Built in 1929, Hattiesburg’s Saenger Theater was originally a venue to show silent movies. It was constructed at a time when theaters were among the first public structures to benefit from air-conditioning systems. The theater boasts its original 778-pipe Robert Morgan Pipe Organ, which is one of the few Robert Morgan organs in the United States still in its original location.
On Sunday, June 4th at 3:00 p.m., the Saenger Theater will return to its roots as audience members enjoy two Buster Keaton & Fatty Arbuckle silent films enhanced with the accompaniment of Dr. Douglas Rust on the pipe organ.
Dr. Rust, who has been playing the organ for 44 years, teaches music theory at USM’s School of Music. “I play silent movies on Halloween each year at USM and I feel grateful to Festival South for affording this opportunity to accompany silent movies,” said Rust. “I have wanted to accompany movies at the Saenger for 15 years!”
“The Saenger Theater is proud to host The (Not So) Silent Movie event,” said Rick Taylor, Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which operates and manages the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater. “The Robert Morgan Pipe Organ is really special, and we want as many people as possible to enjoy the Saenger Theater as it was originally designed.” “We certainly hope that our community comes out to take advantage of a really wonderful event with a nod to our history,” continued Taylor.
The (Not So) Silent Movie is presented by FestivalSouth and Hattiesburg Pocket Museum and is a free event. People of all ages are encouraged to attend. Hattiesburg’s Historic Saenger Theater is located at 201 Forrest Street Hattiesburg, MS 39401.