A scant 270 people attended the first Academy Awards ceremony, held at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929. Prior to the establishment of the Oscars, the highest honor a film could snag was the Photoplay Magazine Medal of Honor, voted on by readers, and reflecting the zeitgeist of the silent era. Travel back in time as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents Summer of Silents: Photoplay Award Winners of the Silent Era, with the best available prints, live music from the era, silent comedy shorts and surviving fragments of silent films, all introduced by film historians. This week features The Covered Wagon, considered one of the great early Westerns, with live musical accompaniment from Will Ryan and the Cactus County Cowboys (with surviving fragments of 1924's Abraham Lincoln and images from 1923's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, projected in 3-D). Series highlights include Buster Keaton's The General (35mm print from the original negative), with John Bengtson's presentation on the silent era filming locations of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd; and four-time Oscar-winning director John Ford's Four Sons, one of his few surviving silents. Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 90211. Mondays thru Aug. 8, 7 p.m.; $5, series pass available. (310) 247-3000. oscars.org/events-exhibitions/events/2011/06/summer-of-silents.html.

Mondays, 7 p.m. Starts: July 11. Continues through Aug. 8, 2011

LA Weekly