Flint’s Historic Capitol Theatre Returns for the 21st Century

PROJECT NAME Capitol Theatre
LOCATION Flint
FIRMS The Whiting, Uptown Reinvestment Corporation

Architect John Eberson’s Mediterranean-styled Capitol Theatre reopens its doors to the community of Flint, Michigan, this month, thanks to a restoration headed by The Whiting and the non-profit Uptown Reinvestment Corporation. Built in 1928 and added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1985, the 1,600-seat building has been closed for more than two decades.

The facade is refreshed with new windows and doors, and replicas of the original blade sign and marquee. Photography by Mike Naddeo.

“Virtually every corner of this theater has a detail that evokes both fond memories and great civic pride,” says The Whiting’s executive director Jarret M. Haynes. A new lower level adds small spaces for performances and workshops, but the real show is upstairs, where refreshed plasterwork creates a courtyard underneath a ceiling canopy of stars—now shining with energy-efficient LED light.

Renovations included a new orchestra pit in Flyron decking and theatrical curtains in fire-rated IFK polyester. Photography by Mike Naddeo.
Eye-catching columns are painted in a faux-marble effect, with new light bars and speakers. Photography by Mike Naddeo.
The team painted the ceiling's original multi-colored medallions by hand. Photography by Mike Naddeo.
Scrolled columns mark the way up a staircase, freshly carpeted in solution-dyed nylon by Shaw. Photography by Mike Naddeo.
New backlighting shows off the splendor of the painted plaster peacocks watching over the theater. Photography by Mike Naddeo.
Terracotta columns on the building's exterior alternate with new windows. Photography courtesy of The Capitol Theatre.

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