Capitol Theatre in Detroit Shoreway Unveils Seating Upgrades

Cleveland Cinemas' west side outpost, the Capitol Theatre, released photos Wednesday of new, enhanced reclining seating in its two upstairs theaters.

When the Capitol reopens to the public, the two intimate rooms will be able to accommodate 34 patrons each. The seats offer expanded leg room and the plush cushioning most audiences now prefer.

The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, which owns the property and paid for the upgrades with grant dollars from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, said that the quality of the seating had long been a frequent complaint by Capitol customers.

In a letter to residents and supporters of the theatre, DSCDO soothed traditionalists with news that first floor's historic main auditorium has retained all 420 of its standard-issue seats. This preserves a high-attendance venue for blockbusters on opening weekends and special screenings.

"The new seats upstairs are also plush without being too large — you won't sink in so far that you lose the communal experience," DSCDO said, in a note that resonated with us. "In our kick-back-and-relax test, they felt like the best of both worlds."

The Capitol has been closed to the public for the majority of the pandemic. But it had battled persistent low attendance even before the virus forced its hand. Once it's safe to go back to the movies, the new seating options are likely to attract new, and reward returning, patrons to the neighborhood anchor and gem. 

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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