Carla Laemmle, 104, attends screening of 1925 Phantom of the Opera, in which she was the prima ballerina. Film was restored by Joe Rinaudo, seen here with Ms. Laemmle. Watch the documentary below:
Documentary: Premiere Screening of Restored Phantom of the Opera
This fascinating documentary by Michael J. Cahill / 35mm Filmstakes you to the grand ballroom at the Nethercutt, where you witness the behind-the-scenes threading, cranking, and projecting of the Restored 1925 Phantom of the Opera. You also see the changing of glass lantern slides for reel changes and intermission.
Carla Laemmle in audience and on screen
This premiere screening of the restored film was attended by Ms. Carla Laemmle, niece of Carl Laemmle, owner of Universal Studios at the time. Most fascinating is that Ms. Laemmle was not only in the audience, she was in the film, featured as the prima ballerina.
Ms. Laemmle, 104 years of age when this documentary was filmed, gave an insightful interview to Joe Rinaudo, recalling special moments on the set and working with Lon Chaney.
Of special note is that the film was projected on a Powers Cameragraph, manufactured in 1909 — the same year Carla Laemmle was born.
The Silent Cinema Society, founded to preserve—
—is a community of, by and for everyone who is fascinated and entertained by silent cinema and its related talents and technology.
Whether it’s the history, the preservation, the machinery, the talent — or just curiosity and entertainment — that you are here for, welcome.
This website is just part of the commitment each of us has in keeping silent cinema alive. Some of us restore film and projectors, some provide live music at the organ or piano, and many boo, hiss and laugh from the audience as they are entertained in the fashion of the silent cinema era.
“PROFESSORRINAUDO” 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.