Capitol Theatre

110 W. Main Street,
Lebanon, TN 37087

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Danny Proctor
Danny Proctor on January 6, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Just did a show at the newly-restored Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. The interior of the theatre is completely new, retaining a bit of the old architecture. The terrazzo floors were restored, the original restroom signs, some light fixtures etc. Beautifully done. I hope they enjoy great success. In addition to live performances, they’re also screening movies there again.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

Clickable version of joelmoses' link. The article says that the Capitol Theatre originally opened on December 9, 1941, and closed in 1980. It was renovated by new owner Bob Black beginning in 2009, and reopened in the early summer of 2013.

Here is the official web site, the History page of which notes that the Capitol was originally owned by the Crescent Amusement Company, but was taken over by Martin Theatres in 1961.

joelmoses
joelmoses on July 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Looks like they’ve been successful!

http://www.wsmv.com/story/22770815/historic-capitol-theater-reopens-on-lebanon-square

LRRamsay
LRRamsay on June 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Apparently, this theatre is going to be restored. See their site: www.capitoltheatreproject.org/

The contact on the site is

I’m so happy to see this great old theatre being brought back to life. My Dad worked there when he was a teenager.

reiben
reiben on September 10, 2010 at 7:25 am

Does anyone have the contact info for this new owner?

jgleason
jgleason on February 9, 2010 at 8:44 am

An update – the theatre was sold in November. Congrats to the new owners! I hope the plans are for a renovation and grand reopening!

StacyGee
StacyGee on October 20, 2009 at 5:54 am

I have this old Theater for sale if anyone wants to see inside or if anyone has any interest. Its on my website at www.NashvilleInvestors.com

DonLewis
DonLewis on June 19, 2008 at 9:53 am

For a 1996 view of the Capitol Theater in Lebanon please click here.

DonLewis
DonLewis on June 19, 2008 at 6:51 am

A 1996 view of the Capitol Theater in Lebanon.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 19, 2007 at 3:05 pm

My brother and I had just listened to Alice Brock’s commentary on “This I Believe” on NPR. My brother sent me this note about a memory of his at the Capitol.

I’m definately an Arlo fan and I did know that Alice did exist. It was a true (sort of) story. I went to see it at the old Capitol right off the square. The song had been out for a while and I was really looking foward to seeing the movie. About a third of the way through the movie I got to feeling kinda sick. I went to the restroom and puked my guts out. I went back to my seat and told Wynne that I was really feeling bad and we should probably leave. We did just that, and I puked again before I got to the car. We finally made it back to the apartment and I was sitting on the toliet in great distress and puking at the same time. She called dad and he said it sounded like I had something really nasty………he said he would call the Dr. and they met me at the old McFarland Hospital. Dr. Bone was on call……….he gave me a shot and sat me down in a wheel chair and started rolling me down the hall. ………….I don’t remember anything after that. I had food poisoning. I woke up in the hospital the next morning with my arm strapped to a board and an I/V in my arm. My arm was really hurting because I couldn’t bend it. Finally they came in and unhooked me. What a relief……………So my memory of Alice’s Restaurant is VIVID ………………..ha ha ha …………..I finally did get to see it all the way through, and did enjoy it. Arlo is one of the great writers, and is the son of Woody Guthrie, also one of the all time great folk song writers and lived what he wrote about.

chrissmith3
chrissmith3 on March 3, 2007 at 7:10 am

I have been thinking of buying the capitol for awhile but really don’t know what it looks like inside.So if anyone has any inside pictures or can describe it me please send it to thanks

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on April 3, 2006 at 11:58 am

Jack thanks for the photo (and for the one of the Princess in Lebanon). Notice the storefront immediately to the left of the marquee. The theatre’s steel facade decor and part of the marquee once covered the upper story of the storefront (see my note above 4/9/2004). Above the retail shop was a suite of offices for the theatre: a dead-end hallway ran from the balcony corridor back toward the street with office doors opening off the left (west) side. It was quite a surprise to open the doors, because not only had offices never been used, there was no floor in them!!! Opening one of those doors – I think there were three of them – let you see down to the ceiling of the Western Auto store below. How did they EVER got that past the codes even back in 1956???

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on April 3, 2006 at 10:05 am

Here are a a few current photos of of the Capitol.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on May 8, 2005 at 2:10 pm

Here’s an odd little collage photo which includes the Capitol at the extreme right. The perspective is somewhat distorted.

View link

ccrowdus
ccrowdus on March 20, 2005 at 7:39 pm

As a young 4th grade cadet at Castle Heights in 1958 I went with a couple of buddies to see the movie, “The Blob” starring Steve McQueen at the Capitol. Its poster showed how the red-colored blob would be taking over everything in its path—definitely something I wanted to see.

As a native Chicagoan, it was to be the first movie I’d see in the South, and I was looking forward to it. My Southern classmates were equally excited.

When we bought our tickets, I asked the box office clerk to give us seats to the “colored balcony” because I didn’t want to see the movie in black and white. Both the clerk and my buddies quickly assured me that the movie would be in color on the main floor of the theatre. When we got into our seats my buddies told me what “colored balcony” meant…

It was my first awareness of segregation.

Clark Crowdus

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on February 4, 2005 at 7:22 pm

The address for the Capitol is 110 West Main Street, Lebanon, TN 37087. One record I came across states the theatre opened in 1961 and closed in the 1980s, but it’s architecture suggest that the theatre was probally constructed during the mid 1950s.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on April 9, 2004 at 10:18 am

Having grown up in Lebanon during the 1960’s and 70’s I remember the Capitol quite fondly. Our 3rd grade teacher arranged for a special showing of Gone With the Wind as a field trip. There was a kiddy horror show with a pretty minimal stage presentation followed by Night of the Living Dead. I was afraid to go near the creek after seeing Jaws. I squirmed very uncomfortably sitting next to mom watching The Way We Were.

There was no parking lot so IF you drove, you parked on the town square (a half-block away) or across the street behind the bank. It was just as easy to walk the 7 blocks from our house.

The Capitol had no place to put it’s big yellow trash dumpster so it sat out on the sidewalk under the marquee. Somehow to a little kid in a small town, that didn’t seem strange.

You could (still can) see the Capitol’s vertical sign all the way down West Main Street to Castle Heights. The letters were in dancing white lights with a large disk of of lights at the top. Green neon edged the triange marquee.

There was a storefront adjacent to the lobby built as part of the theater. The green neon marquee edging extended over the storefront windows. For years it was home to Western Auto who displayed their Radio Flyer wagons and Schwinn bicycles on the sidewalk next to the dumpster.

The Capitol was part of the Martin chain. It closed when they opened a tri-plex in a shopping center. There was a restriction on the deed of sale that the Capitol couldn’t be used as a theater for 20 years. That time span is long past.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 17, 2004 at 3:02 pm

The hotel next door was the West Side Hotel, the Lebanon Hotel was farther down West Main Street. Reports are that the current owner has put a new roof on the building: at least forstalling a roof collapse.

The Capitol went through a 2nd rate renovation before it closed. The “moderne” sconces were removed and the walls covered with faux-wood paneling with fake plants in a mid-height planter running the length of the auditorium.

The terrazzo lobby floor and the triangle marquee and vertical sign survive as of this writing.

msv
msv on November 1, 2003 at 12:45 pm

This is a cool old theater. It is located right on the square. It is very large. Upstairs even had bathrooms for people in balcony. There is also space for apts etc.. Last time I saw the theater was about 3 years ago. It was a furniture store. Theater looked just as it did when it was built. Only the seats were removed. It has a large stage, where the owner said before shows it had a roll up screen that would reveal an automobile for advertising. Screen and stage is still there. This theater needs to be restored, It has water damage from the hotel that was destroyed by fire, that used to be next door. I think 3 years ago he wanted around $120,000 He probably would take a lot less now. Oh by the way, The lobby still boasts an original movie poster from the last movie shown there in the 70’s. I thought of buying the theater, but renovations would have been to costly.

Farkas
Farkas on October 16, 2003 at 7:53 pm

Could someone provide me with more info about this theatre? Asking price? Photo? Contact info? Thank you