July 6, 2009 Library of Congress Co-Hosts Silent Film Screenings in Nationwide Celebration of Mary Pickford Centenary

Press Contact: Jennifer Gavin, (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Christel Schmidt, (202) 707-0246

Silent-film buffs will have a rare opportunity to see several films featuring legendary actress and producer Mary Pickford, at screenings in several U.S. theaters through December. Next in the sequence of screenings cosponsored by the Library of Congress—celebrating Pickford’s centennial as a star of the silver screen—will be the San Francisco Silent Film Festival on July 11, 2009. That day, a trio of Pickford classics from the Library’s collections will be among the Saturday screenings at the historic Castro Theater, 429 Castro Street in San Francisco: “They Would Elope,” “Getting Even,” and “The Trick That Failed,” all released in 1909. They will be among nearly a dozen silent films to be seen at the 14th annual event. Films are individually ticketed; admission to the feature film nearest the showing of the Pickford material is $14.

Library film historian Christel Schmidt, who is curating the film series that celebrates Pickford both as an actress and as a producer, will be present at the theater to offer remarks and sign copies of “Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture,” which she edited.

“Mary Pickford has been called the ‘Founding Mother of Hollywood,’ because she was so instrumental in establishing the early film industry in that part of California,” Schmidt said. “She was a shrewd businesswoman, and not only worked wisely to earn a spectacular salary for her acting, but also chose business partners—her husband Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith—whose clout and talent made United Artists a household name for decades.”

For more details on the San Francisco event, see www.silentfilm.org.

Other stops in the series include Glendale, Calif. on July 12, where a trio of Pickford classics—“They Would Elope,” “The Trick that Failed” and “Sparrows”—will be screened at the Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Boulevard, starting at 2 p.m. Cosponsors include the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Glendale Arts and the Alex Film Society; general admission tickets are $15.

Also, there will be a screening in Encinitas, Calif., on November 8, where eight Pickford films (“They Would Elope,” “Getting Even,” “The Mountaineer’s Honor,” “The Trick that Failed,” “To Save Her Soul,” “The Dream,” “When the Cat’s Away,” and “Sparrows”) will be screened at the La Paloma Theater, 471 S. Coast Highway 101, plus a trailer and an outtake, both from “Sparrows.” General admission is $9. A screening is also scheduled in New York City, where “They Would Elope” and “The Trick that Failed” will be shown at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center on November 20.

Preparations are not yet final for proposed screenings of Pickford films in Toronto in mid-September, and in Los Angeles in late November or early December.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Resources can be found at the Library’s main website, www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized website at myLOC.gov.


PR 09-138
ISSN 0731-3527