Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea! There's some startling screenings at the North Carolina Museum of Art tonight! Yes, they're presenting some screenings from the Warner Bros. archives, courtesy of prints at UCLA. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm informed that these short pictures have somehow captured the finest acts of vaudeville with actual sound! This is incredible! There's the likes of Jay C. Flippen, Dora Maughan, Dick Rich, Al Lyons, Jack White and the Montrealers, Billie "Swede" Hall and Jason Robards Sr.!
In truth, it makes perfect sense for the early applications of sound film to concern vaudeville performers, as the first talking feature, The Jazz Singer, came from the same style of entertainment. The museum's Mad Men-inspired winter-spring film series is curated by Indy contributor Laura Boyes. The film begins at 8 p.m.; tickets are $5, or $3.50 for members of the museum, The Cinema, Inc. and Galaxy Cinema.
But what kind of prices are those? For a nickel, you can get two features, a newsreel and a pack of Necco Wafers, with enough left over for a Saturday Evening Post and a strawberry phosphate! You can expect nothing but Carnegies and Rockefellers tonight, ladies and gentlemen!
To contact the museum, tell the phone operator to dial 919-839-NCMA or visit www.ncartmuseum.org. I'm not sure where that is, but I think it's between the Cotton Club and the Automat on 53rd. —Zack Smith