Capitol Theatre

45136 Cass Avenue,
Utica, MI 48317

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The Capitol Theatre was in operation by 1937. The building now houses the offices of an architectural firm.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

There was a Capitol (or Capital) Theatre in Utica prior to 1936, which was to be replaced that year, but I’ve been unable to discover if the plans were carried out. The September 26, 1936, issue of The Film Daily had an item about current projects of the architectural firm Bennett & Straight, part of which read:

“Other jobs in progress include: Remodeling of a building at Utica, Mich., to be named the Capitol when converted from a store building into a theater. F. R. Spangle, who now operates the old Capitol Theater at Utica, will be the owner.”
If the project was carried out, then it must have been this building at 45136 Cass Avenue, but if the project was abandoned, then this building could be the location of the older Capitol Theatre, which was in operation by 1930.

This house might also have been one of the rare theaters that used the name Capital instead of Capitol. The book What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic, by Henry Jenkins, cites a September 6, 1930, item from Motion Picture Herald which was apparently quoting a movie review by theater manager K. M. Wickware, and it uses the spelling Capital Theater. The architectural firm now in the building, the Cummins Group, also uses the spelling Capital Theater on its web site.

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