First Congregational Church of Long Beach to present silent comedy classic film with live music

The First Congregational Church of Long Beach will screen the silent comedy classic, “Steamboat Bill, Jr,” where Bill Keaton was praised for doing deadly stunts. Image courtesy of Jeremy Yap|Unsplash

The 1928 silent comedy classic "Steamboat Bill, Jr." starring Buster Keaton, will screen at the First Congregational Church of Long Beach at 241 Cedar Ave. with live music from world-class organist Robert York.

Random Lengths News said the event is on Friday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. on Cedar Avenue. 

Presenting "Steamboat Bill, Jr." With Live Music

In this film, Keaton reportedly performed all the life-threatening stunts, which means he did not opt for a body double.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, Buster Keaton starred as William Canfield Jr., a college student who visits his father, a boat captain, in a little hamlet on the Mississippi River in this silent comedy.

The website said the elder Canfield may be confused by Willie's urbane demeanor. Still, he may have discovered an ally in his fight against riverboat rival John James King (Tom McGuire).

Willie develops romantic feelings for Mary, King's daughter (Marion Byron), but the deteriorating weather and his father's arrest prevail.

Some critics commented and expressed their amazement at seeing Keaton's stunts. They also stated that this film is one of Keaton's "most confident masterpieces."

Meanwhile, aside from presenting a film, Robert York will also provide live music to entertain the audience on Friday. 

The Random Lengths News report said Robert York — a concert pianist, organist, and composer who has played at the legendary Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles — will play the enormous 70-rank Moeller Pipe Organ at First Church to accompany the iconic film.

The First Congregational Church of Long Beach encourages attendees to donate, although the event is free to all. 

The report noted that everyone is invited to attend the special event hosted by the First Church Board of Cultural Arts.

About First Congregational Church of Long Beach

The First Congregational Church of Long Beach was founded in 1914 with a $165,000 budget. That structure has since stood the test of time and continues to this day as the church's house of worship.

The mahogany banquet furniture can accommodate a thousand guests in style. Meanwhile, the three stunning rose windows and other extraordinary stained glass windows can be found within.

According to the church's website, the liberal theology that was so vital to the founding members of the First Congregational Church in 1888 remains a central tenet of the church's beliefs today.

The Sunday sermons and educational workshops remain rooted in the best critical scholarship, and the annual Valla lecture series welcomes outstanding scholars to the church every year.

The congregation also maintains its role as a solid social justice advocate by operating as a homeless shelter and center for youth enrichment activities in downtown neighborhoods. The congregation also advocates for low-cost housing and supports international peace and justice.

The church's new Pilgrim Hall features a "Sacred Space" designed to encourage reflection and prayer.

The congregation members continue to focus on being a welcoming and inclusive religious community.

As per the website, the church is famous for being a loving community of individuals who are all trying to figure out what it means to be faithful members of society.

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