149 Westchester Avenue,
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The Capitol Theatre (Official)
Previously operated by: Fox Theatres (Reading, PA)
Architects: Thomas White Lamb
News About This Theater
- Dec 30, 2011 — Live music to return to a storied theater
Except for the Thomas Lamb-designed Proctor’s Theatre, New Rochelle, the Capitol Theatre is probably the most beautiful movie-vaudeville palace ever built in Westchester County. The auditorium, with its domed ceiling, side-wall boxes and draped archways, is very similar to the one that Thomas Lamb designed for the Fox Savoy Theatre in Brooklyn, which was built around the same time. Ironically, the Capitol Theatre, which opened under independent ownership on August 18, 1926, was acquired by William Fox in 1929, with management shifting to Skouras Theaters Corp. after his bankruptcy. The opening movie was “The Sea Wolf” starring Ralph Ince.
When Skouras closed the Capitol Theatre in 1966, music promoter Howard Stein took over and converted it into a rock palace. Crowds came from three states to attend the star-studded concerts, causing such havoc in Port Chester that the city government finally stopped them in 1971 by adopting a 1:00am curfew on live entertainment. Heavily damaged and plundered during the Stein regime, the Capitol Theatre became a XXX movie house before shutting down in 1976.
Seven years later, entrepreneur Marvin Ravikoff purchased the Capitol Theatre and began renovations while trying to find a format for running it. Stage plays and concerts proved unsuccessful, so the Capitol Theatre became a catering and special-events facility. The upstairs seating has been retained, but the orchestra floor became an open space for dining, dancing, and trade shows. The stage can still be used when needed. In 2012 it became a concert venue.
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