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Silent Film Festival of Chicago Heads Back To Chicago

 A scene from
A scene from "Hot Water," which will launch the Silent Film Festival of Chicago at 8 p.m. Aug. 19.
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Silent Film Society of Chicago

PORTAGE PARK — The Silent Film Festival of Chicago is headed back home.

After holding the summer fest in the Northwest Suburbs for the last three years, the festival will return to the city — and Portage Park.

The Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., will host the three-day fest Aug. 19-21 that will pay homage to the scores that accompanied the films during their initial release during Hollywood's Golden Era.

Until 2013, the fest's home was the Portage Theater, across the street from the Filament Theatre in the heart of the Six Corners Shopping District. The fest was forced to find a new home after the theater's owner at the time, Eddie Carranza, abruptly closed the former movie palace during a dispute with Ald. John Arena over the Portage Theater's liquor license.

Carranza sold the Portage Theater in March.

The 2013 fest took place at the Des Plaines Theater before spending the next two years at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, said Dennis Wolkowicz, the head of the Silent Film Society of Chicago. The fest began in 2000.

Wolkowicz, performing under the name Jay Warren, will accompany the films on his digital theater organ, which is designed to reproduce the sound of the theater pipe organ that originally accompanied the films.

The festival is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Aug. 19 with a showing of "Hot Water" from 1924 starring starring Harold Lloyd and directed by Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor.

Mary Pickford's final silent movie, "My Best Girl," will be shown at 8 p.m. Aug. 20. The 1927 film was directed by Sam Taylor.

The festival will conclude at 3 p.m. Aug. 21 with a showing of "His Majesty the American" from 1919 starring Douglas Fairbanks and directed by Joseph Henabery.

Tickets for each film are $8 in advance for Silent Film Society members and their guests and $12 for others, organizers said. Tickets can be bought at City Newsstand, 4018 N. Cicero Ave., or online at silentfilmchicago.com.

All tickets at the door are $15.

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