Capitol Theater

206 5th Avenue E,
Olympia, WA 98501

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Related Websites

Olympia Film Society (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Tom Moyer Luxury Theatres

Architects: Joseph Wohleb

Functions: Concerts, Movies

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 360.754.5378
Manager: 360.754.6670

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Eiki 16mm projector

The Capitol Theater was opened on October 7, 1924. it was remodeled in March 1937, but was damaged by a fire on April 24, 1937.Repairs were made and it reopened on August 25, 1937. It received another remodel in 1948, reopening on May 7, 1948. It screens art, foreign, and classic films Sunday thru Thursday. Rock bands play onstage on Fridays and Saturdays.

The theater suffered major plaster damage to the ceiling during a February 28th, 2001 earthquake, but has since been repaired and re-opened.

Contributed by Ken Layton

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 15, 2008 at 2:25 am

Interesting. Thanks.

pkings
pkings on November 20, 2008 at 7:58 am

Hi, I’m very pleased to have found this thread. I’m really enthused about the theatre. I’ve been an OFS volunteer for about 4 years, and a projectionist at the Capital Theatre for about the last two years. I have a picture of myself and some friends here in front of the new marquee at its unveiling at opening night of the recent 25th annual Olympia Film Festival. Lets see if this works..

View link

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Nice shot of the new vertical,looks very much like the old one in the shots.

KenLayton
KenLayton on September 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm

The Capitol Theater has been sold to the Olympia Film Society.

View link

KenLayton
KenLayton on August 8, 2011 at 6:17 am

Timelines:

Theater opens Tuesday October 7, 1924.

Theater remodeled March 1937.

Major fire damages theater. Balcony, mezzanine, and projection booth destroyed. Roof and ceiling damaged. Fire alarm turned in at 9:28 A.M. of Saturday April 24, 1937. Cause of fire determined to be spontaneous combustion of a single reel of nitrate 35mm film that had just been delivered the night before and was temporarily in the janitor’s closet in the mezzanine awaiting to be taken to the projection booth. Theater will be closed for several months to repair the damage.

Theater reopens after repairing the fire damage on Wednesday August 25, 1937. A brand new Western Electric “Mirrophonic” sound system was installed along with hearing assistance headphones available in selected seats.

KenLayton
KenLayton on August 8, 2011 at 6:20 am

The theater got remodeled again in 1948. Theater reopened on Friday May 7, 1948. Installed were Gulistan carpets and draperies along with Heywood-Wakefield seats.

KenLayton
KenLayton on August 8, 2011 at 6:36 am

Boxoffice magazine did a story about the April 24, 1937 fire. It is on this page:

http://www.boxofficemagazine.com/the_vault/issue_page?issue_id=1937-5-8&page_no=50#page_start

KenLayton
KenLayton on August 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm

February 25 to March 6, 1937 the theater was closed for repairs/remodeling due to a previous small fire in mid February 1937. Then came the big fire of April 24, 1937.

KenLayton
KenLayton on August 23, 2021 at 12:01 am

A new canopy is being built over the sidewalk in front of the theater. A new framework and drainage is being erected right now. This new canopy will match as closely as possible, the original 1924 canopy.

KenLayton
KenLayton on August 23, 2021 at 12:36 am

Ownership timelines:

1924 - 1977 Zabel Theatre Company (Ed Zabel, Hobe Zabel, and Art Zabel).

1977 - 1982 Crow-Woodbridge Enterprises (Andy Crow and Marshall Woodbridge).

1982 Theater leased to Gary Fine for one year.

1983 - 1985 Theater leased to Tom Moyer’s Luxury Theatres of Portland, Oregon (Tom Moyer, senior).

1985 - 1990 Theater is co-owned by Tom Moyer, junior and Andy Crow.

1990 - 2010 Theater leased to Olympia Film Society.

2010 Olympia Film Society buys the theater from Andy Crow.

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