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Org orchestrates silent fete for Chaplin

Mayer opens event with the state of film preservation

HOLLYWOOD — The Little Tramp headed uptown once again May 31 for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s sold-out Silent Film Gala presenting “City Lights” at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

Conductor Timothy Brock led the orchestra in the score to Charlie Chaplin‘s mostly silent 1931 classic, while event co-chairman (and Turner Entertainment prexy) Roger Mayer gave his usual opening summation of the state of film preservation. With DVD revenues financing the restoration of dozens of films annually, Mayer said, “The crisis we had for many, many years is probably over. We just need to keep it going.”

Event chair Dustin Hoffman talked about “the masterpiece of that character” in “City Lights.”

Among those attending were Chaplin’s son Sydney and granddaughter Kiera, Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Bill Mechanic, Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne, event co-chairwoman Hanna Kennedy, Fay Kanin, Mike Stoller, Chace Prods.’ Robert Heiber and a batch of Warner Home Video execs led by Ron Sanders; homevid arm will release several Chaplin pics on DVD later this year.