Posted in music | venues on December 22, 2011

The Capitol

The Capitol Theatre (note the new URL), located in Port Chester, NY, was built in 1926 and has been the home for a number rock concerts over the years, including shows by Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, and others. By the 1980s, the theatre began to book less and less concerts and more recently it has been used for events like weddings and bar mitzvahs. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Ex-Wetlands owner/current Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro, in partnership with Bowery Presents, plans to begin booking shows there again, with a re-opening planned for mid-2012. According to a press release,

"The Capitol Theatre is a rock and roll icon and we are going to treat her as such," says Shapiro. "We are going to spoil her and give her the best of everything - the best sound, the best lights, and the best video projection technology of any theatre anywhere. Our plan is to turn the knob to 11 in every way possible."
John Moore of Bowery events also had this to say:
"Since spending Thanksgiving weekend 1992 at the theatre with Phish, I've dreamed of promoting at The Cap' one day," says John Moore, partner at The Bowery Presents. "We are excited to partner with Peter on the reopening and introduce a new generation of talented performers to its legendary stage, as well as reacquaint some of the biggest names in music with the house. We look forward to creating memorable concert experiences and reestablishing Port Chester as a destination for music lovers."
The Capitol has a 1,835-capacity, 65-foot ceiling, a general admission floor, seated balcony, VIP seats, and six presidential box suites. Its Port Chester location is 22 miles from NYC and is accessible by I-95 or by taking the train from Grand Central to the Port Chester Metro North station.

The NY Times points out that there may be some competition from other local theaters:

The 500-seat Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut, which is about 30 miles from Port Chester and puts on about 100 concerts a year, insists that musicians not play within 60 miles for two months before a concert and one month after. The Paramount Center for the Arts, a 960-seat theater in Peekskill, N.Y., also about 30 miles from the Capitol, in recent years has presented shows with Gregg Allman, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, and the B-52s. It has even stricter stipulations: bands must not play within a 90-mile radius for two months before and three months after a concert.
But Shapiro has said that he "would not make similar demands of acts, partly because he does not consider it necessary. The Capitol, he argued, is much larger than those other stages, so he can court a different caliber of band."

The Paramount's demographic also differs from most Bowery Presents shows. Hopefully The Capitol will start bringing more interesting shows to Westchester, like fellow (but smaller) Westchester venue Tarrytown Music Hall has done with shows like Jeff Tweedy, Andrew Bird, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, and The Zombies (not that Tarrytown isn't also bringing in plenty of shows for baby boomers). We'll probably see a lot of similarities between The Capitol and NJ's similarly-sized and Bowery-booked Wellmont Theater which is also about the same distance from NYC in another direction. The Wellmont gets everyone from Chicago to Passion Pit to Dark Star Orchestra.

A picture of The Capitol's interior, Peter Shapiro at the Okayplayer holiday party, some old fliers and the full press release, below...

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The Capitol's Interior
The Capitol

Peter Shapiro at Brooklyn Bowl (more by Eric Townsend)
Peter Shapiro

Pink Floyd

Mountain

Jethro Tull

FULL PRESS RELEASE IF YOU'RE INTERESTED:


PETER SHAPIRO TO HELM LEGENDARY VENUE'S HISTORIC COMEBACK

THEATRE WILL BE BOOKED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE BOWERY PRESENTS

READ TODAY'S NY TIMES FEATURE ON THE CAPITOL THEATRE: http://nyti.ms/sUg2tO

One of rock and roll's most illustrious venues will soon breathe new life, as music entrepreneur Peter Shapiro has announced plans to reopen the historic Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, for live performances by some of the biggest names in music.

In its distinguished history, the 1,835-capacity theatre has hosted concerts by the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Derek & The Dominos, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, David Bowie, Santana, and many more. With state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment in-house, and bookings by Shapiro, in partnership with concert promoter The Bowery Presents, the 85-year-old theatre is poised to emerge as the East Coast's premier concert destination. Current plans have the Theatre re-opening in mid-2012.

"The Capitol Theatre is a rock and roll icon and we are going to treat her as such," says Shapiro. "We are going to spoil her and give her the best of everything - the best sound, the best lights, and the best video projection technology of any theatre anywhere. Our plan is to turn the knob to 11 in every way possible."

Designed by celebrated architect Thomas Lamb in 1926 and listed in The National Register of Historic Places, the theatre is located just 22 miles from NYC, conveniently accessible by I-95 and only one block from the Port Chester Metro North train station (36 minutes from Grand Central). Beneath a 65-foot domed ceiling, the concert hall features a general admission floor, a seated balcony including VIP seats, and six presidential box suites.

Though it fell out of regular use by the 1980's, Marvin Ravikoff purchased the theatre in 1983, beautifully restoring the interior as a top location for occasional private events and performances. Shapiro, who's been described by The New York Times as being "in the best image of the legendary rock impresario Bill Graham," has signed a long-term lease to take over operations of the theatre from Ravikoff.

"I'm thrilled to pass the operation of this historic gem on to Peter and his team," says Ravikoff. "The Capitol Theatre is a national landmark and it is one of Thomas Lamb's finest achievements. I'm pleased the theatre is in the hands of people who care about it as much as I do."

Joining Shapiro is General Manager Tom Bailey, who spent the past six years running The Blue Note in Manhattan, on top of a distinguished resume of venues including San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium and The Warfield Theatre during his 16 years with Bill Graham Presents. "I've worked in some beautiful and historic concert venues, but this room is as close as I've seen to perfect," Bailey says of The Capitol Theatre. "It has amazing acoustics and sightlines, can be easily reached by anyone on the East Coast, and with our planned renovations, it will be the ideal place to experience live performances."

The Village of Port Chester stands to benefit greatly from the re-opening as well. Mayor Dennis G. Pilla says of the Capitol Theatre: "This is a home run for Port Chester. Bringing the Capitol Theater back as a top concert destination will help to achieve our strategic goals, to build on our strong restaurant row and to further accentuate the rich cultural and artistic presence that exists in the Village."

Jon Dindas is the venue's Production Manager. Brooklyn Bowl interior designer Tristam Steinberg is consulting on the Capitol Theatre's overall interior design and Chris Ragan of BML Blackbird is designing stage lighting; Rick Arnstein of Team Arnstein will handle partnerships and sponsorships, and Learned Evolution is leading marketing efforts. Port Chester's Edgewater Group Architects is the architectural lead, and Scott Raved will manage construction and renovation projects. Shapiro was represented in the transaction by Ian Lester, Esq. of David J. Bleckner, P.C., a real estate law firm located in New York City, and Anthony Tirone, Esq. of Port Chester. Shapiro and Ravikoff were introduced by local music fan Stefanie Lacoff Jampole, and real estate broker Bernard Stachel. Financial services were provided by Cadenza Creative Services and Torella Associates.

Anthony Makes will lead booking efforts for The Bowery Presents, in conjunction with Shapiro, to book top acts representing all genres in music.

"Since spending Thanksgiving weekend 1992 at the theatre with Phish, I've dreamed of promoting at The Cap' one day," says John Moore, partner at The Bowery Presents. "We are excited to partner with Peter on the reopening and introduce a new generation of talented performers to its legendary stage, as well as reacquaint some of the biggest names in music with the house. We look forward to creating memorable concert experiences and reestablishing Port Chester as a destination for music lovers."

From his original venue, Wetlands--which hosted the first NYC performances by the likes of Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, and Oasis--to his award-winning film, 'U2 3D,' and other lauded music ventures including Relix Maganize, the Jammy Awards, and the Green Apple Festival, Shapiro has developed a reputation of the highest caliber as a venue owner and music entrepreneur. His latest venture, with partner Charley Ryan, is Brooklyn Bowl, a 20,000+ square foot live music venue/bowling alley described by Rolling Stone as "one of the greatest places on Earth." The 2010-11 and 2011-12 editions of Zagat's rate Brooklyn Bowl as both the #1 music venue and #1 bowling alley in NYC. The Producers Guild of America has named Shapiro "one of the Top 25 Innovators in the Entertainment Industry."

Stay tuned for more about The Capitol Theatre and the first concert announcements.

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Comments (42)

Port Chester is a dump.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 4:53 PM

looks like the perfect place for a GBV show

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 4:55 PM

Shout out to Howard Stein who ran and booked this place back in the day. It was Westchester's answer to Bill Graham and the Fillmore East.

Posted by anonymous | December 22, 2011 5:03 PM

The Ramones played here too.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 5:11 PM

Beach Boys?

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 5:22 PM

It still won't match Wetlands. Nothing ever will. Then again, it's not just about the venue. NYC pre-1999 will never exist again. Sorry for you kids that missed out on it.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 5:41 PM

I miss the pre-1999 or so NYC a lot too. But stale Wetlands hippie shit had nothing to do with it.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 6:36 PM

I am pleased to hear the positive news for The Capitol and the Village of Port Chester this 2012! I wish positive success for Mr. Peter Shapiro's Administrative team to bring exciting events!

Posted by Port Chester Village Native | December 22, 2011 6:38 PM

Port Chester used to suck but it's getting better and better, this should help. Bar Taco rules and it's only three blocks away.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 6:48 PM

pre- 1999? weird old NY started to slowly disappear in the early 1980's.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 6:52 PM

There was still a decent mix of old and new New York through the nineties, though. Now one gets the sense that everything new is disposable and everything old is as well.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 7:11 PM

This is a great thing people.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 7:37 PM

"I miss the pre-1999 or so NYC a lot too. But stale Wetlands hippie shit had nothing to do with it."

Wetlands had a lot of different types of music, not just jam bands. Lots of metal.

"There was still a decent mix of old and new New York through the nineties, though."

I agree. 1999 might not have been a pinnacle of what NYC was about, but still had some character. NYC nowadays is just not the same. I'm not "that" old, but first year Giuliani was the best. Dinkins was out, crime was down, but fun was still everyone and rents were not bad.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 7:42 PM

^you geriatric hippies need to take this shit to the GBV thread

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 7:47 PM

HUBBA HUBBA

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 7:59 PM

I remember seeing Joe Jackson there in 1994 or 95. Fantastic venue.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 8:55 PM

"Wow, I miss NYC when it was dirty and not as safe. I liked it when times were rougher because I feel like I have more street cred than all these kids now."

-Losers over 40 who romanticize about NYC in the 80's

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 8:58 PM

"Wow, it's far easier to romanticize a version of NYC in the past when I hadn't failed yet then it is to deal with the present where I have."

-Losers over 40 who romanticize about NYC in the 80's

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 9:06 PM

^ You're an idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 9:47 PM

The 2/20/71 Grateful Dead show at Capitol Theatre is a real classic.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 10:05 PM

Shame Howard Stein can't hear the shout out. He's been dead for a few years..But I'm sure he's smiling..

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 10:13 PM

"-Losers over 40 who romanticize about NYC in the 80's"

I was in middle school in the 80's. Though my 13 year old self still could have beaten the everloving shit out of you.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 10:16 PM

^loser who can't do the math to figure out that you could have gone to middle school in the 80's and still be over 40.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 10:25 PM

"^loser who can't do the math to figure out that you could have gone to middle school in the 80's and still be over 40."

What does that even mean? That you know how to count to ten? Had I started high school in the relevant decade, then I would have stated as much. There's really nothing as pitiful as stupid people trying to be clever.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 10:45 PM

^this dude is like 35 and thinks he's OG

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 10:59 PM

You really wear your stupidity like a badge, 10:59.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 11:05 PM

^sure thing OG. Why don't you wow us with your tales of what NYC was like in 19998.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 11:47 PM

^ Move back to Iowa, you faggot.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2011 11:53 PM

^this dude used to drink at max fish. obviously, props are due.

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 12:06 AM

Actually, we used to hang out at Max Fish in high school, though I'm sure that you pretty much stayed home and wept at that age. Where did you grow up? You seem stupid like a hick, but probably too obnoxious to be from Iowa.

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 12:14 AM

^bless us with tales from The Cooler exalted OG

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 12:52 AM

Good to see theaters like this, The Wellmont, The Paramount on LI, etc being given new life. Promoters are obviously noticing that the days of arena shows have pretty much come to an end. There are plenty of people outside of the 5 boros who are just as interested in going to shows but not enough to deal with the aggravation and expense of traveling into Brooklyn and Manhattan for anything but the biggest of shows. The future of the concert industry is going to be mid size bands playing venues like these.

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 2:37 AM

I loved Wetlands but man did there shows start late. I saw God Street Wines *last* show..started at midnight ended 430am!!!


I saw probably 5 shows at Wetlands and they all started after 11pm....It was so tiny in there and the van in the lobby was funky...anyhoo

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 11:06 AM

HUBBA'S HERE I COME!

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 11:16 AM

In the fall of 1990, I saw Third Bass there. Tribe Called Quest and The Afros opened.

WORD. FO RIZZLE.

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 11:54 AM

does anyone from nyc still go to wellmont?

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 12:05 PM

"Losers over 40 who romanticize about NYC in the 80's"

The '80s had some great moments, but I prefer the '90s with lesser crime. First term Giuliani was the best. Then it became too safe and the flood gates from the midwest were open.

Ska matinees at Wetlands were fun.

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 5:06 PM

70's > 90's

My week beats your year, any decade.

Posted by Anonymous | December 23, 2011 8:57 PM

New York stopped being relevant after the crash of '29. The 20s ruled. I saw so many killer shows back then. Then everyone from Ohio moved here.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2012 12:06 PM

^ oh my. keep coming kid, but maybe stop commenting for a while? much still to learn, you have.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2012 12:19 PM

OHH SNAP! Stop commenting for a while!

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2012 5:38 PM

what a beautiful place

Posted by jordon | August 10, 2013 1:24 PM

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