Category Archives: Silent Cinema

Famous Players Orchestra Performs at Cinecon

The Famous Play­ers Orches­tra was hon­ored to per­form at the gala open­ing night of the 53rd annu­al Cinecon Clas­sic Film Fes­ti­val in Hol­ly­wood at the Egypt­ian the­atre. We were thrilled to receive a stand­ing ova­tion after per­form­ing our score to “Steam­boat Bill Jr.” (1928). Thank you Cinecon!

Here are a few scenes of FPO’s Cinecon pre­miere:

Famous Play­ers Orches­tra con­duct­ed by Scott Lasky:

Scott Lasky, Conductor, and Famous Players Orchestra

Our New CD
Music of the Silent Cin­e­ma
is slat­ed for release in
Novem­ber 2017

All orders post­marked before Octo­ber 31, 2017 will receive free ship­ping and the CD auto­graphed by FPO’s Musi­cal Direc­tor Scott Lasky. Your pre-order dona­tion of $25 will go a long way toward help­ing us cov­er our pro­duc­tion costs. We need your sup­port to make this won­der­ful record­ing project pos­si­ble. Please spec­i­fy “CD” when donat­ing through the Pay­Pal link below. Thank you!

For more infor­ma­tion about Famous Play­ers Orches­tra please vis­it

Travel Back in Time with Silent Movie Night at Two Strike Park

EXTRA! EXTRA! Pro­fes­sor Rin­au­do makes front page news at Cres­cen­ta Val­ley Week­ly:

Silent Movie Night at Two Strike Park – print

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

Best Underrated Theaters In Los Angeles

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Scott Lasky conducts The Famous Players Orchestra as they “narrate” the Laurel and Hardy short Habeas Corpus. Joe Rinaudo hand-cranks his 1909 Powers Cameragraph. (Facebook)


Los Ange­les is the birth­place of Hol­ly­wood, and it only stands to rea­son that we have more than our fair share of lux­u­ry mul­ti­plex­es and reper­to­ry hous­es play­ing all the clas­sics. But where does one turn to if Cine­fam­i­ly or the New Bev­er­ly is too far out of the way, or if you’re look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle more adven­tur­ous to watch on the big screen? Here, we’ve list­ed some of the more under-the-radar the­aters in Los Ange­les that may have escaped your atten­tion. Make a night in with Net­flix a last resort with one of these the­aters that you prob­a­bly haven’t been to.

A church in Bur­bank might be the last place you’d expect to see a movie, but once in a while it hosts a must-see event for any cinephile in L.A. While pro­ject­ing silent films on 35mm from a hand-cranked pro­jec­tor, the Famous Play­ers Orches­tra pro­vides the musi­cal accom­pa­ni­ment, giv­ing you the clos­est expe­ri­ence to what it was like to go out to the movies dur­ing the hey­day of the silent era. For­get see­ing movies at a ceme­tery in Hol­ly­wood — this is the most unique moviego­ing expe­ri­ence in Los Ange­les.

Famous Play­ers Orches­tra holds their events at the Christ Luther­an Church at 2400 W. Bur­bank Blvd. in Bur­bank. Check the Famous Play­ers Orches­tra site for their event sched­ule.

Carman Tse is a diehard Giants fan living in Los Angeles as well as a freelance arts and culture writer and former editor-in-chief at LAist. Follow him on Twitter at @CarmanTse.

Reprinted from


Highlights from our last show with orchestra

Here are high­lights from our recent “The Gold­en Age of Silent Com­e­dy”, a screen­ing of clas­sic come­dies from the silent era, pre­sent­ed Sat­ur­day, June 10th, 2017, in Bur­bank, Cal­i­for­nia.

The films were accom­pa­nied by a peri­od musi­cal score per­formed live by The Famous Play­ers Orches­tra under the direc­tion of Scott Lasky. For the first time ever there were sound effects to go with the films, per­formed by Mr. Gary Gib­son.

Pay Day (1922) star­ring Charles Chap­lin:

A Pair of Tights (1929) star­ring Mar­i­on Byron, Ani­ta Garvin and Edgar Kennedy:

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