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Late Notice: See 'Nosferatu' And Enjoy Classic Architecture Tonight

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 23, 2013 9:25PM


If you’re looking for a last-minute movie excursion this evening we have a recommendation that will fill your thirst for vampire films while taking in some classic architecture in the process.

F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent classic Nosferatu remains one of the greatest vampire films and a landmark in horror due to Murnau’s direction and the mesmerizing performance by Max Schreck as Count Orlok, whose physical features (pointed ears, rodent teeth and claw-like fingers) remain to this day a drastic departure from the sexy portrayals of vampires in film.

Nosferatu will be screened 7:30 p.m. tonight at Schurz High School. The Northwest side school was designed by Dwight H. Perkins, is a combination of Chicago and Prairie Schools of architecture and was designated a Chicago Landmark on Dec. 7, 1979. The school’s namesake, Carl Schurz, was an American statesman and former Union Army General in the Civil War who served as Secretary of the Interior U.S. Minister to Spain and, in 1869 became the first German-born American elected to the United States Senate.

One of the features of Schurz High School is its “Mighty Moller” pipe organ. A gift from students in 1935, the organ was built and installed by the M.P. Moller Company of Hagerstown, Maryland and consists of 2,934 individual speaking pipes comprising 45 ranks controlled by a giant four keyboard console. The pipes were built from both wood and metal and range in size from 16 feet to barely the size of a pencil.

Nosferatu is best viewed with musical accompaniment and former Portage Theater and current Silent Film Society of Chicago executive director Dennis Wolkowicz will handle the honors under his nom de guerre “Jay Warren.