Capitol Theatre

1015 Main Street
Wheeling, WV 26003


The $1,000,000 Capitol Theatre opened on Thanksgiving afternoon, November 29, 1928. The Board of Directors included Lee C. Paull, President; Charles W. Bates, Vice-President and Carl O. Schmidt, Secretary. George Ott was the manager who had been treasurer at the Court and Victoria Theatres.The exterior of the building had a high retaining wall on the river side. Hundreds of tons of steel were used in the structural frame with concrete and brick built around it. Sheet metal was contained in the walls as an insulation for heat and cold. The foundation was placed to carry eight more stories because an eight story hotel was planned some 18 months before the construction began. The lobby was to have been on the second floor with an entrance on the north part of the building. The decision was made to not build the hotel after the theatre was completed.

The building was fire proof which included a fire proof roof with a sprinkler on the roof to serve the pipes of the sprinker system.

There was a copper marquee with a large electric and neon sign at the entrance. A patron's garage connected with a theatre entrance. There were four large bracket lights of solid bronze which cost about $1,000.

The lobby had two box offices. Cylinder type lanterns with prism head lighting fixtures were in the ceiling with pocket lanterns on side walls opposite the ticket booths.

The predominating color scheme for the building was composed of mulberry, delicate green tones, ivory and various shades of golden russet.

The auditorium had two balconies and 3,000 seats with nice soft cushions. It was designed to have unhampered sighting in order that the stage could be viewed from even the remotest corner. The walls of the auditorium were divided into large panels with no carvings but had a narrow border of raised plastering to frame gorgeous silken panels. The proscenium arch which is part of the 44 foot wide stage had beautiful figures. The ceiling lighting fixtures measured 8 feet in diameter and contained hundred of amber color prisms and diffusing bowls. There were two of the same style in the balcony and the boxes had wall pocket lights.

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