Frame enlargements from the film, which starred Theda Bara as the Egyptian queen, were identified in the â€œLost Cleopatraâ€ forum on Facebook by Nicholas Inglis, an Australian lawyer and film memorabilia collector, who noticed a posting in another Facebook forum where a film collector was seeking help to identify the source production. It is not immediately clear where the footage emerged from or whether additional fragments exist; the newly discovered footage has yet to be digitized for online presentation.
â€œCleopatraâ€ was one of the biggest box office hits of its time, thanks in large part to Baraâ€™s risquÃ© costumes and the epic grandeur of the production. The last known copies of â€œCleopatraâ€ were destroyed in a 1937 fire at a New Jersey warehouse that stored the Fox Film Corp. silent films and in a 1940s fire at the Museum of Modern Artâ€™s film archives. Only a 20-second fragment of footage survived (see below), and in 1980 the American Film Institute named â€œCleopatraâ€ as one of the 10 most wanted lost films of all time.