The Capitol Theatre on the Lebanon square first opened its doors on Dec. 9, 1949, and those doors will re-open June 21.
With its re-opening, the Capitol Theatre will feature events, such as film screenings, live bands, live theatre performances and weddings. With its prominent position on the square, the revival of the theatre is what owner Bob Black hopes will reinvigorate the square and draw more of the community to it.
Bob Black and his wife, Pam, bought the theater in November 2001. Bob Black said he had always wanted to see the theatre maintained, and when it went up for sale he became concerned about the theatre’s future. It was then that the Blacks decided to buy the theatre and maintain the place themselves.
In July, Black started the Capitol Theatre renovation. In poor condition from years of sitting on the square unused, nearly the entire interior of the theatre had to be gutted.
Bob Black said much of what was left of the walls was bare brick. A few of the original decorations do remain, though, such as the renovated and recently re-lit marquee.
Bob Black plans to keep the color scheme of the theatre, as well as the decorations as close to the original as possible, including a chandelier from 1939 that will hang above the staircase.
The theatre will have many sections upon re-opening, including the entrance hall, the theatre room, dressing rooms, a kitchen, a green room for performers and ‘the attic,’ a room on the second floor that will fit 60-80 people for business meetings, parties or rehearsal dinners.
The theatre room is equipped with what Bob Black called a top-notch sound system, as well as a lengthened stage furnished with fully functioning stage curtains, as well as a movie screen.
Once the theatre is open, Bob Black plans to have it operating Thursdays through Sundays.
He said there will be live music every Thursday night, matinees on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, leaving Friday and Saturday night open to events planned by others. He hopes these events will bring life back to the historic square of Lebanon.
Some events have already been planned at the Capitol Theatre, such as Second Chance Prom, which is scheduled for June 15, as well as a wedding that has already been booked in the theatre. Bob Black said there’s a lot of interest from people wanting to hold events at the theatre once it is completed. The Blacks, as well as many of their fans on Facebook, are excited to relive the history of the Capitol Theatre, as well as see how its opening will affect the square as a whole.
The Capitol Theatre’s grand opening will be June 21 and include live music, hors d'oeuvres and “lots of fun.”
Tickets will be available soon at $50 each with sales benefitting New Leash on Life of Middle Tennessee.