This is a community announcement from The Wharton Studio Museum. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit news releases, email

The Wharton Studio Museum will host the 9th Annual Silent Movie Under the Stars at Taughannock Falls State Park at sundown on Saturday, Aug. 24.

This year WSM brings “The General,” produced in 1926 and starring the inimitable Buster Keaton, to the big screen under the night sky at Taughannock. Co-directed by Keaton, “The General” is considered by many to be the greatest silent film of all time, and one of Keaton’s favorites of all the films he starred in. It tells the story of railroad engineer Johnnie Gray (Keaton) who loves his train – “The General” – and his sweetheart Annabelle Lee. When the Civil War begins, Johnnie is turned down for service by the Confederate Army because he is valuable as an engineer, but Annabelle thinks it’s because he’s a coward. When the Union Army captures “The General” and heads north with Annabelle on the train, Johnnie has to rescue his train and his girl.

A short episode of the Wharton Studio-produced The New Adventures of J. Rufus Wallingford will precede the feature attraction.

The family-friendly screening event is accompanied by live, original music by Cloud Chamber Orchestra.

Bring a picnic, lawn chair, blanket and sweater and come early to enjoy lovely Taughannock Falls State Park.

The screening is FREE. There is a $5 per car parking fee in the park which benefits Wharton Studio Museum.

Rain date is Sunday, Aug. 25.

From 1915 to 1919, Wharton, Inc. Studio produced hundreds of reels of films and serials – starring some of the most well-known actors of the day – at its production studio by the shores of Cayuga Lake in Renwick Park – now Stewart Park. That original studio building still stands today, an important artifact a time when filmmaking was an emerging art form and industry.

Wharton Studio Museum is committed to preserving and celebrating Ithaca’s silent film history and transforming the historic Wharton Studio building in Stewart Park into the Wharton Studio Museum and Park Center, in partnership with Friends of Stewart Park.

Visit WSM’s permanent exhibit in the new Tompkins Center for History & Culture on the Commons in downtown Ithaca. WSM is a partner, along with the George Eastman Museum in Auburn and the Case Research Lab/Cayuga Museum in Auburn, in the new Finger Lakes Film Trail which launched this past spring. Visit the Finger Lakes Film Trail on Facebook.

Silent Movie Under the Stars is produced in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and made possible by Presenting Sponsor M&T Bank, and the generous support of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services; Lee Newhart State Farm Insurance Agency; Taitem Engineering, HOLT Architects, and the Natural Heritage Trust. WSM thanks Ithaca Made Movies and Serial Squadron for their involvement.

Featured image: Taughannock Falls State Park. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice)

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