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June 3, 2009 > Chaplin days are here again

Chaplin days are here again

By Mona Shah
Photos By William Mancebo

The strut, the cane, the bowler, the mustache ... they'll all be back in Niles for their annual appearance as the historic district of Niles welcomes early film icon Charlie Chaplin. On June 6 and 7 Charlie Chaplin Days will be celebrated throughout Niles with plenty of "Charlie's" roaming the streets. The weekend celebrating all things Charlie started back in 1979, so this year is the 30th anniversary of the festival celebrating the beloved silent film icon.

Chaplin has given entertainment, pleasure and relief to so many over his legendary career that in his honor, Esannay Theater will screen Chaplin movie nights. In 1915 he starred in several short films produced in Niles. This year, as a special treat, an evening screening of "The Kid" (1921) is planned for Saturday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. Musical accompaniment will be performed by Judy Rosenberg.

At 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, there will be a free showing of "The Boot Cake," a documentary about what an Australian filmmaker found when she went to Adipur, India where they celebrate Charlie's birthday each year.

Charlie really never left Niles and to prove it, he will be hanging around the train platform Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. to try and catch a free ride on the Sunol-bound train - let's see if the police can catch up with him!

Look for hundreds of "Charlie's" on display throughout town in different antique stores, businesses and at the silent film museum. Posters, pictures, photos, lamps - you name it! Try and count all the "Charlie's."

A look-alike contest is planned for kids of all ages on Sunday at 2 p.m. Come dressed like "the Tramp" or any other movie star. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best dressed. First place is $75, second place is $50 and third place is $25. Everyone is a winner as all entries will be awarded with a Niles "goodie." Student Artwork of Charlie Chaplin will be on display courtesy of Teach Me Art School and Studio.

This event is co-sponsored by the Niles Main Street Association and the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.

Charlie Chaplin Days
Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. (movies continue until 5 p.m.)
Niles Blvd., Fremont (F and I Streets)
(510) 494-1411
www.niles.org

Free

Movie Schedule
11:30 a.m. - A Night Out w/ Ben Turpin
12:30 p.m. - The Champion
1:30 p.m. - In the Park
2:30 p.m. - A Jitney Elopement
3:30 p.m. - The Tramp
Movie Tickets 50c (suggested donation) Popcorn and snacks are available.

Screening of "The Kid:
Saturday, June 6 only
7:30 p.m.
$5 (Limited seating, get tickets in advance)

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