Updated: Jan 23, 2018
The 1927 silent film "Wings" was the first motion picture to receive the coveted Academy Award for Best Picture. In its day it established a new standard of excellence for spectacularly filmed aviation action. Director William Wellman was himself a decorated World War I aviator serving with the Lafayette Flying Corp and achieving two kills prior to being shot down. Given that background Wellman was relentless in his drive for realism and authentic detail when shooting flying scenes. Actor and co-star Richard Arlen was also a World War I pilot and directed much of his own flying in the film. Besides being the birth year for Schenectady Airport and the year of Charles Lindbergh's historic flight, 1927 was also the first full year of operation for Proctors Theatre and the year "Wings" was released by Paramount Pictures. It is fitting therefore that Proctors present this award winning film in 2017 and join ESAM in celebrating the 90th anniversary of these great events of 1927. The movie showing is scheduled for Monday November 27 at 6:30 PM, admission price is set at $10. The silent film will be accompanied by an original live musical score by Avery Tunningley performed on Proctors' Wurlitzer pipe organ as it was for the very first showing of "Wings" there in 1927. The film will be preceded by a short presentation recognizing the significance of the year 1927 in the history of Schenectady County.