1930's     James Klein purchases original theatre site for a grocery store.

1934        Arthur Klein leases land to Central States Theatre Corporation for 40 years for $2000/year.

1934        Des Moines architectural firm Wetherell and Harrison hired to design the theater.

1935        Burlington’s Carl A Nelson Company begins building the theater. 

1937        State of the art facility seating 700 people opens on July 1 with showing of The Prince & The Pauper starring Errol Flynn.

1977        The Capitol Theater closes on March 29th after serving the community for 40 years. The last movie shown was the adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel, Carrie.

1987        Main Street of Burlington spends $800 to repair and paint the marquee.  

1988        An engineering firm declares the Capitol structurally sound.

1992        Matt Murray purchases the property with plans to open a multi-use facility.

1994        Doug Meck & Tony Evans buy the Capitol but building remains unused.

1996        The Capitol is placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

2001        The Capitol is listed on the National Trust list of endangered historic places.  

2003        Friends of the Capitol Theater forms with the intention of bringing back the Capitol, either by owning and operating it or helping the then-owners of the property.  

2005        The Capitol Theater Foundation is formed and purchases the Capitol Theater in March. In April, the adjacent building is purchased.

2005        The restored marquee is re-lit in November.  

2010        The Capitol Theater Foundation obtains a $1 million I-jobs grant.  This major financial award, along with an HSPG grant, state historic rehab tax credits, and private fundraising, enables the restoration of the Capitol and Annex to be completed in Spring 2012.

2012        After being shuttered for 35 years, the Burlington Capitol Theater reopens on June 1 & 2 as a 370-seat regional Performing Arts Center.


(319) 237-1099

211 N 3rd St Burlington IA United States 52601

©2018 by Capitol Theater of Burlington Iowa.