Capitol Twin Theatre

45 East Main Street,
Bloomsburg, PA 17815

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Showing 1 - 25 of 37 comments

RJS
RJS on May 16, 2014 at 10:56 pm

It looks like someone purchased the building and reopened it as a restaurant and bar. The website is http://www.capitolrestaurantandbar.com/ There are a few photos!

Jack Theakston
Jack Theakston on February 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Listed in in the 1945-46 International Motion Picture Almanac as a Comerford-Publix Theater. I suspect the architect was Leon Lempert, Jr. Does anyone have any clear interior photographs?

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 22, 2010 at 3:47 am

NIce marquee shot ken mc.

bloomsburgorganist
bloomsburgorganist on May 19, 2009 at 9:19 pm

By the way, does anybody know what happened to the 2/5 Wurlitzer in the Capital. It was opus # 1797, I found a stoplist and it had a whole load of toys on it!
If anybody knows it’s fate please tell me!

bloomsburgorganist
bloomsburgorganist on May 19, 2009 at 1:16 am

I live in Bloomsburg and several people have told me they are KEEPING the Marque! I hope this bit of good news is true. During the fall they had the neon and other lights on a few nights, go to this link and scroll pretty much to the bottom to see!
View link

mascarah
mascarah on November 17, 2008 at 4:54 pm

the photos are from july of this year. i was at the theatre (just a peek through the front window, this time) yesterday and it has been emptied. i wonder what they did with all the old equipment. there are dumpsters sitting on main street if anyone wants to drive out and climb through them. i already got what i wanted.

Mts83
Mts83 on November 17, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Thanks to Mascarah, didn’t notice you were on here as well.

Mts83
Mts83 on November 17, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Sombody just posted a Youtube video with a collage of old photos on my photostream from within the theater (before the gutting).

View link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYynK3tg9Is

Its a sad though interesting look at the theater.

mascarah
mascarah on November 16, 2008 at 9:34 pm

sorry to break your hearts but as of today, (sunday november 16 2008), the bloomsburg capitol theatre is being gutted and remodeled into student housing. what a waste. i guess you can all quit arguing about what you would and wouldn’t do with it.

a moment of silence…

bloomingburg
bloomingburg on May 13, 2008 at 6:54 pm

I called Jag Housing and the theatre is for sale for $150,000 and the only stipulation for use is that it does not show first run movies. The town of Bloomsburg is also actively seeking a parking solution, so given the time frame of purchase and renovation, parking probably won’t be an issue anymore. Additionally, there is plenty of parking in the summer when most of the students are gone.

jukingeo
jukingeo on May 13, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Hello Lost:

Hmmm, the marquee still looks pretty nice. Perhaps something could be made of this place if it wasn’t for the politics involved. The owner simply will NOT sell it if it is to be used as a theatre. I mean really, I for one am NOT interested in his movie business and wouldn’t interfere with it. I am interested in live theatre. This building is a theatre so it just seems like the owner wants to let this piece of history fade away until A) it will be converted to stores in which case he will have no problem selling it B) it will be in such bad shape the town will tear it down. That would be a shape. The building does have a very nice Deco marquee.

Geo

jukingeo
jukingeo on March 8, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Hello Jaghousing.

If the town would consider a proposition for improving the parking in the downtown area AND the building’s owner can be convinced to sell the building unconditional to it’s use…then I would reconsider. As if you have read my posts above, there are just certain issues that are attached to this building that initially scared me away from it. However, I do believe with some time and money the building can be made into a beautiful live performing arts theatre that could benefit the town.

But I think the larger issue of parking in the area would have to be addressed first. Possibly the erection of a parking garage and/or bus service could assist tremendously. Not only would this benefit a theatre project, but it would help in the development in the downtown area. In order for any commercial operation to work…the people HAVE to find you AND getting to you has to be easy.

As I said above, I do have a few ideas on how to solve traffic/parking issues in a redevelopment project since there are so many theatres I looked at that have this same problem including the famous Uptown in Chicago. Granted the Capitol is not the Uptown (no where near it in fact). But it is still wonderful when a town can revitalize its old theatre.

Over where I live, they turned an old dilapidated movie house into a beautiful legit theatre that shows mainly live performances. The project was nothing short of amazing and the theatre is now one of the more popular places for something to do on the weekend here on Long Island. For those wanting to know, it is the Patchogue Theatre, Long Island NY. It should be listed here in CT.

Geo

jaghousing
jaghousing on March 8, 2008 at 6:27 pm

There has been some positive developements on this building for anyone who would be interested in purchasing the property. Please contact me

bloomingburg
bloomingburg on September 2, 2007 at 12:27 am

There’s always eminent domain….

jukingeo
jukingeo on September 1, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Hello Bloomingburg,

I have already looked into this theatre and there are several problems. You already mentioned the one…metered parking. It is from my past experience with doing surveys on prospective theatre locations that I found out, people DO NOT want to pay for parking. They also do not want to walk a great distance from their cars to the theatre.

This is a HUGE problem with many downtown theatres in that there is not enough parking. Of course this is not the downtown’s fault or the theatres fault for simple reason as most downtowns were built before the automobile was invented. The trouble that hereinlies that a theatre has to adapt to these changes and the only solution is to provide some kind of structure or field nearby that would allow patrons to park in.

I am right now working on a solution for parking that could help many a downtown theatre. Hopefully my ideas will work. But in the case of this theatre, there is another problem and that is the owner of the building. The owner closed this building to open up a multiplex. Naturally to avoid competition the new owner has to agree not to operate a theatre out of this location. Of course that sounds stupid considering the building IS a theatre. I mean what else can you use it for.

I did want to go in the promise of using the theatre for live applications ONLY and thus without showing movies, not to competing with the owner. However, that didn’t seem to fly.

I have contacted the C of C already and pretty much obtained the information I needed. I just think that with the problems I mentioned above AND the fact that theatre is in not a very good shape to begin with, I pretty much am going to pass this one up. It is really the owner that is to blame because of his stiff conditions on purchasing the property. Personally I think he is probably going to let the building deteriorate until it has to be torn down.

Sad yes, worse…this isn’t the first time I heard of something like this. I think if the town really wants to save the theatre, they really have to step in. Perhaps if they bought the theatre and restored it for their own purposes then perhaps it could be saved.

Geo

bloomingburg
bloomingburg on September 1, 2007 at 6:10 pm

I just walked past the Capitol and came back home and did an internet search of its particular.

Geo, I think you need to visit Bloomsburg before you can make a 300 minimum parking requirement. It’s a college town (8,000 undergrads) with very few tract housing neighborhoods. Most people walk to the downtown area from where they live and most people live in town. BTE has no problem bringing in patrons. There is parking on street and in back alley parking lots, all metered. The downtown is thriving with several new restaurants and all buildings are either occupied or in the process of being renovated for a business save the Capitol. The town supports the largest fair in the state and parking is problematic for that week, but otherwise, I’ve never seen the whole of downtown w/o parking spaces free.

Lastly, Bloomsburg has a pretty strident architectural board and does not allow exterior alterations of buildings within the district. Getting vinyl siding put on a house can be problematic, for instance. That a building would be leveled for the sake of downtown parking is, frankly, ludicrous. That’s sooooo not Bloomsburg.

I can contact the CofC and see what the price is and see if I can get inside to check out the interior.

codeman2008
codeman2008 on June 8, 2007 at 12:58 am

The clothing store is in the building next to it they use it for advertising, the other theatre is the Alvina Krause Theatre, home to the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, it was formerly the Columbia Theater, (at that time it showed movies) and before that it was the Bloomsburg Opera House.

jukingeo
jukingeo on March 1, 2007 at 11:56 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

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on March 1, 2007 at 10:12 pm

and yet here is 2007 and the Capitol still stands

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on March 1, 2007 at 8:14 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 8:10 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 4:14 pm

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 2:55 pm

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.

jukingeo
jukingeo on March 1, 2007 at 12:19 am

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