Nonprofit Capitol Theatre gets creative during pandemic

YAKIMA, WA - The Capitol Theatre in Yakima thought of a creative way to make money during the pandemic, with a no-show series featured by their own legendary spirit.

The Shorty McCall Spirit Series doesn't have an audience nor an act to follow but the theatre hoped to keep their spirit alive as they remain closed. 

The Spirit Series includes The Sound of No Music, My Scare Lady, and The Laugh 'Til You Die Tour. Legend has it that Shorty McCall took his life in the theatre after an actress rejected him in the early 1900s,  and he has proven his presence in the building ever since. 
 
The theatre survived the pandemic so far by the support of the community and sponsorships but needs it now more than ever said C.E.O of the Capitol Theatre, Charlie Robin. 
 
"It's been lovely to hear people express how much they miss what the capitol theatre at its core is all about, and that's all of coming together in a community spirit and enjoying live theatre and live music, enjoying the social aspect and what coming together as a community for the performing arts," said Robin.
 
Since COVID-19, they missed out on about 50 performances and events, and expect another 50 lost by the end of the pandemic said Robin.
 
The city funds the nonprofit theatre to maintain the facility but the threatre needs operational costs as they cut full time staff hours and made improvements to the theatre while shutdown. 
 
Employees at the Capitol Theatre have had mysterious experiences with Shorty themselves, from door opened after being closed, missing items, and even felt tugs on collars, but everyone welcomes him anyway. 
 
"Shorty's presence has been known for so long that he's probably like me, an extrovert, who needs a little bit of connection. So, I think he probably is missing everyone just as much as we are missing the theatre and we're just hoping that he keeps the ghost light burning and keeps the theatre warm and ready for us when we come back," said Robin.
 
The theatre is asking its community to purchase a regular or partial subscription to help them overcome these challenging times.