Preserving Silent Cinema: An Interview with Jay Warren

Elizabeth Granato

March 20th, 2017

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Dennis Wolkowicz (aka Jay Warren). Jay Warren is a photoplay organist for The Silent Film Society of Chicago. For those who do not know, the term “photoplay” means a play that has been photographed to put on film. Warren’s job is to accompany films by playing an organ. Before the society started, they would have screenings just for fun and around Halloween, they would have a viewing of The Phantom of the Opera and other screenings here or there. They finally decided that they should form a club. The Silent Film Society of Chicago is an organization officially formed in the late 90’s and since then, they have been holding silent film viewings all over the Chicagoland area. Along with these screenings, they have a Silent Summer Festival every July and August on consecutive Fridays. The society has always aimed for two things: to bring attention to silent cinema and the music of silent cinema.

Warren has had about 40 years of experience in this business and he has a strong passion for music in silent films. He wants everyone to know the importance of this unique art form as well as the music that goes along with it. He feels that not many people appreciate silent films, but he encourages them to give them a try. His ultimate hope is that people will come to these screenings to see what silent cinema is all about. In our interview, we discussed everything from the history of silent films to the music that plays an important role in this unique art form.


Listen below for the complete interview with Jay Warren.

Elizabeth Granato

Senior Features Editor

Tags: , ,

Recent News

Slut Walk at SXU Brings Sexual Assault Awareness to Campus

April 21st, 2017

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The purpose of this is to begin a movement to end sexual abuse. In order to show support, Saint Xavier University hosted several events that began in late March and concluded in late April, such as a variety of panels, discussions, and activities. SXU’s…

SJP’s Tournament Helps Rebuild Homes in Gaza

April 19th, 2017

SXU’s SJP hosted a dodgeball tournament to raise money for the Zakat Foundation in the Shannon Center on Friday, March 31st. The tournament took place from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. The cost was $15 per player ages 18 to 25. Teams were required to wear same color shirts and have a…

Multicultural Stigma Event at SXU

April 1st, 2017

On Wednesday, March 29th, SXU’s Psychology Club hosted, for the first time, the Multicultural Stigma event. The purpose was to raise awareness on mental health from a variety of multicultural approaches. It took place in the Butler Reception Room from 1:30pm to 3:00pm. All students and staff were welcomed. Several…

More News Articles >>