Once a movie theatre, the restored Art Deco style Capitol Theatre now hosts toe-tapping Friday evening jam sessions, Blue Grass concerts and other events organized by the Main Street Music Society, which currently operates the site in partnership with the Town of Oxford. It has been booked for musicals, award-winning singer-songwriters, and a variety of other entertainment. Amateurs, professionals and their audiences enjoy the excellent acoustics and cosy feel of our historical theatre. It has even hosted a wedding ceremony!
The Capitol Theatre began in 1903 (on the top floor of what was locally known as the A.E. Smith building) as an Opera House provided by the late Mr. Smith. During the period of 1908 to 1910, Smith's Hall became known as the "Nicklet" because of the advent of the movies which were shown there on Friday and Saturday evenings by Mr. W.E. Vickery for admission of a nickel. From 1910 to 1912, Mr. Smith operated the moving pictures himself and the place became known as the "Fairyland Theatre". (This building was on Water Street in what is now GJDE Enterprises Ltd.)
Mr. Smith purchased the site of the former Henry Smith property on Main Street and in 1923 the present Capitol Theatre was built.
Around 1948, L.S. Asbell remodelled the building and in 1952 Bob Fulton acquired the structure. Over the years the theatre changed hands four more times until it was passed over to the Town of Oxford as a bicentennial gift from George Henley in 1991. During the time Mr. Henley owned the theatre, the Maple Players Theatre Group became custodians in agreement for free use of the facility. Until their group disbanded, the Theatre was unofficially known as The Home of the Maple Players.
The Capitol Theatre's Art Deco style remains now as it was originally with a few modifications including a modern bathroom, new curtains, and installation of a digital movie projector and screen. The building is made from cement block (formed to resemble stone) and the interior is sheathed in pressed-tin tiles. It has a raked floor and fixed, folding seats. There is a total of 163 seats in the main hall, some of which are formed plywood, some padded, and others made from slats. The Main Street Music Society is working to upgrade seating.
The Capitol Theatre is available to theatrical and other entertainment groups, both amateur and professional, to come experience the subtle grandeur of this charming venue. If you are interested in renting the Capitol Theatre contact Eleanor Crowley at (902) 447-3040.
5220 Main Street
P.O. Box 422
Phone (902) 447-3040 - For Bookings and Availability