SILENT NIGHT, Historic Park Theatre
Free Showing At The Historic Park Theatre
Free Showing at the The Historic Park Theatre in downtown Estes Park will show the movie “Silent Night” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 6 and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday December 14. You can join in more festivities and meet at Bond Park at 6:45 p.m. on Dec 6 for caroling and meet at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday Dec 14 for caroling around town before the movie at the Historic Park Theatre.
This 90-minute made-for-TV movie tells the little-known origin story of the sacred song that was first sung in a small Catholic church in Oberndorf, Austria, on Christmas Eve 1818.
Beautifully filmed on location in Austria with Austrian television actors, this powerful story was inspired by the true events leading to the creation of the most popular Christmas carol of all time.
Austrian writer and director Christian Vuissa said he felt compelled to create a film that honored the Catholic priest and the spirit that he shared through his poetry and song. The film also honors Franz Gruber, who wrote the melody that still accompanies the timeless words.
“It was my intention to make a film that feels just like the carol – simple but also tender and sweet,” Vuissa said from his home in Austria.
In 1818, Joseph Mohr was assigned to be the new assistant priest in Oberndorf, a small Austrian town near Salzburg. The young man is full of ideas and ideals.
As portrayed in “Silent Night,” his passion to bring the church closer to the common people set him on a collision course with his new superior, Father Nöstler. When Mohr organized a church choir that included outcasts from the local tavern and performed in German instead of Latin, Nöstler threatened him with disciplinary action.
Their relationship further deteriorated when Maria, a regular tavern patron, surprisingly joined the performance of the all-male church choir. As Mohr’s initial successes in Oberndorf started to crumble and his efforts backfired on him, he lost hope and faced a trial of faith.
The night before Christmas, Mohr had to decide if he would accept defeat and leave Oberndorf or embrace the true significance of the Holy Night. When the chapel organ broke down, Mohr quickly re-arranged the composition to be performed by his choir, with accompaniment by guitar.
The movie “Silent Night” debuted on BYU-TV in December 2012. The following year, the Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals honored the film with a Gabriel Award. It has appeared on television each Christmas season since.
In lieu of an admission charge, The Park Theatre is asking for a canned food donation be brought for donation to Crossroads Ministry. Vuissa expressed support and appreciation that Estes Park is showing the film that he had hoped would be an inspiration to the world.
“It is a beautiful testament and reminder to all of us that out of small and humble circumstances God can make something great and everlasting,” he said. “The story of Joseph Mohr represents our own hopes as we live our lives and strive to do good. And it encourages us to never give up.”