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95th Anniversary Program

Rome’s Capitol Theatre opened on December 10, 1928. 95 years later to the day, the Capitol will present a re-creation of a program that ran at the theater March 21-23, 1929, showing the feature films and the short subjects that were on the original bill:

Vitaphone talking short subjects:
Blossom Seeley and Bennie Fields with The Music Boxes (song & dance vaudeville team)
The Debutantes: “The Band Beautiful” (all-girl jazz band)

Comedy short subject:
Laurel & Hardy in We Faw Down (with Movietone soundtrack of music and effects)

Capitol Pictorial:
1929 Hearst-Metrotone Newsreel (all-talking)

Feature film:
The Last Warning

Directed by Paul Leni; starring Laura La Plante, John Boles, Montagu Love, Margaret Livingston (a silent movie with live theater organ accompaniment by David Peckham)

Also included will be remarks from dignitaries, an intermission slide show “Rome, N.Y. in 1929,” and David Peckham at the Capitol Grand Organ.

The Last Warning and We Faw Down will be shown digitally (via DCPs), The Last Warning from the new 4K Universal Pictures restoration, while the Vitaphone shorts and the Heast-Metrotone newsreel will be shown via 35mm film prints from the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The Last Warning was the final movie of German director Paul Leni, whose previous movies include the silent horror classics, The Cat and the Canary (1927) and The Man Who Laughs (1928). Shot largely on the sets used for Universal’s Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Last Warning is a tour-de-force of expressionistic film techniques, including stunning montages and unsettlingly weird camera angles. The plot concerns a murder during the performance of a play in a metropolitan theater. Unsolved several years later, an enterprising producer re-opens the theater with the same play and the surviving members of the original cast, despite mysterious warnings against it.

Recent reviews of The Last Warning:

The Last Warning is an utter delight from beginning to end. It has style, substance, and a solid mystery at its center; in short, everything that makes Paul Leni one of my favorite silent film directors. I haven’t had this much fun with a silent movie in ages and give the film my highest possible recommendation. –Movies Silently

A deliriously entertaining mystery filled with eerie shadows, kooky characters, and outlandish twists that always land through Leni’s sharp balance between humor and horror. –From the Front Row

The movies comprising the program are unrated but are considered to be suitable for all audiences, though some scenes in The Last Warning contain violent and potentially horrific imagery that may be disturbing to sensitive children. It should also be noted that the films on the program are approximately 95 years old and may contain references considered inappropriate in our present era.

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