Capitol Theater

The Capitol Theater was located at 542 State Street in Salem, Oregon, United States. It was built in the 1920s for vaudeville. During its heyday, it housed a Wurlitzer pipe organ, which is now in private ownership in Washington.

Decline and demolition

The theater converted from vaudeville to movies. By the 1980s, it was one of only two pre-World War II theaters left in downtown Salem, which had once hosted as many as eight. Like its neighbor, the Elsinore Theatre, the Capitol declined to a second-run movie house. It housed Salem's only surviving newsstand, complete with a cigar store Indian out front, until the theater closed in the early 1990s.

In 1994, the Capitol Theater was included in a plan to restore the neighboring Elsinore Theatre that never materialized.

The Capitol Theater was demolished in May/June 2000 because of structural decay. The location is now a parking lot, however, the adjoining office and retail space remains. This retail building, known as the Bligh Building and currently as the Pacific Building, is a contributing property of the Salem Downtown State Street-Commercial Street Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com