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 spring–summer 2014 series of twelve movies begins April 9th with Vincente Minnelli’s gorgeous Technicolor musical Meet Me in St Louis, starring Judy Garland.  It’s the first of eight selections –– great, landmark movies –– in our sound-era Classic Program.  The Silent Program will present four movie evenings, beginning April 16th with King Vidor’s famous, but rarely seen, masterpiece The Crowd.

Program notes offering commentary are provided only at our Classic Program screenings.  Silent Program presentations feature digitally restored prints 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  

April 23
7:00 pm  The Lady Eve 
(Preston Sturges, USA, 1941)

From the opening credit animation with its Edenic garden and naughty, suggestive serpent, The Lady Eve is a take on the Fall of Man and the eternal “battle of the sexes.”  A wealthy, naïve scientist (Henry Fonda) and reluctant heir to a beer empire prefers to study snakes in the wilds.  Returning to civilization, he is befriended by a master card shark (Charles Coburn of The More the Merrier) working a cruise ship with his con-artist protégé, devoted daughter Jean (Barbara Stanwyck).  What ensues is Shakespearean wit and identity confusion, the snappiest of wisecracks, delirious romantic doubletalk, and the most daffy and erotic stateroom seduction scene ever captured on film.  Stanwyck is sensational.  Absolutely not to be missed!  With William Demarest, Eugene Pallette, Eric Blore.  97 minutes.

“A masterpiece… full of classic moments and classic lines; it represents the dizzy high point of Preston Sturges’ comedy writing.” – Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

“ Grows funnier with each viewing – thanks to Sturges’ script, breathless pace, and two incomparable stars.” – Leonard Maltin

“A beguiling ribald sex comedy…Very nearly perfection, and quintessential Sturges.” – Time Out

April 30
7:00 pm
The Boy Mayor
  (Henry McRae, USA, 1914)
The Freshman  (Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor, USA, 1925)

Among the thousands of motion pictures in the archive of the Oregon Historical Society is The Boy Mayor, a 1914 silent film made by Universal dramatizing Portland’s real-life “boy mayor.”  During the Progressive Era, American cities experimented with methods to control “vice,” and Progressive Portlanders established the Newsboys’ Home to rescue boys in danger of delinquency.  To raise funds for the home, a city-wide contest was launched with “Boy Mayor” candidates chosen by Portland public schools.  Starring Eugene J. Rich, the actual “Boy Mayor” of Portland.  15 minutes

This film is generously loaned by the Oregon Historical Society, Moving Image Archive – with preservation funds provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation

In The Freshman, an over-eager country lad (Harold Lloyd) tries to be popular on campus, but his self-conscious attempts are instead a source of humor.  Though Harold is merely the team water boy, the college’s big football game of the year provides an opportunity for success, if Harold can find a way –– as his love interest, Peggy (Jobyna Ralston) advises –– to just be himself.  The Freshman became the model for many sports movies since.  76 minutes.

 “One of Lloyd’s best-remembered films…a real audience-rouser.”  ––Leonard Maltin

“A terrific silent film featuring the many talents of one of the greatest comedians of the time, this picture was added to the National Film Registry in 1990.” –– Classic Film Guide

May 7
7:00 pm  My Darling Clementine 
(John Ford, USA, 1946)

As the new marshal of Tombstone, Arizona, cowhand Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) confronts a wild desert community and it's notorious Clanton clan, led by a deadly patriarch (Walter Brennan).  Aided by his brothers (Ward Bond and Tim Holt) and Doc Holliday (Victor Mature), Wyatt’s firm hand will lead to the famous OK Corral gunfight.  Director Ford claimed to know the elderly Wyatt Earp, and the OK shootout was filmed as the legendary lawman personally related it to him.  The film is a great, mythic tale of a nation being born.  With Linda Darnell and Cathy Downs (as Clementine Carter).  98 minutes.

“Beautifully directed, low-key Western, full of wonderful details and vignettes; exquisitely photographed...  One of director Ford's finest films, and an American classic.”  ––Leonard Maltin

“Archetypal Western mood piece, full of nostalgia for times gone by and crackling with memorable scenes and characterizations.”  –– Halliwell’s Film Guide

May 14
7:00 pm  Here Comes Mr. Jordan 
(Alexander Hall, USA, 1941)

When a prizefighter (Robert Montgomery) at the top of his game is mistakenly called to the afterlife, he refuses to be counted out.  But if he’s restored to earth, what body can he now occupy?  It's a problem for heaven's archangel Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains), his associate (Edward Everett Horton), and the boxer.  Pleasures abound in this famous fantasy, but especially memorable are Montgomery as the earnest fighter with a fondness for the saxophone and James Gleason as his manager.  With Evelyn Keyes.  93 minutes.

“Excellent fantasy-comedy.  Hollywood moviemaking at its best, with first rate cast and performances.  Oscar for original story.”  ––Leonard Maltin

“Delightful and totally disarming… and not a little wise.  It is also one of the choicest comic fantasies of the year.”  –– New York Times, Aug. 8, 1941

May 21
7:00 pm  The Big Parade 
(King Vidor, USA, 1925)  *SILENT*

The idle son (John Gilbert) of a rich businessman joins the army during WWI.  Sent to France, he befriends two working-class soldiers and falls in love with a French woman (Renée Adorée), before being ordered to the bloody trenches.  A box office smash when released, the film played for 96 weeks in New York.  Restored in 2013 from the original camera negative to pristine condition, The Big Parade looks spectacular, and it remains a landmark movie.  140 minutes

“One of the best WW1 films ever; Gilbert a wonderful hero, Adorée an unforgettable heroine.  Filled with memorable vignettes, and some of the most harrowingly realistic battle scenes ever filmed.  A gem.”  ––Leonard Maltin

“Vidor brought his own epic, sweeping style to his intimate yet massive work about love and war.  It was the first realistic war drama and has served ever since as an archetypal model for all other war films.”  ––Tim Dirks, The Greatest Films

May 28
7:00 pm Gentleman Jim 
(Raoul Walsh, USA, 1942)

The Elsinore used to be a Warner Bros. theater, and on this 88th Anniversary evening we’re presenting a Warner’s classic.  Errol Flynn (Adventures of Robin Hood) plays handsome bank teller and upstart boxer Jim Corbett, who challenges the powerful champion John L. Sullivan (Ward Bond) to a title bout in 1892.  Corbett attracts huge ringside crowds and the attention a young society woman (Alexis Smith), in this magnificent evocation of the Gay 90s and the early days of prizefighting.  104 minutes.

 “It's a boisterously exhilarating and likable picture…. The 1890s period atmosphere, the interpersonal dynamics when the working-class Corbett clan intersects with the swells of San Francisco society, and the sheer, exuberant drive of the storytelling exemplifies the richness of studio filmmaking in Hollywood's Golden age.  As glorious entertainment and vibrant cinema, this is a masterpiece.”  ––Film critic Richard T. Jameson

“Flynn is dynamic in the title role (reportedly his favorite) supported by colorful cast.” – Leonard Maltin

“Lavish, lustrous…, it’s Hollywood at its cavalier best, with a perfectly judged performance from Flynn.”  ––Time Out

June 11
7:00 pm  Hands Across the Table 
(Mitchell Leisen, USA, 1935)

In the depths of the Depression, a beautiful manicurist in a swanky hotel (Carole Lombard) on the lookout for a rich husband meets a ditzy, broke, well-born playboy (wisecracking Fred MacMurray), who intends to marry for money to restore some jingle in his pocket.  Both are disdainful of romantic love’s illusions.  The bright script is enlivened by the performers’ sensitivity and comic timing, director Leisen’s staging, and Paramount’s awesome Art Deco set designs.  A luminous, charming gem.  With Ralph Bellamy.  79 minutes.

“Lombard, in the first part tailor-made for her, proves herself as the only Hollywood person ever to be a great beauty, a great comedienne, and a great actress all at once.” – Time Out

“Lombard sparkles.”   ––Leonard Maltin

“MacMurray knows how to deliver a good line. [With] her gift for uninhibited comedy, …Lombard is the rare performer whose enjoyment of her own jokes adds to the audience’s pleasure.”  ––Pauline Kael

June 18
7:00 pm  Now or Never 
(Hal Roach and Fred Newmeyer, USA, 1921)

Putting Pants on Phillip 
(Clyde Bruckman, USA, 1927)

That’s My Wife 
(Lloyd French, USA, 1929)


In Now or Never, Harold Lloyd and his girl Mary have been apart.  When they find themselves traveling on the same train, Mary must flee to avoid detection by her employers (also on the train), while Harold attempts to dodge the conductor because he has no ticket.  Inspired confusion in a classic Lloyd comedy.  In Putting Pants on Phillip, a young Scot named Phillip (Stan Laurel) arrives in America, his visit supervised by Uncle Ollie (Oliver Hardy).  Phillip has a weakness for chasing women, and his refusal to trade his kilts for pants drives his uncle crazy.  In That’s My Wife, tensions between Oliver and Mrs. Hardy come to a boil when Stan persists as a permanent houseguest.  80 minutes.

June 25
7:00 pm  The 400 Blows 
(François Truffaut, France, 1959)

Truffaut’s movie about a charming 13-year-old boy’s (Jean-Pierre Léaud) slide into juvenile delinquency awakened the world in 1959 to the glories of the French New Wave.  (Its title is more properly translated into English as Raising Hell.)  The film’s fresh style changed movie-making forever, director Truffaut was suddenly a superstar, and young actor Léaud became one of the most famous child stars in film history.  Truffaut’s coming-of-age masterpiece is a partly-autobiographical, tender evocation of a child's little, imprisoning world and yet simultaneously an exuberant, widescreen valentine to Paris in the 1950s.  Unforgettably authentic, touching and illuminating.  Perfectly restored.  In CinemaScope.  101 minutes.

“Captivating.”  ––Leonard Maltin

Intensely moving but never mawkish, shot on location in Paris with a casually vivid eye that is almost documentary, it still has an amazing freshness…  Still one of the cinema’s most perceptive forays into childhood.”  ––Time Out

“This engaging film is so controlled and lyrical as to be totally refreshing, and it gives a very vivid picture of Paris streets.”  ––Halliwell’s Film Guide

July 2
7:00 pm  Saboteur 
(Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1942)

Saboteur is made in the style and light-hearted spirit of Hitchcock’s more famous chase films, The 39 Steps and North By Northwest.  Wrongly accused of WWII munitions sabotage, a naïve factory worker (Robert Cummings) becomes a classic Hitchcock innocent on the run, traveling east by northeast from California to New York City, on America's desert and forest highways, in pursuit of a terrorist only he has seen.  What may seem merely an episodic comedy-suspense road picture is in fact an odyssey through a series of Hitchcockian moral dialogues as Cummings encounters a diverse array of characters who voice the best and worst of human nature while the nation is at war.  His coast-to-coast journey concludes with the film's celebrated climax on the Statue of Liberty.  Fun Hitchcock, rarely seen on the big screen where it belongs.  Dorothy Parker wrote some of the film’s clever dialogue.  108 minutes.

“Extremely offbeat wartime Hitchcock yarn… Full of quirky touches, unusual supporting characters, and some outstanding set pieces, including famous finale....”   ––Leonard Maltin

*SILENT* denotes silent film with live organ accompaniment 

The Film Studies Program at Chemeketa Community College offers courses in film appreciation.  See the College Catalog, the quarterly Schedule of Classes, or contact Steve Slemenda at 503.399.6237 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 pm, movies begin at 7 pm.

 Films subject to change.


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