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A Capitol Time

Friday night, Steven and I traveled into Rome, NY to the Capitol Theatre to attend a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

The Capitol Theatre is a truly gorgeous old time movie palace. It is where I saw my first movie (Mary Poppins), roughly a hundred years ago. I saw other movies there, till it closed. The building fell on some hard times. It was used occasionally for stage shows such as Rome Catholic High’s musical. Now it’s a Center for the Performing Arts, and they do all kinds of fun stuff there. This is the first event we’ve been able to make it to.

The Capitol first opened in 1928, I recently learned. I just knew it was old. It’s never been renovated, that is, chopped up into a six screen cineplex, for which I am grateful. The ceilings are high and ornate. The balcony goes back forever. It seats over 1,000 people (1,788, according to the brochure I picked up).

Steven and I got there early, so we had time to walk around a little and explore. We climbed up the steps to the balcony. There is a large foyer-type of room with a few comfy chairs and a piano, then you go up another small set of steps and through an opening about a third of the way down the balcony.

We walked up toward the top of the balcony. It went back just about as far as I remembered. I also remembered there being bats, once during a performance of Oklahoma! I was in, one summer during high school. I didn’t see any Friday night, though. With the theatre more occupied these days, perhaps the bats have found other quarters.

We decided to sit right in the front of the balcony. First we went and got popcorn and soda (me) as well as coffee (Steve). I don’t usually drink soda, but they were having a special on a large soda and large popcorn. I didn’t finish either.

The movie was wonderful. Rear Window is one of our favorites, but I have never seen it on such a big screen. The movie concerns Jimmy Stewart, wheelchair bound with a broken leg, looking out his window at his neighbors in the surrounding apartments. It was fascinating to notice all the details I missed on a television screen.

The Capitol hosts a variety of events. We picked up a flier that listed movies, a Celtic-Rock group called The Elders, Joshua Kane’s Psychic show, and others. We voted on next year’s Hitchcock selection (Steve wants Lifeboat, I picked Strangers On A Train). We also hope to return in August for CapitolFest II, three days of silent and early sound films.

For more information on the capitol, visit their website at You can also like them on Facebook.

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