Capitol Selects Program Will Finally Bring Cedar Lee-type Fare to the West Side

click to enlarge Capitol! Capitol! - @CapitolW65th
Capitol! Capitol!
When the Capitol Theatre arrived in Cleveland in 2009, most people thought it was going to become a kind of "Cedar Lee West," a cinema with only three screens that would regularly show indie films, foreign stuff, and the occasional cult classic.  

And though the Melt Bar & Grilled Late Shift series now alternates with the Cedar Lee for midnight screenings, the Capitol has by and large featured the same mainstream fare that you can find every day at Tower City and Shaker Square.

Every once in a while, it'll show a weird or controversial flick — this week's Vaxxed, for example, about which Cleveland Cinemas marketing director Dave Huffman told Scene: "Cleveland Cinemas does not shy away from controversial films and believes in providing an outlet for all types of filmmaking and opinions. Ultimately it's up to an individual to decide what film he/she wants to support by buying a ticket." But for the most part, the Capitol has become just a standard-programming movie theater with better ambiance and fewer screens. 

But no longer! 

Seeing the appetite for Cedar Lee-style films, Cleveland Cinemas has announced the launch of something called the Capitol Selects series. From now on, one screen will be devoted to limited engagements, "ensuring that there will always be an interesting and exclusive film playing at the Capitol Theatre."

“Clevelanders are voracious movie fans,” said Jonathan Forman, President of Cleveland Cinemas, in a news release. “The fact that the film festival grows bigger each year and that the Cedar Lee Theatre remains a beloved institution shows that Clevelanders love a good movie. We want to make sure that the Capitol Theatre remains yet another destination that’s firmly on the radar of anyone who appreciates unique and sometimes challenging movies.”

Here's the summer schedule, from Cleveland Cinemas: 

VIVA (June 3rd – 9th) – This acclaimed drama from Cuba tells the story of a young man struggling to be true to himself as an aspiring drag performer as he rekindles his relationship with his ex-con father.

APPROACHING THE UNKNOWN (June 3rd – 9th) – Mark Strong stars as an astronaut on a solo mission to Mars in this claustrophobic sci-fi thriller.

A MONSTER WITH A THOUSAND HEADS (June 10th – 16th) – In this fast-paced thriller from Mexico, a wife is pushed over the edge by the bureaucracy of the medical and insurance industries as she fights to get her husband the treatment he needs.

THE WAILING (June 17th – 23rd) – In the latest thriller by South Korean master of suspense, Hong-jin Na, a policeman in a rural village is trying to figure out what is causing seemingly normal people to lose control and kill their families. Is it a strange illness or is the mysterious foreigner to blame?

RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE (June 24th – 30th) – In 1982, a group of pre-teen friends decided to make a shot-for-shot remake of Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” This new documentary tells the story about how they did it as well as shows them re-assembling as adults to get the one shot they couldn’t get as kids.

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTION (June 24th & 26th at 9:50 PM) – This shot-for-shot remake of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was filmed by a group of pre-teen friends over 7 years starting in 1982 for next to nothing and using a home VHS camcorder. The finished film is an amazing accomplishment and a blast to watch on the big screen. Free admission to “The Adaptation” if you come to see “Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made” or the original “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Note: The stars of “Raiders!” and “The Adaptation,” Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos, will be at the Capitol Theatre on June 24th for Q&As following the 7:20 “Raiders!” and 9:50 “The Adaptation” screenings.

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (June 24th – 30th) – Steven Spielberg’s homage to classic movie serials stars Harrison Ford as the world’s most famous archaeologist.

UNLOCKING THE CAGE (July 1st – 7th) – Steven Wise is an activist lawyer who brings a unique animal rights case to court. His goal is to get legal personhood granted for a chimpanzee in order to get it released from terrible conditions. This compelling documentary makes the viewer re-examine how humans treat clearly intelligent animals.

GURUKULAM (July 8th – 14th) - In vivid and sensuous detail, this documentary follows a group of students and their teacher as they confront fundamental questions about the nature of reality and self-identity at a remote forest ashram in southern India.

TICKLED (July 15th – 21st) – After being featured in the 2016 Cleveland International Film Festival, this fascinating documentary returns to town for an encore engagement. When a journalist starts to look into what he thinks will be a simple story about online tickling competitions, he unknowingly opens up a bizarre Pandora’s Box that leads him on an international quest to uncover the truth.

LUCHA MEXICO (July 22nd – 28th) – Exploring the rich cultural history and unique personal stories from inside the ring, this fun documentary takes fans behind the mask of Mexico’s Lucha Libre wrestling.

30 YEARS OF GARBAGE: THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS STORY (July 23rd @ 9:50 PM & July 27th @ 7:10 PM) – What started out as a simple parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids of the 1980s developed into its own special world. This new documentary talks to the artists that created these hilariously grotesque collectible cards as well as to the obsessed fans who embraced them.

CAT IN THE BRAIN (July 22nd @ 9:50 PM & July 26th @ 7:00 PM) – Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci directed and starred in this gore filled classic about a filmmaker being driven insane by his own movies. Presented in a new digital restoration for its 25th Anniversary, CAT IN THE BRAIN is billed as the “most violent movie ever made.” No one under 18 admitted.

ANNIVERSARY HITCHCOCK SERIES – This July the CAPITOL SELECTS will showcase four classic films by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Each film is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year as it returns to the big screen.

SUSPICION (75th Anniversary) (July 1st – 7th) – Cary Grant and Best Actress Oscar-winner Joan Fontaine star in this classic thriller about a wife who becomes increasingly concerned that her husband may be a killer.

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (60th Anniversary) (July 8th – 14th) – James Stewart and Doris Day star as a vacationing couple who find themselves mixed up in international intrigue after their son is kidnapped in Morocco.

TORN CURTAIN (50th Anniversary) (July 15th – 21st) – Paul Newman stars as a famous scientist whose assistant (Julie Andrews) fears he may be defecting to East Germany. However, things aren’t what they seem in this Cold War era thriller.

FAMILY PLOT (40th Anniversary) (July 23rd – 28th) Hitchcock’s final film is also one of his most lighthearted. A wealthy old woman hires a con man (Bruce Dern) and a phony psychic (Barbara Harris) to find her long-lost nephew in this comedic thriller.
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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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