Capitol Theatre - Jackson MI

Address: 130 W. Michigan Avenue
City: Jackson
State: MI
Zip: 49201
County: Jackson
Owner History: Butterfield Theatres
Theater Type: Downtown Movie Palace
Number of visits to this page: 10160

Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance, features, addresses, phone numbers, or contact names of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.

General Information:

Source: Maria Sibson

My Grandfather, Wirt S. McLaren (Mac) opened the Capitol Theatre on March 22, 1922. He also opened the Michigan Theatre on April 30, 1930. He owned theatres in the Chelsea, Mi and Charlotte areas as well, (The Princess in 1905, and Rialto). I have a few old newspapers from that era. He died on November 21, 1952 from cancer. My Grandmother, (his wife) was Irene Joy Crossman who was a professional singer, and was the first woman news broadcaster in the country. It started in the basement of the Capitol Theatre, WIBJ (Winners In Broadcaster Joy). During this time she was known as Auntie Joy. During her professional singer career which started in Chicago she was known as Esther Joy. She gave up her singer career when she married my Grandfather on June 30, 1926 in Chicago.

Info Updates:
6/30/2008 - Rob Gibson
This place is a sad story about a historically rich building that was reduced to a shadow of it's former self as part of a "rebuilding" effort to remake the downtown city of Jackson.

This is the building inwhich Fred Astaire and his sister started out at very early in their careers as either teens or preteens dancing together. It was the home to many many famous vaudeville acts from all over the country and I believe a radio show was also done from there back in those days.

After the theater was torn down it became a bar for those of "alternative lifestyles" and was still going by the name of The Capitol Club and ran for what seemed to be quite awhile and did well.

That ended and a coffee bar opened there but didn't last long.

Currently there is a Build-a-Bear workshop there and it seems to be doing very well.

There is a historical marker either outside the building on the wall or just inside the doorway explaining the history of the building and theater. Just a shame they had to take away the heart and soul of this great place.
10/14/2004 - Jere Duke
The Capitol was the theatre that contained a theatre pipe organ......and not the Michigan Theatre next to it. The organ is a W.W. Kimball 2/8 built in 1928, Opus 7020, with a literal pile of add-ons only found on much larger organs. The console was raised via a sissors lift for performances. The organ was removed around 1973 after some flooding to the theatre (and main pipe chamber) and parted out. The console "resided" at the Michigan Theatre just to the east of the Capitol Theatre building for a number of years. I am now in possession of the console + some other parts and am in the process of restoring it. The operator of the Capitol was Butterfield Theatres. There is still some of the "Butterfield green" paint splattered here and there on the console of the organ from painting around and above the organ console.
7/3/2003 - Steve Krebill
The Capitol was in existence until the mid-1970s. I remember going with my girlfriend to see a horror-flick marathon, and right in the middle of some English vampire flick, real bats that had taken up residence in the drafty old theatre, dived bombed us and sent us running out through lobby and right into the street. When the building was demolished, another victim of "urban renewal" - they started one block over, on the Pearl Street side of the building. They tore the wall off that contained the stage and screen, and you could drive by and look into the audience and balcony areas. The long lobby and entryway to the theatre was wedged between two other buildings on Michigan Avenue, and still remains. In recent years, several business people have tried to "capitolize" (pun intended) on the buildings past by creating a restaurant called "theatre coffee" which restored the lobby. I dont know what is currently there, as I havent been to downtown Jackson in a few months.
Capitol Theatre - Recent Picture
Recent Picture
Capitol Theatre - Capitol In Far Right Corner Of Pic
Capitol In Far Right Corner Of Pic
Capitol Theatre - From Jackson District Library Web Site
From Jackson District Library Web Site
Capitol Theatre - From Jackson District Library Web Site
From Jackson District Library Web Site © 2024 Over 73,074,154 Served