Once again Emmanuel Episcopal Church will offer a classic silent movie free to the community with live music accompaniment. The 1923 production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the church, 501 N. Broadway.

Once again Emmanuel Episcopal Church will offer a classic silent movie free to the community with live music accompaniment. The 1923 production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the church, 501 N. Broadway.

Organists Ron and Jo Lewis will accompany the film during the presentation. They will be assisted by Emmanuel’s newly formed hand bell choir.

With renewed interest in Notre Dame Cathedral due to the tragic fire earlier this year, the 96-year-old “Hunchback” film seemed to be a natural choice to follow last year’s presentation of the silent version of “Phantom of the Opera.” The new hand bell choir promises to add a further dimension to the accompaniment of the film. With romantic, dramatic and horror elements, the movie was chosen for the Halloween season.

Doors will open at 6 p.m., with the film starting at 6:30. A Super Hero Training Camp Childcare activity will be available at Emmanuel’s Porch House, adjacent to the church on Highland Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Porch House doors will open at 6:15 p.m.

The film is based on Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel and is notable for the grand sets that recall 15th century Paris as well as for star Lon Chaney’s performance and make-up as the tortured hunchback Quasimodo. The film elevated Chaney, already a well-known character actor, to full star status in Hollywood, and also helped set a standard for many later horror films.

Chaney created the prosthetic makeup for his role. Quasimodo’s facial deformity came from a combination of cotton, collodion, adhesive tape and nose putty. Adding a fuzzy wig and hair pieces, the daily ritual took more than three hours to apply. The hump he wore on his back weighed almost 20 pounds. Taking his makeup methods very seriously, Chaney ended up with what some historians have called the best makeup work ever put on screen. Hence, he was often called “The Man of a Thousand Faces” for his makeup genius.

Universal Pictures announced its intentions to recreate to scale the Notre Dame Cathedral and the surrounding streets to the exacting specifications of the period on the studio lot. Universal staff set about creating the “Gallery of Kings,” 35 statues, each ten feet high with intended likeness of the originals. The 19-acre set is nearly unparalleled in modern filmmaking in grandeur and attention to detail. The construction of the sets was estimated to take six months to complete.

Film production began in January 1922 with the “Court of Miracles” setting. Shooting the Parisian underworld scene required a cast of some several hundred extras. At that time construction of the Notre Dame set and the street settings had not yet been completed. By the beginning of February, filming had moved to the Madame de Gondelaurier scenes. The production reportedly required three thousand costumes for extras, taking six weeks for the Universal costume department to complete.

Universal leased the Astor Theatre in New York City for the premiere of the film on Sept. 2, 1923. It is estimated that the cost of production was between $750,000 and $1,000,000. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” became Universal’s most successful silent movie ever produced, grossing $3,500,000.

With the Emmanuel Church’s ongoing construction of a new wing addition, parking will be available in a church annex lot across the street on Broadway, as well as the corner of Broadway and Ridgewood.

For further information contact the church office at (405) 273-1374.