Rome’s Capitol Theatre (220 W. Dominick St.) will present the 18th annual Capitolfest movie festival from Friday, August 14, through Sunday, August 16. The festival consists of features and short subjects made in the 1910s, ‘20s, and ‘30s, most of them shown via 35mm film prints.
Each year Capitolfest highlights the work of a particular star, several of whose movies are shown in the course of the weekend. Capitolfest 18 has two tribute stars, Constance and Joan Bennett. Feature films starring Constance and Joan Bennett will be shown as part of the festivities, plus several films with other stars.
Among the films to be shown this year will be the silent comedy His Nibbs (Exceptional, 1921), the “old dark house” melodrama The Bat Whispers (United Artists, 1930) in a rarely seen wide-screen version, the comedy Her Wedding Night (Paramount, 1930), and the comedy-dramas She Wanted a Millionaire (Fox, 1932) and Week Ends Only (Fox, 1932). There will also be a special presentation on the history of early wide-screen cinema by authors James Layton and David Pierce. Many more titles will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
In addition to the Bennetts, Capitolfest will show movies starring such actors as Clara Bow, Spencer Tracy, Colleen Moore, William S. Hart, Charles Ruggles, and others. During the three days, approx. 15 features and an equal number of short subjects will be shown. About 60% of the films at Capitolfest will be “talkies,” with the remaining 40% from the silent era. All the silents on the bill will be accompanied live on the theater’s 1928 Möller theater organ; (guest organists t.b.a.)
“Early Bird” admission (available through June 30) to the event is $64 for all three days, with tickets for two days, single days, and single sessions also available. (Each session is generally comprised of two feature films plus short subjects.)
Last year’s Capitolfest attracted patrons from 27 different U.S. states, plus Canada. The Oneida County Tourism Bureau and The Rome Daily Sentinel have estimated that the local economic impact for the three day festival exceeds $450,000.