Capitol Theatre crowns cultural resurgence in downtown Flint

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ribbon-cutting Thursday celebrates opening of historic venue supported by MSF

LANSING, Mich. – Nearly two decades since the last audience strolled from Flint’s Capitol Theatre, a new generation of theatre-goers will enter through the doors of Italian Renaissance-style building. The historic theater located off downtown Flint’s main thoroughfare (Saginaw Street) will open for the first time in 20 years following a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Thursday. 

“The Capitol Theatre is a symbol of Flint’s history and its renovation and reopening showcases the resilience and commitment to the city’s future,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who attended the ceremony along with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver; Jarret Haynes, Executive Director of the Whiting; Ridgway White, President of The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Phil Hagerman, Founder and Co-Owner, SkyPoint Ventures; and, Tim Herman, Uptown Reinvestment Corporation.

“Restoring the historic Capitol Theatre was a smart, innovative investment,” said Congressman Dan Kildee, who represents the Fifth Congressional District, which includes Flint. “The theater will bring much-needed growth, jobs and creative projects to Flint. I am proud of all of the partners for their hard work to make this project possible.”

In February 2016, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $5.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program (MCRP) performance-based equity investment to support the redevelopment of the Capitol Theatre, which is expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $31.4 million and create 82 full-time jobs.

“The Capitol Theatre is the most recent project in a strategy aimed at attracting people and investments to downtown Flint,” said Jeff Mason, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief marketing arm that administers programs and services along with performing due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

“With the recent opening of the award-winning Ferris Wheel Innovation Center, popularity of the Farmer’s Market and upcoming development of the Mott culinary teaching facility, it is evident downtown Flint is well-position for sustainable growth,” he said. 

In addition, the project received a $500,000 grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, an expected $3.7 million federal historic tax equity, $15-million grant from the C.S. Mott Foundation, and $1 million short-term loan from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint along with private contributions.

The theater is expected to draw between 60,000 and 80,000 patrons per year, bringing significant foot traffic and economic activity to the downtown area. Construction on the 1,600-seat theater began shortly after the Whiting and Uptown Reinvestment Corp. purchased the 90-year-old building in 2016. The Whiting manages programing and operations at the theater.

During the last several years, the MSF has supported a range of developments in downtown Flint, including the Farmers Market, Health & Wellness District, rehabilitation of the Woolworth Building into the new Mott Community College Culinary Arts Teaching Facility, Pure Michigan Micro Lending (to assist small business financing), and Huntington Bank’s expanded call center.

In addition, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, which is located within MEDC, has awarded grants to the Flint Institute of Arts, Flint Jewish Federation, Friends of Modern Art and the Whaley Historical House Association. 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.