Capitol Theatre campaign nears its finale

January 24, 2011|By BILL KOHLER |
  • The inside of the Capitol Theatre Centre is shown in this June 2006 file photo.
File photo

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The final scene of the Capitol Theatre Center’s Be a Star campaign is approaching and organizers are pushing hard to reach their $125,000 goal for the third straight year.

The Be a Star fundraising effort has generated $117,000 as of Monday, according to Joan Mitchell, who has chaired the Capitol Theatre Center Foundation for the past three years.

The campaign was extended once — from Dec. 31, 2010, to Jan. 31, 2011 — to help the campaign reach its goal.

The money raised in the effort supports operations of the 84-year-old theater at 159 S. Main St.

“It’s in order to keep the theater in the black,” she said.

Mitchell said that although the dollar figures are down slightly for the 2010 campaign, there were 370 total donors — the most in the three campaigns.

“At least 300 of those are individual donors,” Mitchell said. “It’s very gratifying to know there are so many people who care about the theater.”

Mitchell said volunteers target people and businesses they know support the theater either through past donations or being past patrons of the facility.

Raising funds in a tough economy is nothing new for the Capitol Theatre Center Foundation, which has succeeded during the throes of the current economic funk.

“We are focused on and target people that we know have an interest in the theater,” she said.

It’s also something faced by theaters and performing-arts groups across the country.

“We are not alone,” Mitchell said. “No theater in the country and no performing-arts organization can sustain itself without fundraising. We all need to do fundraising to make it work.”

The Capitol Theatre offers a range of performances, classes and movies. Some of its upcoming offerings include: Creative Kids at the Capitol (classes start Feb. 2); “The Little Mermaid” presented by Chambersburg Ballet Theater (Jan. 29); Cabaret Night (Feb. 11); Dublin’s Irish Cabaret (March 11); “Wizard of Oz” presented by Chambersburg Ballet Theater (March 18 to 20 and 25 to 27); and the play “Steel Magnolias” (mid-May).
Mitchell said the theater is operating with a balanced budget, and is supported by a “very dedicated group of volunteers and board members.”

The theater’s aesthetics are in good shape after a renovation that was completed about five years ago. However, any aging structure has its share of problems and the Capitol is no exception, she said.

Several avenues exist to make a donation to the Be a Star campaign by the Jan. 31 deadline:

• Checks may be made payable to Capitol Theatre Center Foundation and mailed to: Attention: Capitol Theatre Center, 2010 Be A Star! campaign, 159 S. Main St. Chambersburg, PA 17201.


• Gifts may be made online at

• Checks may be dropped off at the theater’s box office, which is open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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