Tickets available for the 26th Annual Silent Film Benefit

The 26th Annual Catalina Island Museum Silent Film Benefit will be held Saturday, May 11, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., in the theater of the historic Avalon Casino.

The theme for this year’s benefit is “Make ’em Laugh” and will feature four comedy “shorts” by the silent era’s greatest comedians: Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin.  

The 26th Annual Catalina Island Museum Silent Film Benefit will be held Saturday, May 11, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., in the theater of the historic Avalon Casino.

The theme for this year’s benefit is “Make ’em Laugh” and will feature four comedy “shorts” by the silent era’s greatest comedians: Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin.  

Nearly every visit to the silent pictures began with a comedy short. Filled with rapid-fire action, these one and two reel films are some of the most compelling movies ever produced during the silent era.  

The day’s best comedians received their start with these films.  

Comedy “shorts” gave comedians such as Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin a chance to prove themselves in a format that was both compelling and inexpensive to produce.  

Coming from backgrounds in burlesque and vaudeville, the comedians featured in this year’s benefit produced short films that were full of visual gags, pratfalls, last-minute rescues, chases and daredevil stunts of such peril that they often took an audience’s breath away.  

Today, the advent of the comedy short is viewed as one of the silent era’s greatest accomplishments.

An original score performed by its composer, the award-winning organist Robert D. Salisbury, will accompany each short film.

Salisbury will accompany each film on the famous 1929 Page Theater Pipe Organ, one of only four remaining in the United States and a treasure of the magnificent Avalon Theatre.

If you like to dress up, come in your best 1920s clothes and receive 50 percent off the benefit’s ticket price. Prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed individual and couple. Tickets are $13 for members of the museum, $15 for general admission and $7.50 for those in 1920s period dress. Purchasing tickets is easy: call (310) 510-2414, visit the museum in person or go to the Silent Film event page on www.CatalinaMuseum.org.  

You can also mail your payment to Catalina Island Museum, PO Box 366, Avalon, CA 90704 (Attn: Silent Film). The Catalina Island Museum is Avalon’s sole institution devoted to art, culture and history.  The museum, its digital theater and store are located on the ground floor of Avalon’s historic Casino and are open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, call the museum at (310) 510-2414 or visit CatalinaMuseum.org.

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