Cinema Capitol

Via 20 Settembre 97,
Rome 00187

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Located in the Palazzio di Vetro (Palace of Glass) which was built in 1940 (and was so futuristic, it looks like a 1980’s building). The ground floor originally contained the CIM department store. In the basement was the 1,100-seat Cinema Capitol which opened in 1949. It was an air conditioned theatre.

The Cinema Capitol was the first in Continental Europe to have stereo-phonic sound installed when Richard Burton in “The Robe” opened on 27th November 1953. The CinemaScope screen was 45 feet wide. The Cinema Capitol was closed in 2003.

On the sixth floor of the building was the Arcobaleno Theatre, a small 250-seat cinema which screened films in their original languages (in Italy, films are mostly dubbed into Italian), and in the 1950’s it was very popular with Americans living in and visiting the city.

Today, the department store & cinemas have closed and the building is now a branch of the Bank of Italy.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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