Capri Theatre

1653 Willow Pass Road,
Concord, CA 94520

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Harvest Church (formerly Capri Theatre) Concord

Viewing: Photo | Street View

I believe this theatre was on the second floor of a two story building which has since become a church.

Contributed by Robert Merk

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on May 10, 2005 at 10:08 am

To add to the above post, there was also the Sun Valley Cinemas at Sun Valley Mall(operated by General Cinema Corporation) and the Showcase on Grant St. Sun Valley also showed first-run product. The Showcase in 1973 was a discount house that went to hard porn in 1975 and then became part of the Pussycat chain in 1976.

jfrentzen
jfrentzen on May 10, 2005 at 11:09 am

Here is a photo of the Capri Theatre marquee and entrance circa 1976, which will do until this site gets its photo service working again. In this shot, you are facing in from the shopping center parking lot.

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PatForan
PatForan on September 18, 2005 at 9:34 am

I, too, managed the Capri theatre from 1992 to 1994. By that time the Enea family had taken it over. After obtaining the Capri, they kept the single screen and reopened it in 1990. It closed in 1991 when audiences dwindled down to literally two people per night. The Eneas split the huge auditorium in half widthwise and created two smaller theatres to the right and left, so looking at the three sets of doors in the lobby, the right and left doors now went into the smaller theatres and the center doors opened to a long sloping hallway into the larger auditorium. As far as I could tell the original screen and automated masking was left intact. This new configuration opened in early 1992 shortly before I began working there. At that time it was a second-run discount house, with a $2 admission ($1.50 weekdays) if you bought a $2 “membership card.” By the end of 1992 the membership format was not working and the theatre switched to first-run only. Being a mom-and-pop operation compared to the theatres with money (Syufy, Festival, Brenden), the movies we got were usually smaller films no other chain wanted, or they were cast-offs from the bigger theatres that needed room for a newer feature. Later on a few Indian-language films were shown on occasion. Due to the ethnic diversity of the area, there was always an audience for these films; why this was not continued on a more permanent basis is beyond me.

As far as equipment is concerned, the smaller theatres were far inferior to any I had seen. For some reason, the booths for the smaller theatres had a large area of open dead space in front of the projector, used for storage or whatever. This was probably part of the original single-screen booth that had not been removed. Because of this, the projector could not be pointed downward and, as a result, the screens in those theatres were uncomfortably high. And only the large auditorium had Dolby (analog) sound; I don’t believe the smaller rooms even had surround sound. There was no 70mm capability either. And I too had to make the treacherous climb to the outside ledge to change the marquee; however, I had to climb the ladder while holding the letter box too.

The Capri under Enea ownership closed around May of 1995. It reopened a short time later that year under different ownership and closed again just as quickly. Thus came an end to the neighborhood theatre I loved as a kid and despised as an employee.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 5, 2007 at 1:50 pm

This was in the Contra Costa Times in August 2005:

After six years of legal wrangling, Harvest Church parishioners will finally be able to worship in the old Capri Theater they own at Concord’s Park & Shop center. A recent court ruling has enabled the church to plan renovations needed to begin holding services on the theater’s second floor by next year. A Contra Costa County judge ruled that Concord did not violate its general plan last year when it approved the church to hold services in the former theater.

SFLee
SFLee on June 8, 2007 at 12:06 pm

CONCORD
Church wins fight to use old theater

Bob Egelko
Friday, June 8, 2007
A Concord church’s long-standing application to convert a vacant movie theater into a house of worship has won approval from a state appeals court.

The Harvest Church bought the former Capri Theater in the Park and Shop Mall in 1998 and sought to build a church and conference center on the second floor. Concord officials rejected the idea, saying it would interfere with plans to revitalize the area with retail development. The appeals court agreed with the city.

The church then revised its proposal by dropping the conference center. The new plan was approved by the City Council 3-2 in 2004, despite opposition from some mall tenants.

On Wednesday, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said the council was entitled to take a different view of the scaled-down proposal. With the site still vacant and the shopping center deteriorating, the city reached the reasonable conclusion that the church would promote retail development, the court said.

The Harvest Church now holds Sunday services in a leased auditorium at a nearby theater. An attorney for the church, Wayne Smith, said it plans to apply for a building permit soon.

A lawyer for opponents was unavailable for comment.

THIS STORY RAN IN THE PENINSULA & EAST BAY EDITIONS

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This article appeared on page B – 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on June 8, 2007 at 1:18 pm

I need to contact them to take photos before they do too much to the theatrey-ness of it all.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm

The Capri Theatre, like other ABC houses of the 1960s and 1970s, was designed by architect Henry George Greene.

Here’s a photo of the former Capri Theatre.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Really Great stories,you see so few anymore on CT.

rob750
rob750 on November 29, 2011 at 11:30 am

The Capri theater was the second theater in the area where I worked after having come from the Hillcrest theater that later was, unfortunately, renamed Cooper Cinemas. The Hillcrest theatre was closed when the owners, a church organization, wanted to use the facility strictly for their church. I think it remains a church today.

The Capri Theater was owned by Plitt and the manager at the time, Jim, moved over to the Northpoint theater in San Francisco. The owner of the Hillcrest theater operation signed a lease to take over Capri Theater around 1981 or so. I came in to run it, having briefly been at the San Pablo theaters, which were run by the same man. We showed two second run features for $2.00 and offered a large popcorn with refills for about $2.00. It was a great place to work while going to high school because I managed the facility and hired trustworthy friends. Some 30 years later I am still friends with people I met while managing the Capri Theater.

The theater was large and unfortunately the owner, at the time, did not do a great deal to keep it updated and clean. It was sad to see this beautiful theater start to fade and not being able to do anything about it. The owners got rid of the union projectionists and the union janitor was asked to stay under a different contract. That’s when I knew it was time to move on. The owner offered me an opportunity to work at his newly acquired theater, The Park Theater in Lafayette. I would spend about a year there before it was time to move on and head to LA to go to college.

JohnRice
JohnRice on November 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

In October 2012 the Harvest Church was renovating the entire building that once housed the Capri Theatre. The Capri sign which remained in place during church use up until that time had finally been removed.

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