Silent film Sally of the Sawdust to screen in La Jolla


The 1925 silent film “Sally of the Sawdust,” starring one-time La Jolla resident Carol Dempster, will screen 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 at The LOT luxury movie theater, 7611 Fay Ave., in a collaboration between its host and the La Jolla Historical Society.

Scott Paulson, award-winning musician and director of UC San Diego’s Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra, will provide the score.

Directed by silent film pioneer D.W. Griffith, known for his groundbreaking filmmaking techniques in 1920s classics such as “Birth of the Nation” and “Intolerance,” “Sally of the Sawdust” marks a rare feature-length circus comedy and features his girlfriend at the time, Dempster, and W.C. Fields.

And although reviews of the film praise Dempster as “spirited and tender, wistful and charming” — an actress “approaching cinematic greatness,” the year after “Sally” premiered, the star retired from Hollywood.

La Jolla Historical Society historian Carol Olten explained after Dempster’s retirement, she married wealthy banker Edwin S. Larsen and after some time on the East Coast, the two moved to La Jolla, where she stayed until her death in 1991.

Tickets for the screening are $20. Available at and searching “silent film night” or “Sally of the Sawdust.”