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This Must Be the Place

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

Aug 05, 2014 | 6-part series
Video by Ben Wu and David Usui

The Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, California is one of the most delightful movie theaters you'll ever see. The venue has shown silent films since 1967, accompanied by the live music of an antique, wind-powered pipe organ called the Mighty Wurlitzer. The organ, which was built in 1925, contains more than 2,600 pipes, four keyboards, drums, cymbals, a xylophone, and a marimba.

This short documentary profiles Bill Field, who has run the theater since its debut, and includes a lovely behind-the-scenes tour of the organ he plays. "When I get really engrossed in it, the audience is so quiet I feel like I'm playing alone. You don't hear a pin drop—and you know they're with it," Field says. "The organ is then united with the movie."

This Must Be the Place is a documentary series about home, belonging, and loving what you do. Past shorts have featured bodybuilders, the caretaker of an abandoned Detroit factory, a tintype photographera quintessential American burger joint, and much more.

Author: Chris Heller

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