By Mary O’KEEFE
Films have always transported their audiences to new worlds. Whether traveling over the rainbow or to a world of dinosaurs, films provide that much-needed escape. Imagine how those early audiences felt when they saw Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd perform their death-defying stunts or saw the tearful eyes of Lillian Gish – all without a sound.
On Saturday, in the setting of Two Strike Park, audiences of the present will be able to enjoy the silence of the past thanks to the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley and Joseph Rinaudo with music accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. The unique movie night in the park will screen films projected by a 1909 hand-cranked motion picture machine. It will be hand-cranked by Rinaudo, an action that is not easy to execute and should be seen to be believed. The machine itself is an amazing work of sparkling gears, lights and film reels.
This year the films being shown will include “Modeling” from 1921 starring Koko the Clown. The film mixes animation and live action. “Neighbors,” a 1920 film starring Buster Keaton, will also be shown. It is a story of two lovebirds who come from feuding families. A Laurel and Hardy film from 1929, “Angora Love,” has the comedy duo finding out what trouble can ensue when feeding stray animals. “The Iron Nag” from 1925, a Mack Sennett horse race comedy film that stars Billy Bevan, will also be shown. Finally, “What Price Goofy” from 1925 rounds out the entertainment. It stars Charley Chase in a situation comedy about what happens when an innocent husband, a visiting professor, a scheming butler, a jealous wife, a burglar and a smart little puppy dog wind up in the same house for dinner.
The movie night is free to attend. People are advised to bring outdoor chairs and blankets to sit on. Just like movie theaters, there will be popcorn, sweets and drinks for sale with the proceeds going to the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley. The movie will begin as soon as it is dark, and cooler, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Two Strike Park is located at 5107 Rosemont Ave. in La Crescenta.