On Sunday, February 27, the Sacramento County Historical Society and alternative cinema group, Movies on a Big Screen, will show the Buster Keaton film, Steamboat Bill Jr. at historic Guild Theater in Oak Park.
Made in 1928, the feature-length silent comedy portrays the life of young college graduate "Steamboat Bill Jr." as he desperately follows in the footsteps of his father, a Mississippi steamboat captain. Hilarity ensues when the character, played by Keaton, falls in love with the daughter of his father's business rival.
While the film's plotline depicts humorous events on the Mississippi, much of the movie was actually filmed along the Sacramento River. Local residents were employed as extras for the film and Keaton's production team filled local hotels and regularly dined at area restaurants while the picture was made. In addition, Sacramentans helped build a makeshift set along the River.
On the night of the film's showing, local historian William Burg will speak about the movie and its significance to Sacramento's history.
PHOTO CREDIT: The steamboat "Dover" pulls a loaded barge on the Sacramento River, c. 1920. Photograph Courtesy of The Center for Sacramento History, Eugene Hepting Collection,1985/024/0242