by Chaz DeSimone
“PROFESSOR RINAUDO” as silent cinema aficionados call him, has been my friend for fifty years, since junior high school. Back then Joe Rinaudo was collecting 16mm silent films and would put on shows for his friends.
Today he researches, collects, restores and exhibits silent films (35mm these days) on a hand-crank projector, usually with live accompaniment of theater organ or piano, as itinerant shows to audiences in churches and halls, just like it was done 100 years ago.
Twice a year Joe brings his itinerant show to the opulent Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar, California. He is invited regularly to hand-crank his 1909 Powers Cinemagraph for special screenings at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars). Joe is also consultant and provider of restored films to the Library of Congress.