Capitol Theatre

111 W. High Street,
Jefferson City, MO 65101

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50sSNIPES on March 21, 2024 at 12:02 pm

The Capitol Theatre opened with Shirley Temple in “Our Little Girl” (unknown if any extra short subjects were added).

Information about the Capitol as of 1935 goes as follows: Throughout the entire building interior features lounging rooms for both genders. The lounging room for men featured glowing hunting reds with red furniture, while the lounging room for women features delicate peach color with apple green furniture. The powder room is in pink and ivory equipped with triple full-sized mirrors and make-up shelves featuring a third section in lavender. The color combinations are carried out with unusual blends that are most pleasing to the eye.

The mezzanine from which the lounging rooms lead are finished in blue with a silver leaf in the ceiling, and was trimmed in gold. The overhead is also in a lighting fixture in variegated colors. There are thick floors and cushion rugs woven especially for room while canary yellow furniture was installed. Throughout the foyer and the grand staircase featured the same color. The staircase woodwork is in ebony black capped with silver leaf while the overhead lighting is a long narrow fixture extending the length of the foyer giving a soft lighting effect.

Inside the auditorium proper, the lighting fixtures above the capacity of seats are constructed with possible 25 different color combinations. A wide isle extends down the center of the auditorium and wide aisles are on each side. The entirety of its original seats are blue seats with gold plush backs. They are both roomy and wide apart so that nobody need to stand if another desires to move out first. The drapery in the stage extends across the entire front of the building’s interior, and was listed by the Dubinsky Brothers as one of the largest draperies ever in the midwest.

The entirety of air conditioning and filtering systems are Westinghouse installations. Some of these include its 425hp direct connected fully automatic compressors and an F-12 dichlorodifluoromethane refrigerant systems. The F-12 is non-toxic, non-inflammable, and odorless gas giving them the very last degree of safety to patrons. These compressors are able to give the sum of 74 tons of refrigeration when all four machines are operating or the equivalent of the melting of 148,000 pounds of ice in 24 hours. They are turn connected means of cooper pipe to one large copper expansion coil known to be one of the largest single air conditioning coils to be fabricated and weigh in itself almost 2,000 pounds. There are also elaborate systems of ducts, with six large openings into the main ceiling and five under the balcony where comparatively low velocity cold dry air will spill over the plate defuser neatly made a part of the lighting fixtures onto the audience below causing no drafts and no rapid rush of air against patrons. On the mezzanine lounge and entrance foyer are four high velocity directional flow grills giving the customizers a cool breeze as they enter the theater during summer months. Behind all this is the elaborate control system by which the entire plant operated by one master switch located in the manager’s office in the rear of the house. When the manager wants cooling, he has only to throw the switch to an “on” position which in turn, by means of electronically controls starts the supply fan and the condenser water circulating pump which feeds water through condensers and thus up onto the roof where it is cooled in an all-metal cooling tower. In winter months, it takes outside air through a preheater coil which is supplied with heat through an automatically controlled supply valve which is in turn controlled by the temperature of the incoming outside air. It is then mixed in the mixing chamber with some recirculated air and all passes through the filters and then through a large heating coil also regulated by an automatic supply valve which is regulated by the temperature of the return air. Then on through the supply fan and distributed over the theater by means of the system of ducts.

American Multi-Cinema (AMC Theatres) last operated the Capitol for only a month following the announcement to the theater building’s sellout to the chain. AMC closed the Capitol on May 15, 1970 with the Three Stooges in “The Outlaws Is Coming”.

ChipMosley on April 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Nice to see that Arris Pizza has expanded. There used to be a couple of business storefronts between the Capitol and the pizza place (an insurance agent and a light store, if I remember correctly). I can still remember smelling the pizza while we were standing in line for tickets, even when Arris was closed!

TLSLOEWS on January 3, 2011 at 7:36 am

Now thats what I call a drive-in theatre.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on January 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

From 2010 a photo of the Capitol Theatre Buidling in Jefferson City.

kencmcintyre on July 21, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. From the Jefferson City Post-Tribune, 4/3/70:

Stanley H. Durwood, president of Kansas City based American Multi-Cinema, Inc., today announced the sale of the Capitol Theatre in downtown Jefferson City to the Central Realty Company, an affiliate of Central Trust Bank. At the same time Durwood explained that AMCI will continue to operate the theatre for at least one year with options for continued operation at the end of that tune.

In announcing the finalization of sale arrangements Durwood explained that the new Ramada (4) Theatres offer a completely new concept in motion picture exhibition which has met with immediate acceptance in major markets across the country where AMCI operates. The four auditions under one roof allow for a much wider diversification of film fare for the patrons selection and this, combined with the latest innovations in theatre equipment and patron comfort to a great extent makes obsolete past methods of theatre operation.

“While the Capitol has been and always will be a theatre of which we are very proud we feel the Ramada (4) Theatres represent the future of our business and, like any successful business we are building for the future as we see it,” Durwood said. Sam Cook, President of Central Trust, said that the Central Missouri Realty presently owns property adjacent to the theater and is considering development in this area, at a future date.

kencmcintyre on February 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Here is part of an article from the Jefferson City News and Tribune dated 1/6/35:

Dubinsky Bros, yesterday announced the purchase of the Krafft Motor Company building, 111 West High street, and that the erection of a new theater on the site would begin February 1.

The announcement was made by Ed Dubinsky, head of the firm, who arrived yesterday. He said the deal was closed Thursday. The building was owned by the Farm and Home Building and Loan Association of Nevada and for the past several years had been occupied by both E. W. Decker and the Krafft Motor Company.

The new theater will have a seating capacity of 1270 persons. The floor will seat 900 and the balcony 370. The distance between the last seat and the stage will be approximately 118 feet. Mr. Dubinsky was accompanied by Robert Boller of Kansas City, theater architect, who has built modern theatres in St. Joseph, Kansas City and cities in California, Kansas and Missouri.

The Miller Theater will be closed as soon as the new theater is completed and will remain closed for the duration of the Dubinsky lease, which expires February 1, 1936.

misskitty76 on March 3, 2006 at 5:54 pm

I recently went to the Capitol Theatre and took some new pictures of what the theatre looks like now. It is really neat. I would love to buy it and fix it up. Does anyone know where I can post pictures of this theatre, like possibly another website that has information on this theatre?

sdoerr on November 5, 2004 at 12:36 pm

Seth feel free to send them to

Seth on October 31, 2004 at 8:06 pm

I’ve got a picture. I’d use the add photo feature if it worked.

sdoerr on October 31, 2004 at 6:15 pm

anyone have any pictures whether vintage or recent?

Seth on October 13, 2004 at 7:58 pm

Noticed that the function is incorrectly listed as movies. It appears that the building is still a parking garage, there is a garage style door instead of a lobby. There are also a barber shop and a university office on either side of the door.

Seth on June 30, 2004 at 4:04 pm

I assume French Renaissance describes what the interior used to look like? The facade is late art deco.