Caffe Cino Pictures

The Silent Era – JOE CINO AND HIS FRIENDS

Posted in Uncategorized by Robert on January 1, 1904

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Despite such treasures as the photos on these pages, most of them gifts of BOB DAHDAH, the Cino’s most frequent director, this period of the Cino is the hardest to document. [More text below slideshow.]

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So many artists were in-and-out of the obscure little room on the quaint side-street. Few shows were advertised. Many hadn’t even a program. Most were unphotographed. Many people kept no souvenirs; there was no Off-Off Broadway then, and they regarded their shows at the Cino as just exercises, not genuine performances to commemorate or keep proof of. Joe told me that he started doing shows because Phoebe Mooney, an acting student, tired of performing only in class, asked if she could do her “class scenes” for his audience. That wasn’t true; shows had been done for at least three years before Phoebe did one, but her attitude may have been common, that the Cino was just an extension of study. Many people who did keep souvenirs died without heirs; whatever they had saved was discarded. Evictions and loss of property are also common. And there are numerous stories of a parent, a friend, a mate, a lover, a roommate, a caretaker just getting tired of boxes or albums and throwing them away. In addition, there are the people who tell me they’re definitely going to go look through those boxes and find me something…but die before they do.

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