The Capitol Theater
Location: 211 State Street [1928-1980], [2005-present, as a venue located inside of Madison’s Overture Center]
The Capitol Theater opened as silent films were being replaced by “talkies.” With a marquee as grand as the Orpheum, the Capitol Theater provided an elegant destination for students to escape campus and enjoy a show. Throughout the 20th century, students rambled up State Street to see movies and shows at this location.
Below is an excerpt from the UW-Madison campus humor magazine, The Octopus, published in 1937. It conveys a story about The Capitol Theater.
The Capitol Theater closed in 1980. It was incorporated into the existing Madison Civic Center and renamed as the Oscar Mayer Theater. When the Overture Center opened in 2004, the venue name was renamed to reflect its origins.
Though the original venue no longer exists, the outer façade remains. Even without the original marquee and signage, it looks just as beautiful today!
Visit UWMadArchives on Flickr to view more historic images of popular UW (Madison) student hangouts:
For more information about these locations or campus history in general, contact email@example.com or visit archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!
Samantha Snyder for the UW-Madison Archives (MLIS ‘15).
photo of façade courtesy of Samantha Snyder.