Why The Capitol Theatre Is One Of New York’s Best

Will Oliver

While we’re stuck and home and missing live concerts dearly, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the concerts we should be at with our friends. Especially considering we are on the brink of what would’ve been peak music festival season, the fact that we’re stuck at home with live streams and old YouTube clips as the next best thing is somewhat of a depressing thought.

But alas, we will use this time to be productive and that means looking and highlighting some of our favorite music venues in the area. This being New York, you’re probably assuming that the venue I am about to highlight is one in the heart of Manhattan or the now too cool for school Brooklyn area. 

I’d understand why you’d assume that but you’d actually be mistaken, as the venue I’m focusing on today is actually located in Port Chester, New York.

Just a quick train ride on the Metro North will take you to The Capitol Theatre, a historic music venue that saw many of the great classic rock icons perform there across the years, with The Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia being the most famous ones. So much so that the venue has a smaller venue/bar that is called Garcia’s. 

While so much attention is brought upon the equally wonderful Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre as the premiere theaters in New York, it is actually The Capitol Theatre that is my favorite one in New York. Maybe I’m a bit biased as I am about a 30 minute drive from the venue, but there is just something unique and different about The Cap that makes every visit there feel as special as the last.

It may be that unique feel of the history and mystique that The Dead and Jerry that still lingers there to this day. Or maybe it’s the capacity of 1,800 people that is actually quite intimate in regards to large theaters in New York. For comparison, Radio City Music Hall has a capacity of 6,015. This allows every area in the room to offer a great vantage point. From the general admission floor that rises the further back you go, to the upper seating area, there is no bad point of view in the room. 

Then there’s the surrounding area of unique food offerings that have a bit of a more slower paced feel and comforting style that you don’t quite get in the fast paced big city. There’s the delicious fast paced chili cheese dogs of Huba’s or the delicious tacos at the appropriately named bartaco. 

But most importantly there’s just something about The Capitol Theatre that feels so different from stepping into other venues. The staff is always there to greet you with a friendly smile or welcoming hello, which isn’t always the case at the more established bigger venues. There’s a reason why you’ll notice artists such as Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Queens Of The Stone age and more tend to make repeat visits to play at the theater as it seems like once you play there, you just have to come back. If that doesn’t speak to the allure of The Capitol Theatre, I’m not sure what other proof that you need. 

We can’t wait to step foot back into the historic hall of The Capitol Theatre when life finally resumes a sense of normalcy again.

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