Poll Results: How Old Were You When You Saw Your First Silent Film?

Last week, I asked my readers to share how old they were when they watched their first silent film and the results are in! A big thanks to everyone who participated.

Because these numbers are rounded, we may not have exactly 100% but we’ll be close. Just issuing a warning in case there are any mathematicians lurking.

And, obviously, this is all in the spirit of fun and it doesn’t matter at all when you started, we’re just happy to have you now and hope you will stay and enjoy all of the goodies the silent era has to offer.

The Results

Most of you started watching at a young age:

“Ten and younger” and “between 11 and 18” tied for the top slot with a whopping 31% each. And 16% of you voted for “between 19 and 24” (prime college and university ages, in other words). Finally, 10% of you saw your first at such a young age that you don’t remember exactly.

All of this means that 88% of the respondents saw their first silent before their twenty-fifth birthday, which is staggering. This shows how important an early introduction to silent film is. Viewers who saw them at a young age tend to stick around.

However, there were some late bloomers. 6% saw their first between 25 and 35, 3% between 36 and 45, 2% of you started between either 46 and 55 or 56 and 65. 0.5% saw their first between 66 and 75.

So if you are a more mature viewer, there’s definitely a place for you at the table.

Once again, thank you so much for participating, I truly appreciate it and I hope you found the results as fascinating as I did.


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  1. Anne

    Very interesting results. Missed taking part in the survey but I also fall into the majority, having seen my first silent film at University, in a beautiful old theatre with live piano accompaniment.
    Cheers to silent films!

  2. amycondit

    I think I saw my first silent movies at the Ground Round restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA. I was 9 or 10 years old. This restaurant would show silent Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, & Keystone Cops shorts & give you free popcorn while you waited for your meal to arrive. I knew who Laurel and Hardy were as I would watch their sound shorts on a Saturday afternoon kiddie tv show called “Supe’s On” from channel 43, Lorain, OH. The host, with red makeup on his nose to create a clown face, would show Laurel and Hardy, or the Three Stooges, for the first half hour, & the rest of the program would be a Universal Studio horror film. It was great fun,& a wonderful introduction to classic films as well as actors who appeared in silent films.

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