Silent Stars Shine in Forth Valley Royal

The glamorous world of silent movie stars has been showing in the atrium of Forth Valley Royal Hospital in a photographic exhibition featuring greats such as Lilian Gish and Pola Negri.

With the advent of the ‘talkies’ in the l930’s many of these cinema greats who had only existed on celluloid materialised here in Scotland to be seen in the flesh – and with voices – in the country’s theatres.

Photographers from the Glasgow Herald’s sister newspapers, the Evening Times and The Bulletin, were there to record their visits. These were well documented but by the late 1940s and early 1950s,even a silent era giant like “The Great Stone Face”, Buster Keaton himself  couldn’t excite a picture editor.

Only those such as Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich and Laurel & Hardy, who had managed to keep their movie careers and popularity going, continued to attract the newspapers’ attention. For the rest, their names and faces were largely forgotten until the great revival of interest in silent cinema in the 1960s.

The photography exhibition – Silent Stars in Scotland – was a new commission celebrating the 5th birthday of the newly restored Hippodrome Theatre in Bo’ness. It is supported collaboratively by the Arts, Heritage and Libraries teams of Falkirk Community Trust.