Capitol Theatre

328 North Street,
Pittsfield, MA 01201

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 9, 2021 at 1:30 am

The architect of the Capitol Theatre was Eugene DeRosa.

rivest266 on March 16, 2019 at 3:15 pm

This opened on April 26th, 1922. Grand opening ad posted. on April 19, 2016 at 10:36 pm

The entry is to the Froio Senior Center which is in the remaining Mills Building (quite a history there. There were 2 buildings and one was lost in the 1942 fire as was the 4th floor of the remaining building). The parking lot in the location of the auditorium is for the Senior Center. The Capitol was an auditorium added onto the back of the Mills Building and the entry from North Street was from the front of the Mills Building, thru the building and to the auditorium in the back.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Here is jacobschen’s link to the LOC photos of the Capitol Theatre in clickable form.

The December 22, 1923, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review had an article about the Capitol Theatre. The house occupied a former garage that was converted into a theater by architect Eugene De Rosa.

jaboschen on May 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm

The library of Congress has apparently re-scanned and made High Resolution scans of their photographs of the Capitol Theater. These scans, which are Tiff images each about 20MB big, really let you blow up the image and see a lot of the architectural features (and deterioration) present in the building; something that was difficult to see in the previous JPEG images they had. Well worth a look!! Check the out:

PPhair on February 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm

The Capitol was one of the two main theaters in Pittsfield when I was growing up there. It was gigantic with a huge auditorium, and large balcony. The inside was classic old theater style. The screen was gigantic and there was not a bad seat in the house. The Balcony was reached by staircases on either side of the lobby. The restrooms were in the basement. I have fond memories of seeing so many great films there as a young child. All of the Disney classics and many more. It is such a shame that it was allowed to deteriorate.

shoeshoe14 on August 25, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Passed by the theater 2 weeks ago on a bike trip and saw a worker outside sprucing up the marquee. The marquee said, “Governor Swearing-In of” elected official.

kencmcintyre on July 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm

There are some photos of the Capitol on this site:

kencmcintyre on July 13, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Here is an excerpt from the North Adams Transcript on 3/24/42:

An early morning, two-alarm fire today caused damage estimated at $75,000 to the Capitol theater in Pittsfield, located in the heart of the business district on North street and leased by the Western Massachusetts theaters, Inc., which operates the Paramount and Richmond theaters in North Adams. The fire, which was confined entirely to the interior of the theater by Pittsfield firemen who played five lines of hose on the flames, was discovered at 12:55 o'clock by Raymond Jackson, one of two men employed at night there.

Jackson had a narrow escape from being trapped by the flames in a dressing room off the stage. He was forced to make his way to safety down a spiral metal stairway to the stage. When Jackson discovered the fire, four plush velvet curtains in the stage were burning. He was in the dressing room changing his clothes at the time. After reaching the stage, he put in the call for the fire department and 10 minutes later at 1:05 o'clock a second alarm was sounded bringing more men and apparatus.

According to Fire Chief Thomas F. Burke, the velvet curtains served as a good base for the flames which spread into the auditorium where they destroyed 20 rows of seats and also mushroomed along the ceiling to the balcony where 20 more rows of seats were destroyed. The stage, a large pipe organ and the stage end of the theater, including the back stage, screen and drapes, were entirely burned out.

Edward Dowllng is manager of the theater. He is a former district manager for the Western Massachusetts company and the two theaters in this city operated by the company were in his area. The Capitol is owned by the Berkshire County Savings Bank.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm

The marquee shown in ken mc’s 1986 photo is the same one that was on the Capitol in the May 1941 photo on the MGM Theatre Report.

kencmcintyre on February 9, 2007 at 7:48 pm

This is from the Berkshire Eagle, 10/9/59:

Firemen Fail To Find Fire at Theater Showing “Face of Fire”

Firemen were called to the Capitol Theater last night during a performance of “The Face of Fire.” The alarm was not for a fire, but for an unexplainable odor that was corning from the projection booth. Firemen quickly searched the building. They discovered that the mysterious odor was coming out of the kitchen exhaust duct of the China Clipper restaurant next door and was entering the projection booth through an open window Some sort of fish was cooking, they reported.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 2, 2007 at 10:50 am

The Capitol in Pittsfield was included in the MGM Theatre Photograph and Report project. There is an exterior photo dated May 1941. The marquee is the same as that in the color photo posted by Gerald DeLuca on April 1 2005. There was a vertical blade sign above. A movie with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck is posted on the marquee. The Report states that the Capitol is located at 326 North St., that it has been presenting MGM product for over 10 years; that it’s over 15 years old and in Good condition. The seating: 1002 in the orchestra; 224 in the balcony, and 112 in the loges; total: 1,338 seats. There were 7 movie theatres in Pittsfield in 1941.

kencmcintyre on November 29, 2006 at 7:04 pm

In 1956, the Capitol was being run by New England Theatres, Inc. The double bill on 1/16/56 was “East of Eden” and “Young at Heart” wiith Frank Sinatra and Doris Day.

AlLarkin on August 2, 2005 at 1:11 pm

In the Library of Congress pictures provided by Mr. Krefft, looking in the direction of the projection booth, doesn’t it appear that there are 3 sets portholes instead of the usual two? I also found it interesting that, apparently, the stage had a vertical instead of track curtain. About a year ago I checked out the marquee prior to a tour of the Colonial. Impressive.

ecorche on July 12, 2005 at 1:36 am

Sadly, there wasn’t much to save by the time they demolished the main structure. After standing vacant for nearly a decade, the auditorium ceiling had partially collapsed and one too many New England winters had taken their toll (North street’s Palace and Showplace theatres met similar fates). Equally sad, the Capital was driven out of business by the strip mall multiplex, Cinema Center (now closed itself).

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 1, 2005 at 6:42 am

Here’s a photo of the marquee.
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 31, 2004 at 8:39 pm

A magnificent marquee indeed. You can admire it from afar, walk up to it and stand under it while, with a little imagination, it casts a spell. But it leads, heartbreakingingly, to nothing…nothing…nothing at all.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 3, 2004 at 10:29 am

The auditorium was demolished, but the marquee remains along with the lobby building. It now houses a senior center.

William on November 20, 2003 at 5:11 pm

The Capitol Theatre was located at 328 North Street.