Category Archives: Tent Shows

Early to Bed Tent (Laurel & Hardy) Dec. 10, 2016 — Farewell Show


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)!

Early to Bed TentThe 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.

$6 Adults
$3 Chil­dren
$4.50 Senior Cit­i­zen

Direc­tions and more about this event.

For more infor­ma­tion about the
Sons of the Desert
Ear­ly to Bed Tent
Oasis #239:

July 30: Movies in the Park

Movies in the ParkEnjoy a “mov­ing pic­ture show” from the days of silent cin­e­ma, on the grass at Two-Strike Park in La Cres­cen­ta, Sat­ur­day, July 30.

Take your fam­i­ly or treat your date to “din­ner and a show” for an evening of silent cin­e­ma come­dies with live piano accom­pa­ni­ment. Bring a blan­ket and a pic­nic bas­ket.



Sat­ur­day, July 30, 2016
Show starts at dusk (approx. 8pm)


Two-Strike Park (map)
5107 Rose­mont Avenue
La Cres­cen­ta, CA 91214
(818) 249‑5940



Lau­rel & Hardy
Fat­ty Arbuck­le

Charley Chase
Lar­ry Semon
and more

Live Accom­pa­ni­ment
fea­tur­ing Cliff Retal­lick at the piano

1909 Pow­ers 35mm Mov­ing Pic­ture Machine
hand-cranked by Joe Rin­au­do

Orig­i­nal Glass Lantern Slides
pro­ject­ed by Gary Gib­son


The End

Fresh Young Audience Loves Funny Old Films

The Dancing PigOur event was something like this (with Dean Mora, not Mildred Smith, at the piano).

It was just amaz­ing!
We had nev­er had an audi­ence like that before.”

On a recent Sat­ur­day evening, Scott Lasky, founder of Famous Play­ers Orches­tra, host­ed an itin­er­ant show billed as

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.

Don’t miss the next show!
to the Silent Cin­e­ma Soci­ety News­reel.

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.

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!
to the Silent Cin­e­ma Soci­ety News­reel.

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.