The past comes to life again with the screening of a classic silent movie Saturday, July 16, at 7 p.m. at the Old Town House on Town House Road/Route 235. Union Historical Society will present a Harold Lloyd classic, “Safety Last!” (1923, USA). Doug Protsik, director of the Maine Fiddle Camp and of The Old Grey Goose band, will play the non-stop piano accompaniment from an original score.

Silent Movies at the Old Town House is an annual re-creation of 1920s America, with an audience of all ages eagerly watching the silver screen from the antique deacon’s bench seating. The Old Town House, built in 1840, adds a special ambiance with its rounded ceiling, antique quilts, raked stage and bead board wainscot. Protsik’s showmanship completes the atmosphere as he plays music themed to the on-screen action on the building’s honky-tonk piano.

In “Safety Last!”, actor and lead character Lloyd enlarges the range of romantic comedy with his trademark stunts, which he performed lacking the thumb and forefinger lost in an earlier filmmaking accident. This movie includes the instantly recognizable silent film image of Lloyd precariously dangling from a skyscraper above the city traffic, while holding on to the hands of a giant clock. The story of how he got into that situation — and out of it — continues to entertain viewers 93 years after its first success with critics and audiences.

With a varied background in classical, folk, old-time and dance music, silent movie fan Protsik fell naturally into his role as “heir” of the late Danny Patt who, at age 11 and for years thereafter, accompanied silent movies at the Old Town House in the 1920s. Patt took up his role as silent movie accompanist again in later life, playing for “Safety Last!” when it was last screened by Union Historical Society in 1993.

Using Patt’s techniques, and aided by research into 1920s standard works, Protsik creates his own scores. He has composed and recorded original scores for silent film restorations for Turner Classic Movies cable network; and performed for silent movies at international film festivals.

Union Historical Society is proud to present this Founder’s Day weekend entertainment for all ages and acknowledges the sponsorship of Susan Fay, whose generosity underwrites this event. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations to help with maintenance of the historic building will be gratefully accepted.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or