BREVARD COUNTY — One of the best parts about the Halloween season is the excuse to put on a movie for thrills and chills. This weekend, Suntree United Methodist Church has a special treat for the public.
A screening of the 1925 silent horror film “The Phantom of the Opera” will premiere with an organ accompaniment on a 1924 Hook & Hastings pipe organ by Organist Tom Taylor as part of SUMC’s “Suntree Silent Cinema” series.
This free event is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17 at Suntree United Methodist Church, 7400 N. Wickham Road.
A livestream of this event will be available to watch by visiting the church website and navigating the “calendar/events” tab for the Silent Cinema page.
According to a press release, the film stars Lon Chaney as the disfigured “Phantom” and the movie tells the story of an anti-hero who keeps his songstress lady-love imprisoned beneath the Paris Opera House.
Dr. Robert E. Lamb, director of traditional music at SUMC, will emcee the screening and deliver a short introductory lecture on the 95-year-old silent film.
“The story or the action in any great film is carried along by the musical score,” Mr. Taylor said. “In a dramatic silent movie, the musical accompaniment is even more important. I developed the score, integrating some of the greatest orchestral and organ music from Bach to Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens to Prokofiev. Some very familiar, others not so well known.”
The 1924 Hook & Hastings pipe organ is registered with the national Organ Historical Society, and was previously stored in hundreds of parts for decades. It was rescued from a private owner and reassembled during two years before making its home in the sanctuary of SUMC.
Mr. Taylor continued, “A lot of people enjoy watching me at the organ console, which will be centered in front and shown in a corner of the screen, including the live streaming presentation.”
The digitally restored film will be projected on two large screens in the sanctuary, and it will include a short intermission.
Mr. Taylor suggested that parents may want to visit Google or YouTube for clips of the movie before taking their children, as some scenes of the Phantom may be frightening for younger children.
“The Phantom of the Opera” will be the seventh film shown in the Suntree Silent Cinema series, which began in 2014 led by Mr. Taylor, who hopes to see a comedy premiere in 2021 for the next installment of this series.
Mr. Taylor has been the organist for SUMC for 12 years and has been presenting in concerts and accompanied silent films since the 1960s.
Masks are required for guests attending this event. With limited seating available, guests are asked to reserve tickets in advance by calling (321) 242-2585 or visiting www.suntreeUMC.org.