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Filling the Gap: The Impact of the Capitol Theatre's Reopening on the Quad Cities

Kate Dale/Jason Gilliland/Marc Zyla

In this episode, we delve into the fascinating history and recent reopening of the historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Davenport, Iowa. Joined by Jason Gilliland and Kate Dale, we explore the theatre's rich past as a movie palace and vaudeville stage house, which made it a beloved downtown attraction for many years. Despite facing closures and various uses over the years, Jason's passion for the theatre's history led him to be involved in its reopening in 2007, albeit briefly due to the financial crisis. Now, with the building being purchased and renovated as a theatre once again, extensive restoration work has been done to ensure its grandeur is fully restored.

Kate emphasizes the significance of the Capitol Theatre's reopening, as it fills a gap in the Quad Cities' cultural scene by providing a venue for mid-sized shows of 800-1000 people. Previously, artists had to leave the market to grow their audience, but now, they can continue to cultivate their fanbase locally. Operating in an old historic building does come with its challenges, however, the joy of creating unforgettable experiences for audiences makes all these hurdles worthwhile.

We also explore the complementary nature of the Capitol Theatre and the larger Adler Theatre, highlighting how they serve different purposes without direct competition. The focus now is on expanding the audience beyond those already engaged, specifically targeting individuals who often claim there is "nothing to do" in the Quad Cities. To achieve this, upcoming events such as the "Meat Eater" live show are detailed, showcasing the diverse range of experiences the Capitol Theatre aims to offer.

In summary, this episode provides an in-depth look into the captivating history and meticulous restoration of the Capitol Theatre. We gain valuable insights from Jason Gilliland and Kate Dale, who highlight the motivations and challenges of operating this important cultural venue in the Quad Cities. Whether you're a fan of historic landmarks, a lover of the performing arts, or simply curious about the revitalization of cherished spaces, this episode is sure to leave you inspired and eager to experience the magic of the Capitol Theatre for yourself.