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Silent film events in Jacksonville begin Thursday to honor Black History Month
By Dan Scanlan
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at 6:35 PM Updated Feb 14, 2018 at 6:41 PM
Jacksonville’s Norman Studios, Florida’s only intact silent film studio and a National Historic Landmark, will honor Black History Month with three February programs beginning with a 7 p.m. Thursday event at the Mandarin Community Club at 12447 Mandarin Road.
Devan Lesley, co-chair of the non-profit Norman Studios Silent Film Museum board, will present “Hollywood East: Florida’s Silent Film Legacy,” a documentary on Jacksonville’s silent film history in the early 1900s. The free event, presented by the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club, includes discussion of Norman Studios, where filmmaker Richard Norman produced some of the nation’s earliest all-black-cast films during the 1910s and ’20s.
Then Norman Studios presents “The Flying Ace,” the only surviving silent film done by Norman, at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Florida State College at Jacksonville South’s Room G306 at 11901 Beach Blvd. History professor Wes Moody will discuss the history of silent film in Jacksonville and Norman Studio’s important role. Then “The Flying Ace,” with an all-black cast in the story of a World War I veteran who investigates a train robbery, will be shown. The event is free.
Finally, Norman Studio’s quarterly “Silent Sunday” presents actor Paul Robeson in Oscar Micheaux’s 1925 film, “Body and Soul,” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, at Hotel Indigo Jacksonville, 9840 Tapestry Park Circle in Deerwood Park. Jacksonville University’s Tony Steve and the Silver Synchro Sounds provide live musical accompaniment. Tickets are $5 at the door or online.
Silent Sundays proceeds support efforts to restore the film complex on Arlington Road.
For information and tickets, go to http://www.normanstudios.org.
Announcements of upcoming theatrical silent film exhibitions.