A new chapter is set to begin for Julie Whittemore and the City of Rome. A new local bookstore is set to open called The Keaton and Lloyd Bookshop.

Whittemore made the announcement on Facebook of her new business coming to Rome:

After conducting marketing analyses and undertaking a sizable amount of legal rigmarole, I am prepared to say I am an entrepreneur. I will soon be opening Rome's only dedicated book retailer, Keaton & Lloyd Bookshop."

Whittemore chose the name to honor the legendary comedians from the Silent Era Keaton and Lloyd. She has a huge passion for this style of film:

One of the things that impresses me most is the ability of many silent film stars to do their own stunts, especially the case for Buster Keaton. There are innumerable instances where his life was literally at stake to get an unique shot or gag.

One moment this author and Whittemore talked about was Keaton in the movie Steamboat Bill Jr. There is a scene included in the movie where a major wind storm knocks down a home. Keaton constructed a facade, and the facade would fall over in the wind. Keaton would stand at just the right position so he'd go through a window instead of being crushed. If his calculations were a few inches off, he would have likely died:

The shop will be located in Downtown Rome and will carry a variety of new and used literature. You'll also find a selection of bookish items suitable for gifting and self-indulgence.

Down the road, I also hope to host complimentary programs such as poetry readings and open mic nights."

For many Central New Yorkers, many are excited for the thought of a local book store. However, Whittemore explains she has also gotten the expected "Why books? That won't be profitable," many times over.

Having lived in the budding Arts District for several years now, I can honestly say I am amazed at our success. Our community is special in all the right ways, and I feel the love. We have film, we have studio arts, we have performing arts... now it's time for the literary arts to shine.

I think Rome has proven itself as a thriving arts hub. If you go to any event of the Rome Art Association, it's incredible the number of people who show up. They just had the opening of their regional art gallery and had well over 100 artists submit. Meanwhile, there are numerous music studios right here on the 200 block of W. Dominick Street, the Capitol itself (including our indie cinema), an art supply shop, Gary's Music, and more."

The anticipated opening date is October 23. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available including address and more.

"Rome has not had a bookstore in several years. There is nowhere to source books locally without going to New Hartford or New York Mills. Right before the Pandemic we had a "Read for your Coffee" event at Cinema Capitol. It was great! I want to create an atmosphere where that type of programming is common"

When asked what books and authors might be top sellers, Whittemore predicts Harry Potter, as she has a passion for the series:

I love all things Harry Potter! I have placed my first order for some awesome merchandise, including Harry Potter books, puzzles, mugs, backpacks, and more. I also look forward to curating sections of new and used nonfiction books about film history. I definitely think this would be popular with the Capitol Theatre crowd I have come to love so much.

If you would like to get a head-start in supporting the shop, there is an online relationship with Hummingbird Digital Media that offers a selection of audio and e-books. You can learn more online here.

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