The Georgetown County Historical Society secured a copy of Pied Piper Malone from a film archive in Russia and had the subtitles translated into English. Hundreds of citizens turned out for the re-premiere of the film and to welcome 5 local ladies in their 80s and 90s who played child extras when the film was made in 1923.
We are happy to have members of the Georgetown County Historical Society and special guests for this unique occasion. I do not know of any other small town in America which has an opportunity to celebrate a similar past event. When else in the early days of filmdom's history have four Pullman cars traveled 3,000 miles across America to film a motion picture on location---and to have met with such a warm welcome! Georgetown went all out!
This was unprecedented. The filming of Pied Piper Malone in our city in November of 1923 was thenand is nowa major event in our history. Traveling nowadays to exotic locations to film movies is very commonplaceat that time, it was rareso we must realize what excitement was engendered. Mayor Wingate, Mr. Brickman, Dr Bell and others were able to convince one of the preeminent film companiesthe Thomas Meighan Company to come to Georgetown to film a major Hollywood production. This three week event pumped $15,000 into the local economynot much by today's standards, but considering Mrs.Betty Williams' testimony that her mother's family, the Falors, couldn't afford the 25 cent admission for any of them to see the movie, gives us an idea of the impact on our local economy!
Georgetown rolled out the red carpet to accommodate these 60 to 70 peopleall were put up in private homes and were lavishly entertained by local families for three weeks. Phillip Schneider recalls many such evenings when his father invited Jewish members of the cast and crew to meals, music and fun at their home on prince street. . There is more about all of that in the souvenir program for sale in the lobby. This booklet also contains numerous candid snapshots by Ruth Oliver Bell's fatherother information may be read on the displays in the lobby and in the front bulletin areas. We've tried to make all documentation available to you, as well as the pictures that we have, so you and your families can enjoy and treasure these memories.
Now it is time to introduce a surprise guest who has driven from Rochester, NY to be with us this afternoon, Caroline Yeager. Ms Yeager is the assistant to the senior curator of the motion picture department at the George Eastman House in Rochester, N. Y. The George Eastman House has the preeminent collection of photographs/ and films in the United States today. It is a fabulous repository of our photographic history. Ms Yeager's presence at this performance shows the interest of the film preservation community in this film. Ms Yeager discovered the location of pied Piper Malone in 1994 at Lu Altman's request. Political difficulties prevented its recovery at that time.
We really appreciate all of you coming to share in this very special event with Georgetown and its historical society. For those who want more information on the film, the souvenir brochure, and Georgetown, SC, please call us at the Georgetown County Museum at 843.545.7020.
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