Home Theaters in Stars' Homes

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Home Theaters in Stars' Homes

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 12:00 pm

I just finished reading Colleen Moore's wonderful autobiography. In her discussion of the elaborate architecture of homes built by the Stars, she mentioned having a home theater was pretty standard. I was aware of this before, but it just never clicked in my head as to how elaborate (or not) these tended to be. For instance, what did they do for musical accompaniment? Was it a small piano in the corner, or did some go as elaborate as to have an organ installed in the home? Were they often equipped with two projectors so as to not need time for a switchover?

Has anyone read any accounts of these home theaters to get an idea of how well they were designed?



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Re: Home Theaters in Stars' Homes

PostSun Nov 26, 2017 1:38 am

Actor Joseph Kearns(the original Mr Wilson in TV'[s Dennis the Menace) had a Wurlitzer that he built a house around. He bought the Warner Bros Studio instrument. Not sure what he used it for or what happened to it. He died during the making of the TV series and Mrs Wilson lost her job, with a bachelor Mr Wilson played by Lucy's friend Gale Gordon taking over. Gordon never married in real life.
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Re: Home Theaters in Stars' Homes

PostSun Nov 26, 2017 4:53 pm

Erich Von Stroheim, who operated the projection booth in
Sunset Boulevard for silent star Norma Desmond (Gloria
Swanson) in her mansion seemed to perform duties
beyond his job title as butler. That is who may have provided
projection duties and musical assistance, servants performing
diverse tasks.
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Re: Home Theaters in Stars' Homes

PostSun Nov 26, 2017 5:07 pm

I believe Ramon Navarro had a theatre in his home and apart from screening pictures used the stage to perform "live" as well - probably doing his singing.
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Re: Home Theaters in Stars' Homes

PostTue Nov 28, 2017 3:08 pm

Buster Keaton had a screening room inside his famous Italian Villa mansion. I understand that it has recently been restored and is back in action.

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