First Newhallywood Silent Film Festival in Newhall

Residents watch silent films in a historic building at Hart Park in Newhall Saturday afternoon as part of the William S. Hart Museum's Newhollywood Silent Film Festival Event. February 15, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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To shed light on the creative industry in Newhall, the Newhallywood Silent Film festival debuted this weekend by showcasing different silent films alongside a variety of workshops.

The festival was a three-day event on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“We are trying to highlight the fact that the creative industry is a big part of who we are in the greater Los Angeles Area and a lot of its roots are right here in Newhall,” said Milena Acosta, manager of community engagement for the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County.

The city of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation and the Natural History Museum collaborated to put on this event.

Residents watch silent films in a historic building at Hart Park in Newhall Saturday afternoon as part of the William S. Hart Museum’s Newhollywood Silent Film Festival Event. February 15, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

“The Natural History Museum is actually a family of museums and William S. Hart is one of them,” said Acosta. “This is where we like to talk to folks about our amazing history of the creative industry out in LA County.”

On Friday, there was a paid Valentine’s Day Dinner that featured a screening of “The Black Pirate”. The dinner also marked Hollywood’s first power couple Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, 100th wedding anniversary.

Day two of the festival took place at William S. Hart Park, The MAIN and Newhall Family Theater.

At Hart Park, there were different film screenings throughout the day along with workshops attendees could enjoy.

While films were screened, different props from those films were showcased in the hall. This allowed attendees to admire props they saw on the screen, right before their eyes. There was also a slapstick and melodrama workshop at the William S. Hart Museum where attendees could learn the art of silent film acting.

Vaughan Gibson, a docent at the William S. Hart Museum gives a guided tour of a locomotive to a group of guests visiting the Hart Park for the Newhollywood Silent Film Festival Saturday afternoon. February 15, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

“It’s a beautiful day and (my family) doesn’t know what these silent films were about so it gives them a chance to learn about the origin of these movies,” said Judy Albert, of Canyon Country.

Albert also enjoyed the nostalgia of Old Newhall that was felt throughout the park.

“We want to highlight and showcase the rich silent film history that is in this area,” said Acosta.

Come out to the last day of the festival on Sunday for a panel discussion with a private collector and three film screenings throughout the day.

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