Capitol Theatre

204 N. Washington Avenue,
Lansing, MI 48933

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Capitol Theatre

The Capitol Theatre was located at 204 N. Washington Avenue and was managed by Butterfield Theatres of Detroit. It was originally the Theatorium which opened in 1912. It later became the Empress Theatre. It was renamed Capitol Theatre on August 6, 1922. In 1955, the building was owned by the Claude Cody estate. The manager at that time was Harry Hayden, who moved on to manage the Esquire Theatre at 122 E. Michigan Avenue. The Capitol Theatre had a second run policy or as we term it today, a cheap seat theatre.

The second run policy was now in place at the Esquire Theatre which had been closed for several months but was reopened with the closing of the Capitol Theatre and the Southtown Theatre in 1955. All three theatres were managed by the Butterfield Theatre Group.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

jiveturkey on July 26, 2004 at 9:03 am

The status of the Capitol in Lansing should be “demolished”. I tried to find it this weekend but I was told that it was torn down 15 years ago.

jiveturkey on August 2, 2004 at 8:05 am

This is now the “campus” of Lansing Community College. I guess there could be worse fates for the land that used to house the theatre.

Roloff on January 1, 2005 at 1:16 pm

Note that it’s across from the Gladmer and it’s neon sign can be seen on a postcard from 1944 of Lansing’s “Business Section”.

CSWalczak on August 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Updated link to the webpage posted by Chuck1231 in January, 2004: View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Butterfield took over the Capitol Theatre and remodeled it in 1936, according to the September 19 issue of The Film Daily that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm

The caption of the photo of the Empress Theatre that Tinseltoes linked to on August 10 says that the architect was Geo. J. Bockmann of Flint. It must be a misspelling of George J. Bachmann, who designed several theaters in Michigan during the first half of the 20th century.

rivest266 on September 5, 2016 at 2:22 pm

This opened as Capitol on August 6th, 1922 by Claude E. Cady. Its grand opening ad can be found in the photo section for this theatre.

DavidZornig on March 8, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Post 1922 photo added courtesy of Lynn DeCair. Via Carolyn J. Ray, the Capitol Theatre eventually became Eagles Restaurant.

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