LOST SILENT FILM SEES THE LIGHT 97 YEARS AFTER IT WAS PRODUCED ON THE SHORES OF LAKE SUNAPEE, NH
Billy B. Van comedy, “WHERE ARE YOUR HUSBANDS?” to screen at Dexter’s Inn on Wednesday, July 12th
More than a century ago, show business entrepreneur, Billy B. Van (1870 – 1950), built the Equity Motion Picture Company, a casino, and what may be Northern New England’s earliest movie studio in Georges Mills, on the shores of Lake Sunapee, NH. Van produced several silent comedies, though little survives from his moviemaking heyday. That changed earlier this year with local film archivist John Tariot’s chance discovery of Billy B. Van's 1920 comedy “Where Are Your Husbands?," recently found in a Library of Congress vault.
"Finding this film is even more important when understood in the larger context of how little survives of our silent film heritage," explained Tariot. As stated by James H. Billington, former Librarian of Congress, “...we have lost 75% of the creative record from the era that brought American movies to the pinnacle of world cinematic achievement in the 20th century.”
The rediscovered, repaired and remastered "Where Are Your Husbands?" will be shown with a newly commissioned live piano accompaniment composed and performed by pianist Bob Merrill.
This special premiere is part of “Billy B. Van – The Sunshine Man," a co-presentation of the Sunapee and Newport Historical Societies, benefiting the fund for the Sunapee Archives at the Old Abbott Library. Newport residents Jayna Huot Hooper and Dean Stetson will share tales of Billy B. Van’s escapades during this tribute. Hooper, the author of “Billy B. Van: Newport’s Sunshine Peddler," will narrate while Stetson portrays Van, an acclaimed actor (minstrel shows, vaudeville, Broadway and film), recording artist, filmmaker, dairy farmer, agriculturist, businessman and motivational speaker.
Sunapee and Newport Historical Societies present
“Billy B. Van – The Sunshine Man” and a special premiere screening of “Where Are Your Husbands?”
To benefit the fund for Sunapee Archives at the Old Abbott Library
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 7:00pm
Under the tent at Dexter’s Inn, Stagecoach Road, in Sunapee, NH
Tickets and information: sunapeehistoricalsociety.org/benefit/