Review of 'Laurel & Hardy - Silent Magic'


We could not resist this showing of some classic Laurel and Hardy films with live accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie on the Regent Street Cinema's original 1936 Compton cinema organ and we were not disappointed. I just love it when I get to hear and see such old films the way they were intended to be shown and when it is done live by a master of the cinema organ, I simply cannot resist.

The four short (20-25 minute) films screened were:

  • “Two Tars” (1928) - On leave two sailors get into a bit of bother…
  • “You're Darn Tooting” (1928) - Two down on their luck orchestra players try to earn a living…
  • “Putting Pants on Philip” (1927) - A kilt-wearing Scot visiting the United States causes a big headache for his uncle…
  • “Big Business” (1929) - Two door-to-door Christmas tree salesmen get into a spot of bother when they are refused a sale…

Before each of the films MacKenzie gave us a bit of an introduction to the piece which was very helpful including items of note and things to watch for. The films themselves are, of course, rather dated (!) but still have an innocent charm to them with the absurd situations and painful feats of physical comedy. The organ sounded very good and certainly added a great deal to the films.

It was a fairly full and appreciative audience the Friday evening we attended. There were a number of younger attendees in the performance who enjoyed the showing as well.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2017-12-22

Regent Street Cinema

Location: London (England)

Address: 307 Regent St London W1B 2HW ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Oxford Circus

Telephone: +44 (0) 207 911 5050


The birthplace of British cinema where in 1896 the Lumiere brothers demonstrated the “Cinematographe” machine this small cinema was reopened in 2015 after three years of restoration and shows a variety of films including both main stream and arthouse. There is only the one screen with nicely raked seating for little over a hundred people which makes this quite an intimate venue. There is a small comfortable bar area where you can relax before any screening.