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BOX OFFICE: (315) 337-6453
The Capitol Theatre
220 W. Dominick St., Rome, NY, 13440

About Capitolfest:

    Capitolfest is Central New York's premier summer Cinephile film festival—a place to see rarely-shown and newly-discovered films of the silent and early talkie era, held at the historic 1,788-seat movie palace, the Capitol Theatre, in Rome, New York, which opened in December, 1928 as a movie house.  Set in the small upstate New York city of Rome (population c.33,000) and regarded by attendees from the U.S., Canada, and Europe as the movie lover’s dream vacation, the weekend festival starts late Friday morning and ends early on Sunday evening.  Screenings are arranged by session, with each session essentially comprised of a double feature plus short subjects.  Each session contains intermissions and there are generous breaks between sessions (allowing for meals) as well.  The philosophy of Capitolfest is that there should be time to savor the films, thus our slogan, “A vacation, not a marathon.”
   To date, Capitol remains the only building in Rome constructed for the specific purpose of exhibiting motion pictures.  Although the theatre received an Modernistic face-lift in 1939, the auditorium is configured exactly as it was in 1928, and much of the original décor remains.  Included  as part of Capitolfest's silent film line-up is live organ accompaniment for each film, played on our original installation, 3-manual, 10-rank Style 70 Möller Theatre Organ.  Restoration work on the organ was started in 2002, and since then it has been used on a regular basis to accompany silent movies.  Each of the silent films will be accompanied by some of the world’s foremost exponents of authentic silent movie accompaniment.  Eminent musicians such as Avery Tunningley, Bernie Anderson, Dr. Phillip C. Carli, Robert Israel and Dennis James have performed for films on the Capitol's Moller in the past.  Additionally, ensembles such as the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra have graced the Capitol's orchestra pit in accompaniment of films.

    The goal of the Capitol Theatre's film series is to not only showcase vintage films, but to re-create the experience of seeing movies as when they were new.  All of the films at the Capitol are shown in 35 mm prints on the theatre’s carbon-arc, variable-speed projectors.  Capitolfest prints are provided by such archives as the Library of Congress, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, Universal Pictures, the George Eastman House, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Sony Pictures, as well as rarer prints from private collections.  The festival's line-up focuses on obscure films that received critical praise in their time, but are now near-impossible to see.

Capitolfest 12:
    Capitolfest 12 will be held on August 8, 9, & 10 2014.

    Capitolfest 12 promises to surpass its eleven previous installments, with three days of eclectic and critically-acclaimed programming.  Each year chooses a “tribute star,” and several of their films are showcased throughout the weekend.  Capitolfest 12’s star will be William Powell, debonair leading man in talkies, and suave villain of the silent era.

Hotel Rates:
         (*)Special Capitolfest rate—must mention “Capitolfest” when booking room.

*Adirondack 13 Pine Motel               7353 River Rd. (driving time, 8 minutes)                   (315) 337-4930    $40 single or double
Angel’s Nest Bed & Breakfast           404 S. George St. (driving time, 1 minute)                (315) 334-4618    $70 single, $80 double, $110 king
*Beeches Paul Revere Motor Lodge  7900 North Turin Rd. (Rt. 26 N.)                                (315) 336-1775    $85 single queen, $95 double queen or king 
                                                          (driving time, 6 minutes)
*Carriage Motor Inn                           Rt. 233,Westmoreland (at I-90 exit 32)                      (315) 853-3561    $60 double, $70 two doubles                                                       
                                                         (driving time, 13 minutes)              
*Days Inn                                          5920 Airport Road, Oriskany                                      (315) 736-0100    $64.99 2-bed
*Econo Lodge                                   145 E. Whitesboro St. (cr. Erie/Blk. River Blvds.)      (315) 337-9400    $90 single or double
                                                         (driving time, 1 minute)  
Hotel Utica                                        102 Lafayette St., Utica (driving time, 21 minutes)     (877) 906-1912    Rates TBD 
Oak & Ivy Bed and Breakfast            600 N. George St. (driving time, 1 minute)                (315) 337-3065    $85-110
*Microtel Verona                               5118 NY State Route 365 (I-90 & Exit 33), Verona    (315) 363-1850    $129 for 2 queen beds
                                                          (driving time, 14 minutes)          
*Quality Inn                                        200 S. James St. (driving time, 1 minute)                  (315) 336-4300     $90 single or double
Red Carpet Inn                                   799 Lawrence St. (driving time, 3 minutes)               (315) 339-3610     $60 single, $75 double (2 beds)
The Rome Motel                                 8257 N. Turin Rd. (Rt. 26 N.)                                    (315) 336-4200     $54.99 single, $64.99 queen, $74.99 dbl. queen
                                                           (driving time, 8 minutes)
*Wingate Hotel                                   90 Dart Circle (driving time, 8 minutes)                    (315) 334-4244     $119 any room except w/ Jacuzzi (then +$30)

Econo Lodge & Quality Inn are within walking distance from the Capitol Theatre; Oak and Ivy is a 10 minute walk from the Capitol, and Angel’s Nest is approx. 15 minutes.

(Note: This listing is prepared for the convenience of our patrons and does not constitute an endorsement of any of these establishments. The Capitol recommends checking customer reviews via TripAdvisor.)

Ticket Prices:
 When ordering tickets, please pay close attention to the day and session you are choosing.

1. Entire show Registration:        All-day Fri.-Sat.-Sun.                                                  Adults $55/Friends $34/Children $33 (Post July 31—$60/$38/$37)

2. Fri. & Sat. Registration          All-day Fri. AND Sat. (5 sessions—NO SUN.)           Adults $45/Friends $13/Children $23 (Post July 31—$55/$22/$27)

3. Fri. & Sun. Registration         All-day Fri. AND Sun. (4 sessions—NO SAT.)          Adults $45/Friends $13/Children $23 (Post July 31—$55/$22/$27)

4. Sat & Sun Registration:         All-day Sat. AND Sun. (5 Sessions—NO FRI.)           Adults $45/Friends $39/Children $23 (Post July 31—$55/$44/$27)
5. One-day Registration:           All-day Friday (2 sessions)                                            Adults $26/Friends FREE/Children $14 (Post July 31—$29/FREE/$16)

6. One-day Registration:           All-day Saturday (3 sessions)                                         Adults $26/Friends $22/Children $14 (Post July 31—$29/$24/$16)

7. One-day Registration:           All-day Sunday (2 sessions)                                           Adults $26/Friends $22/Children $14 (Post July 31—$29/$24/$16)

8. Single session Registration:     Session #1 (Fri, 11:30 am-4:45 pm)                             Adults $14/Friends FREE/Children $8
(Post July 31—$16/FREE/$9)

9. Single session Registration:     Session #2 (Fri, 6:30 pm-11:10 pm)                             Adults $14/Friends FREE/Children $8
(Post July 31—$16/FREE/$9)

10. Single session Registration:   Session #3 (Sat., 9:30 am-1:05 pm)                             Adults $14/Friends $12/Children $8
(Post July 31—$16/$14/$9)

11. Single session Registration:   Session #4 (Sat., 2:15 pm-6 pm)                                   Adults $14/Friends $12/Children $8
(Post July 31—$16/$14/$9)

12. Single session Registration:   Session #5 (Sat., 8 pm-11:25 pm)                                 Adults $14/Friends $12/Children $8
(Post July 31—$16/$14/$9)

13. Single session Registration:   Session #6 (Sun., 9:30 am-12:45 pm)                            Adults $14/Friends $12/Children $8
(Post July 31—$16/$14/$9)

14. Single session Registration:   Session #7 (Sun., 1:50 pm-6:10 pm)                              Adults $14/Friends $12/Children $8
(Post July 31—$16/$14/$9)

About William Powell
     Originally planning to become a lawyer, William Powell chose instead to pursue a career as an actor, dropping out of the University of Kansas to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where his classmates included Edward G. Robinson and Joseph Schildkraut. He made his Broadway debut in 1912, and within a few years had attained stardom in urbane, sophisticated roles. The sleek, moustachioed young actor entered films in 1922, playing the first of many villainous roles in John Barrymore's Sherlock Holmes. He finally broke out of the bad guy mode when talkies came in; his clipped, precise speech patterns and authoritative demeanor were ideally suited to such "gentleman detective" roles as Philo Vance in The Canary Murder Case, The Kennel Murder Case, and others in the Vance series.
     In 1933 he moved from Warner Bros. to MGM, where he co-starred with Myrna Loy in Manhattan Melodrama (1934). So well-received was the Powell-Loy screen teaming that the actors were paired together in several subsequent MGM productions, most memorably the delightful Thin Man series and the 1936 blockbuster The Great Ziegfeld, in which Powell played the title character and Loy was cast as Ziegfeld's second wife, Billie Burke. Away from the screen for nearly a year due to a serious illness, Powell returned in 1944, curtailing his film activities thereafter. As he eased into his late fifties he reinvented himself as a character actor, offering superbly etched performances as a lamebrained crooked politician in The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947) and the lovably autocratic Clarence Day Sr. in Life With Father (1947), which earned him his third Academy Award nomination (the others were for The Thin Man and My Man Godfrey). After playing Doc in the 1955 film version of Mister Roberts, he retired to his lavish, air-conditioned home in Palm Springs, insisting that he'd return to films if the right role came along but he turned down all offers. Married three times, Powell's second wife was actress Carole Lombard, with whom he remained good friends after the divorce, and co-starred with in My Man Godfrey (1936); his third marriage to MGM starlet Diana Lewis was a happy union that lasted from 1940 until Powell's death in 1984. It has been said, however, that the great love of William Powell's life was actress Jean Harlow, to whom he was engaged at the time of her premature death in 1936.
—Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Derelict (Paramount, 1930)
Directed by Rowland V. Lee.
with George Bancroft, Jessie Royce Landis, William “Stage” Boyd, Donald Stuart, James Durkin.
75 minutes/Western Electric Sound/black & white.

First mates on two Batson Line freighter ships, Rafferty (George Bancroft) and Graves (William "Stage" Boyd) are rivals, getting into fights at every port. At a cabaret, Rafferty lures Helen (Jessie Royce Landis) away from him.  Rafferty is promoted to the position of Captain, and unbeknownst to him, Graves sneaks Helen onto the ship in order to get revenge. Rafferty, informed that there is a woman on the ship, leaves his post and the ship is wrecked, resulting in Rafferty's demotion to another ship, and the vessel in the charge of Graves, who veers the ship right into a storm!

“Very good!  And it is refreshingly different from any other story given Mr. Bancroft in the past, or even seen on the screen for years.” —Harrison’s Reports, 11/22/1930

"It was a happy idea putting Mr. Boyd and Mr. Bancroft together...there are good touches of humor, and most of the scenes are convincing. It is an especially well photographed work." —Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times, 11/22/1930.
Horse Play (Universal, 1933)
Directed by Edward Sedgwick
with Slim Summerville, Andy Devine, Leila Hyams, May Beatty, Una O’Connor, David Torrence
68 minutes/Western Electric Sound/black & white.

Slim Summerville is a ranch owner in love with Leila Hyams, but her uncle will not consent to their marriage. The couple is separated when Leila goes to England to visit her titled relatives, and, after becoming wealthy, Slim and his assistant Andy Devine head across the sea in search of her.

“A good comedy. It starts off rather slow, but it develops into a slapstick farce with many situations that will arouse hearty laughter. The real fun begins when Slim and Andy find themselves in English society.” —Harrison’s Reports, 12/16/33
The Bright Shawl (First National, 1923)
Directed by John S. Robertson
with Richard Barthelmess, Dorothy Gish, Jetta Goudal, William Powell, Mary Astor, George Beranger, Edward G. Robinson.
Approximately 80 minutes/Silent with live theater organ accompaniment/black & white (tinted).

Based on the novel by Joseph Hergesheimer (author of Java Head, Tol’able David and Wild Oranges) the story revolves around American adventurer Richard Barthelmess, who is persuaded by Cuban revolutionary leaders to assist in their revolt against Spain in the 1850s.

“By possessing imagination in rich abundance, ‘The Bright Shawl’ demonstrates that lack of imagination is the primary weakness of the motion picture today.  We review this picture with pleasure.  It is an intelligent translation of the Hergesheimer novel and, while like many translations from the original, we do not doubt that these departures help in the new language of the screen.” —Motion Picture, July 1928.

“A pretty play of distinct atmospheric charm.” —Photoplay, July 1923.

Ladies' Man (Paramount, 1931)
Directed by Lothar Mendes
with William Powell, Kay Francis, Carole Lombard, Gilbert Emery, Olive Tell.
70 minutes/Western Electric Sound/black & white.

William Powell is a philanderer who seems to be unsuccessful at driving away women even on those rare occasions when he wants to.  Eventually he meets a woman for whom he feels genuine affection (Kay Francis), but can he escape his sordid past? 

“You wouldn’t believe that William Powell could play a gigolo and yet retain the sympathy of his audience.  Somehow he does just that….An entertaining picture.”—Photoplay, June 1931.
Roman Scandals (Goldwyn/UA, 1933)
Directed by Frank Tuttle
with Eddie Cantor, Ruth Etting, Gloria Stuart, Edward Arnold, David Manners and the Goldwyn Girls.
Original story by George S. Kaufman and Robert E. Sherwood.  Written by William Anthony McGuire.
92 minutes/Western Electric Sound/black & white.

A variation on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, West Rome delivery boy Eddie (Eddie Cantor) gets knocked on the head and is transported back to the time of Ancient Rome, where he is sold as a slave to Josephus (David Manners).  When he meets Valerius (Edward Arnold), Eddie realizes the politicians in Ancient Rome were just as crooked as those in West Rome!

“No matter how you look at it, from the standpoint of laughs, gorgeous girls, catchy song numbers, grandeur of settings, action or general excellence of the cast, the picture ranks A-1"—Film Daily, 12/14/1933.
The Czar of Broadway (Universal, 1930)
Directed by William James Craft.
with John Wray, Betty Compson, John Harron, Claud Allister, Wilber Mack, King Baggot.
79 minutes/Western Electric Sound/black & white

A reporter (John Harron) out to “get the goods” on a big-time racketeer (John Wray), assumes the identity of a wealthy farmer and visits the villain’s nightclub.  Once there he develops an attraction for the racketeer’s moll (Betty Compson), who is a singer in the club, and she eventually returns his affection.  Still trying to keep his true identity a secret, the hero is soon a target for the racketeer’s henchmen, who have been ordered to kill him.

“Excellently produced….Certain situations are suspensive, especially the situation that presents the villain deciding to have the hero killed.”  —Harrison’s Reports, 5/25/1930.
Steady Company (Universal, 1932)
Directed by Edward Ludwig
with Norman Foster, June Clyde, ZaSu Pitts, Henry Armetta, J. Farrell MacDonald.
65 minutes/Western Electric Sound/black & white.

Truck driver Norman Foster has aspirations to become a prize fighter, but romantic interest June Clyde finds the idea deplorable. Henry Armetta and ZaSu Pitts supply the laughs.

“An entertaining comedy drama, with some thrills….There is considerable pathos, too. The acting is good and the action holds the interest pretty well all the way through.” —Harrison’s Reports, 4/16/33
Laughter in Hell (Universal, 1933)
Directed by Edward L. Cahn
with Pat O’Brien, Merna Kennedy, Gloria Stuart, Berton Churchill, Tom Brown.
70 minutes/Western Electric Sound/black & white.

Based on the controversial exposé novel by Jim Tully, the story revolves around Pat O’Brien, who is sentenced to life on a chain gang for the murder of his wife and her lover.  He discovers the head of the chain gang is none other than the brother of the man he killed, and finds himself the victim of brutal treatment.

Regarded as a thoroughly unpleasant picture at the time of its release, Harrison’s Reports called it “A depressing, unpleasant, at times horrible melodrama…which will probably depress even the gayest person.”  (Harrison's Reports, January 7, 1933) Photoplay referred to Pat O’Brien’s “excellent portrayal,” and noted that the picture “will do, if you don’t mind horror laid on with a trowel.” —Photoplay, March 1933.
My Weakness (Fox, 1933)
A B. G. DeSylva production, directed by David Butler
with Lilian Harvey, Lew Ayres, Charles Butterworth, Harry Langdon, Sid Silvers, Irene Bentley.
73 minutes/Movietone Sound/black & white.

Lew Ayres, who doesn’t take to the family business of women’s undergarments, bets his uncle (Henry Travers) that he can transform a plain woman into a temptress who will cause even his uncle’s odd son (Charles Butterworth) to propose marriage.  The subject chosen turns out to be a non-descript scrubwoman (Lilian Harvey).  The story is narrated by Cupid, played by Harry Langdon.  Songs include “Gather Lip Rouge While Ye May” and “You Can Be Had—Be Careful!” on which the movie’s most elaborate (and bizarre) musical sequence is centered.

“Grand musical. Lilian Harvey’s first American-released film is swell and Lilian herself is more than good.  You’ll like this little English girl who first caught your attention in the famous Congress Dances.  My Weakness is a musical of the highest class….Butterworth, incidentally, almost steals the show, he’s that good.  Harry Langdon also has a meaty part as ‘Cupid.’  There are some grand novelty numbers.  Especially the ‘You Can Be Had’ number when all the toy dogs, statues, etc. in the room come to life.  If the kids like music, take them.”  —Modern Screen, December 1933.
Ponted Heels (Paramount, 1929)
Directed by 
with William Powell, Fay Wray, Helen Kane and "Skeets" Galllagher
60 minutes/Western Electric Sound/black & white with Technicolor sequence.

Phillips Holmes, a young man from a good family, is chastised by his parents for marrying songwriter Fay Wray. Producer William Powell takes a romantic interest in Miss Wray and decides to scuttle the young couple’s marriage.  Helen Kane and Skeets Gallagher are the husband and wife song and dance team, “Dot and Dash.” (Helen Kane sings the Robin-Whiting song, “I Have to Have You” and the Gordon-Rich song, “Ain’tcha?”)

Restored print from UCLA with Technicolor sequence!

“Mr. Powell is good as usual, this time as the angel producer of the show. Miss Fay Wray is a pleasing heroine. Miss Kane is good, as is Mr. Gallagher.”—Harrison’s Reports, 1/4/1930
Shadow of the Law (Paramount, 1930)
Directed by Louis Gasnier
with William Powell, Marion Shilling, Natalie Moorehead, Regis Toomey
69 minutes/Western Electric Sound/black & white.

William Powell stars as a businessman who goes defends a woman (Natalie Moorehead) from a man who is attacking her in their apartment building.  In the ensuing fight, the attacker falls to his death and, the woman flees the scene.  When the missing witness cannot be found, Powell is found guilty of murder and sent away to prison.

“Good direction and settings and a fine performance by William Powell, makes this a interesting picture.”—Harrison’s Reports, 6/14/1930

"Mr. Powell's acting is capital.  So is that of Paul Hurst, who plays Paul.  Natalie Moorehead does well as the strange Ethel Barry."  —Mourdaunt Hall, New York Times, 6/7/1930.
Sharp Shooters (Fox, 1928)
Directed by John G. Blystone.
with George O’Brien, Lois Moran, Noah Young, Tom Dugan, William Demarest, Gwen Lee.
60 minutes/silent with live organ accompaniment/black & white.

Sailor George O’Brien and his three pals (Noah Young, Tom Dugan, William Demarest) travel from port to port, where George always manages to find a girl.  In one such port the romance with a dancing girl (Lois Moran) gets more serious than the others, and the girl follows him to his next port and eventually to America, resulting in an hilarious set of complications.  Boris Karloff plays a supporting role as a café proprietor.

“A good light comedy….The picture has been directed well by J.G. Blystone….George O’Brien makes [a] good hero.  Lois Moran makes a charming heroine.”  —Harrison’s Reports, 2/4/1928.

CAPITOLFEST 12 is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.