Photos in header by: Kelly Hofer and Michael Sturgeon
"Kiss me, my fool!"
- A Fool There Was (1915)
“The War Years” Gala Series
Full event design and production
Inspired by the monthly “Well, Basil My Rathbone!” film and performance series that Zoë created out of her love and knowledge of censorship era films (aka, Hays Code era), the Lougheed House commissioned RocketHouse to create an event series to commemorate, educate, and entertain audiences for the centennial of World War I. And so, the four-month War Years Gala series was born! Each month featured a popular film from one year of the war, paired with live piano accompaniment, themed performance by guest artists, themed treats and drinks from the Lougheed House Restaurant, themed artisan photo booth by Kelly Hofer Photography, and a prize for the best vintage costume. For those guests that didn’t own vintage clothes but wanted to get into the spirit of things, Cat’s Eye Vintage was on site with clothes and accessories to wear and (optionally) buy.
If you’re interested in seeing any of these “war year” films, you’re in luck – all motion pictures made before 1923 are now indisputably in the public domain so we’ve included links here for you to watch and enjoy.
Pianist: Mark Edwards
Performance: Vaudevillian show by the renowned James Jordan
Best Costume Prize: Giraf Animation Festival tickets
Fun Fact: Mary Pickford (Cinderella) was married to Owen Moore (Prince Charming) in real life from 1911 to 1920.
A Fool There Was (1915)
Theme: Vamps and Seduction
Pianist: Eric Heitmann
Performance: An aria from the exquisite Cowtown Opera
Best Costume Prize: Gift certificate to the Lougheed House Restaurant
Fun Fact: Only a handful of Theda Bara films still exist, the others being The Unchastened Woman (1925), The Stain (1914), East Lynne (1916), and two short comedies she made for Hal Roach in the mid-1920s.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)
Pianist: Eric Heitmann
Performance: Concert by Hazel Grey and dance performance by Jass Parlour
Best Costume Prize: Tickets to Red Carpet Comedy
Fun Fact: George M. Williamson and J. Ernest Williamson developed a system of watertight tubes and mirrors, like an upside-down periscope so that the camera wouldn’t have to be submerged (a technology that did not yet exist).
Tarzan of the Apes (1918)
Theme: Run, jump, flip!
Pianist: John Vooys
Performance: Breakdance and freestyle rap by the talented Jazzlib collective
Best Costume Prize: Entry passes to Breathe Parkour gym
Fun Fact: Huts were constructed for the African village scenes and 800 locals were hired as extras. The entire set was burned to the ground for the final village scene.