Live Theater Organ Weekend featuring ‘Flesh and the Devil’

posted by friendsoftheloews on September 24, 2008 at 7:50 am

JERSEY CITY, NJ — The Sound of Silents
Greta Garbo in “Flesh and the Devil"
… And Much More

At the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre
54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ 07306 Tel. (201) 798-6055 Fax. (201) 798-4020 Web.
A Not-For-Profit Arts Center

One of the greatest pipe organs ever to play in the Metropolitan Area has been gone for 34 years.

But now it’s back.

And after 11 years of painstaking restoration by volunteers,
the Loew’s Jersey Theatre’s “Wonder Morton” is ready for its Grand Re-Dedication.

If you’re wondering what an organ is doing in a theatre, the answer begins with silent film. The Wonder Morton was designed to provide both music and sound effects — including door bells, car horns and train whistles — to accompany silent movies.

But more than this, because they could produce an astonishing variety of sounds — including castanets, the clarinet, even drums — theatre organs like the Loew’s Wonder Morton often replaced whole orchestras for live shows. And still more fundamentally, the organ became part of the theatre-going experience itself, as patrons came to expect live music as they entered and exited the theatre, audience “sing-alongs” and even full organ concerts.

Don’t think “church organ” — because the Loew’s Wonder Morton can perform a far greater range of music, from Bach to Sinatra to the Beatles, and everything in between.

And certainly don’t think “electronic keyboard” — because the Wonder Morton is a genuine wind instrument, meaning all of its sound — even the bells, whistles and drums — comes from air blowing through thousands of pipes and pneumatic actuators. Nothing is recorded or digitally sampled.

Theatre organs are a unique an extraordinary kind of musical instrument.

And now modern audiences can re-discover one of the best ever made.

Wonder Weekend, October 3 thru 5, at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre celebrates the return of the Wonder Morton with the organ’s first silent film accompaniment since restoration, two solo concerts and a grand finale concert of American standards performed by the Silver Starlite Orchestra together with the organ.

Debut Silent Film Accompaniment

Saturday, October 4 at 8PM

Greta Garbo in “Flesh and the Devil”. Also starring John Gilbert, Lars Hanson, Barbara Kent, William Orlamond, George Fawcett, Eugenie Besserer. Directed by Clarence Brown. 1927, 112mins., B&W. Garbo is at her most seductive as a temptress who comes between old friends. Beautifully filmed, it is probably the best Garbo-Gilbert pairing. — Leonard Maltin. See “Film Notes” below for more info on “Flesh and the Devil”.

With live accompaniment by renowned organist Denis James on the Wonder Morton .

— Admission: $10.

The Wonder Morton In Concert

Friday, October 3

5:30 PM: Buffet Dinner In the Grand Lobby of the Loew’s, featuring Rio Clemente at the Piano

8:00 PM: Jelani Eddington in Concert at the Wonder Morton

— Cost: $60 for dinner and concert.

Saturday, October 4

3:00 PM: Lew Williams In Concert at the Wonder Morton

— Cost: $30.

Sunday, October 5

2:00 PM: Ralph Ringstad, Jr. on the Wonder Morton joins the Silver Starlite Orchestra in a two hour concert of American standards.

— Cost: $30

PLUS – – –

A complete weekend package is available that includes all of the above PLUS:

Backstage tour of the Loew’s Jersey and lunch from 12 – 3 PM on Sat., Oct. 5.
Tour of the historic Stanley Theatre across the street from the Loew’s at 11AM on Sun., Oct 5.
“Open Console” and pizza party following the American standards concert from 4:30 – 8PM on Sun., Oct. 5
AND a specially designed commemorative T-shirt.
— Cost of complete package: $130

The Loew’s Is Easy To Get To: The Loew’s Jersey Theatre, at 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ, is directly across JFK Boulevard from the JSQ PATH Center with trains to and from Lower and Midtown Manhattan and Newark’s Penn Station, is minutes from the NJ Turnpike & easily reached by car or mass transit from throughout the Metro Area.

Half-price off-street parking is available in Square Ramp Garage adjoining the Loew’s. Patrons present a coupon to garage attendant when they leave. Coupon is available at our box office.

What’s Special About Seeing A Movie At The Loew’s? The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre is one of America’s grandest surviving Movie Palaces. We show movies the way they were meant to be seen: in a grandly ornate setting — on our BIG 50 ft wide screen! The Loew’s runs reel-to-reel, not platter, projection, which often allows us to screen an archival or studio vault print that is the best available copy of a movie title.

The Loew’s Jersey is managed by Friends of the Loew’s, Inc. as a non-profit, multi-discipline performing arts center.

Wonder Weekend is co-sponsored by the Garden State Theatre Organ Society & Friends of the Loew’s.

For directions or more information: Call (201) 798-6055, or go to OR

Press inquiries call Colin Egan at (201) 798-6055 or CEL (201) 344-7477. Or email

Film Notes for “Flesh and the Devil"

Although John Gilbert was the only one billed above the title, this film would not be the classic it is without the presence of co-star Greta Garbo. In anyone else’s hands, Felicitas von Rhoden would have been a standard vamp — sexually overwrought and not terribly interesting — but Garbo’s composure and alluring beauty turn the character into something more complex. This woman definitely is evil — she’s shallow, selfish, and conniving — but you can also fully understand why Gilbert’s character, Leo von Sellenthin, can’t help but return again and again to her siren call. Garbo is like no other woman during the silent era. The smooth planes of her flawless face and sleek lines of her wardrobe belong, if anywhere, in the 1930s, still a few years in the future at the time. So powerful is Garbo’s presence that not only does she eclipse Gilbert (whose acting style seems just a touch dated next to hers), but also the whole story line of this drama. Without Garbo, it would merely have been a buddy film between Gilbert and Lars Hanson, as von Sellenthin’s childhood friend, Ulrich von Kietzingk. The real love story of Flesh and the Devil is actually between these two men — Garbo represents the madness that nearly rips them apart.
-from Janiss Garza,

Production Credits:Clarence Brown – Director Benjamin Glazer – Screenwriter Hermann Sudermann – Book Author William H. Daniels – Cinematographer Carl Davis – Composer (Music Score) Frederic Hope – Editor Lloyd Nosler – Editor Cedric Gibbons – Set Designer Andre-Ani – Costume Designer Marian Ainslee – Intertitle Writer

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