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Looking to strengthen relevancy among audiences of today and with a vision for the demands of future trends, the Capitol Civic Centre embarked on a campaign to raise $3.1 million. The project scope addressed significant improvements including new house seating, additional restrooms, an expanded lobby, and improvements to enhance the customer experience. Additionally, the necessary infrastructure improvements were made.

The Beginning: Designed by local architect William J. Raueber and built by Arthur and John George of Manitowoc, the theatre opened June 16, 1921, as “Ascher Brothers’ Capitol Theatre.” Following an extensive renovation in 1987 by an army of local professional craftspeople and volunteers, the theatre reopened as the Capitol Civic Centre, Inc.  Led by the efforts of community leaders including Ron Kaminski and The Masquers, Inc., restoration of the then movie house was made possible with a lead grant from the Ruth St. John and John Dunham West Foundation, Inc.

Performing Arts Hub: The elegant 1,003-seat theatre presently serves as the home of 14 local performing arts organizations. In addition to local performance organizations, national professional touring artists perform under the umbrella of the Marquee Season and by independent promoters. The Capitol also provides educational activities and hosts civic events. While modern in programming and technology, the Capitol maintains its classic design, befitting its 1921 origin as a vaudeville palace. Renovated in 2012 and 2019, facilities complement the theatre’s design and historic footprint in downtown Manitowoc.

Community Asset:  The value of the Capitol resonates far beyond providing a stage for performing arts and a venue for events and meetings. The Capitol is a prime example of the economic value of historic preservation and serves as an anchor for activity in the heart of historic downtown Manitowoc, the seat of Manitowoc County. More than 40,000 people attend performances and activities at the Capitol each year.

Thank you to our campaign leadership, Dr. John Stern (Act Two Projects Director), and our campaign co-chairs Julia Angst, Tom Angst, Ann Salutz, Tim Salutz, and Brennan Seehafer.