Capitol Theater

211 N. 3rd Street,
Burlington, IA 52601

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Capitol Theater, Burlington (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Central States Theatres Corp

Architects: Roland 'Tip' Goucher Harrison, Frank E. Wetherell

Firms: Wetherell & Harrison

Functions: Live Performances, Movies (Independent)

Styles: Art Deco

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 319.237.1099

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News About This Theater

Capitol Theater

One of the most modern and luxurious theaters of its time, the Capitol Theater symbolized hope for Burlington in the darkest days of the Depression. Opened on July 1, 1937 with “The Prince and the Pauper”. Its stunning Art Deco style facade is the most significant remaining element, as its 700 seats were removed and the structure became unstable.

The Capitol Theater fell victim to competition from a nearby multiplex and was mothballed on March 29, 1977 with Piper Laurie in “Carrie” being the final film. In 1996 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

After laying dormant for 35 years, it reopened on June 1, 2012 as a movie theatre & live performance theatre.

Contributed by TC

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

DPIdirector on August 17, 2010 at 9:23 pm

The non-profit Capitol Theater Foundation was awarded a $1 million I-JOBS grant for the renovation of the historic building. Under the terms of the grant, the theater will be reopened in 2012! View link

TLSLOEWS on August 17, 2010 at 10:07 pm

That is good news DPI,from the photos I have seen looks nice from the outside,good luck to them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm

The Capitol was designed by the Des Moines architectural firm Wetherell & Harrison. The caption on this Flickr photo page has the story.

CSWalczak on September 19, 2010 at 7:34 am

A recent block party was recently thrown to raise funds and give tours of the theater prior to its renovation into a performing arts center: View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm

The Capitol Theater now has a web site. The renovated house is scheduled to reopen on June 1.

Chris1982 on November 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

This should be listed as open with live performances and movies.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm

The history page of the official web site says the Capitol now has 370 seats. The performing arts center met its projected opening date of June 1, 2012. Plans for the project were by Metzger Johnson Architects of Burlington, Iowa, and Galesburg, Illinois, though as of this year the firm is now part of Klingner Architectural Group.

JoJo_M on April 12, 2015 at 10:48 am

I don’t know if anyone still checks this page, but I’m wondering if anybody has info on where the original blueprints for the theater ended up. I feel the need to settle the old dispute about the existence of a balcony once and for all! ;)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 12, 2015 at 6:31 pm

JoJo_M: This comment by rebaanders of the Capitol Theater Foundation says “We are fortunate to have the original blue prints from Carl A Nelson.” (Carl A. Nelson was the original construction company.) I’d advise using the contact information on the theater’s official web site. If anybody knows where the blueprints are now it’s likely to be someone from the Foundation.

scrimbo on July 5, 2018 at 6:12 pm

designed by the same architects as the CHARLES theatre in Charles City Iowa…..the building has a similar fa├žade.

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