Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Historic Capitol Theatre Previous Next
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Gqjohn
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Username: Gqjohn

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 24.236.226.5
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 7:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is technically located in Flint... but certianly worthy of mention. The owners of the long vacant Capitol Theatre (Eberson Designed) are working on a viable plan to restore it to it's original splendor. They have created a website (still underconstrution)

http://capitolrealtyholdings.c om/theatre/

that displays many new and old pictures of the well preserved structure.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 104
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 129.9.163.106
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 10:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gqjohn--we're all for it! keep us posted.
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Gumby
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Username: Gumby

Post Number: 936
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.60.143.186
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 11:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Gqjohn. I have been keeping a very close eye on this development seeing as I live in the Flint area and go by this theater just about everyday. My grandfather used to be part owner in this building before his group sold to the current owners. They have done a beautiful job maintaining the shuttered building and doing several improvements along the way (replace some crumbling brick on the sides of the building, and restore the marquee and awning on the Harrison st side) thanks to the facade impovement program.

I have had the chance to go into this wonderful theater twice and am awed by this beautiful asset we have here in Flint. They had a showed a few Disney Shorts there this last year (used a media projector and a roll up screen, none the less it was awesome) I sat up in the balcony and took in the sights. The theater is a little musty but in awesome shape. It could use a fresh coat of paint, new seating, and carpet and it would be beautiful again. Now I am sure there are a lot of mechanical problems that need to be sorted out but I really can't wait for this to happen.

I will post some pictures I have taken over the years when I get a chance.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 1876
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.81.118
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 3:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Gqjohn, and welcome to the Forum!!

John Eberson was one of the "Big 4" movie palace architects of golden era (1920-30). The other 3 were Detroit's own C. Howard Crane, Chicago's C.W. & George L. Rapp (Rapp & Rapp), and New York's Thomas Lamb.

John Eberson's specialty was the "Atmospheric Theatre", where the auditorium walls and procenium look like some Mediterranean village scenery opening up to a blue sky, which dimmed when the lights went down for the movie. Sometimes there were stars projected onto that nighttime sky. It was a wonderful effect that John Eberson perfected.

In Michigan there were 4 Eberson Theatres. The Capitol in Flint, the State in Kalamazoo, the Grand Riviera (also known as the Riviera) and the Annex (also known as the Riviera Annex). Both the Grand Riviera and the Annex (razed 1949) were located on Grand River away from downtown.

Unfortunately the 2,786 seat Grand Riviera was razed in the mid 1990's, a tragic loss since it was the largest and finest admospheric theatre in Michigan.

John Eberson's finest existing theatre is the 3,600 seat Bronx Paradise (known as the Venetian during its' planning stages) in NYC (it still exists). That theatre and its' Italian Renaissance architecture had sooooo much details on the sidewalls and procenium to look at, it was a wonder anyone watched the movies.

Some of John Eberson's other fine theatres still in existence are: San Antonio: Majestic, Queens NYC: Loew's Valencia, Akron: Civic, Canton OH: Palace, Tampa: Tampa Theatre, Miami: Olympia, Chicago: Avalon, Marion OH: Palace.

When the lights were dimmed on Eberson's atmospheric theatres, the soft red and blue hidden cove lights transformed you to some wondrously romantic Spanish castle couryard with a spectacular sunset just out of view behind the procenium. It was a magical experience that the lucky folks of Flint will once again enjoy!

(Message edited by Gistok on March 15, 2006)
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Gqjohn
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Username: Gqjohn

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 68.21.44.139
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 3:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

glad to hear you love the place as much as I do. My office is in the building. My partner owns it. We are working hard to get the funding to bring it back to life. I just creted an exciting new video for the place.. complete with a bunch of stills from yesteryear and today!

http://capitolrealtyholdings.c om/theatre/VirtualTour/Images/ SlideShow/CapitolTheatreRestor ationVideo.wmv
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Gumby
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Username: Gumby

Post Number: 951
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.60.143.186
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 9:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I can't express how much I love the building. I am really excited with the recent activity on this building. I an putting together a website about Flint and I would love get in there someday to take some pictures. Do you think your partner would let me get in there someday? It is no big deal if not but I would love to. I am so interested in the developments in Flint and have been doing my best to document them. Send me and email at bobjgumby @ hotmail dot com

Thanks in advance.
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Kathleen
Member
Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1204
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.14.122.57
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 7:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And the Water Winter Wonderland page on this theatre: http://www.waterwinterwonderla nd.com/location.asp?ID=840&typ e=5
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Gumby
Member
Username: Gumby

Post Number: 952
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.60.143.186
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 1:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Correct Kathleen featuring 2 of the last 3 comments made by be Ken Sherman.

love that site.

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