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

Stylized Laurel & Hardy Poster

≡≡≡≡≡   FREE GIFT FOR YOU ≡≡≡≡≡

99 Laurel & Hardy

This poster, hon­or­ing the great­est com­e­dy duo of all time, was cre­at­ed by design­er and typog­ra­ph­er Chaz DeS­i­mone, who also cre­ates the titles for Joe Rinaudo’s film restora­tions. (He also designed the Silent Cin­e­ma Soci­ety logo and web­site.) Chaz takes great plea­sure and hon­or in design­ing for Joe, his best friend of over 50 years. He made sure this poster was extra-spe­cial, to the extent of con­sult­ing Joe about the exact hats Stan and Ollie wore.

≡≡≡≡≡   FREE GIFT FOR YOU ≡≡≡≡≡

Download your free Laurel & Hardy poster here

The 11x17-inch high-res­o­lu­tion pdf is of gallery print qual­i­ty and suit­able for fram­ing. Vis­it this page and click on the large poster image to down­load the hi-rez pdf.

Lau­rel & Hardy” is the lat­est in Chaz DeSimone’s month­ly series called Amper­Art. Each piece fea­tures “the amper­sand as fun & fab­u­lous art.”

If you are a writer, edi­tor, design­er, pub­lish­er, artist — or if you just like the quirky design of the amper­sand, of which there are lots & lots of vari­a­tions — you will sure­ly enjoy AmperArt.com. Be sure to sub­scribe for your free month­ly amper­sand poster, suit­able for fram­ing.

The End

Evening of Classic Silent Comedies
June 4, 2016

Our last show was a tremendous success. Read about it hereDon’t miss this one!

L&H scott show

Presents an Evening of

Classic Comedies

Hand-Cranked Clas­sic Silent Film Come­dies
With Live Musi­cal Accom­pa­ni­ment

Sat­ur­day, June 4, 2016
7:00 pm


PROGRAM INCLUDESJune_04 film strip

and Sur­pris­es!

Hand-cranked 35 mil­lime­ter film pro­ject­ed by Joe Rin­au­do on an orig­i­nal Power’s 1909 Cam­er­a­graph Mod­el 6 Motion Pic­ture Machine.
Live musi­cal accom­pa­ni­ment fea­tur­ing Scott Lasky on piano.

Sat­ur­day, June 4, 2016
Doors open at 6:15 pm
Show starts at 7:00 pm

Christ Luther­an Church
2400 W. Bur­bank Blvd.
Bur­bank, CA 91506
(South­east cor­ner of Bur­bank Bl. & Bue­na Vista St.)

Admis­sion is $10.00 (sug­gest­ed dona­tion)

Tick­ets will go on sale at the door approx­i­mate­ly one hour before show­time, or you may buy them in advance secure­ly online here:button_buy_tickets1

This time we will be hold­ing our event upstairs in the more spa­cious church audi­to­ri­um. Show will run approx. 125 min­utes inclu­sive of a short inter­mis­sion. Con­ces­sions for sale.


Famous Players Orchestra performs and records the original historic cinematic music used by movie theater orchestras during the silent film era.
All proceeds to benefit Famous Players Orchestra, a 501©3 non profit organization. Please visit our website at:


Thank you for your sup­port. Enjoy the show!

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


Original Power’s Cameragraph Catalog

This orig­i­nal Power’s Cam­er­a­graph cat­a­log, pub­lished in 1916, is in the col­lec­tion at the Hobo­ken His­tor­i­cal Muse­um.

Accord­ing to the website’s “Scope and Con­tent” descrip­tion — as quot­ed:

Power’s Cam­er­a­graph. Nicholas Pow­er Com­pa­ny, 50 Gold Street, New York. Copy­right 1916. Priced cat­a­log of 35mm pro­jec­tors and stere­op­ti­cons [lantern slides] with tipped-in revised price list dat­ed Feb­ru­ary 15, 1918. Book­let, 6 – 3/4” x 8 – 3/4″ high, 52 pp, pho­to illus­trat­ed.”

Click to view full catalog.View the entire Power’s Cam­er­a­graph Cat­a­log here.
Click on “MULTIMEDIA LINKSCLICK HERE to view the PDF” and you’ll see the pages in high res­o­lu­tion. You can also order any page for ref­er­ence or fram­ing.

The Hobo­ken His­tor­i­cal Muse­um fur­ther explains:

This copy belonged to Julius Durste­witz, Direc­tor of Hobo­ken Play­grounds (under the Parks depart­ment) for the City of Hobo­ken in this era. It was appar­ent­ly used for the pur­chase of a “Cam­er­a­graph No. 6A, Com­plete Equip­ment” as shown and described on pages 10 – 11 where this out­fit is marked with pen­cil (along with the 1918 revised price list is tipped-in.) The orig­i­nal equip­ment plus ele­ments of its lat­er mod­i­fi­ca­tion are in the Muse­um col­lec­tions as objects cat­a­log 2005.078.1200.

Appar­ent­ly kept by Durste­witz with the set which includ­ed a lamp with an inte­gral stere­op­ti­con (lantern slide pro­jec­tor) and the cam­er­a­graph, a 35mm film silent film pro­jec­tor. Stand and acces­sories are part of this portable out­fit. It was used used for many years in Play­ground Depart­ment activ­i­ties for chil­dren includ­ing, but not stat­ed, at 109 Jef­fer­son St. Prob­a­ble date of pur­chase 1918 and end date prob­a­bly in the late 1930s and cer­tain­ly by the mid 1940s when Durste­witz retired.”

attachment pg 10 rotated revised price list Feb. 15 1918

Parts list with prices. View entire cat­a­log here.
Click on “MULTIMEDIA LINKSCLICK HERE to view the PDF” and you’ll see the pages in high res­o­lu­tion. You can also order any page for ref­er­ence or fram­ing.

My pro­jec­tor is the Power’s Cam­er­a­graph Mod­el 6, pro­duced in 1909, with the portable table as shown on Page 22 of the cat­a­log. This was called a “bread­board” because the wal­nut slab of wood upon which the project and lamp hous­ing are mount­ed resem­bles a kitchen cut­ting board.

This 1909 Power’s Mod­el 6  was dis­cov­ered in a chick­en coup on a farm by the projectionist’s grand­chil­dren, who told me it was used between 1909 and 1916 as an orig­i­nal itin­er­ant pro­jec­tor. I ful­ly restored the pro­jec­tor and updat­ed it with a high-inten­si­ty halo­gen lamp. It is now repris­ing its orig­i­nal role as a “portable mov­ing pic­ture machine” which trav­els with me from venue to venue, enter­tain­ing audi­ences with hand-cranked silent cin­e­ma enter­tain­ment.

The End


Preserving Silent Cinema Art and Technology

Tell your friends about Silent Cinema Society:

Watch our NEWSREEL for events and articles about the Silent Cinema era.