Capitol Theatre

405 Cleveland Street,
Clearwater, FL 33755

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dallasmovietheaters on January 9, 2016 at 2:43 am

Architected by Lester Avery, the Capitol launched with the feature, “Dinty” on March 21, 1921. Sporting Powers 6B projectors, the 600-seat theatre was owned by H. Pittman of Dunedin’s Dixie Theatre. A Seeburg Photo Player piano complemented the 5-piece orchestra.

tbpirate on January 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm


I am the new manager of the Capitol Theatre.
I would appericate any photos of the interior of the theatre pre-Royalty. It would be incredible to have photos pre 1962. Ruth Eckerd Hall and the City are seeking to revamp the theatre to it’s 1920’s look. Any help would be welcomed.

Thank you

sruley on September 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm

The theatre was built by Senator-elect John S. Taylor (aka “Handsome Jack” Taylor or “Jack Taylor”), who also built the historical Rolyat Hotel in 1926 (current part of Stetson University Law School).

The contractor for the Capitol Theatre was father and son team John and Ivan Phillipoff who also built the Coachman Building (1916), the Roebling Estate in Bellaire, the original Pinellas County Courthouse, other historical homes which have been saved, and work at the Belleview Hotel.

Groundbreaking was Dec 6, 1920. It was damaged in a storm on Oct 26, 1921. (so it had been completed).

A Robert Morton Wicks Opus 415 Organ was installed in 1922.</li]

Donald Roebling was a frequent patron [/url], having his own double seat installed at the theatre.

The theatre was managed by various movie companies (EJ Sparks, Paramount, ABC-Southeastern Theatres, and Plitt Southern) where it played the most recent movies of the day. The theatre also offered vaudeville on Friday nights in the 1930s. Headliners included Sally Rand, Fred Stone and his daughter, and Lum and Abner (of radio).

The theatre was renovated in 1962. The Robert Morton Wicks Opus 415 was most likely removed during this rennovation.

When Plitt Southern did not renew their contact in 1979, Bill Neville and Jerry Strain tried to save the theatre with film classics and reduced prices. However, the theatre closed its doors on Oct 28, 1980.

Royalty Theater Company signed leases with the Taylor family in February 1981. From hereon, the theatre became known as the Royalty Theater. The building was renovated with (<a href Ron Winter of Winter Associates as the contractor and Scott Musheff as the architect).

During the renovations, Bill Neville’s murdered body was found in the balcony.

The theatre remained in the Taylor family estate until it was sold in 1996, when Socrates Charos took over the theatre.

In July 2008 the building went into foreclosure.

kencmcintyre on January 18, 2007 at 3:16 pm

Here is a 2002 article about a wave of theater closures in Clearwater:

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 4, 2005 at 2:56 pm

Listed in the Film Daily Yearbook,1950 edition, the Capitol Theatre had a seating capacity of 944. It was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary E.J. Sparks.

teecee on February 15, 2005 at 8:50 pm

The Florida history website lists the opening date as 1924. It was also known as The Capital Theater.