Category Archives: Music

Guns n’ Roses n’ Rinaudo on the Fotoplayer

When Joe Rin­au­do restored his Mod­el 20 Foto­play­er over three decades ago, he nev­er intend­ed to play clas­sic rock & roll on it. But the peo­ple of YouTube made sure he did. Here is one of the clev­erist, per­fect­ly timed dubs you’ll ever see and hear and LOL to. (Don’t be fooled — this is not the Huell Howser seg­ment you saw on TV.)

89-Guns-&-RosesHere’s a poster series for any­one who is in tune with amper­sands, brand names with amper­sands, or Guns & Ros­es with an amper­sand instead of their offi­cial n’ (which should real­ly be ‘n’). Amper­Art is cre­at­ed by Chaz DeS­i­mone, who also restores title cards for Joe’s silent films.

If you prefer a poster with Lau­rel & Hardy, click here.

Sounds of Silent Cinema

This doc­u­men­tary explores the use of orches­tras, bands, sound effects artists, piano play­ers & organ­ists dur­ing the Silent Film Era (1895 – 1927).

Fea­ture inter­views:
Dr. Paul Mona­co
Bob Mitchell
Joe Rin­au­do
Mil­dred Lewis
Ed Kelsey

Produced by Chapman University as a graduate film project
Jeff Callaway & Craig D. Forrest, co-directors
Aaron Burns & Ben Bateman, editors
Special thanks to David Shepherd (film historian), Michael Kowalski (advisor) & the late David Garcia (advisor)

Voted Best Short Documentary @ Oxford Int’l Film Fest (2007)
Best Student Short Documentary @ Family Film Fest (2008)
Best Student Short Documentary @ Hollywood Int’l Student Film Fest (2007)
Official Selection: Whittier Film Fest (2008), Scene First Student Film Fest (2006), Charleston Film Fest (2008), Reynolda Film Fest (2009).

Of Special Interest:

Famous Players Orchestra

Famous Play­ers Orches­tra per­forms and records his­toric cin­e­mat­ic music used by movie the­ater orches­tras dur­ing the silent film era. Lis­ten to sam­ples and learn about the orga­ni­za­tion here:

The End



Here’s a list of resources and enter­tain­ment relat­ing to Silent Cin­e­ma Art and Tech­nol­o­gy:

Dean Mora

Silent Cin­e­ma Organ­ist and Swing Band Lead­er

Dean Mora evokes sus­pense, laugh­ter, even hor­ror, at the Mighty Wurl­itzer when he accom­pa­nies Joe Rinaudo’s hand crank Silent Cin­e­ma itin­er­ant show at the Nether­cutt.

Mr. Mora and His Orches­tra are also reg­u­lar­ly fea­tured at Maxwell DeMille’s Cicada Club, a vin­tage night club and Los Ange­les swing danc­ing venue in down­town Los Ange­les as well as many oth­er venues, events and pri­vate par­ties through­out South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

Mr. Mora’s music is reg­u­lar­ly played through­out Disneyland’s Main Street and Disney’s Cal­i­for­nia Adven­ture where it is heard by thou­sands of vis­i­tors each day.

Famous Players Orchestra

Reviv­ing Remark­able Music


Famous Play­ers Orches­tra per­forms and records his­toric cin­e­mat­ic music used by movie the­ater orches­tras dur­ing the silent film era.

Nethercutt Collection

Fea­tur­ing the World’s Third Largest The­atre Pipe Organ

Opu­lent venue for Joe Rinaudo’s hand-crank itin­er­ary shows, fea­tur­ing the 5,000-piped Mighty Wurl­itzer The­atre Organ
Nether­cutt cal­en­der of events

American Theatre Organ Society

Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society

Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema

Who’s Who of Vic­to­ri­an Cin­e­ma is edit­ed by Stephen Her­bert and Luke McK­er­nan. The web­site states: “This is a guide to over 300 lead­ing fig­ures in Vic­to­ri­an cin­e­ma, defined as film­mak­ing in its broad­est sense from the first glim­mer­ings in the 1870s to the death of Queen Vic­to­ria in Jan­u­ary 1901.”

The Bioscope

As stat­ed on the web­site: “The Bio­scope is ded­i­cat­ed to the sub­ject of ear­ly and silent cin­e­ma. It cov­ers news, pub­li­ca­tions, events, dis­cov­er­ies, doc­u­ments, crit­i­cal the­o­ry, film­mak­ers, per­form­ers, audi­ences and the tech­nol­o­gy of the silent era, embrac­ing film pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­b­u­tion and exhi­bi­tion, as well as ‘pre-cin­e­ma’, chronopho­tog­ra­phy, opti­cal toys, and relat­ed media, across the world. There is an empha­sis on research and schol­ar­ly dis­cov­ery, but there should be as much here for the gen­er­al enthu­si­ast as for the spe­cial­ist.” The Bio­scope is no longer active as a blog but is being kept online as an archive. It was admin­is­tered and writ­ten by Luke McK­er­nan.

Title Design

Title, Inter­ti­tle and Lantern Slide Restora­tion and Recre­ation

Chaz DeS­i­mone, Joe Rinaudo’s friend of 50 years, retouch­es and recre­ates titles and inter­ti­tles for Joe’s silent film restora­tions, as well as for oth­er col­lec­tors and restor­ers.

Before Restoration


Restored Title

Here’s a sam­pling of restored silent film titles and glass lantern slides.

In this cen­tu­ry, Chaz designs logos, books, brochures and web­sites (includ­ing this one). His per­son­al design project is, fea­tur­ing “the amper­sand as fun & fab­u­lous art.”

Early to Bed Tent — Oasis #239

For Lau­rel & Hardy FansEarly to Bed Tent

The Ear­ly To Bed Tent — Oasis #239 is where peo­ple of all ages join us six times a year to hon­or the lives and enjoy the clas­sic humor of the great­est com­e­dy team in the world — Lau­rel & Hardy.

Joe Rin­au­do plays Lau­rel & Hardy’s the­me song:

First you will recognize an original soundtrack of the Laurel & Hardy theme song. Next, Joe Rinaudo tells us a heartwarming story about its composer, Marvin Hatley. Finally, listen to the “Cuk-Cuk Walzer” which inspired the famous theme song, played on the American Fotoplayer.

The main focus of our tent is on the films of Stan Lau­rel and Oliv­er Hardy.  We screen all of their movies that are avail­able to us in the 16mm film for­mat.  In addi­tion to the films that Lau­rel & Hardy made as a team, we view some of their ear­ly solo work as well.

Joe Rin­au­do, Gary Gib­son and Dean Mora are men­tioned on this page.


Please suggest more links to build the Silent Cinema Society Resources List in the comments section, below. And of course (not so silently) tell your fellow silent cinema fans to visit Thank you.