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UPDATED - OKC theater to show silent movies by Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd for 'Silent Nights'

Charlie Chaplin in "City Lights" [Photo provided]
Charlie Chaplin in "City Lights" [Photo provided]

UPDATED at 1:20 p.m. Jan. 29: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the museum has canceled the planned live accompaniment its Sunday screening of "City Lights." The film will be shown with its recorded soundtrack. The post has been edited to reflect this update. - BAM

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is launching Friday in its Noble Theater a film series called “Silent Nights,” which will feature seven newly restored classics from silent comedy icons Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, presented in partnership with Janus Films. 

Also included in the series will be a 16mm print of Chaplin’s “The Immigrant,” drawn from the museum’s own collection. Select screenings will be preceded by a surprise 16mm short film. according to a news release.

It's a rare chance to see these truly classic films on the big screen with theater-quality sound, and film fans may find that some of them continue to be surprisingly relevant to contemporary times. 

Plus, you can't get much better than the comedy stylings of these two early-day cinema geniuses. 

“This series is a unique opportunity to safely bring people together to experience two of the silent era’s most beloved and influential artists,” said Lisa K. Broad, the museum's head of film programming and theatrical operations, in a statement. “We’re also proud to have the chance to showcase a selection of short films drawn from the Museum’s large 16mm print collection. The capacity to screen pristine digital restorations and project classic movies on film is something that sets OKCMOA’s Noble Theater apart, allowing us to provide a fun, unique and high-quality movie-going experience.”

“Silent Nights” opens on Friday with new restorations of two silent comedy landmarks, Chaplin’s ingenious industrialization satire “Modern Times” and Lloyd’s “The Freshman.” Lloyd’s most commercially successful film, “The Freshman” follows the comedian’s bespectacled alter-ego as he attempts to go from hapless co-ed to “big man on campus” by joining the football team.

The series includes three other films featuring Lloyd’s popular “glasses” character, an ambitious 1920s everyman with an aptitude for death-defying stunts. Screening on Saturday, “Safety Last!” features an iconic skyscraper-scaling set piece that is no less thrilling nearly a century later, while New York City-set “Speedy” is an early car-chase action comedy featuring a cameo appearance from Babe Ruth. “The Kid Brother,” screening Sunday, transplants Lloyd to the Old West, where he impersonates a sheriff to win the love of a traveling medicine-show dancer.

Deftly melding graceful, intricate sight-gags with tear-jerking drama and clear-eyed social commentary, Chaplin’s films transcend the comedy genre to capture something universally human and essentially cinematic. Both screening on Saturday, Chaplin’s 1917 short film “The Immigrant,” presented on 16mm as part of a double feature with Lloyd’s “Safety Last!” and his bold, anti-fascist sound film, 1940s “The Great Dictator,” demonstrate the evolution of Chaplin’s star persona, the intensification of his political commitment, and the refinement of his craft. 

The series concludes with a screening of Chaplin’s silent masterwork "City Lights."

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum's Samuel Roberts Noble Theater is currently operating with less than 25% capacity. Seats and rows are blocked off between guests to facilitate social distancing. Masks are required for the duration of the screening and are available for purchase at the box office.

Ticket prices are $5 for Film Society Members, $6 for museum members, $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62 and older), college students with IDs and teens ages 13 to 18 and $6 for children 12 and younger.

For tickets and information, go to

“Silent Nights” Schedule

“The Freshman” (1925) Friday | 5:30 p.m.

“Modern Times” (1936) Friday | 8 p.m.

“The Immigrant” + “Safety Last!” (1917 and 1923) Double Feature! Saturday | 2 p.m.

“Speedy” (1928) Saturday | 5:30 p.m.

“The Great Dictator” (1940) Sunday | 8 p.m.

“The Kid Brother” (1927) Sunday | 12:30 p.m.

“City Lights” (1931) Sunday | 3 p.m. 

Features Writer Brandy "BAM" McDonnell covers Oklahoma's arts, entertainment and cultural sectors for The Oklahoman and Reach her at, and Please support work by her and her colleagues by subscribing at 


Related Photos
Charlie Chaplin in "City Lights" [Photo provided]

Charlie Chaplin in "City Lights" [Photo provided]

<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Charlie Chaplin in "City Lights" [Photo provided]" title="Charlie Chaplin in "City Lights" [Photo provided]"><figcaption>Charlie Chaplin in "City Lights" [Photo provided]</figcaption></figure>
Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1... Read more ›