image004For the April installment of its monthly Silent Cinema Series, the Music Box presents Mary Pickford’s next-to-last silent filmSparrows (1926), introduced by film historian

and writerChristel Schmidt (Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies)The Library of Congress’ 35mm tinted restoration print of the film was struck from a nitrate print in Pickford’s personal film collection. The feature is preceded by the film’s trailer and outtakes, also restored by the Library of Congress.  Sparrows is presented with live organ accompaniment by “master of magic notes” Dennis Scott on Saturday, April 6, noon, at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue.

In Sparrows, Mary Pickford – the most popular actress of the silent era and America’s first “sweetheart” – stars as the eldest child in a cruel orphanage hidden deep in a swamp. In what is considered her finest and most thrilling film role, Pickford tries to rescue the children through a swamp mired in alligators and infested with alligators.

Author and editor Christel Schmidt will present the program and sign copies ofMary Pickford: Queen of the Movies (co-published by the Library of Congress and the University Press of Kentucky), a collection of essays and more than 200 color and black-and-white photos.

Named by Chicago magazine as the Best New Film Series of 2011 and recently hailed by the Chicago Reader’s J.R. Jones as one of the best movie matinee series in the city, the Music Box Silent Cinema Series is presented on the second Saturday of each month at noon. All films are shown “authentically” in 35mm at proper silent film speed and aspect ratio with live accompaniment by Dennis Scott at the Music Box Theatre organ.

Music Box Silent Cinema Series

Sparrows (William Beaudine, 1926, 84m)

Saturday, April 6, noon

Tickets – $10 adults; $8 students and seniors – at the Music Box Theatre box office


Music Box Theatre’s Second Saturday Silent Cinema Series continues Saturday, May 11, 2013 with Yasujiro Ozu’s Depression-era  An Inn in Tokyo, a masterful example of silent cinema that continued in Japan into the 1930s.

Dennis Scott, Music Box Theatre’s house organist, is an internationally known silent film organist dubbed the “Master of Magic Notes” by Suzanne Lloyd, granddaughter of the comic genius Harold Lloyd. Scott began accompanying silent films in the 1970s, when he started playing theater pipe organs installed in pizza parlors in the Midwest and the West Coast. He is a co-founder of the Silent Film Society of Chicago. Ongoing at the Music Box, he plays weekend intermissions, the annual Sing-Along Sound of MusicSing-Along GreaseValentine’s Day Sing-Along and the acclaimed Music Box Christmas Sing-Along, a Chicago holiday tradition for nearly 30 years.  For Music Box’s Second Saturday Silent Cinema Series, Scott accompanies a classic silent film, live, at noon on the second Saturday of each month on the Music Box Theatre organ. The series was named the “Best New Film Series of 2011” by Chicago magazine and “Best Matinee Film Series of 2012” by the Chicago Reader.

About the Music Box Theatre: For nearly 30 years the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States. For additional information please visit www.musicboxtheatre.com .  Download the entire Music Box Theatre Spring Calendar here: www.musicboxtheatre.com/assets/calendars/MusicBox_Spring2013_FINAL-LoRes.pdf