Marcel, my young film historian son, won a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest yesterday in Niles, California. Yipee! He has a special place in his heart for silent films, and Charlie in particular. Monsieur Chaplin made five films while living in Niles and the district celebrates this in spades. His likeness embellishes businesses up and down Niles Boulevard, from the many antique shops to cafes, and a statue of him stands proudly outside of a biker bar.
Marcel with a patron:
The contest was held at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, run by an enthusiastic and devoted group of volunteers. So many fun people! Such a great spirit! Laurel and Hardy were there, and Marilyn Monroe. And a guest appearance by the sweetest and most authentic Charlie Chaplin look-alike, besides Marcel, Al Proietti (available for events). Enjoy the photos...
With Al Proietti:
A film by the town videographer: