The Thanhouser Studio and the Birth of American Cinema

Plus the Thanhouser Studio short silent film Star of the Side Show with live organ accompaniment by Nathan Avakian and post-show Q+A by Ned Thanhouser!

This one-hour documentary recounts the untold story of the remarkable rise and fall of the Thanhouser Studio, one of American’s pioneering motion picture studios during the first decade of the twentieth century. It traces the evolution of one family’s career as it transitioned from producing live theater to establishing one of the most successful independent silent motion picture studios. The Thanhouser Studio produced and released over 1,000 silent motion pictures that were acclaimed by critics and seen by audiences around the world. Set against a background of the industry playing out in New York, Florida and California, it is a compelling story of fame and fortune, twisted by the vagaries of fate and ending on a bittersweet note.

This will be the Portland (and USA) premiere of the documentary that was screened on opening night in Pordenone Italy at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, the largest and most prestigious festival for silent film on the globe.



Tuesday, December 16