Category Archives: Pioneer child silent film stars

Silent Movies at Niles Theater

Last night, some of my family went to view silent movies at the Niles Theater for Bronco Billy Days, held every year. I have been a silent movie fan and television viewer since I was 2 years-old. I’m mesmerized by the action and acting on the screen. Last night, we saw a 1924 movie called, “Manhandled” starring Gloria Swanson. I always remembered Ms. Swanson from “Sunset Boulevard” as Norma Desmond with her classic line, “Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” She was funny and skilled as a silent screen artist in the film “Manhandled.” Again, I was mesmerized by Ms. Swanson’s wonderful entertaining screen presence. All the attention was given to her for good reason. What an actress!!!

At the theater last night was 93 year-old, child silent film star, “Baby Peggy.” The still attractive and active silent comedy star’s real name is Diana Serra Cary. She has written at least 3 books about the silent screen Hollywood era and what it was like growing up during the 1920’s as a pioneer child star of great magnitude. On Sunday, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Theater will be playing Baby Peggy’s 1924 film, “The Family Secret.” I just have to see this film since I’m reading her book, “What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy, The Autobiography of Hollywood’s Pioneer Child Star.” Ms. Cary, will also be introducing the film to the movie goers at the theater. It is such a pleasure and treat to see a former child star actress that is still alive and well from the 1920’s. The Niles Silent Movie Theater has applied to be listed on the Register for National Historic Places. It needs to be voted for and preserved for all posterity.

I picked up up Cinecon newsletter at the Niles Theater last night. This is a classic film festival that takes place over Labor Day Weekend every year in Hollywood. I’m thinking about going for a day or so this year. Cinecon is the oldest and most notable of fan classic film festivals for showing rare and unusual films, having exciting celebrity guests, and offering some of the best movie memorabilia around. The classic movie screenings will be held at the restored 1922 Grauman’s Egyptian Movie Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. So, the next time you rent a movie, think about a classic one or better yet, a classic silent movie. You will be entertained. You will laugh out loud with joy and wonder at how magnificent these silent screen actors performed. It really was an art form.


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