Historic Theater to present silent film event

First Posted: 10/17/2013

LUMBERTON — The Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater on Saturday will return to its roots with the showing of silent films in conjunction with live music.

The theater will be the venue for Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra’s presentation of “A Silent Film Halloween.” The event begins at 7 p.m.

The Carolina Civic Center, which first opened in 1928 as a silent film and vaudeville house, chose the orchestra because of that connection to the Lumberton theater’s past.

Richard Sceiford, director of the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater, said that he saw an advertisement for the orchestra about a year ago.

“It just instantly hit me that this would be perfect for the theater,” Sceiford said. “I can’t think of anything more cool and unique for our region than seeing live music with a silent film in a 1928 theater.”

The orchestra will accompany a collection of classic silent films with Halloween themes. The orchestra will also perform many music-only interludes.

“With all of this combined, our theater is a unique visual experience,” Sceiford said. “This will be an alternative Halloween experience.”

The 12-piece orchestra will perform on the stage beneath the theater’s 25- by 13-foot screen to three silent films: “Buster Keaton in the Haunted House,” “Charlie Chaplin in the Adventurer” and “Harold Lloyd in Haunted Spooks.”

The orchestra uses the original scores and antique instruments to play theater, dance and concert selections.

“All of the music we will be playing is from the original music arrangement from the time period of the film,” said Andrew Greene, director of the Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra.

Greene founded the Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra in 2010 as a freshman at the University of Maryland, hoping to draw attention to what he says is neglected but historically-important ragtime music.

He has appeared as guest conductor for the South Dakota Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and appears at ragtime festivals and other events as a seminar leader and pianist.

“We will be recreating the experience in Robeson County of going to a theater and getting live entertainment,” Greene said. “My inspiration is just keeping ragtime alive.”

Along with the 12-piece orchestra, Greene will be bringing drummer John Patton, who will provide sound effects.

“This is going to be one heck of an event and people are not going to want to miss this,” Greene said.

According to the Peacherine’s website, the orchestra has been heard on radio programs such as “Hot Jazz Saturday Night,”WXGN Radio, and “Ragtime America.” The orchestra’s first CD, “That Teasin’ Rag: Vintage American Arrangements from the Ragtime Era,” was released on the Rivermont Label in 2011.

The Carolina Civic Center is located in downtown Lumberton at Fourth and Chestnut streets.

Tickets cost $20 a person or $15 a person with the purchase of 10 or more in advance. Tickets can be purchased in-person or by telephone with credit card or cash on Mondays through Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m. at the center’s administrative offices on the theater’s second floor, or by calling the center at 910-738-4339. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. Group and senior discount prices are available.

For information, call 910-738-4339 or email [email protected]