PLYMOUTH — Decades before the debut of the 1960s animated TV classics “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the first movie versions of other now-classic tales were lighting up the silent movie screen.
Cinematic gems from a century ago will be screened with live music accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center, 39 S. Main St., after Plymouth’s traditional holiday parade downtown.
The lineup will include film shorts about Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (1910) and Clement C. Moore’s poem “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” (1905).
The films each run less than 10 minutes long and were both produced as novelties by Thomas Edison, the inventor credited with pioneering the motion picture.
The night also will feature the full-length feature “Tess of the Storm Country,” a 1922 film featuring Mary Pickford, complete with a Christmas-oriented ending.
“Even in the early days of cinema, the movies helped popularize classic holiday stories,” Rapsis said. “So it’s a real treat for us to turn back the clock and see where the tradition of holiday movies and TV specials first began.”
The film tells a story of conflict between residents of a poor fishing village who live near the the estate of a wealthy family. Pickford plays the feisty daughter of a village leader who is unjustly put in jail.
Pickford, a pioneering film superstar, was a major force in early Hollywood, helping establish the United Artists studio and serving as a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which gives out the annual Oscar awards.
Tickets are $10, and are available by calling 536-2551 or visiting flyingmonkeynh.com.