Capitol Theatre

1911 2nd Avenue N,
Birmingham, AL 35203

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Alcazar Theatre, Birmingham, Alabama in 1920

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Capitol Theatre opened in the 1910’s as the Alcazar Theatre. Seating was listed at 360. This theatre was located next door to the much larger Strand Theatre.

The Capitol Theatre closed in the early-1950’s as the Newmar Theatre, and has since been demolished for renewal. Any further information on this theatre would be appreciated.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 30, 2010 at 5:11 am

Here is a photo of the Capitol Theatre dated 1939.

The web site Birmingham Rewound says that the Capitol had earlier been called the Alcazar Theatre, and for the last few years of its operation (from 1948 until some time the early 1950s) was called the Newmar Theatre, a name that was moved next door to the Strand Theatre when the Newmar closed.

Here is a photo of the theater as the Alcazar, dated 1920.

The Strand was demolished to make way for a parking garage in 1963, and presumably the Alcazar/Capitol/Newmar came down at the same time, if it had not already been razed.

During its last few years as the Newmar, this small theater sported a splendid Streamlined Modern front with a rounded marquee. A photo of it is on the Birmingham Rewound page.

I’ve found text references indicating that the Alcazar was in operation in 1918, but it was probably several years old by that time. Its architectural style and narrow frontage mark it as being from the first wave of movie theater construction, so it probably predated the larger Strand next door by at least a year or more.

palmetto
palmetto on March 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm

In 1946, I used to catch the #1 Bessemer street car and go to the movie in Birmngham. The three theaters I went to were The Capital,The Galaxy, and The Strand, three theaters in a row on Second Avenue. These theaters would show shorts of Laurel and Hardy, my favorite at the time. I left Birmingham in 1954 and do not know the outcome of these three theaters.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on April 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm

A mid-1920’s ad for Reproduco organs lists The Capitol Theatre as one of their satisfied customers. However, I infer that is NOT this theatre if it was the Alcazar in the 1920’s. There must have been another theatre called The Capitol.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 22, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Just added a 1920 photo courtesy of the Old Photographs Facebook page.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on August 10, 2014 at 5:29 am

Will Dunklin, apparently the Alcazar (Empire?) Theatre had a 2 manual, 7 rank Kilgen organ installed in 1919. This info is from the TheatreOrgans.com database.

I have no idea what became of this organ and its opus number is unknown. Any other info is appreciated!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

The latest mention of the Alcazar I’ve found in the trades is from Exhibitors Herald of March 3, 1923, and the earliest mention I’ve found of the Capitol is a Birmingham Newsitem of June 23, 1926. Birmingham Rewound doesn’t give a date for the Alcazar’s name change to Capitol, but it’s quite likely that it took place in the 1920s, before the Reproduco was installed.

I take it that the Kilgen organ installed in 1919 would have been larger and more valuable than the Reproduco. Perhaps the Kilgen was moved to a new, larger theater and it was replaced by the smaller Reproduco at the 360-seat Capitol?

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