On Friday, May 22, Tampa’s Majestic Movie Palace will live-stream a presentation of Buster Keaton’s 1926 classic comedy The General with LIVE musical accompaniment on the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ through the Tampa Theatre Facebook Page. Dr. Steven Ball – the nationally renowned organist who has performed for sold-out Tampa Theatre audiences in the past – will this time be playing to an empty auditorium at 7:00pm EST.
The General is a witty silent comedy based on the true story of a Civil War raid in which a train ran roughshod behind enemy lines. Keaton’s stone-faced humor, willingness to put himself in danger for a perfect stunt, and passion for the art of cinema (he also wrote and directed the film) – is never illustrated better than it is here, in a movie often credited with being one of the greatest comedies ever made. The General is also in the public domain, which allows Tampa Theatre to live-stream it legally, accompanied by Dr. Ball’s original score. The screening will be free, but donations will be accepted to support Tampa Theatre, which remains closed.
“I’ve always said that the only way to watch a silent film is as it was originally intended: in a majestic movie palace, free of commercials, accompanied by live musicians, surrounded by friends and family sharing a communal viewing experience,” says Tampa Theatre President and CEO John Bell. “I still stand by that, but drastic times call for drastic measures. Our team has enjoyed the challenge of using new technology to share a very old art form with our fans in an authentic way.”
Of course, part of that authentic Theatre experience is its world-famous popcorn! Tampa Theatre Popcorn Pickup will be available under the historic marquee at 711 N. Franklin Street from 4-7pm Fridays, May 15 and 22. Orders can be placed online starting Thursday at TampaTheatre.org/popcorn-pickup for popcorn ($8 for a family-sized bag), fountain sodas, movie-sized candy, and bottled beer and wine.