Here is a list of questions that many of our patrons have about the Capitol Arts Complex.

  • I’m not sure what “Capitol Arts Complex” means. Aren’t you the Capitol Theatre?

The Capitol Theatre is an historic building located at 220 W. Dominick Street. While we operate this venue, there are others! Right next door at 230 W. Dominick Street is Cinema Capitol, which is an intimate two-screen movie theater offering the best of newly-released independent film. We have plans to open other auditoriums in the future and have several tenants on our property who operate their own businesses. We’re constantly growing, which adds to the vibrancy of our Downtown Arts District.

  • How old is the Capitol Theatre?

The Capitol Theatre was constructed beginning in spring 1928 and opened in December of that year.

  • What is your seating capacity?

Our historic theater has 1,728 fixed seats and 16 wheelchair spaces. Of the 1,728 fixed seats, eight are handicap accessible (these have flip-out or flip-up box end standards, allowing the individual to slide into the seat). Cinema Capitol has two auditoriums, one with 78 seats and another with 40.

  • How active are you?

Very! In an average year, we will present over 1,400 performances. About 100 of these will take place at our historic theater and about 1,300 at Cinema Capitol. These programs include movie screenings, live dance recitals, concerts, civic gatherings, musical theater, and more. The summer and early winter months are especially busy for us.

  • I have small children. Do they need a ticket?

Yes, everyone who attends a show at the Capitol needs a ticket, regardless of age.

  • Do you still have that nifty piano that comes up out of the floor?

That “nifty piano” is our original-installation, 1928 Möller theater organ. It is the only original-installation theater organ of its make in the nation which has not been digitized. We’re extremely dedicated to its preservation and work hard to present historically-accurate silent film screenings with live musical accompaniment by some of the best theater organists in the nation.

  • Do you still have that big illuminated clock in the auditorium?

No. This clock was removed in the 1990s and its whereabouts are unknown today.  

  • Who owns the Capitol?

Since 1985, the Capitol has been a private 501(c)3 nonprofit. This means that nobody owns the theater. Rather, we are governed by a volunteer board of trustees which, as a whole, can make legal decisions about the ownership of our properties.

  • You say you are a nonprofit. What does that mean?

The Capitol exists to fulfill a charitable mission. We’re here to provide educational programs for the benefit of our community. Because of this, we are exempt from paying certain taxes and can accept donations from individuals and corporations.  

  • Where can I park?

Street parking is usually abundant and you do not need to worry about ticketing. There are also many public parking lots near us, including two accessible by Erie Blvd. West’s one-way access street, one behind the Cinema Capitol building which you can access from S. George Street or W. Liberty Street, and another at the Dept. of Social Services just a block away.

  • Why don’t you show movies every day at your historic theater?

We have not done this since the early 1970s, and for good reasons. The film exhibition industry has changed since we opened in 1928. The overhead of operating the theater as a first-run movie house would be astronomical, as would the amount of manpower required. In addition, we would no longer be able to accommodate any live performances whatsoever; live shows often require several weeks of exclusive theater usage for set construction and rehearsals.

  • Why don’t you have more concerts with big names?

This is a very complex question. There are many venues for touring groups to pick from in the Mohawk Valley. They will often prefer to go to the largest city in the area. This would be Utica or Syracuse, not Rome. While the Capitol can accommodate a very broad range of events, other venues specialize in large concerts and have the equipment, physical space, and security to accommodate them easily. However, if bookers approach us, we would certainly be interested in organizing an event with them. We pride ourselves on our flexibility and desire to present diverse programming.

  • Is the Capitol heated and cooled?

Yes! We have AC in the summer and heat in the winter.

  • Are tours available?

We occasionally present special public tours. However, if you would like a private, detailed tour with one of our employees, please reach out to us. We enjoy sharing the building with others, whether it’s an individual or a whole group.

  • Is everyone at the Capitol a volunteer?

No. We have a small but dedicated crew of staff members responsible for the operation and maintenance of our organization and facilities.

  • Are you handicap accessible?

For the most part. There are no stairs involved in accessing the orchestra section of the historic Capitol. However, there is no elevator to our balcony seating. There are several handicap-accessible seats and you may ask staff or a volunteer to help you stow away your wheelchair during the show. Cinema Capitol also has spaces for wheelchairs at the front of both auditoriums. There is one step involved to reach the seats in our Cinema auditoriums.

  • I am an actor/actress. Do you have productions I can act in?

Chances are, yes. Our SummerStage musicals are cast by an audition process. We also need people to star in the occasional short film, advertisement, and skit. 

  • What kinds of discounts do you offer?

The vast majority of Capitol-produced shows offer “Friend” discounts for our donors. Our historic theater typically will also offer senior, active military/veteran, child, and student discounts. We are unable to offer senior discounts to Cinema Capitol but do offer military/veteran and student discounts here.

  • Do I need to bring cash or is a credit card okay?

Your tickets can always be purchased with a credit card, as can concessions at Cinema Capitol. Since we often have volunteers helping at our historic theater’s concession stand, we prefer to stick with cash only at this venue.

  • I have a family member in the cast. Can I have extra program booklets for friends and family?

Probably not. We have a limited number of program booklets printed for each performance and need to ensure we will have enough for patrons. Check with us after the show.

  • What format do you use to present movies?

At Cinema Capitol, 100% of our movies are presented in a DCP format, which is the standard for modern digital movie theaters. Many at our historic theater are also presented with DCP technology, but we’re proud to continue the tradition of projecting from 35mm film prints as well. If a movie will be shown from a film print, this will be advertised.

  • What ingredients are in your popcorn?

Our popcorn is dairy-free. We use a canola and palm oil mixture for popping and topping, and a small amount of butter-salt flavoring is used. There are very small traces of soy in each batch. Our popcorn is safe to eat if you have a nut allergy.

  • Do I need to print my ticket ahead of time?

Preferably. However, if you purchase tickets over the phone or on our website, they can be retrieved at our box office by just telling us your name. If you buy tickets on Fandango, you will be provided with a code starting with “W” that we will need to present to the box office manager so we can print your ticket.

  • When do your doors open?

At the historic Capitol, doors will typically open 45 minutes before the show. Of course, this may differ depending upon the nature of the event. Due to the many factors that go into presenting a show at our theater, opening may be delayed. In these situations, patrons are asked to remain in our lobby until a staff member opens the auditorium doors. At Cinema Capitol, doors will be open at least a half hour beforehand.

  • Do you have a membership program?

Yes, the Capitol “Friends” program offers discounts on Capitol-produced programming. To become a “Friend,” you must make at least a $25 donation to our Annual Fund for an individual membership (one discount) or at least a $50 donation for a household membership (up to five discounts).

  • Can I borrow the Capitol’s props and costumes?

Yes, you can! For a small, per-item fee, you can borrow anything you need from our wide array of costumes and props. Please make a weekday appointment to browse. We require a copy of a credit card, which we will charge in case the items are not returned to us.

  • Can I rent the Capitol?

Absolutely! We’ve rented spaces in our Complex for private movie screenings, birthday parties, weddings, and more. Please contact us for pricing and details on your options.

  • What snacks are available at your concession stands?

We offer fresh popcorn, a wide variety of candies, fountain soft drinks, bottled water, Moxie in cans, iced and hot teas, and coffee. Hot chocolate, juice boxes, and other options are available depending upon the target audience of a particular show and the time of year.

  • What is Moxie?

Moxie is a soda popular in New England. In fact, it’s the official drink of Maine. We began stocking it as a novelty and, due to its popularity with our patrons, kept it as a regular part of our concession stands. Some people love it, some hate it. It’s been described as tasting like everything from root beer to cough syrup. No refunds are allowed on Moxie.

  • How can I tell which show is taking place where?

On our printed schedules, events at our historic theater have red titles, while those at Cinema Capitol are listed in blue. When buying tickets on our website, the venue is usually listed just above the available show times.

  • How do I know what you’re showing right now?

You can visit www.romecapitol.com, stop in for a printed schedule, call us to hear a recording of show times, or visit Facebook (@RomeCinemaCapitol and @romecapitoltheatre).

  • Do you really have a cat?

Yes, Kallie T. Cat has been with us for many years. She can often be found lounging in our window displays at the historic theater. While she has free roam of the place most of the time, she is locked in our administrative office during all public performances.

  • Why is the price on my ticket 50 cents less than what I actually paid?

The price you pay for admission includes a 50 cent “restoration fee.” This fee covers the expense of using our ticketing system.

  • Can I volunteer or intern at the Capitol?

Yes! Ask a staff member or volunteer for a volunteer application. There are many jobs with which we need help, from concession sales to set construction.

  • Can I drop in to see the theater?

We certainly welcome visitors who want to see our theater. Since our staff are busy and sometimes find drop-ins inconvenient, we ask that you contact us to schedule a tour.

  • Do you offer on-screen advertising?

Yes. Many companies have taken advantage of this. We can even produce a professional commercial which you can use on TV or online. Please contact Julie at julie@romecapitol.com for pricing.

  • What is not allowed at the Capitol?

Outside food and drinks are not permitted, nor are balloons or any other items which fly or float. Photography is also not allowed at the vast majority of shows.

  • Are there places around to eat before or after the show?

Sure! We actually have printed lists of the great eateries in our area. You can grab a copy on the side tables located around our Complex.

  • Are you haunted? Can we schedule a ghost hunt?

While our staff have never experienced paranormal activity, we try to stay open-minded. Due to the scheduling conflicts we’ve often had, we typically do not allow ghost hunts anymore. However, we recommend asking us directly.

  • Can I donate costumes and props to the Capitol?

We already have more in our prop and costume shops than we can fit. We appreciate the support, but likely cannot use these donations.

  • I have items of historical interest. Can I donate them or show them to you?

We certainly welcome historical items, such as family photos taken at our theater or film prints in decent shape. Please contact us with questions of this sort.