbing carnival exhibit may be connected to a series of murders.  Notable for having introduced the ‘twist ending’ in cinema and for its weird and distorted set designs, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is one of the most influential films of all time, a hallmark achievement of the German Expressionist period, a stylistic beacon for American film noir, and one of the landmark horror movies of the silent era.  Vastly improved 2014 restoration, from the original camera negative, with original color tints.  75 minutes.

“A plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world.  Director Robert Wiene and a visionary team of designers crafted a nightmare realm in which light, shadow and substance are abstracted.”  ––Kino Films

“Landmark film still impresses audiences today.”  ––Leonard Maltin

March 4
7:00 pm  The Maltese Falcon 
(John Huston, USA, 1941)

John Huston’s first film as a writer-director is such a flawless, endlessly rewarding movie that the word masterpiece hardly does it justice.  Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade is the perfect detective-hero, who enters the San Francisco underworld to avenge the murder of his partner.  Spade’s quest for justice is hardly pure, complicated as it is by his own flaws and by his dark attraction to the devious Brigid (Mary Astor) and to an elusive antique figurine –– the bejeweled falcon.  Unforgettably shady characters abound, played by Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Elisha Cook, Jr.  Huston’s expressive camera angles, the atmospheric lighting, and the details of noir décor make this movie a “must see” on the big screen.  With Ward Bond and Barton MacLane.  Restored.  100 minutes.

“This film is an almost perfect visual equivalent of the Dashiell Hammett thriller.  It is a work of entertainment that is yet so skillfully constructed that after many years and many viewings it has the same brittle explosiveness –– and even some of the same surprise –– that it had in its first run.”  ––Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

“Outstanding detective drama improves with each viewing… Moves at a lightning pace.”  ––Leonard Maltin

March 11
7:00 pm  Laura 
(Otto Preminger, USA, 1944)

Graced with a haunting musical theme, a first-rate cast, and a famously intriguing mystery, Laura was nominated for five Academy Awards.  A detective (Dana Andrews) conducts a police investigation of a murdered woman (Gene Tierney), whose painted portrait becomes a fixation for him, while the picture of her related by others –– in a series of flashbacks –– only increases her allure and his fascination.  Oscar-winning cinematography.  With Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson (Rebecca).  Restored.  87 minutes.

“Classic mystery with gorgeous Tierney subject of murder plot… Fascinating, witty, classic, with Webb a standout … and Price in his finest non-horror performance .”  ––Leonard Maltin

“Stylish 1944 noir.  [Most] compelling is the gallery of personalities Preminger gives us and the gorgeous reverence with which [he] and his collaborators shoot the film’s alluring femme fatale.”  ––Time Out

“Everybody’s favorite chic murder mystery.”   ––Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

March 18
7:00 pm  Out of the Past
(Jacques Tourneur, USA, 1947)

Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is a former detective operating a rural gas station and courting a local beauty (Virginia Huston).  Drawn back into the urban underworld of his past by a dangerously charming gangster (Kirk Douglas) and a stunningly sensual femme noire (Jane Greer), Jeff struggles to stay ahead of the ensuing deceptions and double-crosses.  Lyrical and haunting, this celebrated film noir is a mysterious and radiant jewel, with a smart script equal to such great classics as The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep.  The snappy dialogue is witty, the photography exquisitely vivid, and the unfolding narrative weaves past and present like a dream.  With Rhonda Fleming, Paul Valentine, and Steve Brodie.  Restored.  97 minutes.

 “The definitive flashback movie… Beguiling and resolutely ominous, this hallucinatory voyage [is] one of the most bewildering and beautiful films ever made... The mood of obsession was never more powerfully suggestive….  Once seen never forgotten.”  ––Time Out Film Guide

“ Classic example of 1940s film noir, with dialogue a particular standout.”   ––Leonard Maltin

 The Film Studies program at Chemeketa Community College offers courses in film appreciation.  See the College website www.chemeketa.edu for further information.

Historic Elsinore Theatre
170 High St SE, Salem OR 97301  

All films at the Historic Elsinore Theatre.  Box office and doors open at 6:00 pm, movies begin at 7 pm.

Films subject to change.


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