“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 2016-2017:

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, and Easy Street
  • 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!



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 more than 694 screenings across 48 States and 7 countries, 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.





“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 information on these programs, and on how to bring Paragon to your theater or school, please call 570-524-9511, or email [email protected]


Downloadable 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 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. As an example, listen as Paragon plays these three incredible 1920 orchestrations from THE MARK OF ZORRO.

Sword Fight Music (Zorro, scene 4).


Meeting of the Caballeros (Zorro, scene 21).


Zorro to the Rescue! (Zorro, scene 38).






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