Here at the Packard Campus in Culpeper, April showers bring May…monsters?
Among the many attributes of the Campus is our lovely 205 seat art deco theater, where we are proud to present free screenings three times a week. Future posts will feature more specific information about the theater and its design, but of special note this week is the 1920 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on Friday that will be accompanied by Andrew Simpson on our digital replica of a 1929 Mighty Wurlitzer theater organ, made for us by the Walker Technical Company of Zionsville, PA (you can find a post about it I wrote for the Library’s main blog four years ago here). While you are always guaranteed to get your money’s worth at the Packard Campus Theatre, silents with live accompaniment are a special treat.
For more information on our programs, please visit the web site at www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.
Thursday, May 8 (7:30 p.m.)
Monsters Double Feature
Godzilla (Toho, 1954)
In the wake of American nuclear-weapons testing over the Pacific Ocean, a 400-foot dinosaur springs to life. The fire-breathing Gojira (a.k.a Godzilla) ravages Japan and brings back the horrors of World War II’s nuclear devastation to the very nation that experienced it first-hand. The film became popular enough to spawn nearly 30 sequels and inspire countless imitations, parodies and homages. In 1956, an edited version of Godzilla was released in the U.S., which featured newly shot scenes of Hollywood actor Raymond Burr as an American reporter covering the monster’s activities. The original Japanese-language version will be screened with English subtitles.
Gigantis, the Fire Monster (Toho, 1955)
This second film in the Godzilla series, a.k.a Godzilla Raids Again, was a direct sequel quickly put into production to capitalize on the box-office success of Godzilla the previous year. It was the first in the series to feature a “monster vs. monster” scenario, which would become a staple for the rest of the series.
Friday, May 9 (7:30 p.m.)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Paramount, 1920)
With its grim naturalism, this version is one of the more faithful of the many screen adaptations of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s famous tale. Legendary actor John Barrymore stars as London doctor Dr. Jekyll, who is progressive in his research, yet repressed in his personal life. After drinking a potion of his own creation, Jekyll is transformed into the evil Edward Hyde. Andrew Simpson will provide live musical accompaniment for this great American horror film, directed by John S. Robertson.
Saturday, May 10 (7:30 p.m.)
Monsters Double Feature
Black Friday (Universal, 1940)
College professor George Kingsley is seriously injured when he is caught in the middle of a gangster shootout. To save his life, Kingsley’s best friend Dr. Sovac (Boris Karloff) performs an emergency operation, implanting part the brain of a criminal who has died at the scene into Kingsley’s skull. Though the surgery is successful, the mild-mannered Kingsley occasionally lapses into the brutal personality of the dead man. Bela Lugosi also appears in this sci-fi horror film, directed by Arthur Lubin.
House of Frankenstein (Universal, 1944)
Mad scientist Dr. Niemann (Boris Karloff) and his hunchback assistant pose as traveling horror-show operators as a cover for their diabolical dealings—to revive Count Dracula, the Wolf Man and the Frankenstein monster—in order to extract revenge upon their many enemies. Erle C. Kenton directed this horror film that features John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr., Lionel Atwill, George Zucco and Glenn Strange.