AKA: Capitol Theatre, Yakima, WA; State Theatre, Yakima, WA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Heinsbergen Decorating Company, Interior Designers (firm); Moen Company, Gilbert H., Company, Building Contractors (firm); Paddock and Hollingbery, Architects (firm); Priteca, B. Marcus, Architect (firm); Anthony T. Heinsbergen (interior designer); Donald Moen (building contractor); Michael Moen (building contractor); William E. Paddock (architect); Barnet Marcus Priteca (architect)

Dates: constructed 1919-1920

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19 South 3rd Street
Downtown, Yakima, WA 98901-2715

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Building History

Frederick Mercy, Sr., commissioned the Seattle architect B. Marcus Priteca (1889-1971), a close associate of the vaudeville king Alexander Pantages (1875-1936), to design this grand classical movie palace in Downtown Yakima, WA. Originally named for Mercy, it opened on 04/05/1920. Antoon B. Heinsbergen (1894-1981), a Los Angeles interior designer renowned for his artwork in theatres, was also brought in by Mercy to design the decorative murals on the Capitol's interior. Both Heinsbergen and architect, Priteca, worked repeatedly for Alexander Pantages, the owner of the Pantages Theatre chain; the Capitol opened 04/05/1920 as a vaudeville house, but quickly switched to a mixture of live shows and motion pictures; soon, showing only movies became more profitable. The Mercy Theatre quickly became the most fashionable entertainment spot in Yakima. Over $700,000 was collected to repair the theatre after it was heavily damaged by fire in 1975; at age 83, Heinsbergen consented to repair damage to his murals which were some of his first; he died a few years after their installation;

Building Notes

This was one of between 150-200 theatres designed by the noted architect, B. Marcus Priteca.

The Capitol Theater, Yakima, WA, seated approximately 1,800 originally; listed on the National Register of Historic Places;


The Capitol Theatre in Yakima, WA, suffered an electrical fire in 08/19/1975, which swept through destroying everything but the stage house, fly gallery, basement, dressing rooms, cantilevered balcony supports and most of the façade. Yakima architect William Paddock (1920-2002) led an immediate rebuilding effort, and the landmark reopened 11/04/1978; expansion of the Capitol Theatre was in process in 2010. The Gilbert H. Moen Company worked on this addition.

PCAD id: 3228