Up here in Rogers Park, the northeasternmost neighborhood of Chicago, we used to have a beloved, ramshackle neighborhood movie theater that was casually shut down by its current ownership after over eleven decades of operation. Said ownership expressed a complete lack of interest in figuring out a way to keep it going, preferring to focus on being a Starbucks lover, but the same was not true of our neighbors. There was a real grassroots effort to make the business viable—things like people buying popcorn even if they didn’t have tickets, and sold-out Silent Film Society fundraiser screenings with live music. I was glad to attend some of those screenings, even if they didn’t end up changing the owner’s mind. Having the organist play for hours, uninterrupted and without a single note wrong, made my first time seeing Metropolis (1926) a transformative experience.

I got to watch Nosferatu (1922???) in the same way, which was borderline hallucinatory. It’s only by reading that linked Silentology entry that I came to realize the film could have played in that exact theater almost a century ago: same location, different world. I wonder if there will ever be blogs that persist in some form for a hundred years. I hope so.