Tauranga will travel back in time to the era of silent film in the next few months.

Baycourt Community and Arts Centre and Night Owl Cinema were leading the charge to make Tauranga a hub for silent film events, with two upcoming events.

Baycourt was set to host the International Youth Silent Film Festival (IYSFF) this October, and, would also be screening Charlie Chaplin's City Light this August in conjunction with Night Owl Cinema.

The inspiration behind both events was Baycourt's Wurlitzer organ, crafted specifically to accompany silent films during the 1920s.


"When Night Owl Cinema, which normally focuses on free outdoor summer movie events, wished to create their winter indoor series of ticketed events, silent cinema and Baycourt's Wurlitzer immediately came to mind," Baycourt manager Megan Peacock Coyle said.

"Likewise, we are able to host New Zealand's first International Youth Silent Film Festival offering because we are one of the only New Zealand theatres to house an operational Wurlitzer."

The IYSFF was an opportunity for anyone aged 20 and under to create and submit a three-minute silent film.

The contest has opened now, with submissions due September 1, with the finals held at Baycourt in October.

This would be the first time New Zealanders have been able to enter this competition, which has been going for eight years in the US.

On Saturday, August 27, Baycourt and Night Owl would present Charlie Chaplins' City Lights, themed around the red carpet, celebrities, and a 1920's movie theatre.

Additional information:

- Silent Cinema City Lights by Charlie Chaplin, Saturday, 27 August 8pm, Baycourt Theatre. Book at ticketek.co.nz or at Baycourt box office.

- International Youth Silent Film Festival, New Zealand entries close 1 September for an October awards ceremony, visit www.makesilentfilm.com for more information.