If you give up on finding a movie when it can’t be found on Netflix, the Cinecon Classic Film Festival starting September 3 in Hollywood is not for you. The film convention celebrates seldom seen rarities from the silent era through the 1940s screened in the historic Egyptian theater. Names that have not graced a marquee since the Great Depression (Milton Sills! Blanche Sweet!) will become famous again for one weekend. The festival is also the place for filmmakers to present new work celebrating movie history: a new silent comedy with singing cowboy Will Ryan and a documentary on the movie studios in New Jersey will both screen at the con. Authors will sign books and dealers will sell posters and movie collectibles on the showroom floor.
Northern California attorney John Bengston has prepared a self-guided walking tour of silent film locations based on his series of intensely researched books. He is presenting a talk on Monday September 7, after which festivalgoers can join him for a stroll in the footsteps of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Charlie Chaplin. They can also have a bite while they’re at it. Here are 11 vintage buildings that once played host to the great silent film stars and today house eating and drinking establishments. Who knew that Chaplin discovers the kid from The Kid in the alley behind what is now Birch? Print Bengston’s guide and bring one of his books to read over lunch.