A lover of classical and theater-style organ music, Lakewood resident William Hanson provided the crisp soundtrack for Lakewood Theater’s silent movies for more than 15 years. When his time at the theater ended, the retired dentist felt it was too soon to retire his one-of-a-kind organ and decided to turn his spacious den into a silent film center. “The first time I heard the sound of an organ, I was hooked,” Hanson says. “I’ve always played the organ on the side and really loved my time at Lakewood Theater. When it ended, I continued playing for First Baptist and Prestonwood Baptist Church, but I missed the silent films.” Hanson went online and found several companies selling silent films. He purchased a few of his favorites, including “Phantom of the Opera”, “General” and “Wings”, and began accompanying his 65-inch TV screen. “I like to play both the spooky and the happy stuff,” Hanson says. “I have to practice the music over and over again until it’s perfect.” Hanson began showing the silent films at his wife’s women’s club meetings and other community gatherings at their home. His appreciation of the vintage medium was contagious, and Hanson now screens about six silent films a year from his living room. He says his digital organ “puts out the purest sound you’ve ever heard without actual pipes. It’ll knock your socks off.”

To talk to Hanson about a silent film showing, contact him at 214.821.0701.

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