Capitol Twin Theatre

45 East Main Street,
Bloomsburg, PA 17815

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jukingeo
jukingeo on March 1, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Hello John, Lost…

I have contacted the Chamber already, no response to email. I may have to call. But I am finding out much information and believe it or not I do have you guys to thank for it.

Iit has been established there is a parking problem…so that has to be addressed. We know the building is for sale and outside of the twinning, it has not been converted or used for anything else.

From pictures and other descriptions, we know the building will need work.

So the questions remain about the overall condition, price, and how much the town will help…ie with the parking issue.

From what I gather Bloomsburg sounds like a divided town. Some want to move ahead and others want to preserve.

I also found out that there is another theatre in Bloomsburg that is open and running live performances. What more it is around the corner from the Capitol. This could be a bad thing, or a good thing.

For myself…I would network with the other theatre and work with them in terms of programming. Do different shows. Having two good live theatres in town COULD bring in a good draw and entice people to stay in town overnight if they wish to catch both shows.

However it could also be this other theatre that may be pushing for the parking lot project at the Capitol site. For one, with the Capitol out of the way, they would eliminate competition. If this is the other theatre’s thinking…then that could be a problem. Looking at the facts…the other theatre only has about 300 to 400 seats. The Capitol holds 911 and is twinned. Using the Capitol as a dual event building could potentially put the other theatre out to pasture. So the very presence of the building could be perceived as a threat to them. One would never know. But I would never go into the theatre business with the intention of pummeling another theatre company especially if they are dedicated to preserving a historic building as well. But a mutual existance of two good theatres in the town could definately boost entertainment numbers in the town. Of course I would have to check the stats on the town to further see if there is a large enough market to support a theatre as large as the Capitol.

Lost—I missed that part about the 96 cars. That is peanuts and definately isn’t worth the destruction of the theatre. But on the same token you are probably right. The town would have to level a good amount of property to sufficiently support a municipal lot that could serve the commercial needs of the town. Another solution to this problem is to perhaps locate a parking facility on the outskirts of the town where there would be more room and offer a bus service to and from the parking garage. The downside of this is that more than likely parking would have to have a charge attached to it pay for the services more over it probably will be located some distance from the theatre. Paid parking doesn’t sit well with most people. I don’t like it myself, but if all else fails it is a viable solution. I guess it would boil down to town support for a project like this.

Well, I will try again with the town chamber or even the county chamber.

So we will see what turns up. For the most part I just want to know if the building is in reasonable condition for a project like this. It wouldn’t be the first time where I came across a building with a great facade, but needed massive work on the interior.

Geo

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 1, 2007 at 6:07 pm

Exactly John. This town is in no rush to convert any building to a parking garage. Thats great news for the Capitol Theater building, but it doesn’t solve the parking problem for Geo. I’m curious why the owner wanted to go through the expense of converting this building to a parking garage. Why not sell the building as a theater or convert it for retail use? I would inquire about the theater building first. Price, condition, etc. After that, I would then ask the town about the parking problem and if they had any plans to address that problem. Why not start by sending an email or by calling the Chamber of Commerce and getting a price on the building.

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on March 1, 2007 at 5:12 pm

and yet here is 2007 and the Capitol still stands

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 1, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Another town meeting about the Capitol Theater/parking garage.

“August 13, 2001, 7:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers, Town Hall, Bloomsburg, PA.

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS â€" MARVIN TROUTMAN (DAMYON CORRADINI, AGENT) â€" CAPITOL THEATRE â€" COUNCIL PUBLIC MEETING

On a motion by G. Turner, seconded by S. Beck and voted on unanimously, Council agreed to a Public Meeting for the Certificate of Appropriateness by Marvin Troutman (Damyon Corradini, Agent) for the Capitol Theatre, East Main Street. Council Members determined they needed more information before making a final decision on a Certificate of Appropriateness. The Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) on a Three (3) to Two (2) vote with One (1) not voting, recommended to Council that a Certificate of Appropriateness be granted. Mr. Corradini proposes to change the use of the Theatre to a parking garage for 96 cars. J. Mihalik indicated that all that was before Council was the matter of whether Mr. Corradini complied with the Historic Architectural District Ordinance. Matters concerning zoning, building codes, land development and egress onto Main Street are all dealt with separately with their own ordinances or regulations.

That proposed garage would have held 96 cars. You would need to convert several buildings for your minimum of 300 parking spaces. And who would pay for these buildings (if available) to be converted?

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on March 1, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Geo…you may want to email the Historical Society of Columbia or Montour County. I can remember which county Bloomsburg is located in. Ask if they have old photos of the Capitol or the town of Bloomsburg for that matter and see if anyone can help you out.

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on March 1, 2007 at 3:10 pm

Geo..I think you will agree with me on this. Any place can sell food and drink. Ah but the bar or restaurant that has some style or atmosphere, seem to always do quite well. People like that. Have you ever walked into an old bar or tavern. There is just something about it. If you know what I mean.

jukingeo
jukingeo on March 1, 2007 at 11:14 am

Hello Lost/John

Well, at least that certificate was down voted. So there are some people that DO want the building to remain. This could be a good thing because it may not be hard to find supporters for the building. It is just getting harder and harder to find really nice theatre’s left.

Lost…you are from Long Island like myself, right? If not, well if you seen what it is like here, there are NO classic theatres left. Almost all have been either torn down or have been absorbed into retail outlets. It is only when I venture out into ‘Small Town USA’ is where I find beautiful buildings such as the Capitol.

This building is one of the few that really have a nice facade that wasn’t modernized or butchered. The Marquee is very Art Deco and the interior can be made to reflect such (As I heard the ‘twinning’ removed much of the buildings interior character).

I have no interior pictures of this building at all, so I don’t know what it looks like inside now, or when it was originally built.

But the building has turned my head to the point where I do want to find out as much about it as possible.

As for the parking…as I mentioned earlier, probably the easiest thing to do is find a building close by that can be leveled. Something not of historic significance. Tearing down some law offices would be nice or an old department store. Department stores usually have loads of parking. The trick is finding something close by the theatre and will interfere very little with the town’s traffic flow.

Many things to consider. I guess this is why here on Long Island many theatres were converted to retail. Going retail, you now have a big space and generally you would only have 30 to 40 people in the retail venue at any given one time. So not much of an issue when it comes to parking and revenue is made from an otherwise unused building. But a strong retail district will not make a town…a strong entertainment district WILL make a town. A store will only pull people from about 5 to 10 miles. A single live theatre’s reach would be 10 times that. Plus if you have other things in the town such as other theatres or nightclubs, there is a solid reason to have more people come and visit the town. I think this is the point that most people are missing when they opt to destroy a theatre. Once it is gone…more than likely in a small town, it is gone forever…and usually nothing will replace it (theatre wise). Either that or the town puts in some anticeptic dull and boring building that has no character or is so ‘modernly’ designed that it has the taste level of a cow’s a—.

To me there are just a handful of theatre designs that work. I guess I am picky that way. Usually anything designed like a palace, reflects the movie age (art deco), is themed (Chinese, Egyptian, Mayan), or is an atmospheric flys well with me. These new modern PAC’s just turn me off.

Many new theatre designs are made bland on purpose as they want to focus the attention to the screen or stage. For me, I don’t buy it. I think having a nice beautifully designed (or themed) building adds to its charm and what more it just adds to the whole theatre experience.

For one, has anyone seen the newly restored Loews Paradise here in NY? How about the Chicago Uptown? These buildings are simply to die for.

So I really do want an older building.

Here look at this:

http://www.norwalktheatre.com/

Look at that marquee. Now this is what I am talking about…

Geo

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on March 1, 2007 at 9:55 am

Lost..Its sad but the movie house it seems is always the target when it comes to the so called improvements. They don’t seem to understand that it the theater that brings people in. Will there ever learn.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 1, 2007 at 9:31 am

At least the town is aware of the parking problem. It seems that they just don’t have a solution to the problem. Its kind of sad that some people were willing to sacrifice the theater building to solve their parking problem. If more people would elope, you could eliminate the tuxedo store and use that for a parking garage. :)

jukingeo
jukingeo on February 28, 2007 at 7:19 pm

Hello Lost Memory…

How do you like that for a howdja do? Here I am talking about the need for good parking for a theatre project to work and they want to plant a garage right on the Capitol Theatre’s spot.

How did that song go again with the paving paradise and putting up a parking lot?

You see though…that is the problem with these old theatres and parking. The two need to go hand in hand. Most people getting into the theatre business only concentrate on filling the theatre’s seats…which is understandable, but very few think about where are you going to put all those cars.

While I would be 100% behind Bloomsburg in adding more parking in their town, destroying the theatre is not one of those options. Perhaps they can pull down a lesser building nearby…one of less historic significance that is. A joint project to enhance parking AND revitalize the theatre will mean a tremendous increase in business for the town. Something they should consider, especially if the Capitol can be made into a live venue.

Geo

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 28, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Speaking of parking problems, in 2001, the Town Council considered building a parking garage in Bloomsburg. The only problem with that idea was, the Capitol Theater would have been replaced by the parking garage.

“A Special Meeting of the Bloomsburg Town Council was held Friday, September 21, 2001, 8:00 a.m. in Council Chambers, Town Hall, Bloomsburg, PA.

APPROVAL TO OBTAIN SERVICES OF ROBERT ELION FOR CAPITOL THEATER HEARING

On a motion by B. Brobst, seconded by N. Housenick and voted on Four (B. Brobst, N. Housenick, T. Evans, and G. Turner voting Yes) to Two (M. Lenzini Howe and C. Renninger voting No), Council approved obtaining the services of attorney Robert Elion to represent Council in the hearing concerning the request of developer Damyon Corradini to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness to renovate the Capitol Theater into a parking garage. A majority of Council voted not to approve a Certificate because they felt the project did not meet the historic architecture review criteria. Two Council members, M. Lenzini Howe and C. Renninger had voted to approve a Certificate based on the recommendation of the majority of members of the Historic Architecture Review Board. They also felt that the HARB members who attended the last Council meeting sufficiently explained that the project did meet the criteria. According to G. Depo, Mr. Elion has expertise in historic architecture matters and will be representing Council’s majority decision to deny the Certificate.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:25 a.m".

jukingeo
jukingeo on February 28, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Hello John,

200 spaces would be tough to work with…even if permission was granted by the shopping center to use the spaces for evening use. This is a problem I run into alot with old theatres. Many of these beautiful buildings were built when the average mode of transportation was either a train, horse/buggy, or most people just heel-toed it. The trouble is the changing times require a parking space for everyone nowadays. So the forumla I always use is an averaged 2 to 3 people per car…as almost no one goes to the theatre alone and couples usually take up the lion’s share. So for a 900 person theatre like the Capitol…300 car spaces is a good starting point. NOW, if there are other support mass transit transportation in the town, such as trains and busses…that would significantly reduce the need for parking of that size. But without a good mass transit system. The question does have to come to mind…“You can have the best and most beautiful theatre in a 100 mile radius, but it will not mean a damn if people can’t get to you”. Or in simpler terms…‘location, location, location’. I fight with these figures all the time every time I look into a place. The numbers just have to work…parking is only just one of the issues though. I will say that 200 is a GOOD start provided that the shopping center would allow use of it’s parking lot for evening shows. But I would find that highly unlikely. Another alternative is if there are some buildings abuting or close to the theatre that could be torn down and made into a municipal lot. This will help too. So overall definately more information on the area surrounding the theatre is in order. Hopefully something could be worked out. I very much like the facade of this building and if it is in fairly good shape, I think it can be made into a great theatre once again.

Lost Memory—I will check out the chamber…I am sure they can answer most of my questions. Thanks for the website.

Geo

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on February 28, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Geo…I think your out of luck with the parking. There is some parking but not a parking field that will park 300 to 400 cars. In that area your talking parking for a strip shopping center which maybe around 200 spaces.

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on February 28, 2007 at 11:42 am

Marvin Troutman owns a chain of theaters know as “Cinema Center”

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 28, 2007 at 9:09 am

This is the Chamber of Commerce website. The name of the owner of this property is given as Marvin Troutman. At the bottom of the page it reads “For information on these spaces or potential others, please contact the Chamber”. They could probably answer your questions about this theater building.

jukingeo
jukingeo on February 28, 2007 at 8:50 am

Hello John,

Would you know if this building is for sale? Its price and more important, can it handle live shows? If so, I would be curious as to other live theatres in the area?

I am not too concerned about local movie theatres…anyone in the movie business can tell you there is a reason why single screen theatres don’t cut it anymore.

BUT with this building’s 911 capacity and the fact that is is already divided…does interest me as this could be a good multi-use venue. Most towns nowadays can’t support a theatre of this size even if I were to make it a single venue again. BUT if the market is there, there always exists the possibility of a full restoration.

Now, last thing. How is parking in the area? Is there a good size parking field nearby? A building of this size does need about a good 300 to 400 parking spaces.

Believe it or not…it is the lack of parking that has been the demise of many of these old picture palaces. So that is a major concern as well. People are not going to patronize a venue if they have to walk 10 blocks to get to it from their car. Simply put, I wouldn’t do it…so I wouldn’t expect anyone else to.

Thanx for the info,

Geo

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on February 28, 2007 at 6:03 am

Geo..I was in Bloomsburg last year. The tuxedo advertising on the Marquee is from a store down the street. Bobs is right about that. Bloomsburg is a college town. There is a 12 screen theater located out of town on highway route 11. It is a nice building. Just needs some TLC.

jukingeo
jukingeo on February 28, 2007 at 5:28 am

Hello BOBS

Thank You for information…In terms of the tuxedo store, are you sure that they just didn’t move into the theatre from another location on the block? That would seem like a highly plausible scenario. But if indeed they are only using the marquee, then that is a good sign that the building should be intact.

Yes, I did read that the theatre was twinned and I can use that to my advantage. If indeed the main theatre has live show capabilities, I could always show a movie or host another event in the other theatre.

I am hoping that the main theatre does have a stage. This is a 1920’s theatre and most theatres from this era were built as movie/vaudeville houses.

Just having a stage is only the beginning though. For live shows, a backstage area is necessary. Separate washrooms for the performers is necessary and finally one would need a fly area above the stage.

A good indicator just by looking outside of the building is to look for a vertical extension towards the back of the building. It would appear as a noticeable protrusion. This is the fly area I was talking about above. So if the building has this…then more then likely if should follow suit that it can handle live shows to a certain extent.

Best thing is if one could get inside the building and get some pictures.

Let me know if you hear anything else that comes down the pike.

I definately will want to keep my eye on this one.

It reminds me alot of the facade of the theatre in the movie “The Majestic”…right down to the missing marquee letter. So I had a good laugh about that. But the building has a really nice facade…I could only imaging what it would look like fully restored.

Thanx again,

Geo

RJS
RJS on February 27, 2007 at 6:46 pm

Did a google search on the men’s store name, and it seems to be located in the same block as the theater. I believe they may only be using the marquee to advertise their business.
The last time I was in the auditorium was 20 years ago. It was in fair shape at the time, but most of the décor was covered with some type of wall covering. The balcony was a separate theater, but I didn’t have the opportunity to go exploring. Don’t know if there is any type of stage. If I get to Bloomsburg in the near future will attempt to see if there’s any type of stage from the outside

RJS
RJS on February 27, 2007 at 6:46 pm

Did a google search on the men’s store name, and it seems to be located in the same block as the theater. I believe they may only be using the marquee to advertise their business.
The last time I was in the auditorium was 20 years ago. It was in fair shape at the time, but most of the décor was covered with some type of wall covering. The balcony was a separate theater, but I didn’t have the opportunity to go exploring. Don’t know if there is any type of stage. If I get to Bloomsburg in the near future will attempt to see if there’s any type of stage from the outside

jukingeo
jukingeo on February 27, 2007 at 5:25 pm

Urrgghh! Another theatre turned retail. I wanted to find out more about the theatre last year. No one came forward with details :(. I am curious as to what the interior looks(ed)like.

I am hoping the Tuxedo place didn’t permanently alter the interior much in the way the Beaver Falls Granada has been altered.

Geo

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 26, 2007 at 4:59 pm

This is another photo of the former Capitol Twin Theater. The building appears to be a mens clothing store.

jukingeo
jukingeo on June 13, 2006 at 4:47 pm

This looks like it was at one time an awesome theatre. It looks like it needs help now. Is it still for sale? Would anyone know if this theatre ever had live shows? Since it was twined at the balcony, I am curious if the primary theatre has a stage.

JG

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 23, 2006 at 12:54 pm

Here is a closeup photo of the former Capitol Twin Theater.

RJS
RJS on August 3, 2005 at 11:23 am

I was in the Capitol during the mid 1980’s and it was in good shape at the time, although most of the decor was covered as indicated above. I recall it was fairly narrow and the balcony was made into the second theater. Bloomsburg is a college town, so I thought this one would remain in business simply because college students could walk from campus. The owner did open a multi-screen inside a closed department store (kmart?) outside of town and left the Capitol go. It appears to be for sale.

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