Capitol Theatre


Capitol Theatre

CAPA brings the world to our stages, enriches lives and creates community through its mission to:
· Present and produce artistic programming of the highest quality to serve and educate diverse audiences and feature renowned artists of all cultures

· Operate and maintain world-class performance venues

· Strengthen our arts communities by providing facilities for resident companies and through partnership and collaboration, support those organizations

· Bolster the economies of the downtown communities we serve.

Owner and operator of downtown Columbus’ historic Ohio, Palace, and Southern Theatres, and manager of the Riffe Center Theatre Complex (Columbus, OH) and the Shubert Theater (New Haven, CT), CAPA is an award-winning presenter of national and international performing arts and entertainment. In the 2007-08 season, CAPA presented more than 1,000 events, serving more than 650,000 guests. This generated $25 million in ticket sales and more than $62 million in economic impact for the areas served.

CAPA was formed in 1969 to save the historic Ohio Theatre (Columbus) from the wrecking ball. After an extensive CAPA-led renovation, the magnificent 1928 movie house is now celebrated as a vanguard achievement in the field of theatre rehabilitation and downtown redevelopment. In addition to the Ohio Theatre, a National Historic Landmark and the “Official Theatre for the State of Ohio,” CAPA also owns and operates Columbus’ Palace Theatre (1926) and Southern Theatre (1896). The 925-seat Southern Theatre was CAPA’s second major theatre rehabilitation project and reopened in 1998 following a dramatic $10 million renovation.

In 1994, CAPA entered into an agreement with the State of Ohio to manage the four contemporary-style Riffe Center Theatres in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts. CAPA’s consolidated management of these downtown Columbus facilities has produced a performing arts complex which provides space for quality arts experiences at reasonable rates.

CAPA managed the legendary 3,604-seat Chicago Theatre from 1998 until it was sold in 2003, first under agreements with the Walt Disney Company, and then through a lease with Chicago Theatre Restoration Associates. To manage the theatre, CAPA created an affiliated non-profit Illinois corporation, the Chicago Association for the Performing Arts, employed a resident staff of 14, and appointed a 15-member local board.


CAPA transformed the Chicago Theatre from a rental house to a home for arts events which reflected Chicago’s diverse populations, particularly Latino and African-American audiences. Events included world music and dance (Shaolin Warriors, Compagna Española de Antonio Marquez); jazz (Michael Feinstein in the Gershwin 100th Birthday Celebration; the Rippingtons); theatre (Shockheaded Peter, Julie Taymor’s The King Stag); dance (Bale Folklorico di Bahai, Trinity Irish Dance Company, Grigorovich Ballet of Moscow); multi-media events (Philip Glass’s Monsters of Grace); and traditional music (Allison Kraus, The Chieftans). Collaborations with the Art Institute of Chicago, Field Museum, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago broadened audiences for these events.

Based on CAPA’s rising reputation in theatre management, the City of New Haven selected CAPA to operate the 1,600-seat Shubert Theater in 2001. CAPA established a Connecticut not-for-profit organization, the Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA), to operate the Shubert, one of the nation’s legendary Broadway tryout houses. In its first season, CAPA presented five Broadway productions while diversifying its concert events (Noche Flamenco, Three Mo’ Tenors, Audra McDonald, Lucinda Williams, Bangarra Dance Theatre, and more). CAPA (Connecticut) employs a resident staff of 15 and has appointed a local board of directors.

Most recently, CAPA was approached by the City of Columbus to renovate and manage the historic Lincoln Theatre. Opened in 1928, this Egyptian Revival-style theatre is one of the few surviving remnants of the affluent African-American downtown community which built and resided in the area in the 1930s and 40s. The Lincoln is currently undergoing an extensive $13 million renovation helmed by CAPA with plans to reopen in 2009 as a state-of-the-art urban performing arts center. A small resident staff will be established to manage the 574-seat venue and a local board of directors has already been appointed.


CAPA continues to build its reputation as a respected producer and manager of world-class productions by collaborating with internationally recognized theatre companies. On the international front, CAPA managed the North American tour of Tim Supple’s spectacular new production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Past productions include Sir Peter Hall’s acclaimed productions of As You Like It and The Importance of Being Earnest.

For nearly 40 years, CAPA has brought the best performing artists from all over the world to the communities served. Programming genres include jazz (T. S. Monk, San Francisco Jazz Collective, Pat Metheny); world music (Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Acoustic Africa, The Idan Raichel Project); dance (Pilobolus, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, Ailey II); country/folk (Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Robert Earl Keen); comedy (The Second City, David Sedaris, Richard Lewis); pop (Cowboy Junkies, Ryan Shaw, Los Lobos); theatre (The Acting Company, Hair, Late Nite Catechism, Ain’t Misbehavin’); and family programming (Playhouse Disney Live!, A Christmas Carol, The Secret Garden). Columbus’ Ohio Theatre also hosts the CAPA Summer Movie Series, the longest-running classic film series in the nation.

CAPA has achieved international recognition over the past three decades for its diversity of performing arts and entertainment programming, dramatic restoration of historic theatres, excellence in facility management, and contributions to downtown quality of life.

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