City Council Explores Renovating Capitol Theatre
NEW LONDON, CT — The New London City Council is going to explore ways to renovate the long-abandoned Capitol Theatre and make it into a cultural attraction for the city, according to a new report in the New London Day.
The Capitol Theatre closed in 1974 after a fire marshall shut the theater down for code violations. It has remained padlocked ever since. Despite the fact that $400,000 was put into stabilizing the theater’s roof in 2000, the building is a wreck and would need millions of dollars of renovations to become a usable theater again.
Among the obstacles faced by those interested in reopening in the 1921 facility is the fact that any group using it would need to be able to afford sizable overhead costs to keep the theatre up and running.
Also problematic is the fact that this small city of about 28,000 has already restored a movie palace, the Garde Theatre, operating up the street as a performing arts center. Finally, in the 30 years since the Capitol has closed, buildings has apparently been erected directly behind it. This makes expansion of the too-small-by-modern-standards stage area unfeasible.