Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Centre

50 North George Street,
York, PA 17401

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

9 July 2009

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This is actually two theaters: the Capitol Theatre, (1906) which has its own page on Cinema Treasures, and the Strand Theatre which opened on August 27, 1925 with 1,232 seats. Reinhardt Dempwolf was the architect for the Capitol Theatre, which contains a Wurlitzer organ and E.C. Horn & Sons were the architects of the Strand Theatre.

Films are now shown again after renovations of over $15 million.

Contributed by Stephen L. Zinicola

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

teecee on November 23, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Cover story of the local Fly Magazine – November 2008 edition.

Article states that the Strand closed in 1976. After 4 year renovation, the complex reopened with the Strand in 1980 and the Capitol in 1981.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm

The introductory paragraph on this page currently says that Reinhardt Dempwolf was the architect of the Strand. The theater’s official website attributes the Strand to E.C. Horn & Sons, as does spectrum in the comment of Oct 17, 2007, above.

Reinhardt Dempwolf was the architect of the Capitol Theatre. See this essay about J.A. Dempwolf Architects by Jim McClure, editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News.

dennisczimmerman on March 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I would like to correct the Spectrum Oct. 17, 2007 comment. The Capitol Theatre is on the corner and the Strand Theatre is to the left of the Capitol. I lived in York in the mid 1960’s as I was going to college there at the time. The theatres were operated by Stanley Warner at the time. The Strand was a one floor with a long lobby. The Capitol had a balcony. The marquee’s at the time were connected as one by neon in between. It was a long marquee with each theatre having a face and one end. Until I attended movies there I also thought the Capitol was bigger than the Strand as it was larger from the view from the street and I also knew it had a balcony. I am so glad they did save the theatres. Lancaster, about 25 miles East of York, where I live, had four movie theatres downtown and they were all demolished in 1966-67.

MichaelSug on April 5, 2009 at 11:57 pm

I saw my first movie (Mary Poppins) at the Strand as a kid in the 1960’s. Over the next ten years, until the theaters closed, I saw many, many films in these beautiful old theaters. The moves I saw there inspired a lifelong obsession with film and led to my moving to Los Angeles in the late 70’s to pursue work in the movie industry. I feel like I spent my whole childhood in the Strand/Capitol and the memories I have of these theaters are very meaningful to me. I’m so pleased the Strand and Capitol were saved and are still such a local treasure.

dennisczimmerman on April 19, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Just renewing my notification.

GeorgeStrum on May 13, 2009 at 2:59 am

Theatre Historical Society of America will be visiting here on 7/09/09.

spectrum on October 19, 2010 at 4:11 pm

The Capitol Theatre now has its own page at /theaters/33971

LNewnam on August 29, 2011 at 6:04 am

I went to many B-movies at the Dallas Theater in Dallastown in the mid 1960s. But it was the Strand or the Capitol in downtown York for James Bond (Thunderball, You Only Live Twice) , Jerry Lewis, Pink Panther or other first-run movies. I saw Easy Rider at the Strand or Capitol. I could never remember the differences, but they felt pretty up-town compared to Dallastown.

The Sound of Music? Strand or Capitol. That’s for sure. Great theaters.

dennisczimmerman on August 30, 2011 at 6:05 am

“The Sound of Music” played a special reserved seat engagement at the William Goldman Hiway Theatre which was located on West Market Street near the York Fair grounds. The auditorium portion of the theatre is still standing, but the facade, entrance, and lobby areas had been demolished. I think it is now part of the pewterex complex.

BingSHB on April 17, 2013 at 1:10 am

The Capitol theater plays a new movie every 2 weeks it seems and usually just during the winter. One show Saturday night, one show Sunday afternoon. Lately, they’ve shown Anna Karenina, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, A Late Quartet, Rust and Bone, among others.

While I appreciate this theater still being open, just thought I’d be honest about a few problems: first, the seats on the main floor are terrible. Hard as a rock and I could see lots of people squirming throughout the movie. The seats on the balcony are much better. Second, I have yet to see a movie here without a problem occuring: sound dropping out or switching formats, boom mics having a cameo, going in and out of focus, movie stopping completely. During Perks, the movie stopped and when it restarted it was a scene 5 minutes later in the film. Perhaps most interesting was one movie (A Late Quartet) seemed to be a DVD being projected. I didn’t mind it that much because the movie wasn’t particularly good, but they should have made a note of it ahead of time.

If you like old theaters with the occasional hiccup in presentation, you might like it.

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