Capitol Theater

206 5th Avenue E,
Olympia, WA 98501

Unfavorite 9 people favorited this theater

Related Websites

Olympia Film Society (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Tom Moyer Luxury Theatres

Architects: Joseph Wohleb

Functions: Concerts, Movies (Independent)

Styles: Beaux-Arts, Mission Revival

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 360.754.5378
Manager: 360.754.6670

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Eiki 16mm projector

The Capitol Theater was opened on October 7, 1924. It was equipped with a Smith 2 manual 9 ranks organ. It was remodeled in March 1937, but was damaged by a fire on April 24, 1937.Repairs were made and it reopened on August 25, 1937. It received another remodel in 1948, reopening on May 7, 1948. It screens art, foreign, and classic films Sunday thru Thursday. Rock bands play onstage on Fridays and Saturdays.

The theater suffered major plaster damage to the ceiling during a February 28th, 2001 earthquake, but has since been repaired and re-opened. It is operated by the Olympia Film Society.

Contributed by Ken Layton

Recent comments (view all 42 comments)

TLSLOEWS on February 9, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Nice shot of the new vertical,looks very much like the old one in the shots.

KenLayton on September 18, 2010 at 10:36 am

The Capitol Theater has been sold to the Olympia Film Society.

View link

KenLayton on August 8, 2011 at 12:17 am


Theater opens Tuesday October 7, 1924.

Theater remodeled March 1937.

Major fire damages theater. Balcony, mezzanine, and projection booth destroyed. Roof and ceiling damaged. Fire alarm turned in at 9:28 A.M. of Saturday April 24, 1937. Cause of fire determined to be spontaneous combustion of a single reel of nitrate 35mm film that had just been delivered the night before and was temporarily in the janitor’s closet in the mezzanine awaiting to be taken to the projection booth. Theater will be closed for several months to repair the damage.

Theater reopens after repairing the fire damage on Wednesday August 25, 1937. A brand new Western Electric “Mirrophonic” sound system was installed along with hearing assistance headphones available in selected seats.

KenLayton on August 8, 2011 at 12:20 am

The theater got remodeled again in 1948. Theater reopened on Friday May 7, 1948. Installed were Gulistan carpets and draperies along with Heywood-Wakefield seats.

KenLayton on August 8, 2011 at 12:36 am

Boxoffice magazine did a story about the April 24, 1937 fire. It is on this page:

KenLayton on August 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

February 25 to March 6, 1937 the theater was closed for repairs/remodeling due to a previous small fire in mid February 1937. Then came the big fire of April 24, 1937.

KenLayton on August 22, 2021 at 6:01 pm

A new canopy is being built over the sidewalk in front of the theater. A new framework and drainage is being erected right now. This new canopy will match as closely as possible, the original 1924 canopy.

KenLayton on August 22, 2021 at 6:36 pm

Ownership timelines:

1924 - 1977 Zabel Theatre Company (Ed Zabel, Hobe Zabel, and Art Zabel).

1977 - 1982 Crow-Woodbridge Enterprises (Andy Crow and Marshall Woodbridge).

1982 Theater leased to Gary Fine for one year.

1983 - 1985 Theater leased to Tom Moyer’s Luxury Theatres of Portland, Oregon (Tom Moyer, senior).

1985 - 1990 Theater is co-owned by Tom Moyer, junior and Andy Crow.

1990 - 2010 Theater leased to Olympia Film Society.

2010 Olympia Film Society buys the theater from Andy Crow.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.