Finger Lakes Film Trail Presents “Lit. Women of Silent Film” Events October 14-16 during Silent Movie Month in Ithaca
ITHACA, NY September 26, 2022 (ITHACA, NY): The Finger Lakes Film Trail, in partnership with Wharton Studio Museum and Historic Ithaca, proudly announces “Lit. Women of Silent Film,” a new event series taking place from October 14-16, 2022. October is Silent Movie Month in Ithaca since 2012.
“Lit. Women of Silent Film” examines the critical creative roles three Ithaca women authors played in the early film industry through discussions, guided walking tours, a screening of Tess of the Storm Country (1922) starring Mary Pickford, and two self-guided headphone walking plays produced by the Cherry Arts and Wharton Studio Museum (WSM).
The “Lit Women of Silent Film” weekend continues Wharton Studio Museum and Historic Ithaca’s (HI) ongoing collaboration in honoring the sites associated with Ithaca’s moviemaking and moviegoing past. This past spring WSM and HI produced “Biggest Little Movie City: Ithaca’s Theaters Then and Now,” a multimedia exhibit about Ithaca’s early 20th-century movie palaces, along with a related guided walking tour. This guided walking tour is being reprised as one of the “Lit. Women of Silent Film” events.
Diana Riesman, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Wharton Studio Museum in Ithaca, said, “We’re thrilled to continue our exploration of Ithaca’s contribution to the early movie industry during October’s Silent Movie Month. This year we’ve planned the “Lit. Women of Silent Film” weekend around the work of three Ithaca women authors whose writing got translated to the silver screen. Film buffs and film scholars have been rediscovering how central women’s creative work was to the early film industry. The “Lit. Women” weekend is part of that dialogue of rediscovery. I think cinephiles and book lovers in particular are going to enjoy learning about how big of an impact these authors had on popular culture at the time through their writing and films.”
“It’s a natural fit for Historic Ithaca to be a partner in presenting the “Lit. Women of Silent Film” weekend," says Historic Ithaca's Executive Director Susan Holland. "Historic Ithaca helped save Ithaca’s historic State Theatre from the wrecking ball, and the theater is Ithaca’s only remaining movie palace still open as an entertainment venue. The downtown theater tours we give, and our co-production with Wharton Studio Museum of the “Biggest Little Movie City” exhibit this past spring at the Tompkins Center for History and Culture, give people a chance to connect with historic preservation in a fun and meaningful way. Programs such as “Lit. Women of Silent Film” key directly into Historic Ithaca’s mission to keep that history alive as a vital part of Ithaca’s identity as a cultural destination and a home for creatives.”
“LIT. WOMEN OF SILENT FILM” EVENTS
For details visit:
Lit. Launch Party (FREE)
Friday, October 14, 2022, 6:00-7:30PM
115 West Green Street, Lower Level, Ithaca, NY
An opening reception introduces the “Lit. Women of Silent Film” weekend and its focus on three Ithaca women writers—Grace Miller White, Maude Radford Warren, and Ruth Sawyer—whose literary works inspired silent films during the early days of the film industry. The informal meet-and-greet format encourages conversations about the critical role women played in the early movie business, not only as writers, but as directors and producers, and of course as serial queen stars and movie ticket buyers.
Downtown Ithaca Historic Theater Tour (Tickets $12)
Saturday, October 15, 2022, 10:30-11:30AM
Guided tour starts at “The Biggest Little Movie City” panel at Harold Square on the Ithaca Commons In the mid-1910s, Ithaca could well have been called the Biggest Little Movie City. The Wharton, Inc. Studios cranked out silent serial moving pictures at Renwick Park (now Stewart Park). An avid movie
going public made weekly visits to The Star, Lyceum, and other “movie palaces” to follow the serial exploits of their marquee idols. Explore some of these sites—a few still extant and others captured only by photographs and memories—on a guided downtown tour with historic preservationists to recapture the heyday of Ithaca’s movie-palace era.
“From Novel to Screen: Ithaca’s Literary Women of Silent Film” Presentations and Q&A (FREE) Saturday, October 15, 2022, 2:00-3:30PM
Marcham Hall, 836 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, NY
In the early days of the film industry, independent studios cranked out hundreds of silent films every year to an avid moviegoing public. Many of these films were made to appeal to women, and the work of women writers was a natural source of film screenplays. Join film scholar Barbara Tepa Lupack, playwright Aoise Stratford, and local historian Patricia Longoria for a discussion of the extraordinary lives of three Ithaca women writers—Grace Miller White, Maude Radford Warren, and Ruth Sawyer—whose books were adapted into silent films at a time when the political and social roles of women were undergoing dramatic changes.
Mary Pickford’s Tess of the Storm (1922) Film Screening (Tickets $8-11)
Saturday, October 15, 2022, 7pm
Cinemapolis, 120 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY
One of the most popular actresses of the silent film era, Mary Pickford secured powerful roles in early Hollywood as a producer and co-founder of United Artists. Pickford starred in two versions of the popular Tess of the Storm Country, adapted from the novel by Ithaca author Grace Miller White. View Pickford’s 1922 version, which, although not filmed in Ithaca, dramatizes the lives of people who lived in
the city’s “Rhine” neighborhood centered on the Inlet and inspired by Grace Miller White’s childhood growing up on a cottage on the west shore of Cayuga Lake.
Self-guided Walk This Play Tours ($5 suggested donation per download)
Ithaca’s West End and Stewart Park, Ithaca, NY
Download a self-guided headphone walking play tour and follow the path of Ithaca’s movie-making era. Produced by The Cherry Arts and Wharton Studio Museum, “Storm Country” (2016) and “The Missing Chapter” (2018) headphone walking plays allow you to listen to the audio on your own schedule. “Storm Country” is an experiential, dramatic retelling of the life and work of Grace Miller White. “The Missing Chapter,” adapted from the Wharton Studio’s popular 1916 serial Beatrice Fairfax, leads playgoers on an adventure through Stewart Park, where Wharton, Inc. Studio was located.
About the Finger Lakes Film Trail
In 2018, with support from Humanities New York, WSM helped launch the Finger Lakes Film Trail, an inter-county collaboration of three important film sites in central New York: the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, Wharton Studio Museum in Ithaca, and the Case Research Laboratory and Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn. The Trail highlights the singular accomplishments of New York’s film pioneers George Eastman, Theodore and Leopold Wharton, and Theodore Case. For more information visit fingerlakesfilmtrail.org
About Wharton Studio Museum in Ithaca
The Wharton Studio Museum’s mission is to preserve and celebrate the role Ithaca and the region played in the history of American filmmaking. Annually WSM produces Silent Movie Under the Stars; Silent Movie Month; a film festival for youth called Quiet on the Set!, and collaborates on screenings, exhibits, presentations, workshops and educational outreach. Also central to WSM's mission is developing a section of the historic Wharton Studio building located along the Cayuga Waterfront Trail in Stewart Park into the Wharton Studio Park Center, featuring exhibit space, a cafe and lakefront terraces.
WSM is a member of the Museum Association of New York (MANY) and a founding partner in the Tompkins Center for History and Culture (TCHC), where WSM has its first permanent exhibit.
Find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: @whartonstudiomuseum; on Twitter @wsm_silentfilm; and tumblr as cinephiles-ithaca
About Historic Ithaca
Historic Ithaca’s mission as a nonprofit preservation organization is to promote and preserve the built environment through education, advocacy and action. Since 1966, Historic Ithaca has engaged Tompkins County communities in valuing buildings, landscapes and historic sites through tours, lectures, educational programs, workshops and the delivery of preservation services. Advocacy and action are at the forefront of efforts to celebrate, sustain and maintain the historic and yet-to-be historic resources for future generations. Historic Ithaca’s longstanding retail store, Significant Elements, is firmly committed to environmental sustainability and preservation of our collective cultural heritage. The
store’s inventory includes architectural salvage, antiques and vintage décor donated by community members, contractors, businesses and institutions. Sales support the programs of Historic Ithaca and Significant Elements. Historic Ithaca’s Work Preserve, a job readiness and placement program, began in 2010 and offers participants the opportunity to build transferable job skills and gain financial independence.
For more information, visit historicithaca.org.
Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube: @historicithaca
Support for “Lit. Women of Silent Film”
Finger Lakes Film Trail’s “Lit. Women of Silent Film” weekend is produced by Wharton Studio Museum and Historic Ithaca.
Presenting Sponsor is Odyssey Bookstore. Ports of New York is a Collaborating Sponsor.
Wharton Studio Museum’s Silent Movie Month is made possible by its Presenting Sponsor Bousquet Holstein, PLLC, and by Collaborating Sponsor Travis Hyde Properties.
The programs of Historic Ithaca are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.