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June 21, 2011 > Film Capital 'Wonder' of the world... Niles

Film Capital 'Wonder' of the world... Niles

Photos courtesy of Essanay Silent Film Museum

A unique collection of early movies and memorabilia is waiting for visitors to the Niles District of Fremont. Here, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum (NESFM) recalls the glory days of silent films that centered in a small community at the mouth of canyon made famous by early stars such as Broncho Billy and Charlie Chaplin. The Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival in Niles sends visitors 100 years back in time to watch movies that made history.

Early incarnations of modern movies remain entertaining and retain the appeal that excited audiences in the early 1900s. Movie stars were idolized and revered as they brought their charisma to the screen; among them, the festival's namesake, Broncho Billy. Films of that era - westerns, horror, mystery, situational dramas and comedies - used a live pianist, acting talent and facial expressions to convey the story.

"Flickers" were a social gathering where people could relax and enjoy moments away from the toils of ordinary life. Silent films, precursor to today's "talkies" and special effects, were an important segment of society during the early 1900s and provide current viewers with a peek at life during those times. Although some may imagine that films of this era are too dated to maintain interest, they remain entertaining and visually attractive. Filled with timeless storylines, good acting and clever situations, they continue to enthrall modern day audiences.

The Bronco Billy Film Festival movie listing can be found on page 23. For additional information, visit www.nilesfilmmuseum.org. Space is limited and performances sell out quickly so act now to purchase tickets for this event.

Broncho Billy Film Festival
June 24, 25, 26
Niles Edison Theater
37417 Niles Blvd., Fremont
(510) 494-1411

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