Capitol Theatre Celebrates 25 Years Since Renovation

Capitol Theatre Celebrates 25 Years Since Renovation

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Carole Mikita ReportingThe Capitol Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City is an historic landmark, a state treasure, and some say it's even haunted!

This is the theatre's 25th anniversary of its restoration and Arts Specialist Carole Mikita takes us on a tour. The beautiful structure on 200 South was restored to its present look 25 years ago as part of a bicentennial bond election.

It began as the Orpheum Theatre, a vaudeville house in 1913, and then in 1927 entertainment changed to films and it was renamed the Capitol Theatre. In the auditorium all of the molding is original.

David Barber, Productions & Operations Manager: "The chandelier and what we call the golf ball sunburst up there was added in 1927. That's the year that the Wurlitzer organ was installed for silent movies."

The seats on the orchestra level have been reconfigured so that each ticket buyer has a good view of the stage, but the boxes are original to the theatre. The lowest one makes you feel like you can reach out and touch someone on stage. Or if you're a stagehand, someone will reach out and touch you. For decades, a number of people who work here have had experiences with a friendly ghost who even has a name.

David Barber: "George likes to be playful. He teases; he turns on lights, runs elevators, unlocks doors. He's a mischievous ghost."

Below stage is the famous dressing room hallway. About 10 years ago stage management asked the Broadway and Utah companies to put their logos and signatures on the walls. Each new production adds its own magic and a new chapter to the story of the grande lady of Utah Theatres.

Public tours are available next week as part of the anniversary celebration. 12 noon to 1pm every day, plus 5:30 to 6:30 Tuesday and Thursday.

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