Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

UGA Willson Center to sponsor screening of Chaplin’s ‘City Lights’ at Ciné

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Willson Center for Humanities and Arts will sponsor a limited engagement of Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 silent film “City Lights” at Ciné in downtown Athens as part of the nonprofit cinema’s Summer Comedy Classics film series. The film will be screened in a rare 35mm print on July 26 at 7 p.m. with matinee screenings July 28-29 at 2:30 p.m.

Manny Lage, a 2012 UGA theatre and film studies graduate and host of WUOG’s “The Film Thing,” will introduce the July 26 screening.

“City Lights” was the first film Chaplin-then one of the world’s foremost actors and directors-made after the vast majority of Hollywood productions began using new sound technology in the late 1920s.

“As a comic, Chaplin believed strongly in the power of silent, and especially dialogue-free, cinema,” said Richard Neupert, Wheatley Professor of the Arts and a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Theatre and Film Studies in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Willson Center’s faculty advisory board. “For him, great film actors communicated with their bodies as well as the camera and editing rather than relying on their voices. Even when everyone else in Hollywood was embracing talking movies, he made “City Lights” as proof of his ideas. It was a radical experiment that turned into one of the great American movies of the 1930s and still looks fresh and modern today.”

Ciné is a cinema and arts venue managed by the Athens Film Arts Institute, a local nonprofit organization. The Summer Comedy Classics series brings a 35mm print of one film per week for six weeks in July and August, each sponsored by one or more local organizations or businesses. “Dr. Strangelove,” “The Philadelphia Story” and “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” will be featured in subsequent weeks.

“The exciting thing about the Summer Classics series is our ability to involve the community,” said Tony Eubanks, chair of the AFAI board of directors. “Through helping to choose films, introductions to screenings, sponsorships or simply attending films, Summer Classics brings a diverse crowd and highlights the sense of community ownership that we strive to achieve.”

Ciné is located at 234 W. Hancock Ave. For more information and possible schedule changes, see

UGA Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
The Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research at UGA. In the service of its mission to promote research and creativity in the humanities and arts, the Willson Center sponsors and participates in numerous public events on and off the UGA campus throughout the academic year. It supports faculty through research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions and performances.