BENEFITING: CAPITOL THEATER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER INC
Located on South Main Street in the heart of Fall River, the Capitol Theater's deterioration coincided with the decline of the city's once-bustling downtown. The Capitol has been decommissioned since 1957. In 1962, the theater was converted to accommodate a bowling alley, a renovation that compromised much of the Capitol's former décor and concealed its original architectural features, most notably with an I-beam bisecting the main stage. The Capitol experienced a brief period of city ownership after vandals set fire to the balcony in 1976, and it sold as a furniture store in 1981, as it remained until 2006.
Today, owners Donna and Glenn Viveiros, operating their own business out of the building, have refurbished approximately 1,200 sq. ft. that they currently use as office space. However, the theater portion of the building, which comprises 20,000 sq. ft., is not currently in use due to its debilitated condition. Fortunately, the Viveiros family not only appreciates the Capitol's former grandeur, but they also have a vision for restoring what has been lost over the decades. Forming the non-profit organization, Capitol Theater Performing Arts Center, a registered 501(c)(3), they envision a newly rehabilitated Capitol Theater, a building that will serve as a beacon for the arts and as a catalyst for economic stimulus in a dormant downtown district.
Recently, the process of bringing back the theater has been expedited by a group of graduate student architects and their professors from the University of Colorado who are using the Capitol as their semester project (see video). Seeing real potential not only in the building, but also in the surrounding historical district, the students and professors have determined that the rehabilitation has even more promise than they had thought.