123 Summers Street,
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Built circa 1912, the Plaza Theatre presented 10-20-30 cent vaudeville and stage plays. Destroyed by fire around 1922, it was extensively redesigned and rebuilt with movies in mind. For many years, as the Capitol Theatre, it was noted for its exceptional sound and picture (the screen was carefully curved to counteract distortion). The last major film to play the Capitol Theatre was the premiere of “Star Wars”.
The theater closed a few years later, in the mid-1970’s. A private group began restoration in the 1980’s with the intent of opening the theater as a performing arts center, but capitalization was insufficient. The building was donated as a tax loss to West Virginia State University, which now calls it the Capitol Center.
The only regular performances are the Sunday services of River Ridge Church, which lacks a building of its own.
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