Phantom of the Opera silent film screening with organ accompaniment in Worthing

Michael Wooldridge
Michael Wooldridge

Cinema goers and lovers of art films are looking forward to a special screening of the famous 1925 American silent film, The Phantom of the Opera, starring legendary actor Lon Chaney, at The Assembly Hall in Worthing – courtesy of the Sussex Theatre Organ Trust.

Trust chairman Simon Field said: “To add authenticity to the evening, the film will have a live musical score provided by acclaimed BBC Radio 2 organist Michael Wooldridge on the mighty Worthing Wurlitzer, itself an historic instrument and regarded as one of the UK’s finest, with over 1,500 pipes plus real sound effects including drums, cymbals, glockenspiel and chimes.

“The silent classic is a horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, which has subsequently been popularly reimagined for the West End stage by Lord An-drew Lloyd-Webber. The film version remains famous for Chaney’s ghastly, self-devised make-up, which was kept a closely guarded studio secret until the film’s premiere.

“Michael Wooldridge is perhaps best known locally for his years of playing concerts and tea dances around the area, with his most recent appearance at the Worthing Wurlitzer having been playing to sell-out crowds at the CAMRA Beer Festival on October 26 and 27, but he regularly tours to play concerts all around the UK and abroad, and even played live to five million listeners on BBC Radio 2’s popular Steve Wright Show.

“He is a master in the art of silent film accompaniment, so much so that for the last few summers he has been flown out to top the bill accompanying films for the annual International Silent Film Festival at the Babylon Cinema in the heart of Berlin, Germany, where perhaps the highest com-pliment is that audiences become so absorbed by the films, as his score leads them through the twists and turns of plots in seamless fashion, that they forget for a moment that it is all being played live by one master musician!

“The Phantom of the Opera will be screened at The Assembly Hall, Worthing at 7pm on Friday, November 9. Admission is £11 (children £8), with tickets now on sale from the Worthing Theatres box office on 01903 206 206 or online at worthingtheatres.co.uk.”

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