Carla Laemmle, 104, Attends Restored Phantom Screening


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 Films takes 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

Carla LaemmleThis 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.

Ms. Laemm­le attend­ed the screen­ing on Octo­ber 26, 2013 of the restored Phan­tom of the Opera, the film she danced in near­ly nine­ty years pri­or.  She passed away sev­en months lat­er. Con­tin­ue read­ing Car­la Laemm­le, 104, Attends Restored Phan­tom Screen­ing

Joe Rinaudo Plays the American Fotoplayer

Joe Rin­au­do, founder of SCAT — The Silent Cin­e­ma Art & Tech­nol­o­gy Soci­ety — plays his Amer­i­can Foto­play­er in this seg­ment from Huell Howser’s Cal­i­for­nia Gold:

This machine is in Joe’s living room. Think the neighbors mind?

Con­tin­ue read­ing Joe Rin­au­do Plays the Amer­i­can Foto­play­er

Welcome to the Silent Cinema Society

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.

20140826141931-silent_film_setWhether 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.

Please read more about the Silent Cin­e­ma Soci­ety here…


Meet Joseph A. Rinaudo, My Best Friend of 50 Years

by Chaz DeS­i­mone

Professor Rinaudo

Joe RinaudoPROFESSOR RINAUDOas 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.

Please read the full sto­ry of Joe’s pas­sion for silent film here.



Preserving Silent Cinema Art and Technology

Have you told your friends about Silent Cinema Society?

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