The first-ever Santa Clarita Valley ChaplinFest opens tonight at William S. Hart Park in Newhall with a 7 p.m. screening of the movie “Chaplin,” starring Robert Downey, Jr. There will be actual props used in the film displayed as well as a talk by Jim Elyea, from History For Hire, who worked on the set.
Tomorrow the gates open at 9 a.m. for a full day of festivities, including:
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In Hart Hall:
- A display of costumes and props used in “Modern Times”
- Vendors, lectures, and book signings by Hollywood historians
- At 6 p.m., "Dinner With Chaplin" – Guests will enjoy dinner with a Q&A session featuring movie legend Tippi Hedren and critic Leonard Maltin, followed by a screening of “Modern Times” and the newly-discovered Chaplin film “A Thief Catcher” inside Hart Hall.
In Heritage Junction:
- Beginning at 9 a.m., there will be screenings of Keystone Comedies inside the Saugus Train Station.
- At 11 a.m., there will be a screening of the 1923 Chaplin movie “The Pilgrim” inside the Saugus Train Station, where many of the film’s scenes were shot.
- Throughout the afternoon, musicians Michael McNevin and Tracy Newman will perform live, both at Heritage Junction and Hart Hall.
- At 3 p.m., a monument unveiling will be conducted at Heritage Junction with Hollywood legends Tippi Hedren and Leonard Maltin to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the release of “Modern Times.” The monument, which is temporarily located at Heritage Junction, will eventually be placed at the actual location of the closing shot of the film, which was on Sierra Highway in Acton.
- At 4 p.m., there will be a lecture by noted silent film historian John Bengtson
- At 6:30 p.m., the film “Modern Times” will be shown in the Saugus Train Station, hosted by historian E.J. Stephens.
Go to www.scvchaplinfest.org  or call 661.254.4584 for details.