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Buster Keaton Employs Camera Tricks in “The Playhouse”

PRESENTED BY GARY SCOTT BEATTY, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR, MUSKEGONMAGAZINE.COM

In the opening sequence of “The Playhouse,” Keaton famously uses multiple exposures to portray everyone in the theater, a tricky thing to accomplish in 1921, well before computer matting techniques.

Buster knew all about theater acts, including the blackface theatrical makeup, zouave drill routines, animal act and mermaid act presented here — he began performing on the vaudeville stage when he was three years old. Written and directed by Eddie Cline and Muskegon’s own Buster Keaton.


In the early 1900’s performers began to spend summers in the Bluffton area. Buster’s father, Joe, helped found the Actor’s Colony club there and by 1911, over 200 performers resided in the colony. By the early 1920’s, the California film industry lured many vaudevillian performers to Hollywood, including Buster and his family.


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Above, one of the original lobby cards for this short. Beginning in 1913, lobby cards were produced as small posters to display in theaters, typically in sets of eight and usually featuring scenes from the film.


These Works are in Public Domain and not Derivative as specified by U.S. copyright law (title 17 of the U.S. Code).

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Contents:

DECORATING
The new year is here. The decorations are put away. The house needs a new look. Noisy and hot in summer and cold in winter? Carol Beatty of Quigley Draperies shows you options here.

EVENTS
Hackley Public Library welcomes the new year with activities, artist and writer groups. Celebrate with music, explore your museum, and kick off Black History Month. See the schedule here. VIDEO!

SENIORS
Moving to an assisted living community is an exciting transition for many seniors, but can be challenging. Kurt Sapp of Seminole Shores Living Center shows you how to make the move easier.

COMMUNITY
The holiday drives were successful! Tax prep is available! Volunteering is good for your health! United Way of the Lakeshore's Christine Robere explores it all in this informative article. VIDEO!

BUSTER KEATON
In “The Playhouse,” Keaton famously uses multiple exposures to portray everyone in the theater, a tricky thing in 1921. Enjoy the film's camera tricks, complete and on line here. VIDEO!

LAKESHORE STAR GAZER
In January we can enjoy some of the brightest stars of the year, view a meteor shower, and observe some interesting planetary sights. Astronomer Jonathan Truax is your guide. VIDEO!

EVENTS CALENDAR
Don't miss a thing this month with Muskegon County's best online events calendar, courtesy of Hackley Public Library!

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