Capitol Theater
Madison, Wisconsin

The Capitol Theater has served the Madison community in multiple capacities since first opening in 1926. Originally designed by architects Rapp & Rapp as a vaudeville and silent movie house, it also saw use as a popular music venue. In the 1980s it became the home of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the local stop for touring Broadway shows. In 2004, both the Symphony and the tours moved to the newly opened Overture Hall, and the Capitol Theater began renovations for new uses. The much improved, more intimate venue includes a redone orchestra level, with box and parterre seating, and a suite of control rooms and an inner lobby in the space that had been rear orchestra seating. Nextstage Design principal Gene Leitermann served as project manager and principal in charge for Theatre Projects.

Overture Center for the Arts

Design Architect
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Executive Architect
Potter Lawson & Flad Architects

Kirkegaard Associates

Construction Manager
J H Findorff & Son

Construction Type

Square Feet
390,000 (entire Overture Center)

$159 million (entire Overture Center)


Children’s Theater of Madison
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
Music concert series
Silent film series
Other touring artists

1,090-seat multipurpose theater

2008 American Architecture Award
2008 Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence
2008 AIA Connecticut Design Award

Photo: © Mike Rebholz