Capitol Theatre is located on 149 Westchester Avenue in Port Chester, NY, between Pearl and Broad Streets. It is a historic movie theater built in 1926, and was used as a concert space from the 1970s to ‘90s, including legendary concerts by The Grateful Dead. In the twenty-first century, it was used as a catering and special events facility, before being renovated in partnership with Bowery Presents (which runs Terminal 5, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Bowery Ballroom, Brooklyn Steel, and Mercury Lounge, as well as holding concerts elsewhere) in 2012. It reopened on September 4th with a performance by Bob Dylan.
Capitol Theatre in located in Westchester County (and Avenue), near the border with Connecticut. However, it is often an easy & fast ride up from the city on Metro-North (and only a block-and-a-half from the train station), especially as concerts usually happen right after rush hour, when there are numerous trains running near-direct to Port Chester (usually with just a prior stop in Rye) for people heading home from work. However, that does not apply on the weekend, or other off-peak times, and getting back is not as easy, as trains run roughly on the hour until about 1:00 AM (usually the act ends with enough time to catch the train just after 11:00 PM). However, that distance from the city does mean that artists may perform both at Capitol Theatre and a venue in the city proper on a tour – if you don’t get a ticket to the city show, can catch them there (akin to New Jersey’s Wellmont Theatre and Long Island’s Paramount Theatre).
The venue itself is a converted old-timey movie theater, with a large open area in the front, but also with a balcony. There are also some chairs near the back house-right, but they are for ADA (making them kind of the handicapped parking spot mirage of the place, and a bit questionable since there is already a seated balcony). There is a bar in the back and smaller ones near the back sides, though the price for drinks are disappointingly not any less than at an expensive city theatre. While a bit cavernous, the sound is good, and the lighting largely depends on the artist (if they bring a light show of their own, it will work out well).
It was questionable whether the new Capitol Theatre would make it as a venue, so far from the city, so deep in the suburbs. Yet is seems that enough people in Westchester want to see shows, combined with city-dwellers coming up. And it has been able to book big acts that would, or even are, playing bigger places in the city. It’s a nice place to catch a show – even one you might otherwise have missed – as long as you can make it there & back.
149 Westchester Avenue (between Pearl and Broad St.)
By Metro North:
Stamford train to Port Chester – walk 1 and 1/2 blocks west on north side of Westchester Avenue
-Chris Cornell, June 25th, 2016 – photos
Ben Folds Five, “Army”, Port Chester, NY, 10/9/12
Ben Folds Five, “Kate”, Port Chester, NY, 10/9/12
Ben Folds Five, “Brick”, Port Chester, NY, 10/9/12
Ben Folds Five, “Do It Anyway”, Port Chester, NY, 10/9/12
Ben Folds Five, “The Battle of Who Could Care Less”, Port Chester, NY, 10/9/12