Make a donation now to our GoFundMe page at


Chaplin's Masterpiece, in 35mm

On January 18, 2020, at 7:30 p.m., we will present our most exciting screening to date — Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush in 35mm at Hollywood's stunning new venue: The American Legion Theater.  For this one-of-a-kind screening, the Chaplin Office has waived its usual requirement that the film be accompanied by recorded music, giving Retroformat Silent Films' Musical Director Cliff Retallick permission to improvise a new grand piano score!  This event kicks off a series in tribute to the founders of United Artists, to be  continued in 16mm in our regular venue, The Music Box Cinema.  Click here for more info + tickets to The Gold Rush:


As a recently formed nonprofit, we need extra help to make this dream a reality. Costs include a rented grand piano, at least 18 theater personnel, and 35mm projection and print expenses. Our fundraising goal of $9,000 will go a long way toward covering these costs, and making the event the unequivocal success it deserves to be.  Our giving levels are generously packed with perks and rewards, including original artwork, food and drink and VIP tickets. Please go to, check out the giving options and help us keep silent film alive and thriving. 

You can also help by spreading the word. Please share our campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or anywhere else. Thank you!

About Us

Tom Barnes, singer Baby Cakes, Karie Bible & Cliff Retallick at the Music Box Cinema, 9/28/2019.

Our Mission

Retroformat Silent Films recreates the original moviegoing experience of in-person screenings with live musical accompaniment, introducing new generations to the joy and power of early cinema. Our sole mission is to educate and inspire enthusiasm for the art and history of silent film.


Two Great Regular Screening Series!

Our newest series is The Music Box Cinema, with monthly screenings of great silent films plus great live musical acts at the historic Woman’s Club of Hollywood building. We are also continuing the long-running series Retroformat: Rare Silent Gems on 8mm and 16mm Film, now in its ninth year at the Steven Spielberg Screening Room of the American Cinematheque’s (formerly Grauman’s) Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Live musical accompaniment is provided for all films by our Musical Director Cliff Retallick, L.A.'s premiere live film accompanist.  

Paul Dooley talks about working with Buster Keaton at Retroformat: Rare Silent Gems, 8/26/17.

We have many exciting, special projects planned.  Check back often!  

Our programs often include special guests and focus on social issues, diversity and trailblazing female filmmakers.  Please help us continue by making a tax deductible contribution now at  

Contact Us

Send Message

We are available for private screenings and events. Feel free to contact us for booking information. 

Retroformat Silent Films


Voyage LA

Meet Tom Barnes of The Retroformat Coalition in Hollywood

Los Angeles Times

Silent-film series Retroformat will screen century-old comedies