Capitolfest: The ‘just right’ film festival every classic movie fan should attend

I was pouting – again.

It was shortly after the Turner Classic Movie Film Festival in 2016 and I was still mopey about not attending – especially after the last-minute addition of Angela Lansbury.

Never having attended TCMFF (to that point), my classic movie pout was becoming an annual event around the same time each year. I had developed an inexplicable fear of travel as an adult and traveling to the West Coast was out of the question. So I lived vicariously through the TCM social media world where classic movie fans shared pictures and memories while I kept pouting.

Then “Capitolfest” started to appear in the TCM Twitterverse. People were traveling from across the country – including the West Coast and Florida – to this weekend-long classic film event held every August in a small Central New York city called Rome. Realizing how close it was – just a three-hour drive – it was time for me to stop pouting and get moving.

It would be a quick day trip. I left Buffalo at 7 a.m. on a Saturday, never   expecting that 12 hours later I would be trying to figure out a way to get someone to watch my dog so I could stay overnight.  I had fallen in love with Capitolfest and my new friends who I previously had only known by their Twitter handles. (Poor Jeff Lundenberger remained calm and smiled when, like a stalker, I approached him on the stairs and asked “Are you Jeff Lundenberger? I follow you on Twitter.” Beth Ann Gallagher (@missbethg) was equally kind when I yelled “Are you Nitrate Diva?” She took a moment to talk and then patiently pointed out the real @nitratediva, plus @classicmoviehub, @citizenscreen and others. I may have been the “new kid” at Capitolfest and a bit too eager, but I was warmly welcomed.)

Why do I love Capitolfest and think every classic movie fans needs to attend? Because it’s the “just right” festival. It’s comfortable, relaxing and affordable (a weekend pass is about $60). Set in one movie theater with intermissions, there’s time to stretch, run to the bathroom, grab a refreshment and, best of all, talk to other classic movie fans.

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