Sadly, this will be the final meeting of the Early To Bed Tent as the organizers John and Janet Duff are planning on moving from the area. So let’s send them off with a BANG (and lots of other sound effects)!
The final meeting of the year, and FOREVER, for the Early To Bed Tent (Oasis #239) will take place on Saturday evening, December 10th.
This special gathering is our 14th and last annual “Silent Night” presenting rarely seen silent short comedies. For obvious reasons Laurel & Hardy will dominate the evening’s film program but there will be other silent comedians represented as well.
The show will take place at the Early To Bed tent of the Laurel & Hardy fan club “Sons Of The Desert” in Temple City, California.
Joe Rinaudo will be projecting these memorable films on his classic hand-crank 1909 Powers Model 6 Cameragraph.
The great Dean Mora will be providing musical accompaniment to the silent movies.
Westminster Presbyterian Church
9642 East Live Oak Avenue
Temple City, California
Doors open at 5:15 PM for socializing
Show begins at 6:00 PM, ends around 10:00 PM
There will be snacks and drinks available for purchase.
Hand-Cranked 35mm Film on Original Power’s 1909 Cameragraph Model 6 Motion Picture Machine with Live Musical Accompaniment
The March 5, 2016 event was held at the Christ Lutheran Church in Burbank, California. Admission was $10 for a 2-hour show with intermission (program listed below).
I, Joe Rinaudo, cranked the projector and Dean Mora played the piano. Gary Gibson changed the glass slides during intermission. And the audience blew us all away!
Same old show, brand new audience
I’ve done over some 200 shows and, for the first time, having advertised on Facebook thanks to Scott Lasky, we got a young, effervescent, 30-something crowd in there. From the very beginning there was an electricity in the air. They were laughing and talking and buying hot dogs and popcorn and looking around and talking to everybody and inspecting the projector. It wasn’t the same audience that we usually get, which is mostly elderly and rather quiet. (They don’t laugh or talk very much, as they are familiar with this format as well as the films.) This was a young, new crowd and a new experience for them — and they even induced the “regulars” to laugh and enjoy the show even more.
When we started the first film, The Dancing Pig (featuring the ever-popular but always slightly disturbing dancing pig), brought forth gales of laughter and howling and cheering — and shock — from the audience. The response just kept growing and growing, and by the time we got to The Grocery Clerk, which is one of Larry Semon’s masterpieces, it brought the house down. We had people laughing hysterically. They were booing the villain, cheering the heroine, and shouting and laughing.
The audience saw a “moving picture” for the first time
It struck me that this is what the reaction would have been like for a 1920 audience seeing this film for the first time. Many of these people not only had never seen a silent film before, but they have never seen a show like this with live musical accompaniment and a hand-cranked projector doing the whole show for them. So it was a total overload, I think, of their senses. It absolutely floored me because their reaction was so positive and so upbeat. They were catching every little nuance in the film and every little gag was getting laughed at. It was just amazing. We had never had an audience like that before.
Not only was the film entertaining, many people wanted pictures of the projector and with me and with Dean and Gary. We were posing in period costume with the projector and they were filming it with their camera phones and such.
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It was a very interesting evening and everything went all very well. It ended on a big bang with Buster Keaton in Cops and we got a huge cheer and an ovation at the end. It was just a wonderful time.
I had a moment of clarity at that show, a life-changing moment, where suddenly I saw the reason for doing what I’m doing:
I’m bringing something to these people that they had never seen before and that truly entertained them — as if it was an audience that was seeing “moving pictures” for the first time. Because it actually was! It wasn’t a modern film in color and in digital technology in 3D; it was a flat screen black and white image from a hundred years ago.
The audience was also amazed that we were doing all the work by hand — I’m cranking the projector, Gary’s changing the slides and Dean is playing the piano. They listened attentively as I explained the role of the itinerant projectionist traveling from town to town, setting up a show in a hall or church basement, and drawing audiences through advance telegraphed announcements.
This show renewed my faith in humanity. The wonderful young audience is hungry for this type of entertainment.
I realized in this one show that what I’m doing is right, that it does make a difference.
Facebook: the new telegraph
Advertising on Facebook was a whole new dynamic for us. It spread the word and drew the audience, a fresh and curious audience who really didn’t know what to expect, much the same as the telegraph and handbills would have spread the word 100 years ago.
Through our new “telegraph” called social media, and your help in spreading the word, we’ll introduce this 100-year-old form of entertainment to a young, new generation of audiences who are attentive, curious and amazed. After all, you can’t hand-crank an iPhone.
PROGRAM “The Dancing Pig” (1907) Pathe
“The Acrobatic Fly” (1910) Comet Films
“It’s a Gift” (1923) Starring Snub Pollard
“The Rink” (1916) Starring Charlie Chaplin
“The Grocery Clerk” (1920) Starring Larry Semon
“Cops” (1922) Starring Buster Keaton
Don’t miss the next show! SUBSCRIBEHERE to the Silent Cinema Society Newsreel.
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.
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.”
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, Intertitle and Lantern Slide Restoration and Recreation
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 SilentCinemaSociety.org. Thank you.
Preserving Silent Cinema Art and Technology
Have you told your friends about Silent Cinema Society?