Capitol Theater Foundation of Burlington, Iowa
Board of Directors
|Jerry Johnson, Executive Director||Becky Anderson|
|Kara Ewinger, Assistant Director/Volunteer Coordinator||Tadd Good|
|Craig Borchard, President||Bill Partain|
|(Currently Open), Vice President||Keith Schulz|
|Kim Hunsaker, Treasurer||Roger Hatteberg|
|Steven J. Frevert, Secretary||Jeff Poulter|
|Florence Paterno, Immediate Past President||
The Capitol Theater Foundation of Burlington, Iowa was formed in 2005. It's main mission was to resurrect the then-defunct Capitol Theater, a 1937 Art Deco movie house that was once the heartbeat of a thriving downtown Burlington, Iowa. The intention was to restore the building which had been shuttered since 1977, update the infrastructure in order to present with first rate production values and position the facility to serve as an economic engine to help revitalize the once-vibrant surrounding downtown area.
The Burlington Capitol Theater re-opened its doors on June 1, 2012 and is currently in its inaugural year of serving as the county's premiere performing arts center. To date, diverse concert programming has been presented in various genre including Christian, Country, Pop, Rock, Rap, Broadway and Classical. Additional live programming has included theatricals, dance and variety artists. The theater also presents independent, foreign and classic films and plays host to an annual international film festival. The Capitol Theater and adjacent Annex facility are also available on a rental basis for performing arts groups, corporate gatherings and individuals. Such rentals have already included dance school recitals, a 50th Anniversary Party, an onstage wedding and a community informational forum.
The Burlington Capitol Theater serves as a milestone in the lives of most these residents. This is where many saw their first film as a youngster, saw their last film before they shipped off to war or had their first date. Depending on whose story you're honored enough to hear, the Capitol signifies the sum of their childhood, the end of their adolescence or, in the case of those who used an opportunity in the balcony to propose marriage, the beginning of their adult life. The special place it still holds in hearts here is evident by the smiles on faces and the occasional tears in eyes as they tour the new facility.
Restoring this building has been more than merely reopening an arts and entertainment venue; it's reminding people of the moments that make up their lives. While the Board and staff look forward to diverse programming opportunities, a watchful eye is being kept on how the Capitol can serve the greater Burlington community. The theatre is already proving itself as an economic engine, helping other businesses like restaurants, service stations, lodging establishments, gift shops, etc.. which are benefiting not only from the out-of-towners coming in for a show but residents, as well, who want to expand their night out on the town. The inclusion of this new venue has afforded opportunities for local performing artists to connect with fellow downtown businesses to create a stronger climate for culture, entertainment and co-operation. Its heartbeat once again restored, downtown Burlington, Iowa is alive and thriving once more.
Arguably, most important on the Capitol's agenda is the commitment to arts education and arts advocacy. So many social problems–truancy, drugs, vandalism and other issues with boundaries including theft, etc...–can be traced back to a lack of self-esteem. Exposure to and appreciation of the arts speaks to that issue, elevating the spirit and providing options to make better choices. We believe both an appreciation of the Arts and an understanding of the Creative Process are vital to the health of any society.
Once merely the local movie house where people spent their recreation time, the Burlington Capitol Theater is now serving greater needs. Not unlike the lives of these justifiably proud residents, the Burlington Capitol Theater is on a journey and is only beginning to enjoy its own set of milestones.