Silent Film Night at the Fox


Photos by Drew

1960s dress: estate sale
Shoes: Topshop
Bag: thrift store

I’d wanted to go to The Fox Theatre in Atlanta for the longest time but never really knew if the chance would come up. We pass by it all the time and I’ve spent lots of time online looking up its history and how it was originally meant to be a Shriner’s mosque, but became a late ’20s/early ’30s movie palace instead.  In 1939 the big parade/gala for the opening of Gone With The Wind started just outside the Fox and made its way down Peachtree to the Loew’s Grand Theatre, where the movie premiered.  Sometimes when I think about the Loew’s Grand I get sad because it burned down before I was born and because there’s no chance of ever seeing it, but the Fox is still here, and I was always crossing my fingers that something good enough would come along to give me an excuse to go inside and see it.

So when I found out that the old Buster Keaton silent The General would be playing I was more excited than I’d been in ages.  For all my silent movie ramblings I’d never even seen a silent film on the big screen; I pretty much figured I’d have to travel to New York or LA to see one.  I never imagined that one would be shown in Atlanta, and in a perfect 1920s theater no less.  I couldn’t imagine that there’d be much of a demand for that sort of thing, but I was completely wrong, and when we walked in I was sort of amazed to see the place almost entirely filled up.  And then when the movie played people laughed and got into it and everything, but of course it wasn’t hard to get into it when there was an amazing organist playing the theater’s original 1929 organ, or when a lot of the film’s action took place just down the road in Marietta, Georgia.  Or when you had a star as magnetic as Buster Keaton projected large on the screen, deadpanning, eye-rolling, looking every bit modern despite 1860s-by-way-of-1920s clothes.

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70 Comments

  1. Posted August 16, 2010 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Aw shucks, that’s so incredible!!!! Seeing a silent on the big screen is a dream of mine, and I can’t even imagine seeing one in an old ’20s theatre with organ players and Buster Keaton! One of these days I’ll get to New York and see one–I just need to find someone I can drag along! (Again: whyyyy do you live so far away? haha)

    Also, of course, you look as lovely as can be! That dress is perfect for a silent movie on the big screen–it just fits!

    xx

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 17, 2010 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Jessica, next time I’m in New York we have to go see a silent movie!! Or a ’30s one!

  2. Posted August 16, 2010 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    I absolutely love your entire outfit. It’s so mellow and has an understated elegance. That’s so cool that they showed a silent film in that theatre! I’ve been fascinated by silent films ever since we had to watch them in my Film Art class. And those are really gorgeous pictures!

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 17, 2010 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Thanks Isabel!! :)

  3. Posted August 16, 2010 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    A silent Buster Keaton film on a big screen with a live score must make for a fantastically unusual experience.

    Your 1960s dress is very sweet and I do love how well it goes with your Topshop shoes. A perfect juxtaposition to marry with your 2010/1927 film experience. Great pictures, as ever.

  4. Posted August 16, 2010 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Oh, wow! It must have been amazing to see a silent film on the big screen!
    I loooooove your dress, by the way!

  5. Posted August 16, 2010 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I don’t even know what to say about this experience, Rhiannon. It’s like all your hours spent studying and diving into the silent film world finally came to life and at such an authentic and truly incredible place! I can’t get over that shot of the back of those peoples heads. I swear if you hadn’t told me I’d think it was the premiere of the film in 1926. Maybe the big turn out will mean lots more silent films for The Fox Theatre!

    And by the way, I think you picked the perfect dress for such an event. It’s got a sort of old Hollywood glam to it in a 1960’s silhouette!

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Starr, isn’t that photo crazy? Drew took it on his (smuggled in) iPhone camera which is why it’s kind of fuzzy quality, but it really works for this!

  6. Posted August 16, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    What a delightful way to spend a few hours! I’ll be in Atlanta next weekend, I’ll have to scout it out. And you look just the part for such an occasion.

  7. Posted August 16, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Lucky you! I’ve never seen a silent film before, but I think I would love to see it in a setting like that! Plus, your dress is gorgeous.

  8. Posted August 16, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    buster is my absolute favorite silent movie actor… he makes me go all dreamy! :)have you seen streamboat bill jr? he’s so adorable in that one! :)

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Zinnia, I haven’t! I think the only other Buster Keaton movie I saw was The Cameraman! I have a feeling I’d love anything he’s in.

  9. Posted August 16, 2010 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    The only silent film I’ve ever seen was “the Mask of Zorro” at Paramount Theatre (in Seattle). It sounds like you really enjoyed “the General”.

    Also, I really love your dress.

  10. Posted August 16, 2010 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    what a cool outing – and that dress is beyond cute! ck :) x

  11. Posted August 16, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    your dress is gorgeous!

  12. Anthe
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Sounds like you had a great time and I love the dress!
    I always wanted to go the the Fox! Glad you had a chance
    to see Buster!

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      We’ll have to go some time you’re here. It’s such a beautiful place!

  13. Posted August 16, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    That sounds like THE dreamiest experience…how cool?!? And you chose a perfect outfit. Love the shoes (still kicking myself for not buying a pair but the Boyf is sick of my Herman Munster proportions of late) and the dress is beautiful in cut and colour. Your photos are really nice.

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Thank you! Ha ha, that’s the only problem with these shoes. I bought them because they were tall, but, ooh, they’re so tall I can only take them out when I’m feeling especially brave.

  14. Posted August 16, 2010 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Ooh, I’m so sad I missed that! That sounds amazing, especially since they had the organist there. I adore the Fox…I went there twice last month, and yet I still get ridiculously giddy whenever I go. It’s so beautiful!! It’s so easy to feel like you’ve stepped back into the 1920s there. By the way, I don’t know if you already know about this, but if you want to see more silent films on the big screen, the Strand in Marietta shows them sometimes on Sunday afternoons and even have an organist – the next one is a Clara Bow film on August 29th. :)

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Wow, Sarah, thank you so much! I had no idea they played silent films in Marietta. Ugh, I’m going to be out of town that day–a Clara Bow movie on a big screen!!?? Too good to be true , but I’m definitely looking into more. Thank you!! :)

  15. Posted August 16, 2010 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Adorable adorable dress. I love the pale pink; it’s so feminine! And I’m glad you had a good time at the theater! I love going to entertainment like that.

  16. nicole
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    i love your dress

  17. Posted August 16, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    You look absolutely lovely, and quite a bit like a silent movie star yourself! (Not in the actual clothes so much, but because you are so rosy and sweet-looking). And I do love silent movies…

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Aww, best compliment ever, thank you! :)

  18. lesle
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Two Buster Keaton Candid Camera Sketches.–

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH7pkgAExoo

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Lesle, thank you, your comments are the best!

  19. Posted August 16, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I love the neutral tones and your shoes are INCREDIBLE. Check out my Etsy store, I think you’d really like it! http://www.etsy.com/shop/latenightaew

  20. Posted August 16, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    There is a similar theater where I live, organ and everything. I got to see Wings there in March, and it was absolutely magical. Next month, they’re doing some Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton films since Wings was such a success. I agree with you that I didn’t expect as many people to show up, but people are definitely still interested in the “silent” experience at the movies!

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      Pixie, it was really good to see so many people there! How great that Wings was such a success. I bet Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd movies would do even better!

  21. Posted August 16, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Oooh gorgeous photos!

    I’d absolutely love to see a Buster Keaton film at a theater!! How fantastic.

  22. Posted August 16, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Your dress is to die for! You’re so lucky to have found it.

  23. Molly
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful dress! and sooo neat you got to go to see that film at such a neat place! so lucky!

  24. Posted August 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    wow – what a great experience! and the dress with the big bow was *perfect* for it!

    by the way, I’ve left you a little award over at my blog, take a look if you have a sec…

    http://onceisawadragonfly.blogspot.com/2010/08/award-for-little-ol-me.html

    Bettye

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      Bettye, thanks so much!!! :)

  25. Posted August 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    What a perfect, perfect dress!

    xoxo

    Casie Jean

  26. Posted August 16, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow, you’re so lucky! I’ve always wanted to see a silent film in an old cinema, but we don’t have old cinemas in my country (that are operational anyway), and they’d never show silent movies here.

  27. Posted August 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    You are such a babe! I love this dress so much and I cannot wait to get my clogs so I can wear cute outfits like this! Eeeep…..you’re the luckiest, I loved reading this post! x

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Aww! :)

  28. Posted August 17, 2010 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Hi Liebe! I love this outfit, so much so it was one of my favorites from this past week. So I featured you on my blog! :)

    Read more about what I loved here:
    http://www.stylocrat.blogspot.com

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Morgan, thanks so much for featuring it!!

  29. Posted August 17, 2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Oh I know how you are feeling! I saw an old movie from huge silver screen last month, from our tiny little movie theater, and next month they will show to the audience a real silent film. I feel so lucky to live in this small 9000 people town :D

    Your outfit is cute!

    -Sara

  30. Posted August 17, 2010 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Wow! This is amazing. I love the second last photo your dress is to die for :)

  31. Posted August 17, 2010 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Oh Rhiannon, you look lovely! And the peachy hue of that dress complements your gorgeous complexion.

    The last time I went to The Fox Theatre, I saw Atlanta Ballet’s premiere of The Great Gatsby, and boy, was I dazzled by the talent of the performers (I think they pulled out all of the stops that day because it was Valentine’s).

    Now if only I could remember to visit again when planning things to do in Atlanta.

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Janai, Great Gatsby ballet? And at a 1920s theater too! That sounds really gorgeous. :)

  32. Posted August 17, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    i love that dress! the colour is just sublime.

  33. Posted August 17, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness–you lucky girl! :D I would love to see a silent film on the big screen one day. That theater is so gorgeous too–you must have had goosebumps going there! :)

    Love your outfit too. It’s amazing that dress is vintage–it looks like it came from one of the spring/summer collections from this year! Gorgeous!

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 5:59 am | Permalink

      Thanks Casey! Yeah, I never thought I’d see a silent film. When I lived in Illinois I always wanted to go into Chicago to this theater called the Music Box to see a silent whenever they played them but I didn’t know anyone nerdy enough to want to see one with me. :)

  34. Posted August 17, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Oh my gosh, Rhiannon! I am so so glad that you are wearing that dress again. I was afraid you sold it or something. It is truly one of my favorite things from your closet. :) You look perfect for the film showing and it sounds like such a fun trip!

    Glad you finally got to see a silent film on the big screen!

    Bea from A plus B

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Thanks Bea! I don’t know if I could sell this. It doesn’t really fit me right but I still can’t part with it–one of these days I’ll get it altered. :)

  35. Posted August 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    That dress is precious! The shoes and the bag make it even better!

  36. Posted August 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I love the outfit, you are super pretty, and I LOVE silent films; what a beautiful art form. My boyfriend is a big fan of Lillian Gish and I’m starting to like her specifically as well. Do you like her? Who are your favorites? :)

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 18, 2010 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Thanks Anne! I love Lillian Gish! She’s one of my favorites . . . so pretty. Marion Davies might be my favorite to watch in movies though. I always end up wanting to be her best friend.

  37. Posted August 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous Rhiannon!! I LOVE this whole look on you!

  38. Miss Jane
    Posted August 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I went to see a movie at the Fox on Sunday and I totally forgot what a tremendous place it is to see a film! Such a beautiful theater and really adds to the experience. Your dress/shoe combo is too cute.

  39. Posted August 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I love your dress and these shots are absolutely stunning. Perfect light.

  40. Posted August 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    How wonderful that you got to see Buster on the big screen! I caught “The Cameraman” with live piano accompaniment and it was glorious. Glad you had a great time! ^_^

  41. Posted August 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Wow that sounds so cool! I had a history of film class last year where we watched a few silents on the big screen, but I think your experience was much more fun and authentic!

  42. Posted August 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I love your blog! Your wardrobe makes me want to go thrift shopping…now! :D

  43. Rhiannon
    Posted August 18, 2010 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Everybody, thanks so much! :)

  44. Posted August 18, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I have never seen one! I am so jealous. We don’t have those types of establishments here in my city.

  45. Tiffany
    Posted August 18, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Wow, I’m so glad I found your blog! Do you have any suggestions for favorite thrift stores around Atlanta? I go to school in ATL but I’m not from here originally, so I had no idea where the best place for vintage/thrift shopping was…except for lil’ 5 haha.

    Thanks in advance!

  46. Posted August 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    LOVE this dress! what a find!

  47. Posted August 18, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    You look like Zoey Deschanel :)

  48. Posted August 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Ohh. I love cinemas, I love 60’s style, I love this post.

  49. Posted August 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful colour that is! I absolutely love these photos, especially the “The End” photo!

  50. OdetteO
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Ah, darn – wish I hadn’t missed that. What a perfect theater to see a classic silent film! :)

  51. Posted August 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Oh gosh, that is so amazing! I love The General! It is a family tradition to watch it on Thanksgiving. I believe I have the remastered version which has more appropriate music than the original.
    And what a lovely little frock for a lovely silent night out.

  52. Posted August 29, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Such gorgeous pictures! The biggest screen I’ve seen a silent film on is the projector at college, lol. And to see it in such an authentic setting, my goodness, how dreamy! i absolutely love this colour on you by the way, one of my favourites from you.

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