Route 66 News

Coleman Theatre will screen double feature of silent movies


The historic Coleman Theatre Beautiful in Miami, Oklahoma, will present two century-old silent films with Dennis James on the theater’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

The two hour-long films from 1915 are “The Cheat” and “A Fool There Was” — both of which were considered scandalous during that era but are tame by modern standards. Show times are 7:30 p.m. March 7 and 2:30 p.m. March 8. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students and children.


The once-lost Wurlitzer, delivered to the theater in 1929, was found, renovated and reinstalled in 1996. The organ contains the ability to generate many sounds, much like a full orchestra.

More about the films from the theater’s news release:

“The Cheat” is an American silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille starring Fannie Ward, Sessue Hayakawa and Jack Dean, Ward’s real-life husband. The silent melodrama was a key film in the early career of Cecil B. DeMille — one that helped establish his reputation as a top-echelon director.According to DeMille biographer Anne Edwards, the film “set standards of acting, decor, frame composition and lighting which were not surpassed for years.” […] “The Cheat” also had a profound influence on the early development of filmmaking, especially in its innovative camera techniques and “sexually charged content,” according to James. The movie was named to the National Film Registry in 1993. “A Fool There Was” is an American silent film drama produced by William Fox and starring Theda Bara. The film was long considered controversial for such risqué intertitle cards as “Kiss me, my fool!” It is also one of the few movies with Bara that still exist today.

If you can’t make it to the screenings, the 1929 theater continues to host tours almost every day. It also brings in music acts and dramatic productions. Go here for its schedule of upcoming events, including Charlie Chaplin films in May. More about the theater and its Route 66 heritage may be found here.


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