Tools

West Tennessee Treasure - Union City - Capitol Theater

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

Sounds of movies, actors, and musicians have filled Union City's Capitol Theater since the early 1900's.

"It's something about the way they're built. It has something to do with the width and height of the ceiling and the depth of the theater," said Masquerade Theatre board member Sacchi Doss. "For some reason, the sound does seem to carry better in these old theaters."

The Capitol Theater has seen countless days and nights with each seat packed. If its walls could talk, they would tell as many stories as its stage.

"Behind these red curtains, in the panels around the sides, there are paintings of polar ice caps," said Doss. "The reason for that is because there was no air conditioning, it was very hot in this theater, so they thought if they painted polar ice caps, it would make it feel cooler."

The ice caps are now covered, but many locals still have stories of their own.

"One guy said, 'Oh, I got my first kiss from my girlfriend sitting right here in that back seat,'"said Doss.

The Capitol Theater has seen so many changes throughout the years and numerous performance on its stage. One thing remains the same - it has always been a gem in the community.

"It was where everybody came, it was the center of town," said Doss.

"When people are looking at a town to move into, a huge valid point in that town is if they have a thriving, local community theater -and we do," said Selle Shanks, board member of the Masquerade Theatre.

With continued love and restoration, this community believes the show will go on.

"It's important right now, we've lost a lot of industry in our town and it's frightened people," said Doss. "But this is a place they can come and feel, 'Oh well, it's still here - things will go on."