Curtain set to rise on Capitol project

Renovations to begin following showings of classic Christmas movie


Don’t worry, “It’s a Wonderful Life” fans, Clarence will still get his wings and George Bailey will still be the richest man in Bedford Falls — but no sooner than the sinister Ol’ Man Potter is forced to eat crow and the credits roll following the final screening of the film on Saturday, Dec. 5, work will begin at the Capitol Theatre.

The venerable anchor of Rome’s downtown arts and cultural district, the Capitol Theatre, 220 W. Dominick St., will have seats, walls, ceiling and carpets begin to be restored to its 1939 authenticity.

The funds for the restoration work come from a Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant.

“The work of the restoration will begin very shortly after our final screening of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on December 5 and will necessitate our closing the theatre to the public. … While the theatre will be closed for the winter to allow this work to be done, Cinema Capitol will remain open for screenings,” reads a release from the arts complex.

While the inside will be bustling with activity, the outside is also set for a dramatic return to the past.

In June, the marquee assemblage is expected to arrive for installation to the exterior of the venue.

For that work, the Capitol Theatre contracted with Wagner Electric Sign Company of Elyria, Ohio, for an historic reproduction of the theater’s original 1928 marquee and vertical blade sign. 

“...The marquee will be 30’ wide, 7’ 2” high, and will extend 15’ from the front of the building. The blade sign will be exactly 45’ high. The marquee and blade will have exactly 2000 bulbs, as did the original. ...There will be a facade restoration to the building in conjunction with the DRI...
they located the original steel beams and intend to attach these structures to those, as were the 1928 marquee and blade. I believe the marquee and blade will take approximately two days to install,” said Arthur Pierce,
executive director of the Capitol Theatre in a statement.

The showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” is a long-time tradition at the historic theatre. Remaining screenings of the film are Friday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 5, at both 3 and 7 p.m. Admission is $7; $6 for seniors (62+), military, and students; $5 for Capitol “Friends;” and $3 for children ages 12 and under.

For additional information about the Capitol or the film, go online to


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