ESTMIM Theatre Pipe Organ Concert Screening of the silent Buster Keaton comedy classic "Sherlock Jr."

The Empire State Theatre & Musical Instrument presents a special screening of the Buster Keaton silent comedy classic Sherlock Jr. (1924) about a detective out to solve the mystery of a stolen pearl necklace.

Sherlock Jr. is a 1924 American silent comedy film directed by and starring Buster Keaton and features Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton, and Ward Crane. Buster Keaton is a movie theater projectionist and janitor who’s in love with a beautiful girl but has to overcome a rival for the girls affection. The projectionist, studying to be a detective, offers to solve a crime of her father’s stolen watch, but when he’s falsely accused of the crime, Keaton is banished from the girl's home. While showing a film in the theater about the theft of a pearl necklace, the projectionist falls asleep and dreams that he enters the movie as detective, Sherlock Jr. His dream begins with a pearl necklace stolen by the villain and the girl’s father calling out for the world's greatest detective, Sherlock Jr. to solve the case. Buster Keaton’s amazing stunts are real and his ground-breaking special effects must be seen on the big screen to be appreciated.

Detroit native John Lauter began his organ/piano/music studies at age 14; he has studied with Marie Connors, Frank Rossi, Betty Mason, Fr. Jim Miller and Gary Reseigh. He made his public debut playing at the Redford theatre at age 16. Hundreds of movie preludes later John can still be heard there. John has presented concerts in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Wichita, Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, Lexington KY, Thomaston CT, Rochester NY, Toronto and Kingston Ontario Canada and right here in Syracuse, NY. Lauter was a featured performer at the 1995 and 2009 and 2016 conventions of the American Theatre organ Society. In July of 2010 John was invited to England to present concerts at Tywyn Wales and at the Saltaire complex in Bradford, that performance being the final concert of the 2010 Cinema Organ Society’s convention. Lauter was the sole American presented. John has been on the staff of the Fox theatre since the 1988 reopening, and was staff organist of the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor for 17 years. In February of 2010 Lauter was heard playing the Fox theatre’s massive Wurlitzer organ on NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion” Host Garrison Keillor said of Lauter “the man has unerring taste”.

As a silent film score composer/performer Lauter has scored over 35 feature films. John has accompanied films at The Redford theatre-Detroit, Baldwin theatre -Royal Oak, Palace theatre -Marion Ohio, Ritz Theatre-Tiffin Ohio, The Public Museum Grand Rapids, The Toledo Art Museum Peristyle, and Casa Loma-Toronto. The Henry Ford museum IMAX theatre contracted John to compose/perform/record a short silent film accompaniment that is part of an IMAX short subject film that was shown before every presentation at that institution for many years.

Lauter was the organist/accompanist for the Unity church of Lake Orion from its inception in 1997 until 2013 and has provided many area churches with musical services over a 30+ year period. John is currently the pianist with the 18 piece Swing City Big Band.

The Empire State Theatre & Musical Instrument Museum is located in the Harriet May Mills Art & Home Center on the New York State Fairgrounds. It was established in 1966 as a Nonprofit and Educational Organization, Chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The Wurlitzer organ was built in 1925 for the former RKO Keith’s Theatre in downtown Syracuse where it was used principally for silent film accompaniment and musical interludes. It was saved and reinstalled permanently in the Empire Theatre at the State Fairgrounds as the centerpiece of the theatre and musical instrument museum. More information is available by visiting our Facebook page www.facebook.com/SyracuseWurlitzer.

Concert starts at 2:30pm, doors open at 2:00pm. General seating tickets are available at the door prior to the program.

Fresh popped theater popcorn and bottled water will be available.