Lots of shows and movies at the Capitol, Clearwater. John Lelecas photo

Elvis sighted at Capitol Theatre, Clearwater Florida

Lots of shows and movies at the Capitol, Clearwater. John Lelecas photo

Warm breezes and sunshine coming from our  Ft. Lauderdale, Florida member John Lelecas while HQ watches a blizzard outside our window atop the York Theatre in suburban Chicago.

Elvis, Fresh Popcorn and cold beer

On a recent business trip to Tampa, I took a quick ride over the Courtney Campbell Causeway to Clearwater to check out the Capitol Theatre downtown.

 What a nice surprise!

 The Capitol opened in 1921 and is one of the oldest operating theatres in the state of Florida. In its hey-day it hosted many of the best entertainers in the world. Starting out as a vaudeville theatre, the Capitol became a movie house and enjoyed many decades of presenting first run films to the city of Clearwater.

 In 2009 the City of Clearwater and Ruth Eckerd Hall joined forces to renovate and revitalize the historic Capitol Theatre. The downtown area is charming, with several restaurants and cafes, making for a nice spot to spend an afternoon or evening.

 At the moment there are lots of activities going on, from classic film to concerts and off-Broadway. I attended a showing of “Viva Las Vegas” with Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret along with 40 other moviegoers. The popcorn was fresh – the beer cold – and the people warm and friendly.

 Just this month some wonderful news for the Capitol! An anonymous gift of $250,000.00 was given to jump-start renovations. The goal is to restore the Capitol to the classical elegance it opened with 90 years ago. What a wonderful thought! 

Do yourself a favor and drop by when you are in the area. Manager James Raulerson will welcome you with open arms as will the friendly staff who are proud that their theatre is being granted another lease on life. Check out events at www.rutheckerdhall.com.  –John Lelecas

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