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Capitol Theater At 719 Main St.


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I'm trying to follow up on a reference I've seen to a Capitol Theater, presumably in Houston, which was razed sometime in the '60s or '70s (in an 1977 magazine article, a Houston resident is said to have scavenged "roof tiles from the old Capitol Theater"). Googling around produces nothing ... not even from sites dedicated to historic Houston theaters. Anyone know anything about this place, if, in fact, it ever existed at all?

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I did notice a couple of fleeting mentions of this one, and I suppose it could be the same theatre if it lay vacant for decades (or if it later operated under another name).

The citation is from Rice architecture professor William Martin's piece on Orange Show creator Jeff McKissack in a 1977 Texas Monthly article. He writes:

"For almost every item in his show, he can -- and will -- provide the relevant historical, architectural and economical data, and points with special pride to pieces scavenged from buildings wrecked in downtown Houston during the years he worked for the post office: roof tiles from the old Capitol Theater, a railing from a Stowers Furniture Company fire escape, and a miniature San Jacinto-like obelisk that once graced the Texas State Hotel."

Martin's still around, and though we've corresponded by e-mail, we've yet to connect in person. Maybe he knows more. Obviously, there's good info on the web about Stowers and the Texas State Hotel. However, while I've got y'all, anyone know where in the Hotel the obelisk was displayed? And in a more general sense, what were the most historic and architecturally interesting buildings to be lost during the 1970s while McKissack was building up the Orange Show? I'm sort of fascinated by this repurposing of bits and pieces of historic Houston buildings during the creation of the OS.

Thanks in advance for any details anyone might be able to toss in here.

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There was a Capitol Theatre at 719 Main Street. It opened in 1914 as the Zoe Theatre but changed its name in 1922 to the Capitol. I'm not sure when it closed but it was a retail store for many years (I'm drawing a blank on the name) and there were still architectural elements in the space above the suspended ceiling. I believe that it was in the space now occupied by the club Venue, at the same address.

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