New Jersey Stage

Saturday, July 27, 2013


(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Flying carpets, flying horses, and Douglas Fairbanks performing his own gymnastic stunts to save the princess! It's all part of "The Thief of Bagdad." 

For one night only, Sunday, August 4 at 8:30p.m., East Lynne Theater Company, in partnership with The Cape May Film Festival, presents this 1924 silent film classic with live organ accompaniment provided by Wayne Zimmerman. The location is The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., where ELTC is in residence. Tickets are $15 and ages 12 and under are free. Students who were involved in ELTC's recent production of "1,001 Arabian Nights" may attend for free, along with their families. For reservations and information, contact ELTC at 609-884-5898 or online at
Art director William Cameron Menzies, who later designed "Gone with the Wind," created the special effects in "The Thief of Bagdad," that are still considered incredible by today's standards.

Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939), born Douglas Elton Ulman, made his Broadway debut in 1902, quickly becoming known as a great romantic comedian. In 1916 he started his own company The Douglas Fairbanks Film Corporation. During the First World War he met Mary Pickford while on a Liberty Bond tour. After divorcing their respective spouses, they were married. In 1919 they, along with close friends Charlie Chaplin and D. W. Griffith, formed United Artists Corporation, thus giving themselves more control over their movie projects and earnings. During the 1920's Fairbanks made costume epics like "The Mark of Zorro" (Shown at last year's ELTC's Silent Film Series), "The Three Musketeers," and "Robin Hood," at a time when these types of films had gone out of fashion. 

Providing his own original musical accompaniment is Wayne Zimmerman, who played for ELTC's last year's silent films. He has played in a variety of venues from coast-to-coast and in Hawaii, regaling audiences with his silent-film accompaniment and concerts. At varying times he's served as organist at the Lansdowne Theatre in Lansdowne, PA, the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA, the Brookline Theatre in Havertown, PA, and the Merlin Theatre in suburban Philadelphia. Currently he is president of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society, and accompanist for silent films at the Loew's Jersey Theatre in Jersey City.

Meanwhile, the world premiere of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" plays on the mainstage Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30p.m. through August 31.