Using slides for silent films
Published 9:35 am Saturday, April 30, 2011
Among the historic scenes from the past in the collection of slides used by the late Bidney Bergie for his shows are several scenes once used for silent film presentations in local theaters.
The intention for these messages shown on the screens of those theaters a century or more ago was to inform the audiences of changes in the film presentations or messages of interest. For example, many of the films in that era were based on two or three reels. Thus, a message shown on the screen could inform those watching the film that there would be a short intermission while the operator put a new reel in the projector.
Other slides shown asked audience members not to throw trash or leftover food on the floor and to inform the staff of any illegal or foolish activities while the lights were dimmed.
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Some of the slides had humorous aspects. One of the slides in Bergie’s collection was based on the projectionist being tangled in film. This was intended to hopefully explain an interruption in the film’s presentation.
— Graphics courtesy Freeborn County Historical Museum