Suntree Silent Cinema Features ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ on October 17 Featuring Tom Taylor
By Space Coast Daily // October 8, 2020
Cinema will be held October 17 at 6:30 PM at Suntree United Methodist Church
ABOVE VIDEO: Tom Taylor’s masterful playing will be center stage when Suntree United Methodist Church presents the Halloween edition of Suntree Silent Cinema.
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Long before the London and Broadway musical stage versions, The Phantom of the Opera was a blockbuster 1925 silent horror film, starring Lon Chaney as the disfigured anti-hero who kept his songstress lady love imprisoned beneath the Paris Opera House.
On Saturday, October 17 at 6:30 PM, Suntree United Methodist Church at 7400 N. Wickham Road, 32940 will present the film as an early Halloween offering in their Suntree Silent Cinema series.
Organist Tom Taylor will again provide historically accurate organ accompaniment to the eerie thriller on the church’s restored 1924 Hook & Hastings pipe organ, reprising a well-received 2016 performance to The Phantom of the Opera.
The film screening will be emceed by the director of traditional music at Suntree United Methodist Church, Dr. Robert E. Lamb, who will also deliver a short introductory lecture on the 95-year old silent film classic.
The Phantom will not be alone in his mask, as the audience is asked to abide by church coronavirus protocols and don their own masks prior to entering the sanctuary.
The audience seating will be limited and spaced in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for social distancing.
While the event is free of charge, tickets for in-person attendance are required and can be obtained by calling Suntree United Methodist Church at 321-242-2585.
Website visitors to SuntreeUMC.org can also reserve tickets in advance by completing the online ticket form, or tune in to watch a live stream of the event.
A Senior Mechanical Designer for BRPH Architects and Engineers, Inc., Tom Taylor has been the organist for Suntree United Methodist Church for 12 years and is a member of the American Theatre Organ Society. Since the 1960’s, Tom Taylor has been presented in concerts and accompanied silent films.
For five years, he was a staff organist on the renowned Mighty Wurlitzer at the Century II Civic Center of Wichita Kansas, also performing at the Miller Theatre in Wichita, along with locations in Missouri, Illinois, and now Florida.
In recent years, he has gained kudos for his development of the Suntree Silent Cinema series, which screens silent film classics to his historically accurate organ accompaniment.
For The Phantom of the Opera, Mr. Taylor has spent weeks reviewing the film and timing his organ improvisations.
“Phantom of the Opera has always been a favorite of mine and it’s perfect for October,” said Taylor. “You can’t help but be impressed by the quality of this early horror classic and the incredible performance of Lon Chaney, ‘The Man of a Thousand Faces.’
Everyone has heard of this famous film and now is your chance to see it, with the same type of musical accompaniment it had in 1925.”
The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney, Sr. in the title role of the deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he “loves” a star.
The film remains most famous for Chaney’s ghastly, self-devised make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film’s premiere. The film was released on November 25, 1925.
Stored for decades in hundreds of parts, the 1924 Hook & Hastings pipe organ was rescued from a private owner and reassembled over a period of 24 months, while the sanctuary of Suntree United Methodist Church was retrofitted to accommodate it.
The instrument is registered with the national Organ Historical Society.
Any donations from the Phantom of the Opera screening will go to the national United Methodist Committee on Relief.