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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Film Classic Loves of Pharaoh To Screen at Historic Niles Theater, Feb. 21.

Tickets are still available for the ARCE-NC fundraiser Feb. 21. You can support your local Egyptology chapter, and have an enjoyable afternoon at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. Details follow, in a press release written by Barbara Wilcox, the chapter's Vice President.


For Immediate Release

January 26, 2016

Film Classic Loves of Pharaoh To Screen at Historic Niles Theater

Feb. 21 showing of restored silent costume epic to benefit Egyptology outreach

Fremont, Calif. — Film history meets ancient history Sunday, Feb. 21 as the American Research Center in Egypt's Northern California chapter hosts a rare screening of director Ernst Lubitsch's silent film classic, The Loves of Pharaoh (1922), at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont.

Lubitsch, a German émigré, left Berlin soon after making Loves of Pharaoh to become one of Hollywood's great comedic directors. The film was believed lost until a few years ago. Restoration was completed in 2011 by German film expert Thomas Bakels from footage salvaged in several countries and funding from several European entities. The film is rare: Only a handful of copies exist in U.S. libraries.Gartenberg Media Enterprises, the exclusive U.S. distributor, is providing Loves of Pharaoh, a vintage cinematic tribute to ancient Egypt, to benefit ARCE-NorCal's work in promoting Egyptological research today. The event location, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, is itself important in film history as the site of a theater and movie studio where Charlie Chaplin and other silent stars worked in the 1910s. The projection booth remains much as it was in 1913, and is open for free public tours.

Screening to fund free talks by world's top Egyptologists

Proceeds from the Feb. 21 matinee will fund ARCE Northern California's free speaker series at UC Berkeley. Speakers in 2015 included Dr. Nicholas Reeves, who made world headlines last year by asserting the presence of concealed chambers in King Tut's tomb. Also funded will be ARCE-NorCal's free talks by Egyptologists in Bay Area elementary school classrooms.

Viewing a bygone Egypt to help further cutting-edge research

"Audiences are in for a treat," said theater historian Gary Lee Parks, a longtime ARCE-NorCal member and co-organizer of the Feb. 21 event. The restored Loves of Pharaoh includes the original background tints – because colors were often added to silent epics to help set the mood – English subtitles and a new recording of the original 1922 score. Lubitsch worked with his own day's great Egyptologists to ensure accuracy – with varying results – and Paramount Pictures funding. The film boasts vast sets and crowd scenes, beautiful replicas, and gorgeous lighting that advanced the art of cinematography, all enabled by a strong U.S. dollar in the tumultuous years after World War I.

"We'll see Egypt as people saw it in 1922, and in so doing we'll help promote the latest understanding of ancient Egypt today," Parks said.

Tickets are $22 advance/$25 at the door and are fully tax deductible. Advance tickets are available at ARCE-NorCal's PayPal link at

Founded in 1948, the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) is a private, nonprofit organization of educational and cultural institutions, professional scholars, and individuals. ARCE's mission is to support research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, foster a broader knowledge of Egypt among the general public, and strengthen U.S.-Egyptian cultural ties.

Loves of Pharaoh

Sunday, February 21, 2016   1:30 pm

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

37417 Niles Boulevard, Fremont, CA 94536

$22 donation per person


For more information:

Barbara Wilcox, ARCE Northern California


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