“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dover in Kent County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Capitol Theater

The Capitol Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, December 15, 2010
1. The Capitol Theater Marker
Inscription.  In 1904, the Dover Opera House opened at this location. The theater was built with funds from a public subscription, and included a stage that was used for a variety of purposes including vaudeville, photoplays, magic lantern shows, and in later years, motion pictures. In 1915, the theater carried the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox live on stage. Lights were arranged to simulate a baseball diamond, and as plays took place, a telegrapher wired the action to the Opera House where an operator lighted the screen. In 1923, the Opera House was purchased by George Schwartz and renamed the Capitol Theater. The Schwartz family improved the building by adding a new projection room, box office, and additional seating. When George Schwartz died in 1942, the theater was operated by his wife Reba, and his daughter Muriel. The theater continued to play an important role for Dover, hosting state political conventions in the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1970s, the theater was the scene of a protest on the part of Muriel Schwartz, who fought against censorship by showing a film not permitted by local ordinance. Schwartz was arrested
The Capitol Theater image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, December 15, 2010
2. The Capitol Theater
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and her actions led to the repeal of the law. The theater closed in 1982 and remained dark until civic leaders initiated efforts to restore it in 1994. The building was purchased from Muriel Schwartz by the Friends of Capitol Theater, with Schwartz donating a large percentage of the property’s value to the effort. The Schwartz Center for the Arts opened on October 19, 2001.
Erected 2004 by Delaware Public Archives. (Marker Number KC-89.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Delaware Public Archives series list. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1885.
Location. 39° 9.448′ N, 75° 31.458′ W. Marker is in Dover, Delaware, in Kent County. Marker is at the intersection of South State Street and North Street, on the right when traveling south on South State Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dover DE 19901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wesley United Methodist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Constitution Park (within shouting distance of this marker); The Golden Fleece Tavern (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); In the Council Chamber of Elizabeth Battell's Golden Fleece Tavern (about 400 feet away); Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Inc.
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(about 400 feet away); World War II Memorial (about 400 feet away); Ridgely House (about 400 feet away); Delaware Decides (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dover.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 18, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 703 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 18, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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May. 15, 2021