Kittanning's Only Annual Film Festival


Each year St. John's Lutheran Church provides a free evening of silent films with live musical accompaniment and refreshments.

218 N. Jefferson St., Kittanning, PA 16201

(724) - 548 - 2051

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Dreams of Comedy Program – 3 Short Films with Organ and Orchestra
7th Annual Silent Film Night

Feb. 22, 2013 - 7 p.m.
118 N. Jefferson Street
Kittanning, PA 16201


Church doors open at 6:30 p.m.

DREAM OF A RAREBIT FIEND (1906) Edwin S. Porter
GET OUT AND GET UNDER (1920) Harold Lloyd
SHERLOCK, JR. (1924) Buster Keaton

Orchestra accompaniment by The Ivy Leaf Orchestra

Orchestra funding made possible by Paul's Auto Parts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

Saturday, November 17, 2012




FEBRUARY 22, 2013

7:00 PM

For an evening of free silent films, free refreshments and live music by


Schedule and additional information will be published here shortly.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We're moving...well, the date is changing...


The 7th annual Silent Movie Night is moving to a different Friday night in 2013.

Due to an unexpected conflict our traditional date won't do this year.

The day will change, but our program is going to be the same: wonderful silent films, live musical accompaniment, free to the public, free refreshments, starting time at 7 p.m.

Stay tuned for an update on our day for Winter/Spring 2013, as well as, more information about our upcoming program.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Little Off Topic - A Flash of Murder, Jeff Boarts: A Kittanning Murder Mystery

The great man behind the scenes for our Annual Silent Movie Night is Jeff Boarts.  He has always taken upon himself the business end of matters for our program.  Contacting film and distribution companies, DVD producers, tracking down copyright holders, and paying our bills and taking care of our business concerns, as well as donating his time, and coordinating all the on the ground activity and advertising.

Without Jeff, this program would never have been born, and would not have continued annually, and would not have flourished.

SO...I want to take just a minute and encourage you to visit this page at

A Flash of Murder by Jeff Boarts

Because Jeff has written and published his first novel, a murder mystery set in our very own burg of Kittanning.

It's a fun read and has a classic old school flavor about it.

Jeff's sleuth is a hard-nosed if kind hearted former big city reporter George Cooper who has retired to sleepy Kittanning in the 1950's, Kittanning is his novelist wife's home town.  The two expect to write, enjoy some local friends, and settle into a cozy retirement, but a serial killer has other plans....

It's a wonderful cozy novel with a twist and while the town of Kittanning gets a fictional face-lift, it has all the sounds and colors of the period and the setting.

Please stop by and give it a try, currently available in Kindle, but soon to appear in at least two other ebook formats and soon to be available as a trade paper back.

Kudos to Jeff, and enjoy the read!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Plans begin for 2013!

We are already entering the preliminary planning stages for next year's program (2013) of free silent films and live musical accompaniment.

If you have a suggestion of a film or films you'd like us to screen, a general request to make, a musical suggestion, or ideas that can help us improve our program please send us a comment here!

We appreciate any suggestion from our past patrons and our potential future ones.

Currently we are leaning toward a program of four to five short comedy films, most with orchestral accompaniment.

Your ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Musical Highlights from our 2012 Show

Please click on the link below to view our video on Youtube:

Our orchestra was made possible with a grant from The Armstrong County Community Foundation.

This screening was made possible through the generosity of David Shepard, Flicker Alley LLC, the work of Lobster Films and the Danish Filmmuseum.

Photos by Emily Boarts
Sound engineering and recording by Zach Morgan

Thanks and see you soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thank you to all who assisted St. John's

Our thanks to all the folks at St. John's Lutheran who made this year's Silent Movie Night a great success.

I hope that no one person will be overlooked, but at the risk of failing to thank someone, I'd like to name all those who helped make the program thrive.  In no particular order:

Pastor Carl Johnson, who has been an unfailing supporter and guide for the program since its inception, and who leads St. John's congregation so ably.

Rebecca Veith who kindly turns the organ over to Eric for rehearsals and an evening's performance, as well as allowing the orchestra to invade her choir loft!

St. John's Church Secretary Tricia Howard who produced our programs and offered logistical support.

Church Sexton Carl Shumaker who ensures that St. John's is always ship-shape and Bristol fashion for guests and members alike.

The St. John's Sr. & Jr. Bell Choirs, and Dan Minnich for the use of their rehearsal space and music stands.

The Armstrong County Community Foundation who funded our orchestra for the evening, our thanks to all of their staff, volunteers, and donors who support the arts in our community; but most especially, a thank you to Mindy Knappenberger who helped with the grant application and writing process.

Val Wilson, and the Music Department of West Shamokin Highschool for providing us with music stand lights and electrical supplies for the orchestra.

Jeff Boarts, who handles all of the business affairs of the program, runs our projector, and takes care of all the big and little details, organization, and clean up.  Jeff has made the program a possibility since it began as a post-movie chat in the fall of 2006.

Paul's Auto Parts of Kittanning who helped fund the film licensing costs of our films and provided other financial support for the program.

The rest of the Boart's family, especially Carol and Helen who assisted in many ways, especially with planning, cleaning up, and supporting Jeff.

Emily Boarts for her fine photography and promotional work.

Adam Morgan who assisted Emily and provided additional help with the performance.

Zach Morgan who recorded the musical portion of the performance.

Stephen Lipnichan who so professionally and cheerfully conducted our orchestra.

Eric Cook who prepared and arranged our music and played the organ for the short films.

The players of the Kittanning Ivy Leaf Orchestra:

Flute Rebecca Cook
Clarinet I Sam Schreiber
Clarinet II Megan Maggiore
Bassoon Mary Gibbons
Cornet Lawrence Conway
Trombone Dennis F. Cramer
Violin I Carrie Semanco
Violin II Christie Kecskemethy
Viola Stephanie Marhag
Cello Elizabeth Cramer
Bass Roger Whisler
Piano Eric Cook
Percussion Rob Reams

Rex Rutkoski of the Trib Media Group and the Valley News Dispatch who provided a magnificent article and visual spread in the Trib weekend arts and entertainment section.  This is the second year in a row that Rex has written a great article and helped to draw a good crowd to our event.

David Lindemann, who helped usher and host the event.

Gene Hughes who narrated A Voyage to the Moon.

Keith Livengood who assisted with the PA system and operated the camera that allows the monitor at the organ to keep focused on the films during the organ accompaniment.

Julie Smith and the members of the Youth groups of St. John's who helped Usher, make and serve our popcorn, and handed out the bottled water:

Frances Kirby, Allison Hall, Robert Gamble, Ian Crytzer, Ryan Crytzer, Matthew Bowser, Andrew Bowser, and Derek Kirby.

David Shepard, who has provided unfailing aid and support for our programs since we planned the first movie night in the fall of 2006.  Mr. Shepard is a film preservationist, producer, and promoter of silent film.  Formerly an employee and now the head of Film Preservation Associates, he continues to work with his own and other companies, as well as public and private collections, to help preserve, restore,and produce modern editions of these classic films.   Among those firms are Lobster Films and Flicker Alley, LLC they were the source for two of this evening’s selections: A Trip to the Moon and A Modern Musketeer.  

Also our thanks to the Danish Filmmuseum for their support and the permission to screen A Modern Musketeer.

Out thanks is also due to the fine people of Kino International, and Tim Lanza, who have allowed us to license and show the film One Week.

We are also thankful for the support of the University of Pittsburgh Theodore M. Finney Music Library Staff, especially Dr. James Cassaro, and Dr. Carlos E. Pena who provided hours of support and information during score preparation.  They oversee the Nek Mirskey collection of silent film, salon, and dance music, the collection served as the source for approximately half of the music used during the orchestral score for A Modern Musketeer.  

We are very grateful for Dennis Cramer of East Franklin, and former Band director at Ford City Highschool, who coordinated the musicians for this evening’s orchestral performance.  

Also thanks to Rodney Sauer of the Mont Alto Orchestra, one of the leading ensembles in silent film accompaniment, who graciously shared his ideas about scoring A Modern Musketeer; the DVD version of this film features his ensemble's superb work.  

Dr. Kenneth Sarch of Mansfield University shared his approaching to writing film scores for silent comedy with Eric.  

Additional thanks to Jack Theaston, Andrew Greene, Ben Model, and Robert Israel all of whom shared some thoughts on silent film scoring with Eric via; their advice was invaluable.  

And our sincere thanks to Gladys Bertha Schulze Crees and Carol Palmer, daughter and granddaughter of Walter Schulze, who shared original period music and biographical information about their father and grandfather, and made the creation of our musical score possible.

But finally, and most of all...

Many, many thanks to all of the community members and guests from afar who attended our performance and made it all worthwhile.  It was great to host you and I hope we will see you again!

Watch for updates about the planning for our 2013 program, as well as new posts about silent film preservation, history and presentations; as well as information on Kittanning history, and St. John's along the way...

See you next year!

Thank you to the Armstrong County Community Foundation

This year's silent film success was due in large part to the Armstrong County Community Foundation (ACCF).

The ACCF has been serving the citizens of the county by linking charitable donations to worthy causes.

We were very blessed to be the recipient of an art grant that paid for the majority of the musicians in our silent film orchestra.

We would like to thank Jeff Boarts, Mindy Knappenberger, and the Church Council of St. John's Lutheran, and the board and staff at the ACCF, for writing, processing and assisting in the grant application and in the awarding of the grant.

But above all we would like to thank all of the generous donors of the ACCF that made such a wonderful evening possible.

Armstrong County Community Foundation

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A big thank you to Rex Rutkoski

There a large number of thank you's to go around, but a very special thank you to the Trib reporter Rex Rutkoski.

Rex spent many days asking thoughtful questions and crafting an outstanding article about our program of silent film and took the time to interview several of the people who make this evening possible.

His wonderful entertainment section article was superb and had amazing visuals especially in the print edition.  This article and it's excellent placement was a huge help in drawing such a diverse and apperciative audience.  If you've not seen the article or photo's please visit the link below.

And thanks again Rex!

Trib Article about St. John's Silent Movie Night 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 A Great Success!

It is hard to believe that our Night of Silent Stars has ended for another year.  It was a fantastic success, we had 220 people in attendance, as you might imagine the list of thank you's is long.  At the risk of omitting anyone, I will create a proper list of thank you's that will appear shortly.

Already, things are being considered for next year.

If you were in attendance and have any suggestions on how to improve our program we'd love to hear from you.

But mostly, we just wish to say thank you to all for their marvelous support!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Live Orchestra!

Please join us for a FREE evening of...




                                     and ROMANCE!

St. John's Lutheran Church
218 N. Jefferson St.
Kittanning, PA

A Modern Musketeer

Two Short films proceed our feature:
A Voyage to the Moon, and One Week

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
FREE popcorn and bottled water available


Under the Direction of Stephen J. Lipnichan

The One, the Only!
Kittanning Ivy Leaf Orchestra

Orchestral score compiled and arranged by Eric W. Cook

Hear them as they play 
Dance Music, 
Salon Music
and original 
Dramatic Works for the Photo-Play

Orchestra Made possible by a Community Arts Grant from
The Armstrong County Community Foundation

Our film presentation is made possible through the generosity of
David Shepard and Flicker Alley

The Kittanning Ivy Leaf Orchestra

Rebecca Cook
Clarinet I
Sam Schreiber
Clarinet II Megan Maggiore
Mary Gibbons
Lawrence Conway
Dennis F. Cramer
Violin I
Carrie Semanco
Violin II
Christie Kecskemethy
Stephanie Marhag
Elizabeth Cramer
Roger Whisler
Eric Cook
Rob Reams
Stephen Lipnichan


Friday, January 13, 2012

Our Short Films for 2012

February 17, 2012 
7 p.m.

All films will be shown free to the public 
Open seating in the church nave
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  

There will be no snow date.

Free popcorn and bottled water will be available.

A Voyage to the Moon 

Written and Directed by Georges Méliès

This stunning and playful early film is the first work of cinematic science fiction, based on the novel of the same name by Jules Verne.

This iconic French film was the most original and sophisticated motion picture to date, and it is a wonderful way to open our 6th annual program.  It also helps celebrate our anniversary, since this is the first film we screened on our first program in 2007.  This classic film is at the center of the children's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret and the new Academy Award nominated film based on the novel, Hugo.

The film will be shown with live narration and organ accompaniment with musical selections from the works of 19th century French theatre composers Charles Gounod and Léo Delibes. 

The film runs 11 minutes.

Film provided and licensed for viewing from Flicker Alley and Mr. David Shepard.

Visit Flicker Alley and see their newly restored 
DVD version of the original hand-tinted color version of this classic film 
Georges Méliès: A Trip to the Moon in Color.

One Week 

Written and Directed by Buster Keaton and Eddie Kline

Buster Keaton's first released independent short film, One Week is a riotous romp in the real and surreal.  Buster plays a young newlywed with Sybil Seely his blushing bride.  A gift from an Uncle of a plot of land and a modular kit house promises wedded bliss, but instead the jealous former and unsuccessful suitor for Miss Seely decides that now is the time to seek his revenge, which results in chaos and visually stunning stunts and prat falls.

The film runs approximately 20 minutes and will be accompanied by organ to an original score made up of improvisation and themes borrowed from ragtime, photoplay, and dance music published between 1880 and 1920.  This is a newly restored print with excellent picture quality and detail.

Film provided and licensed for showing from Kino Films and Mr. Tim Lanza.

Visit Kino International and see their boxed set of DVD and Blue-Ray discs 
Buster Keaton: The Short Films Collection (1920-1923)


A Modern Musketeer 

For more information about our Feature film, 
please see the proceeding blog post of November 14, 2011

Please join us for this special screening with 
live theater orchestra
made possible by a grant from the

Armstrong County Community Foundation

All films shown via DVD projector.