Home to vaudeville and film from 1924 to the present, The Capitol Theater, located in Olympia, Washington, has been entertaining the community with music, movies and shows for the past 94 years. The original owners, E.A. Zabel and William Wilson, first opened the theater’s doors to a crowd of 1,000, and its popularity is still going strong today. 

The Capitol Theater has been well known for presenting independent and national films since its beginning. “One of the many things the Olympia Film Society is proud of is that the theater has operated nonstop since the day it opened,” says Audrey Henley, executive director of the Olympia Film Society. “We are still showcasing films on screen, and new and repertory, live music and performances on the stage yearround, including vaudeville shows.” 

Partners Zabel and Wilson commissioned local architect Joseph Wohleb to design what they called a “monument to amusement lovers in Olympia.” Featuring glazed terra cotta and circular-leaded art glass insets designed by Northwest glass artist Raymond Nyson, the building exemplifies Mission Revival and Beaux Arts styles. A fire in 1937 damaged some of the interior, but thankfully, most of the original aesthetic was preserved and remains a distinctive feature. 

“Since 1984, the Olympia Film Society has hosted the annual Olympia Film Festival, a 10-day, around-the-clock extravaganza of films, filmmakers and film-related guests, special performances, discussion panels and educational workshops,” says Henley. 

With 10,000 square feet of space, the theater can seat 762. The backstage has 800 square feet of additional space and is available for as many as 120 people or for concerts and events. 

INGREDIENTS
—1.5 oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
—1.5 oz. Baileys Salted Caramel
—2 oz. half and half

DIRECTIONS:
Combine ingredients in a Belgian beer glass garnished with soft caramel along the rim, chocolate sauce and a chocolate branch. Looks fancy schmancy and tastes deee-licious!

Courtesy of Shore Lodge in McCall, Idaho

 

This past October, the world lost a business and philanthropic giant with the passing of Paul Allen. Here in the Northwest, his absence will be deeply felt. Among his many achievements, Allen co-founded Microsoft; founded Vulcan Inc., Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Allen Institute for Brain Sciences, and Allen Institute for Cell Science; and was owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. There doesn’t seem to be an industry that he hasn’t touched, expanded and improved, including the meetings and events industry, particularly in the Seattle area.