The 1923 silent film classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” comes to Trinity Cathedral, downtown, with a live pipe organ accompaniment.
“Hunchback” stars Lon Chaney, Sr., as the misshapen Quasimodo, bell-ringer at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. Noted Baltimore organist Michael Britt will provide the live soundtrack for a single showing Friday, October 26, at 7:00 p.m.
Trinity Cathedral is located downtown at 328 Sixth Avenue, bordering the Cultural District. Light refreshments will be available, including popcorn from Pittsburgh Popcorn Co. There will be optional docent-led tours of the historic, colonial-era burial ground after the performance. Suggested donation for the evening is $10/person, $5/student, and $20/family.
Michael Britt is a performer of theater organ music, much in demand throughout the country as a silent film accompanist. He was well-received last year at Trinity Cathedral when he accompanied “The Phantom of the Opera,” and this is his fourth concert at the cathedral
Britt has been featured on Maryland Public Television and in other televised presentations. In 1998, he was invited to perform at Baltimore's Senator Theatre, where he accompanied five silent films for the National Film Registry Tour, sponsored in part by the Library of Congress. He has also performed at the Palace Theatre in Cleveland, the Paramount Theatre in Anderson, Indiana, the Byrd Theatre in Richmond, and in yearly performances at the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
Trinity Cathedral organist-choirmaster David Schaap has heard Britt several times: “There’s nothing like hearing a gifted organist accompany a silent movie. It’s just not done much anymore. You’re transported to another world and it’s a hugely entertaining way to spend an evening.”
Based on last year’s experience, this authentic way of experiencing an old “silent” has multigenerational appeal. Says Schaap, “Britt will amuse you, surprise you, whether a senior or grandchild or anyone in-between. You won’t have had this much fun at the movies in a long time.”
“This is just in time for Halloween,” says Rev. Brall, pastor of Trinity Cathedral. “Some people have been surprised that we showed ‘Phantom’ last year and now ‘Hunchback.’ But as we approach All Saints Day, we remember that death does not have the last word or ultimate victory over human beings. We trust in the transforming power of sacrificial love, which is also the theme of this movie.”
For those attending “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” one can enter from either the Sixth Avenue or handicapped-accessible Oliver Avenue entrances. The Cathedral is on or near several major public transit routes.
Parking is available at low evening rates nearby in the Oliver Garage and Mellon Square Garage. Trinity Cathedral is only a five-minute walk from the Theatre Square Garage.