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Movie Night at the Museum

April 29, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Movie Night at the Museum

Old Ironsides poster

Join us for a night at the movies…Custom House style! Get your tickets here!

Enjoy a classic from 1926 – Old Ironsides while movie history aficionado, Jeff Rapsis, plays the music score on the organ…live.

More about the movie:

Directed by James Cruze, Old Ironsides (1926) is an action/adventure film that traces the story of an early USS Constitution crew member.  The crew member, a gunner, is shanghaied while ashore in Boston and forced to serve on another ship, the Esther, a commercial vessel bound for Italy.  Among those on board are a young boy running away from home, and the daughter of the ship’s owner.

After crossing the Atlantic, the Esther is attacked by pirates off the coast of Algiers in the south Mediterranean Sea, with the crew and passengers taken captive. Will the USS Constitution arrive in time to save the ship’s daughter from being presented as a gift to a Sultan in Algiers?

Launched in 1797, the USS Constitution was one of six original frigates authorized by the Naval Act of 1794 and the third constructed. Nicknamed ‘Old Ironsides,’ she was originally scheduled to be broken up in 1830, the end of her normal service life. But the ship was saved that year by a poetic tribute published by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Never defeated in battle, the USS Constitution remains a symbol of the honor, courage, and commitment of America’s sailors as the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat.

The film, a big-budget extravaganza from Paramount Pictures, boasts an all-star silent era cast that includes Wallace Beery, George Bancroft, Charles Farrell, and Esther Ralston. Among the crew members is Boris Karloff, famous later for his starring role in ‘Frankenstein’ (1931).

Filmed at sea off the coast of California’s Catalina Island, using a full-scale replica of the original ship, the movie was praised for its authenticity and commitment to historical accuracy. In addition to its elaborate battle scenes, the film is notable for its high quotient of comedy. At the time, Hollywood was first starting to make motion pictures with stories that delivered all-around entertainment. Cruze was among the directors becoming adept at integrating comedy, drama, romance, and action all into one spectacular audience-pleasing package.

Jeff Rapsis, Executive Director at Aviation Museum of New Hampshire is a writer/editor, educator, and also a composer/performer who specializes in creating live musical scores for silent film.  This will be Jeff’s fourth performance for the CHMM and will accompany Old Ironsides film with organ playing, for an original experience.  Tickets are $15 and will be available to Custom House Museum Members first. If availability remains tickets will be available to the public starting April 25th.

Get your tickets here!


Custom House Maritime Museum
25 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950 United States
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Custom House Maritime Museum
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