No talking required

Harold Lloyd in 'Safety Last'
What did they charge to see a silent movie in 1923, a quarter? At UCLA's Royce Hall this afternoon, many in the nearly full house paid $25 to see Harold Lloyd in "Safety Last," one of the most famous silents. And they left satisfied. I hadn't heard a theater rocking with laughter like that in a while, and when Lloyd pulled himself to the top of the old International Bank Building downtown and got the girl, the hall erupted in cheers and a standing ovation. A fair share of the applause was for Christoph Bull, the University Organist, who introduced the film and pumped out every emotion on the Royce Hall organ — larger than Disney Hall's, he pointed out. In the house were director Ron Howard, actor Rob Morrow and Scott Lowell from "Queer as Folk," and tons of kids getting their first taste of a comedy master. The film was preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive from Lloyd's personal 35-millimeter nitrate, according to the show notes.

Add notes: The International Bank was at Temple and Spring streets, but sets were built on the rooftops of several downtown buildings to accomplish the famous climb and "the quintessential image of American silent comedy film: the man dangling from the clock."

Photo: HaroldLloyd.com

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