The best little movie house in Maine.

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One signed copy of the Marion Davies biography will be offered as a door prize at the show. Ticket prices are Adults $10, Members $8.


1 hour, 23 minutes

Harbor Theater offers a special three-in-one event featuring the silent film “SHOW PEOPLE” (1928; 1 hour, 23 minutes) accompanied, live, by organist Jeff Rapsis, followed by a book signing of the new biography Captain of Her Soul, The Life of Marion Davies by author Lara Gabrielle.

Directed by the famous King Vidor, “SHOW PEOPLE” tells the story of starry-eyed country girl Peggy Pepper (Marion Davies) who dreams of being a movie star. So that she can begin her career, she persuades her father to take her to Hollywood. After a rough start, Pepper catches a break when she meets small-time studio liaison Billy Boone, who lands her a job acting in a cheap slapstick comedy. Pepper quickly makes a name for herself and is signed for more high-profile projects, much to the dismay of Boone, who is falling for her. Starring the infamous Marion Davies, the film also features cameos by other famous silent era personalities Charlie Chaplin, Louella Parsons, John Gilbert, and Douglas Fairbanks.

This fascinating silent movie is further enlivened by live organ interpretation performed by returning musician Jeff Rapsis. Jeff was enthusiastically received at Harbor Theater several years ago for his performance at the presentation of another silent film, “Way Down East” (1920). Rapsis accompanies silent film programs in venues throughout New England. A lifelong silent film fan, he began creating original musical scores and staging silent film programs in 2007 as a way to keep the form before the public. His technique is to create a set of original music in advance for each film, and then improvise a score based on this material as the screening takes place. Outside New England, he has accompanied films at the New York Public Library’s “Meet the Musicmakers” series and the Kansas Silent Film
Festival. Rapsis has also provided original music for several silent film DVD releases.

The third feature of this impressive event is the book signing of her new biography Captain of Her Soul, The Life of Marion Davies by author Lara Gabrielle, making Harbor Theater a stop on her East Coast book tour. Gabrielle is a film writer and researcher whose work on Marion Davies has been featured on PBS’s American Experience. She has spoken about Davies at film festivals and retrospectives worldwide and has served as a consultant on her life and legacy for books, dissertations, and film projects. In Captain of Her Soul, Lara Gabrielle pulls back layers of myth to show a complex and fiercely independent woman, ahead of her time, who carved her own path.

From Marion Davies’s humble days in Brooklyn to her rise to fame alongside press baron William Randolph Hearst, the public life story of the film star plays like a modern fairy tale shaped by gossip columnists, fan magazines, biopics, and documentaries. Yet the real Marion Davies remained largely hidden from view, as she was wary of interviews and trusted few with her true life story.

ADA-mandated Audio Descriptive (AD) and Closed Caption (CC) devices available for the visually and hearing-impaired. Inquire at the concession stand.