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Presentation celebrates silent movies filmed in Bat Cave

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CHIMNEY ROCK — During the silent film era, nearly 400 movies were produced in North Carolina. Films were made in Asheville, Charlotte, Wilmington, Durham and many other locations. But one hotbed of North Carolina silent movie era is a surprise to many: Bat Cave.

Nearly every major film company of the era sent companies to this rugged and beautiful spot. Between 1912 and the mid ’20s, more than fifty movies were produced there, according to film historian and North Carolina silent film authority Frank Thompson. And the companies lodged at the historic Esmeralda Inn.

On Feb. 3 some of the rare films will return to the Esmeralda for a special evening — Bat Cave's Silent Movie Era. Thompson will present an illustrated talk, showing excerpts from three films produced at Bat Cave and Chimney Rock: Brother Bill (1913),  The Masked Rider (1916) and Gilded Lies (1921). These motion pictures — all thought lost until recently — will be accompanied by renowned pianist Marc Hoffman (

The total package cost per person is $45 — $20 for the presentation and a $25 credit towards dinner in the Inn’s restaurant — plus room rate and tax. For those who wish to attend the presentation without staying at the Inn, the price is $20 per person. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact The Esmeralda Inn at or 828-625-2999.