Blue Starlite and CineLife Entertainment Announce National Series “Silents Synced,” Pairing Classic Silent Films with Rock Music

Blue Starlite, the independent boutique drive-in cinema founded in Austin in 2009, has unveiled its first national cinema event series titled “Silents Synced.” This innovative series pairs classic silent movies with rock music from influential groups such as Radiohead, R.E.M., They Might Be Giants, Pearl Jam, Pixies, and Amon Tobin. “Silents Synced” marks the debut of Blue Starlite Entertainment, the new content arm of the popular local independent drive-in.

The series will be distributed starting this fall in collaboration with CineLife Entertainment®, a division of Spotlight Cinema Networks, which will handle bookings exclusively for independent indoor and drive-in cinema networks across the country.

“Silents Synced is a strategic format to draw new audiences to cinemas for a communal music experience like no other,” said Josh Frank, CEO and creator of “Silents Synced.”

This event cinema concept responds to the surge in attendance and interest in drive-in theaters during the pandemic. It also addresses the ongoing conversation about expanding cinema audiences through innovative alternative content. Frank further elaborated, “The question for independent theater operators has become what can we do to inspire people to leave their homes outside of Hollywood blockbusters films? While traditional moviegoers will always be our lifeblood, music fans will go to greater lengths for a shared experience. They are a fundamentally new audience for us all. With these essential artists and our distribution partner, CineLife Entertainment, we seek to inspire people to gather in cinemas and invigorate independent theaters in a totally new way to help them with engaging and unique events.”

The first season of “Silents Synced” will kick off in the fall of 2024 with a pairing of Radiohead’s albums “KID A (2000)” and “Amnesiac (2001)” with the silent film Nosferatu (1923). A world premiere, one-night-only event titled “Radiohead: Nosferatu” will take place ahead of its national launch. Following this, R.E.M.’s “Silents Synced” film is slated for distribution in early 2025.

“The guys thought it seems like a good idea and they like the uncanny way their music and Buster Keaton’s Sherlock, Jr., match up — kind of perfect. What a great and unlikely way of presenting great art,” stated Bertis Downs, Manager for R.E.M.

Additional titles will be rolled out throughout 2025, featuring time-honored silent films synced with music by They Might Be Giants, Pearl Jam, Pixies, Amon Tobin, and more, as additional deals are finalized.

“There is something strangely appealing about syncing modern music to an old silent film — it brings a whole new perspective. I like to imagine Buster Keaton moving around on set with a 1927 version of They Might Be Giants bouncing around in his head. It’s a perfect combo,” said Pete Smolin, manager of They Might Be Giants.

CineLife Entertainment’s EVP, Bernadette McCabe, expressed excitement about the partnership, stating, “We’re thrilled to be a partner in distributing because we believe in the power of event cinema combined with alternative music’s most enduring artists. This is a concept that should work equally well for independent, indoor and drive-in cinemas as it offers attainable event cinema that will appeal to multiple generations of current patrons, as well as music fans.”

Kate Markham, Managing Director of Art House Convergence, also praised the initiative, saying, “What Josh Frank has accomplished with ‘Silents Synced’ exemplifies the creativity, DIY ethos, and commitment to cinema as an art form and a culture that defines the independent film exhibition landscape.”

With “Silents Synced,” Blue Starlite aims to create a unique and engaging cinematic experience that will draw both traditional moviegoers and music fans to independent cinemas nationwide.

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