PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Music legends the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, the Kinks, the Grateful Dead, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, and Phish were all headliners at the The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, until it fell out of regular use more than 20 years ago. Come September, The Cap is back, returning with more big name shows and a modern twist.
"The Capitol Theatre is a rock and roll icon and we are going to treat her as such," said Peter Shapiro, in a statement. Shapiro, the owner of the Brooklyn Bowl in New York City, who signed a long-term lease with the theater, which is at 149 Westchester Ave.
"We are going to spoil her and give her the best of everything - the best sound, the best lights, and the best video-projection technology of any theatre anywhere,” he added. “Our plan is to turn the knob to 11 in every way possible."
All "Spinal Tap" references aside, no acts have been announced yet, but with successful concert promoter The Bowery Presents in on the action, Port Chester stands to profit greatly from the re-opening.
"Since spending Thanksgiving weekend 1992 at the theatre with Phish, I've dreamed of promoting at The Cap' one day," says John Moore, partner at The Bowery Presents, in a release. "…We look forward to creating memorable concert experiences and reestablishing Port Chester as a destination for music lovers."
Mayor Dennis Pilla says the reopening is a “home run” for the village. “Bringing the Capitol Theatre back as a top concert destination will help to achieve our strategic goals to build on our strong restaurant row and to further accentuate the rich cultural and artistic presence that exists in the village," he said.
The Capitol Theatre was designed by architect Thomas Lamb in 1926 and was listed on The National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It has 1,835 seats and includes a 65-foot domed ceiling, general admission floor, a seated balcony, and six presidential box suites. Marvin Ravikoff purchased the theater in 1983, restoring the interior and using it as a location for occasional private events and performances.
With its reopening, the theater is utilizing social media with twitter (@CapitolTheatre), a youtube channel, and a promotion on Facebook for a chance to win four tickets to opening night when page fans share their favorite memories of the theater.
Fan Mary Ann Crouse shared this memory, “Capitol was my local Fillmore with great concerts for about $4. One show which is a great memory was on June 20, 1970. Mott The Hoople was the opening act. Followed by two unbelievable favorites - Grand Funk Railroad and The Kinks. And when we stood up and rocked, we actually stood up on our seats. It was a great time. I'm looking forward to the grand re-opening. Would love to see GFR and Ray Davies again at the new Capitol”