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Catalina museum exhibit, benefit honor silent star Charlie Chaplin

Celebrate the life and loves of actor Charlie Chaplin at an exhibit that opened this week at the Catalina Island Museum, which is toasting the 125th birthday of the iconic silent screen star.

Besides the exhibit, Chaplin, known for the lovable "little tramp" figure he often played, will also be honored during the museum’s 27th annual Silent Film Benefit on May 17, which will feature the actor starring in “City Lights,” considered a vintage film masterpiece.

“City Lights,” which will be shown at Avalon's Casino building, will be accompanied by a 39-piece symphony orchestra led by Grammy award-winning conductor Richard Kaufman.

Tickets cost $18 general admission, $15 for museum members, $9 for children or people wearing period dress.

Info: Catalina Museum,  (310) 510-2414, (310) 510-2414. 

Even if you can’t make the film, you can learn more about Chaplin at the museum’s exhibit, titled “A Secret Love Affair: Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard,” which will run through Sept. 28 at the Avalon museum, located inside the casino.  

Chaplin, a London native, became a success at an early age, rising to international stardom by his mid-20s. Movie audiences of all ages loved the misadventures of his character, the little tramp.

“While living in Hollywood, Chaplin often traveled to Catalina Island,” said Gail Fornasiere, the museum’s public relations director.  "His love affair with the island spanned nearly 30 years. 

"In 1932 he met Paulette Goddard, a young actress, on the yacht of a movie producer during a trip to Catalina Island and became intent on making her a star." 

The museum exhibit explores the dynamics of the affair, which was considered scandalous at the time, and the island they loved, said Fornasiere.

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