Senator Shelley B. Mayer Honors Capitol Theatre for Historic Contributions to the Community

Shelley B. Mayer

April 19, 2022

Port Chester Village Manager Stuart Rabin, Port Chester Rye Brook Rye Town Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sylvia Dundon, Assemblyman Steve Otis’ Chief of Staff Lisa Urban, The Capitol Theatre Owner Peter Shapiro, NYS Senator Shelley Mayer, Westchester County Legislator Nancy Barr, Westchester County Executive George Latimer

Watch Full Press Conference 

(Port Chester, NY) – New York State Senator Shelley B. Mayer today announced the Capitol Theatre has been added to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s new Historic Business Preservation Registry.

The online registry was established by the State Legislature by Chapter 241 of the Laws of 2020 to honor and promote New York businesses that have been in operation for at least 50 years and have contributed to their communities' character and history. It aims to provide educational and promotional assistance to ensure continued viability and success. 

Mayer nominated the Capitol Theatre to be included in this list. 

Senator Shelley B. Mayer said: “Thank you to the world-famous Capitol Theatre for providing decades of music and theater entertainment to the Village of Port Chester and the greater New York community in this beautiful building. I was proud to nominate the iconic venue last fall and thank Rye Town Clerk Hope Vespia and staff for their assistance with the historical research. The Capitol Theatre represents the best in small business - with a distinct niche role of a preeminent live rock and roll venue, deep commitment to the preservation of the historic building, and a prominent role in downtown Port Chester’s economic rebirth. ”

Capitol Theatre Owner Peter Shapiro said: “The Capitol Theatre occupies a special place in rock ‘n’ roll history and our vibrant and enduring local music scene. We are so proud to be included in the newly launched New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry!”

The Capitol Theatre, located in Port Chester, was built by the Rhembem Corporation and opened in 1926. Designed by noted architect Thomas Lamb for the William Fox theater empire, the Capitol Theatre was a dignified playhouse with great decorative beauty and luxurious comfort. People traveled from near and far to see shows at The Capitol. By the late 1960s, the theater was renovated as a psychedelic performance space, and it hosted just about every major rock and roll act of the 1960s. By the mid-1980s, the Capitol Theatre was mainly used to put on plays and musicals. Starting in 1997, the theater became a catering hall and hosted special events ranging from fund-raisers to bar mitzvahs. Current owner Peter Shapiro reopened the Capitol Theatre following significant renovations in 2012 and, after partnering with concert promoter The Bowery Presents, the Capitol Theatre is now Westchester’s new premier rock palace.

Assemblyman Steve Otis said: “In addition to being a national treasure, The Capitol Theatre has been a driving force in Port Chester’s economic growth and success. Great live music has also brought customers to our restaurants and other businesses. This designation recognizes the history and current importance of the Cap’s rebirth. Having enjoyed many concerts here, I know firsthand what the Capitol has given to live music in our region and to Port Chester.”

County Executive George Latimer said: “The Capitol Theatre is joining the ranks of the Tarrytown Music Hall, Wilson & Son Jewelers, Cornell Hardware and other longtime businesses around the region with this designation to the New York State Parks Historic Business Preservation Registry. Thank you to my friend and colleague, State Senator Shelley Mayer for nominating a true gem in Westchester County. The Capitol Theatre, a music experience in the heart of Port Chester, captivates visitors and music aficionados from far and wide. Being part of this registry showcases how The Capitol Theatre is part of the true fabric of Westchester County and opens the door for even more guests to come and enjoy.”

County Legislator Nancy Barr said:I cannot think of a more fitting business to be added to the NYS Parks Historic Business Preservation Registry than The Capitol Theatre.  From the time it first opened its doors in 1926 as a music hall and movie theater, to its current iteration as a unique venue for performers like Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys and Phil Lesh and Friends, The Capitol has been bringing joy and culture to Port Chester and environs for generations. Thank you Senator Mayer for recognizing this gem and congratulations to Peter Shapiro for successfully restoring The Capitol to its former glory for all to enjoy.”

Port Chester Rye Brook Rye Town Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sylvia Dundon said:The Chamber is thrilled to see the Capitol Theatre, an iconic local business and Chamber member, receive this honor and recognition.” 

The first round of designations includes 100 businesses across the state. The full registry can be found on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s website. Those interested in being added to the registry in the future should reach out to their state representatives.