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The Capri theater had an unbroken run of events over 70 straight days from spring to summer 2022. That jam-packed calendar included dramatic productions, dance recitals, music concerts, film screenings, corporate retreats and private parties. But there were also workshops, fitness classes, an HIV-awareness showcase and, on the weekend of Juneteenth, a burlesque festival.

"Whew!" says Capri director James Scott. "Our bench may not be as deep as the Guthrie or the Children's Theatre, but the work we're doing here — and the positive energy we're bringing to Penn and West Broadway — resonates."

A year after pulling back the curtain on a $12.5 million state-of-the-art renovation, the Capri has become a central cultural hub in north Minneapolis. Nearly 16,000 patrons streamed through the doors in its first year, taking in performances on the 260-seat main stage from long-established arts organizations such as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, which screens a feature the first Thursday of each month.

The marquee of the renovated Capri Theater is a beacon in north Minneapolis.
The marquee of the renovated Capri Theater is a beacon in north Minneapolis.

Leila Navidi, Star Tribune

The North Side gem, with spaces that include the flexible Paradise Community Hall, studios and a rotating art gallery, also attracted new and nimble outfits.

"This is a place where folks can come and try out their ideas in top-notch facilities," says General Manager Kevin West.

Veteran theater artist Peter Moore founded Stage North in 2018 and has produced several shows at the Capri. His company's fall offering is "Ain't Misbehavin'," the jumping Fats Waller musical that opens Sept. 16.

The Capri, owned and operated by the Plymouth Christian Youth Center, also invites its neighbors in, including the motorcycle club from across the street. In addition to local patrons, the theater draws tourists who come to see Paisley Park and the old haunts of Prince, who famously did his first professional concert at the Capri.

The Capri first opened in 1927, and Scott says he hopes that it will continue to serve audiences for at least another century: "We're striking a balance between being a North Side community asset and a cultural venue for the larger Twin Cities."

The Capri

2027 Broadway Av. W., Mpls., thecapri.org