Capitolfest returns to the Capitol Theater in Rome, showing old films



Capitolfest returns to the Capitol Theater in Rome later this month.

Held annually since 2003, with the exception of 2020 due to the pandemic, Capitolfest is a three-day film festival featuring silent films and talkies from the turn of the 20th century.

Capitolfest will take place at 220 E. Dominick St. Theater from August 13th to 15th.

The festival will feature films from the 1910s through the 1930s, officials said. Most films are usually shown on 35mm film prints, just as they would have been when they were new.

Many films come from movie archives around the world, officials said.

“The Capitolfest films are selected for their rarity, but also for their entertainment value,” Capitol Art executive director Art Pierce said in a statement. “Those who select which films to screen sift through many pages of period film reviews for titles worthy of inclusion, then work with film archives to unearth these overlooked gems.”

The Capitol Theater has undergone a restoration over the past two months to bring it back to its 1939 aesthetic. A grand reopening took place on July 17th.

The renovations – only the second time that major work has been done on the theater since it opened in 1928 – is thanks to $ 2.5 million from the Rome Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

The theater is also in the process of restoring its exterior facade to its 1928 appearance. A replica of the original marquee and blade sign will be installed in the fall due to construction delays due to the pandemic.

Following:Historic Capitoline Theater in Rome hosts grand reopening after renovation

Governor Andrew Cuomo praised the arts and renovations of the Capitol Theater in a statement about the reopening of the theater.

“Our efforts to rebuild New York City better than before include strengthening artistic and cultural offerings in communities across the state,” Cuomo said. “The newly renovated Capitol Theater will once again serve as an anchor institution that both reminds us of our past and inspires us towards a brighter and more prosperous future for all.”

An interior view of the Capitol Theater in 2018 in Rome.

Each Capitolfest offers a wide selection of actors, titles, both silent and talking, as well as a featured actor. This year, Capitolfest features sisters Constance and Joan Bennett.

In addition to the three days of movies, Capitolfest has a social mixer on Thursday August 12 for Capitolfest attendees, as well as a dealership grand opening and a movie. This year’s film is “Man Hunt” starring Joan Bennett.

For details on start times and a full schedule of films shown during Capitolfest, visit

Ed Harris is the Oneida County reporter for the Observer-Dispatch. Email Ed Harris at [email protected]

2019: Capitolfest to celebrate classic films from the early eras of silent cinema

2019: Rome’s Capitolfest 17 welcomes the child star of the film’s early days



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