“The Paragons of Silent Film!”

– The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

*NEW* Have an historic American theater? We have an NEA presenting grant! Click here for details: Paragon Live in Historic American Theaters!

Touring Shows for 2023-2024:

Short comedies, packaged in a set of three for our Clown Princes program:

  • Charlie Chaplin: The Pawnshop, The Adventurer, The Rink, Behind the Screen,
    One AM, The Immigrant, Easy Street, and *NEW* A Dog’s Life
  • Buster Keaton: The Blacksmith, Cops, The Playhouse, The High Sign,
    The Haunted House, and One Week
  • Harold Lloyd: Never Weaken, Get Out and Get Under, Haunted Spooks,
    and High and Dizzy
  • Mack Sennett: Barney Oldfield’s Race for a Life

Feature Films:

    • The Mark of Zorro (Douglas Fairbanks, 1920) – The silent original – Hollywood’s very first Action-Adventure movie! Doug Fairbanks thrills audiences with swordplay, romance, and just a bit of comedy.
    • The General (Buster Keaton, 1927) – A story of “Love, Laughs, and Locomotives” – Buster Keaton’s Civil War railroad epic inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase. World famous, and rightly so.
    • The Kid (Charles Chaplin, 1921) – The Tramp adopts an abandoned child, and the two set off on a series of adventures. Sweet and funny, with touches of high drama.
    • Steamboat Bill, Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1928) – Keaton, as the hapless son of a Mississippi riverboat captain, tries to learn the family business. Extremely funny, with a fantastic cyclone finale!
    • Safety Last! (Harold Lloyd, 1923) – A striving young department store clerk climbs the outside of a big city skyscraper to keep both his job and his fiancé. Features the iconic “man hanging from the clock” scene.




Other short films:

  • The Great Train Robbery – from Thomas Edison’s Laboratory; the first Western!
  • The Weak-End Drivers – starring comic Larry Semon: hilarious antics with cars, trains, motorcycles, and planes!

More films available on request – Inquire!

The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra’s
Silent Film Programs:

With 758 screenings across 48 States and 7 countries to its credit, PRO is one of the world’s foremost silent film accompanists. From Hollywood (the American Cinematheque) to Chicago (the Ravinia Festival) to New York (Lincoln Center) – PRO leads the way in designing, producing, and performing silent film programs for delighted modern audiences of all ages.

Paragon also has one of the world’s best collections of original period film scores (more than 900 titles c. 1898-1928), which add unmatched historical depth to its screenings. And PRO’s programs are real shows inspired by the glamorous presentational style of America’s “Movie Palaces” of the 1910s and ’20s. Audiences love silent movies, whether they are chortling at the comedic antics of Keaton and Chaplin or cheering for the swashbuckling stunts of Douglas Fairbanks.

Early cinema is a vast world of entertainment waiting to be enjoyed, and nobody brings it back to life as grandly as the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. PRO’s silent film programs are complete packages including the films (in a variety of projection formats), full orchestra, and Rick Benjamin as conductor and Master of Ceremonies. Repertoire programs include The Clown Princes (a “variety pack” of short comedies), and feature films such as The Mark of Zorro, and Steamboat Bill, Jr. Custom programs, student events, and lecture/demos are also available.

North America and China –
(857) 472-3366

Europe, South America, Far East (except China) –
+43 (676) 500-9036



“Listening to the full band perform the complete scores, written and timed to the action, proved to be a surprising delight…the band was nearly subliminal in its soft, well-modulated accompaniment to the screen performances…The audience chuckled along as much to the music as to the films.”                          – The Washington Post


For detailed information on these programs and on how to bring Paragon to your theater or school, please contact us:
(570) 524-9511.


Downloadable flyer for this program available here: PRO film program flyer.
More publicity and press information coming soon!



Watch PRO conductor Rick Benjamin’s interview about these programs on Denmark’s TV-2: Tones from Hollywood.

To hear NPR’s All Things Considered report on a PRO film program, click here: PRO on All Things Considered
Host: Neal Charnoff (4:47)
NPR logo

To hear WITF Public Radio’s report on PRO’s thirty years of silent film programs, click here: PRO on WITF’s Arts & Culture Desk
Host: Carey Burkett (4:03)
WITF logo


PRO in action, underscoring Buster Keaton (excerpt):


Chaplin Film Excerpts, Accompanied by PRO:

Excerpt from Charlie Chaplin’s The Adventurer (1917).

Excerpt from Charlie Chaplin’s The Rink (1916).

Excerpt from Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant (1917).


PRO Film Score Audio Excerpts:

The original silent film MUSIC of 1910s and 20s was both beautiful and sophisticated. It was created by a generation of gifted, highly-educated composers, some of whom dreamed of making the cinema a new artistic forum for classical music.







© Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, Inc. All rights reserved.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Where America's Music Begins
© Copyright 2024 | Paragon Ragtime Orchestra