Opened in 1927, the Capitol Theatre was a prime stop on the Vaudeville circuit and, later, Concord’s premier movie house and concert hall. Over the years, however, the theater slipped into disrepair and in 1989 it was closed
With $4.2 million raised in support by the newly formed, non-profit Capitol Center for the Arts, and 250 volunteers contributing over 3,000 hours to paint and restore the Egyptian-motif artwork, the renamed theater was opened in November 1995. The Chubb Theatre was named in recognition of the project’s largest benefactor, Chubb Life.
The 1,304-seat theater is now equipped to present many of today’s lavish Broadway shows. It has been modernized with new heating, air conditioning, electric and plumbing systems, handicapped accessibility including an elevator, a new lobby and vestibule, computerized box office system, updated backstage facilities and restored seats.
The Capitol Center is also home to The Spotlight Café, a venue where the community can discover exciting work in a hip, club-style atmosphere. These events will take place in The Governor’s Hall, the first-floor ballroom at the Capitol Center, with general admission table and row seating for up to 250. While the Chubb Theatre works well for large productions and high profile artists, the Spotlight Café offers audiences the chance to experience up-and-coming artists as well as regional and local performers in an intimate setting.
The Capitol Center’s mission is to be a resource for the entire community. Accordingly, the Center has presented a wide mix of high-quality events, including Broadway shows, dance performances, pop and country stars, family shows, international performances, school-time shows and business conferences and seminars.
Today, the Capitol Center for the Arts is the largest and most successful performing arts center in New Hampshire and has helped position Concord as a cultural destination. Its richly varied programming attracts diversified audiences. Broadway, ballet and country & western fans alike travel from all over New England to attend performances at the Capitol Center.
The Capitol Center educational programs attract some 25,000 school children a year from throughout New Hampshire. Educators and parents prize the school-series performances, teacher workshops, outreach activities and symposia on such topics as racism and intolerance. Working with local and state educators, the Capitol Center has successfully linked the school series to statewide curricula goals, making the programming even more valuable. Tickets and rental rates are kept affordable, subsidizing nonprofit organizations and school children.
Each year, approximately $10,000 in tickets are donated to organizations serving disadvantaged children and families, including the Concord Boys and Girls Club, the Concord Housing Authority, Child and Family Services, the Friends Program, Merrimack Valley Day Care, The Children’s Place and the Senior Companion Program.
The Capitol Center also houses The Governor’s Hall, a full-service function room that can accommodate up to 350 guests, and the adjacent Kimball House, a Victorian mansion featuring a stately, formal dining room, library, parlor and board room.