Capitol Theater

61 Grove Street,
Meriden, CT 06450

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Additional Info

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Ricci's Theatre, Ricci Theatre, Life Theatre, Ricci Capitol Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Capitol Theater

Opened as Ricci’s Theatre on December 25, 1913. On August 15, 1915 it went over to being a movie theatre, renamed Life Theatre. It was equipped for sound and reopened as Ricci Capitol Theatre on November 11, 1930. On April 1, 1964 it was renamed Capitol Theatre. From January 1971 to March 30, 1974 it went over to screening adult pornography movies. It ended its days playing family movies.

The Capitol Theater on Grove Street in Meriden was demolished in the late-1980’s to make way for a parking garage.

Contributed by Bob Whitworth

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

ZARDOZ on December 19, 2004 at 3:55 pm

Well, if I may add a bit more, perhaps this will spur some additional memories from others. There was a balcony here, but in the 1960s and 70s, it was closed to the public. That didn’t seem to matter much, because people (like me) would always sneak up there with the hopes that the projectionist wouldn’t kick us out! There were persistent rumors that the balcony had been closed because of structural problems, but that rumor was never substantiated by anyone I met. My paternal grandmother, who lived to the ripe age of 101, used to tell me that the Capitol used to be called the “Life Theater” when she was a kid in the early 1920s. I never bothered to look that up. Some fellow with the last name of “Ricci” owned the Capitol, and also later owned the Meriden Theater on Broad Street in Meriden, CT. In fact, Ricci put his name on the Capitol’s neon marquee: “Ricci’s Capitol.”

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 8, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Here’s some Double features IN THE ORDER THEY PLAYED,March 24,1970


dallasmovietheaters on September 14, 2020 at 3:23 pm

The theatre opened as Ricci’s Theatre (aka Ricci Theatre) on Christmas Day, December 25, 1913 by Joseph M. Ricci. On August 15, 1915 and following a refresh it became a movie house called the Life Theatre. For the next 15 years, the Life Theatre played mostly silent films.

Ricci sold the venue but he and his son, A. Leo Ricci’s, reacquired the venue wiring it for sound and renaming it the Ricci Capitol Theatre on November 11, 1930. The outdoor sign read, Joseph M. Ricci’s Capitol Theatre. Leo Ricci arranged a ten year sub-lease with Connecticut Amusement to run it as an art house beginning April 1, 1964 as the Capitol Theatre.

The business trailed off at the start of the 1970s. So in January of 1971 to the end of sublease on March 30, 1974, the Capitol successfully showed X-rated fare during the height of the porno chic era. Films were advertised often with code names such as “Throat” instead of “Deep Throat” to offset community backlash. Leo Ricci returned to the Capitol on April 1, 1974 running it to closure as a sub-run family-oriented discount movie house. The theater closed and later was razed.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.