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Park Slope Theater Screens Silent Movies with Live Band Soundtrack

PARK SLOPE — Forget Dolby surround sound, at one Park Slope movie theater, a live band is playing movie soundtracks.

The Pavilion Theater on Prospect Park West and 14th Street is screening a series of silent movies with live musical accompaniment by the Boston-based Andrew Alden Ensemble. The group includes a piano, synthesizer, violin, viola, electric guitar, drums and other percussion.

The series kicked off with an April 3 showing of the 1925 version of "Phantom of the Opera," and will continue April 10 with 1968's "Night of the Living Dead." That movie isn't silent but it will be shown without sound (but with subtitles) to create the feeling of a silent flick, according to the Andrew Alden Ensemble website.

In May the theater will show 1922 German Dracula film "Nosferatu" and 1925's "Battleship Potemkin."

The mini film festival appears to be another attempt by the Pavilion to improve its shoddy image among Park Slope moviegoers. The theater, which is the only moviehouse in the neighborhood, regularly attracts scathing reviews on Yelp and recently battled a heating problem that kept some of its auditoriums chilly this winter.

But the Pavilion has repeatedly vowed to improve, and underwent renovations in both 2011 and last year. The theater added a frozen yogurt shop, and applied for a liquor license so it could serve booze during movies.

Tickets to the silent film screenings are $15 and are cash only, and they're only available the day of each showing, according to the Pavilion's Facebook page.