The Retroformat Coalition presents silent films with live musical accompaniment at multiple Los Angeles venues on a regular basis, with the next program on Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Woman’s Club of Hollywood, 1749 N. La Brea Ave.
The Music Box Cinema, a Retroformat Coalition program, will present Mary Pickford in a rarely-seen 1920 United Artists comedy, “Suds.”
The Retroformat Coalition is a nonprofit founded in 2018 by film collector Tom Barnes. The organization’s mission is to “educate and inspire enthusiasm about the art and history of silent film” by recreating the original movie-going experience of screenings with live musical accompaniment.
“In general, more than talkies, silent films affect us like dreams and rip directly into our souls, our unconscious. And the apex of film comedy achieved in the 1920s has never been surpassed, nor has the level of purely visual cinematic story-telling. The coming of talkies was inevitable, but it came much too soon. Those of us who love silent films know it’s not enough simply to watch them. It’s our duty to share our love with others, particularly with children. This early version of what a motion picture was should not be forgotten,” Barnes said.
The Retroformat Coalition regularly presents other silent film programs in Los Angeles. Barnes began programming and hosting the series Retroformat: Rare Silent Gems on 8 mm and 16 mm film in 2009 in the Steven Spielberg Screening Room of the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre.
The Music Box Cinema is a joint presentation with the Woman’s Club of Hollywood.
In addition to Pickford, “Suds’ stars Albert Austin and Harold Goodwin. For information, visit retroformat.org.
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