DER Documentary

Little Lady of the Capitole (La petite dame du Capitole)

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by Jacqueline Veuve
color, 55 min, 2005

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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Lucienne Schnegg is a little woman brimming with energy. At 80, she remains at the helm of the cinema Capitole. Hired as a secretary in 1949, she has become the heir of the movie house and its very soul. Cashier, cleaning woman and manager all in one, she tells us about her cinema, the grandest, the largest and the oldest of Lausanne, Switzerland. Right after the war, 25 people, including six ushers in uniform, worked here and audiences packed in to see movies like The Longest Day.

Movie clips, posters, and film stills carry us back in time. The tiny lady, taking us through the magnificent hall in a thousand anecdotes, distills a whiff of the magic perfume of great stars she met like Audrey Hepburn, Roger Moore, or even the Queen of Spain...

Today, the Capitole can no longer break even. Distributors far prefer multiplexes to launch important movies. But, despite the inevitable end of cinemas like this, the tiny lady keeps on smiling, as she comes and goes, from top to bottom of her ship.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Namur, Belgium, 2006
Sheffield Doc/Fest, England, 2006
Tübingen, Denmark, 2006
Zagreb, Croatia
Isola (Slovénie), 2007

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts