Silent films at the Silent Cinema, Deptford Project, August 2011

Nosferatu (1922)
Nosferatu (1922)

• Update: Sorry, guys, I’ve just been told that these events have been cancelled. Don’t know why as yet, but hope to find out more soon – including whether they will be rescheduled for later in the year.

Have you ever been to a Silent Disco? It’s great fun. You dance around in a huge group of people but the music isn’t played out loud, it’s piped into your headphones. Hilarious for onlookers, but there’s a great sense of community on the dancefloor – like you’re sharing a secret with everyone in the crowd. The Silent Cinema in Deptford, south London, works on the same principle, but with films. The wireless headphones deliver the film’s soundtrack, but filter out the popcorn munching and chatter from your fellow audience members.

Although the name has obviously caught my attention before, I never thought they would show silent films there. But I was wrong. Silent Cinema is devoting a weekend in August to … silent cinema. They’re calling the programme the  “Black & White Classics Weekend”, and why not? Here’s the lineup:

  • Friday, 18 August: The General (1926) – The Buster Keaton favourite will be accompanied by musicians from the band the Bohemianauts. Tom Baker will play accordion and Laurence Eliott-Potter the piano. 
  • Saturday, 19 August: Nosferatu (1922) – The terrifying vampire flick starring Max Schreck will feature live piano accompaniment.
  • Sunday, 20 August: Metropolis (1927) – This is the new, “complete” version of Fritz Lang’s sci-fi masterpiece, shown here with Paul Hines’s score, performed by Serum Electronique.

The films start at 8.45pm each night, but the doors open at 7pm, so you can get some food and explore Silent Cinema’s home, the Deptford Project, which is constructed from old train carriages and offers food, drink, music, art and all that good stuff. Here’s some useful information from them about the screenings:

The Deptford Project is located less than a minute’s walk from Deptford High Street station (regular trains from London Bridge – one stop, journey time, 6 minutes).  Come out of the station, turn right, The Deptford Project is 100 yards up the road on the right – you can’t miss the train carriage cafe.
If the weather is going to be a little less than kind, we have constructed a really beautiful canopy over our cinema from old parachutes.  It might be a little chilly, so come prepared.  Cushions are available for all the seats, made specially by Crafty Bitches.
Food will be available from The Deptford Project Cafe to eat while you watch.  A special BBQ will operate every night that the cinema is open selling freshly made chorizo and roasted pepper hot dogs, Toulouse sausage hotdogs and vegetarian options of tarragon and mushroom or butternut squash and garlic sausage hotdogs.
A bar will operate throughout the evening – eat, drink, watch and be merry.

Tickets for each film cost £10 and they are available from Ticketweb here. Click to find out more about Silent Cinema and the Deptford Project.

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