The Capitol Theatre, a Mount Gilead movie landmark, is set to officially re-open its doors to cinema-goers this week after closing its operation last October.
New owners Carol and Ben Holsinger purchased the Capitol last fall as an effort to restore the theatre to be used as a movie house once again.
The historical building was constructed in 1894 and originally served as a meeting place for a local Knights of Pythians order. Since, the theatre has been showing movies periodically throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
“We wanted to give it a try,” Ben Holsinger said of the re-opening process. “It was in bad shape when we bought it. It was sadly neglected.”
When the Holsingers took over, the theatre’s interior was falling apart, and the new owners have spent their time bringing it back-to-life.
Through an extensive restoration effort, the theatre now boasts an updated version of its original brick walls and tin ceilings.
“It’s been slow and dirty,” Ben said of the reconstruction. “We find surprises every step of the way.”
In addition to the myriad of cleaning and renovation tasks, the new owners had to update the film equipment at the theatre.
Originally equipped with a 20th century 35mm film projector, the Holsingers wanted a film display that would be on par with a modern movie theater.
“The 35mm was shaky,” Capitol Theatre manager Angela Van Dyke explained. “The sound was fine but the picture was hard to watch for some.”
Not wanting to use the archiac movie machine, the Holsingers made getting a digital projector their first priority.
“After ordering (the digital projector) and being told it would take two weeks, it went on back-order and took two months,” Carol Holsinger said.
The new digital update finally arrived this month, prompting the Capitol to host a test showing of The Good Dinosaur on Jan. 15.
Attendees were pleased with the showing and the new owners began to work on restoring the rest of the building in preparation for the upcoming re-opening.
The Holsingers have cleaned the theatre’s seats and getting the concession stand back in order, since their soft opening on the Jan. 15.
The new operation will remain consistent with the previous Ben assures, and the Capitol will begin showing films Friday through Monday.
Monday and Friday show times will run at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday shows will play at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Capitol will feature the film ‘Kung-Fu Panda III’ this weekend and next.
The interior of the Capitol Theatre has undergone a restoration project since being bought by the Ben and Carol Holsinger.
The Capitol Theatre is set to re-open this week following a three month hiatus.
Reach Jones at 419-946-3010 ext. 1803 or on Twitter @zJones_1239