EXTRA! EXTRA! Professor Rinaudo makes front page news at Crescenta Valley Weekly:
Projectionist Joe Rinaudo will bring his vintage equipment to Two Strike Park to share films from the past.
By Joanna KIM, intern
Crescenta Valley Weekly
With the digitalization of movies and videos in the modern age, silent films of the 1920s and ’30s are often forgotten. Joe Rinaudo, a local silent cinema historian and founder of Silent Cinema Society, is on a mission to preserve these early films by putting on shows for children and adults in parks and museums.
Rinaudo works with the Library of Congress and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to present early films to younger generations. He restored a 1909 Powers 35mm motion picture machine hand-crank and runs the movies as they were over 100 years ago.
Back when motion pictures were not readily available, projectionists traveled to small towns with hand-crank projectors and pianos and provided the townsfolk with entertainment. Rinaudo hopes to resurrect these old projectors and allow children to enjoy these once-adored silent films.
“The kids today have always viewed things on video or on a disk … but with events like this, they’re able to see something that their great-grandparents were seeing in the 1920s in their teens,” Rinaudo says.
On Aug. 5, Rinaudo and the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley are hosting a silent movie night at Two Strike Park beginning around 8 p.m.
“We bring our huge screen, like you would have done back in the ’20s, and have live pianist Cliff Rettalick,” Rinaudo said. “We set the projector up, and we do a show just like you would have a hundred years ago.”
The idea of hosting a silent movie in the park was the brainchild of Joanna Linckhorst and Mike Lawler, both members of the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley.
“[The HSCV] had done a movie night in Two Strike Park years ago celebrating [actor Dennis Morgan], who founded the park,” Linckhorst said.
Joe Rinaudo is known by the Historical Society.
“We have a real treasure in our community in Joe Rinaudo,” said Lawler. “Joe is a living history.”
The Historical Society tries to bring a sense of amazement that keeps audiences coming back for more, like in those early days of Hollywood.
“In the Crescenta Valley, we’re close to Hollywood. This silent movie presentation shows us how Hollywood was born,” Lawler said. “Many of these silent movies were shot nearby. It’s fun to watch the backgrounds and try to guess where they were filmed.”
Attendance to the movies is free. Attendees should bring a chair or blanket to sit on. There will, of course, be popcorn and bake sale items available for a donation.
Two Strike Park is located at 5107 Rosemont Ave. in La Crescenta.
“Everyone seems to like [the event]. We get them showing up earlier for good seats and more people [attend] each time,” Linkchorst said.
The show is kid-friendly, the admission is free, and baked goods and popcorns will be on sale. So bring your picnic blankets and folding chairs to Two Strike Park and travel back in time to the 1920s with Joe Rinaudo.
The movie titles have yet to be announced.
The HSCV survives on donations. Anyone who would like to help can do so by donating at the event or at www.cvhistory.org