Clearwater's old theater is new again - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Clearwater's old theater is new again

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In rich red and gold, it's a show palace reborn.

The historic 93 year-old Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater reopened late last year. Jay Leno headlined opening night and the stars have kept coming ever since.

"It's way beyond projections and artists love it," said Zev Buffman, who is the CEO of the Capitol and of Ruth Eckerd Hall.


Buffman is 83. The former Broadway producer headed the restoration of other historic theaters in Chicago, New Orleans, and Miami before taking on the project in Clearwater. He has no plans to drop the curtain and retire.

"I haven't taken a vacation in two years and four months since I got here," he continued.


The $10-million restoration of the Capitol may be an historic anchor in building a new downtown district. Buffman envisions a large outdoor venue in nearby Coachman Park and a new aquarium to be located just a stone's throw from the theater.

"It will bring back the downtown into something meaningful," he explained. "And I'm working hard on it."

Buffman says summer is traditionally a slow time, but the Capitol has a star-studded list of upcoming shows.

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