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Capitol Theatre renovations going slowly; what's next for historic venue?

One of the most interesting things to pop up in downtown Clearwater in the last couple of years has been the Capitol Theatre.

Actually, scratch that. The Capitol has been there all along. Open since 1921, it's one of Florida's oldest theaters.

But as a concert venue, the Cap is still a new kid on the block. Since being taken over by Ruth Eckerd Hall, the theater has hosted shows by the likes of Richard Marx, Leon Russell, Amos Lee, Brandi Carlile, Bo Burnham and Steven Wright. In the next few months, it'll host shows by the Psychedelic Furs and Shawn Colvin, among others.

Yet not all is well with the Cap. The city has pledged $3.8 million for renovations to the historic venue. Ruth Eckerd Hall has pledged $3 more, and $5 million for an endowment fund. But Ruth Eckerd officials say fundraising has stalled, and events are slowing down. The goal is to have the Cap host about 100 events a year; so far in 2011, it's hosted fewer than 30, with only 19 more planned through the end of the year.

“I’m disappointed, as are other people, that we haven’t been able to raise the funds,” Clearw$ater city council member John Doran said. “We need to share the history with the young people, and the Capitol is part of Clearwater’s history.”

For more on the Capitol Theatre's stalled fundraising and renovations, click here for Drew Harwell's story.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:14am]


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