America's Sweetheart

Georgetown's Palace Theatre celebrates Mary Pickford

America's Sweetheart

When Georgetown's Palace Theatre first opened its doors in February 1926, the lost art of silent film was at its peak. Classic films from that year include the John Gilbert and Greta Garbo romance Flesh and the Devil, Douglas Fairbanks' early Technicolor swashbuckler The Black Pirate, F.W. Murnau's Faust, Rudolph Valentino's hit Son of the Sheik, Hitchcock's first suspense film The Lodger -- and Sparrows, a Gothic melodrama that would be one of the final great films to feature Hollywood's first movie star, Mary Pickford. Sparrows will be screened again within the art-deco walls of the newly restored Palace on Friday, June 6, followed by Pickford's My Best Girl (1927) on June 7 and Little Annie Rooney (1925) on June 8. Proceeds from the screening will support the Georgetown theatre's continued upkeep as well as help fund a new documentary by Georgetown native Sarah Baker on silent star Olive Thomas. Baker's film, produced in association with L.A.'s Timeline Films, promises to tell Thomas' life story while attempting to clear up the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death (a death in which Mary Pickford's brother Jack -- Thomas' husband -- has often been accused of having some hand in). Those wishing to support the legacy of the silent era, through the theatre's upkeep and Baker's efforts, can pay $8 an evening for the welcome opportunity to see 1926 onscreen again.

To get to the Palace Theatre, take North I-35 to Georgetown, exit 251. Take a right onto University Avenue and a left on Austin Avenue. The Palace Theatre is located at 810 S. Austin Ave. For more information, call 512/869-7469.

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Mary Pickford, Palace Theatre, My Best Girl, Sparrows, Little Annie Rooney

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