With thanks to DALE CARTER:
Yakima, Wash. Capitol Theatre’s Expansion Looks to the Future
The Yakima Herald-Republic, June 11, 2010
YAKIMA, Wash. — The past and the future are plainly visible at the Capitol Theatre, as the first phase of an expansion project that began in September nears completion. You can stand on the concrete floor of what will soon be the new 500-seat Black Box Theater and look outside to the site of a future patio dining area. Or you can walk past the hard-hatted construction crew back through the doors into a main theater building that, despite a devastating 1975 fire, has been the core of Yakima’s downtown since 1920.
It’s a time of transition for the theater, one marked by a clear line of demarcation between old and new. Though physically connected, the new addition housing the Black Box Theater and the backstage production center is modern looking and utilitarian compared to the grand old dame that is the Capitol proper. The $15 million expansion, made necessary in part by the increasing space demands of Broadway-style productions, will allow for more complete staging of large shows. For instance, shows like “Annie,” which ran this year, had to be altered from their full-scale Broadway production because the sets and equipment couldn’t all fit backstage — or in some case even fit through the doors. “The shows we’re doing now are getting bigger,” Caffery said. “Up until now we’ve been able to stage about 70 percent (of a show like that). Now we’ll be able to fit it all in.” The expansion is slated for completion by the end of July.