DONALD Mackenzie will perform live music as audiences watch silent film Steamboat Bill.Jr at Aylesbury Methodist Church later this month
He is best known as the organist of the Odeon cinema in London’s Leicester Square, but is also the director of music at Aylesbury’s St Mary’s Church.
The screening, on Wednesday 15 at 7.30pm, will be the fourth time recently that a silent film has been shown in the town.
The genre is also starting to make a comeback in Hollywood, with new movie The Artist being nominated for 10 Oscars.
Derrick Matthews, organiser of the Aylesbury show, said: “If there was complete silence, the film’s story and action on the screen would be bland, flat and mostly incomprehensible.
“Music is essential to bring the film to life. Although it is now possible to provide a recorded sound track, in the early days, the smaller picture houses had pianos and the larger ones installed organs.
“Both demanded the skills of talented musicians who had the unique ability to sit at the console in front of the screen, viewing the film while extemporising appropriate accompaniment.
“This skill is in itself is a great art form and a large proportion of audiences will visit specifically to listen and enjoy the brilliance of the musical accompaniment.”