Capitol Revue a hit with crowd of 500

September 30, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - As the first chords of "Strike up the Band" filled the darkened Capitol Theatre, the crowd knew the Sunday afternoon fund-raiser would be a treat for the senses.

After opening remarks from State Sen. Terry Punt, R-Franklin, and emcee R.G. Smith, Bob Eyer took over on the Moller organ, delighting the more than 500 who attended the Capitol Revue Sunday.

"It's a very worthy cause," said Fred Schenck of Greencastle, Pa., of his decision to attend the event. "Without this, we have no live entertainment. I'm here to support the arts in Chambersburg."


Schenck said he only lives in Franklin County six months out of the year, but he comes to the theater every chance he gets, whether it's to see the local productions like the one on Sunday or traveling shows.

"I look forward to all of them," he said.

Sunday's show included performances by Eyer, house organist at the theater for nearly 30 years, the Chambersburg Ballet, The Towne Singers and local vocalists Elise Overcash, Will Pananes and Wayne Mowrey.

Paul Cullinane, director of Downtown Chambersburg Inc., which is spearheading the renovation and expansion of the theater, said he hoped the event would raise about $7,000 for the facility.

Though it's not an annual event, Cullinane said it was the type of show planners thought would draw a large crowd since it featured all local talent.

Shippensburg, Pa., residents Louise Naugle and Helen Clippinger said in addition to enjoying live music, they came to Sunday's show because they knew some of the performers.

The afternoon started out on a somber note as Punt, who has been instrumental in helping the theater secure funds for the expansion project, reminded the audience of the problems the country continues to face.

"Today is a great day because we are sitting here with friends and family. But our liberty and freedom are being challenged as we sit here," he said, asking the audience to remember those serving in the armed forces and local police, fire and rescue officers.

Eyer reinforced the message by playing several patriotic tunes after his opening number.

Work on the $5 million Capitol Theatre Center began last year with the demolition of seven structures on South Main and West Washington streets to make room for the bigger theater and parking.

The center will include a new lobby and concession stand for the 75-year-old theater, new parking, bathrooms and a gift shop. Eventually, a 160-seat second-floor performance area for community theater and recitals will be added.

Cullinane said the exterior and much of the interior work will be completed by May.

Eventually, the Chambersburg Area Council for the Arts, the Chambersburg Ballet Theater School and the Caledonia Theatre Co. will have their homes in the center.

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