Capitolfest 2016 is Almost Here!

In a few days I’ll be driving North on 1-87 toward Rome, New York where a majestic 1928 movie palace thrives as it plays host to rare silent and early talking pictures just as it did almost nine decades ago.  Capitolfest, which has become an anticipated yearly ritual for many, is celebrating its 14th incarnation as a premiere exhibitor of rare movies for an entire weekend.  If you’ve yet to visit Rome on the second weekend in August then I suggest you change your plans.  That’s all I can say about that.


This is my yearly pre-Capitolfest musings post and since I have a couple of videos to share that cover most of what I would normally include I just want to focus on a few additional items…

  1.  I encourage you to take a look at the complete Capitolfest schedule and detailed information about the weekend.
  2. I want to offer advice – wear comfortable clothing since you’ll be sitting down a lot.
  3. Look for the ghost in the balcony.
  4. Try to bring extra funds because while perusing the dealer’s room, which will be featured in an adjacent building on the Capitol Theatre property you will no doubt want SOMETHING.  (Doug Swarthout’s Berry Hill Bookshop is my favorite spot)
  5. I want to mention the movies I am most looking forward to so that I can compare to how I feel about them after I’ve seen the entire line-up.  Note that the movie details are from the Capitolfest site.  

My Pre-Capitolfest Picks

(I tried to choose just one movie for each day of the festival, but it proved an impossibility.)


Dude Ranch (Paramount, 1931)
Directed by Frank Tuttle.  With Jack Oakie, Stuart Erwin, Eugene Pallette, Mitzi Green  71 minutes.  35mm print from Universal Studios.

The idea of Eugene Pallette entertaining at a Dude Ranch is hard to resist.

Just Imagine (Fox, 1930)
Directed by David Butler.  Written by DeSilva, Brown and Henderson.  With El Brendel, Maureen O’Sullivan, John Garrick, Marjorie White, Frank Albertson, Hobart Bosworth, Mischa Auer, Joyzelle.  109 minutes.

I saw my first ever El Brendel movie, Mr Lemon of Orange (1931), at the first Capitolfest I attended in 2011 and I loved it.  This may seem a strange choice, but I cannot wait to see it.



The Poor Rich (Universal, 1934)
Directed by Edward Sedgwick. With Edward Everett Horton, Edna May Oliver, Andy Devine, Leila Hyams, Grant Mitchell, Thelma Todd, Una O’Conner, and E. E. Clive.  77 minutes.  35mm print from Universal Studios.

MON DIEU, that cast!!

Up For Murder! (Universal, 1931)
Directed by Monta Bell. With Lew Ayres, Genevieve Tobin, Purnell Pratt, Richard Tucker, Frank McHugh.  68 minutes.  35mm print from Universal Studios.

Why?  Pre-code, infatuation, newspapers and a killing!



While New York Sleeps (Fox, 1920)
Directed by Charles Brabin. With Marc MacDermott, Estelle Taylor.  Approximately 80 minutes.  SILENT.  35mm print from the Museum of Modern Art.

I love the idea of this – “An anthology of three dramas over the course of one evening in New York.” (Capitolfest)

Wolf Song (First National, 1928)
Directed by Victor Schertzinger. With Gary Cooper, Lupe Velez.  SILENT.  80 minutes.
35mm print from Library of Congress.

Wolf Song is scheduled as the last film of the weekend and looks like it will be my favorite starring this year’s featured star, Gary Cooper.  The festival kicks off on Friday with another Cooper movie from 1928, Doomsday directed by Rowland V. Lee.   If I counted correctly there will be 7 movies featuring Cooper screened throughout the weekend including a fragment from the Library of Congress of Arizona Bound from 1927.  I’m not a fan of Cooper’s acting, but usually like his movies.  It’ll be interesting to see how I feel about early Coop by Sunday evening.  Of course that’s not taking his looks or charm into account.  In that regard I’ve never doubted that he is a top-notch movie star.

Velez and Cooper in Wolf Song
Velez and Cooper in Wolf Song

Put together by Annmarie Gatti of Classic Movie Hub for Classic Movies and More here’s a short video featuring Executive Director of the Capitol Theatre, Art Pierce and Assistant Manager, Jack Theakston:


And – after some technical difficulty – here are the hosts of Classic Movies and More with a quick rundown of the Capitolfest schedule:

Hosts: Annmarie Gatti, Rob Medaska and Aurora Bugallo

I’ll be back after Capitolfest with a recap.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ my Citizen Screen Facebook page where I’ll be posting images and what have you throughout the weekend.  I cannot wait to see everyone and must extend a heartfelt thank you to Art Pierce and the Capitolfest staff for the complimentary pass.  By now I feel it’s my duty to share details about Capitolfest, which is a gem all movie fans should discover.


The following images of the loot are courtesy of the Capitol Theatre and Capitolfest.  Thanks to Jack Theakston for allowing me to use of these thrilling pictures.



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