Capitol Theatre

531 Church Street,
Nashville, TN 37219

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Capitol Theatre, Nashville, TN in 1926

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Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

TheatreOrgan
TheatreOrgan on April 15, 2008 at 3:09 am

By reviewing the Tennessean newspapers records, The Capitol Theatre, costing $250,000.00, opened somewhere around May 1st, 1926, at this site.

The Tennessean (4/18/1926) reported that F. Arhur Henkel will direct the Capitol Orchestra. Mr. Henkel is the director of the Nashville Symphony, as well as the former head of the Organ Department at Ward-Belmont College in Nashville, and current organist at Christ Church Episcopal at Broadway & 9th Ave. N. Mr. Henkle, although not the organist at The Capitol Theatre, had a 3 manual, 36 stops, Moller organ installed in his home at 1600 Linden Avenue, City.

The organist of The Capitol Theatre’s $35,000.00 organ will be Leon Coles, who up until recently had been the organist at The Belmont Theatre since December 20th, 1925. The first film was “Let’s Get Married”.

On March 17, 1929, The Tennessean reported that a fire had damaged the theatre with a loss between $70-90,000.00. The greatest loss was the Vitaphone equipment, the organ, and projector room equipment. Apparently the theatre was not rebuilt here, but moved to the second Capitol Theatre listed in Nashville, located at 835 2nd Ave., S.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 1, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Thanks TheatrOrgan.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 13, 2010 at 3:24 am

This theatre should have be located near or at the location of the 1st Princess Theatre its address being 511 Church Street and the Capital being at 531 Church, they were both in the same block if not the same location as address' change sometimes, I believe the 1st Princess replaced the Capital Theatre after the fire there, anymore info would be great.

DavePrice
DavePrice on September 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

See my comments on the other Capitol page. The Capitol was at the west end of the block and the Princess lobby was just east of McKendrie Church. The Capitol lobby was where the Warner Building, later called Sudekum Bldg and later called Tennessee Bldg was located and right next door to where the much later Tennessee Theater was built.

DavePrice
DavePrice on September 20, 2010 at 9:22 pm

My father always said that when the Warner Bldg was built it was planned that a theater be there but what with the Depression etc it didn’t get done for many years. I rode through town the night the Tennessee was opened and saw the crowds but didn’t get to go to the gala opening at which some movie premiered.

By the way I believe the old Capitol occupied part of the Odd Fellows building at 6th and Church. The Odd Fellows Lodge might have owned the property as I seem to recall that it was simply leased for 100 years to the builders of the Warner building and I understamnd they had a Lodge on the top floor. They might even yet own the propertty. I think the high-rise condo building there is called the Cumberland- is this correct?

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on September 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Thats the one Dave. The Tennessee Theatre has its own page on C.T.

silverwrench
silverwrench on March 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I am looking for theaters in downtown Nashville Tn 1960’s
thankyou Butch

DavePrice
DavePrice on March 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Butch: The Paramount, the Tennessee, Loew’s and the “New Princess” were all operating during the 1960s. The New Princess was for a time called the Cinerama and after Loew’s burned in 1967, they took over the New Princess and called it Loew’s Crescent. I know the Fifth Avenue was out of business before the sixties but I cannot remember when the Knickerbocker closed. Some other oldster ought to chime in here on this.

DavePrice
DavePrice on March 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

TheatreOrgan: I just noticed you mentioned Leon Cole- I think it was spelled without the S – He was a very well-known organist around here in my youth, played the Centennial Park concerts etc. I believe he had a son who was killed in the war. Very talented musician.

Somewhere there is a mention of a “talkie” sound system being bought for the Capitol about the time it burned and the system then being installed in the Fifth Avenue.

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