1972: Youths Convert Old Theater Into Mod Movie House

By Thomas Kent, Associated Press

Middletown, Conn.–Six young people have added a health food stand to an elegant, old theater and created a mod movie house that the theater’s owner says is pulling viewers in as never before.

With tie-dyed decorations and a concession stand that sells banana nut bread and apple cider, the six have transformed the 50-year-old Capitol Theater into a combination of old and new that has owner Nicholas Saraceno, 50, asking why he didn’t let the team move in before this September.

“They asked for three months before I would even say yes to them,” Saraceno says. “At first I was ready to toss them on their ear.”

Instead, Saraceno says he has found the young theater planners–who include an artist, a filmmaker and a building projectionist–fun to work with and a good investment.

“The theater is doing much better than it did before and it has attracted many younger theatergoers,” he said. “We have broken all our theater records for the past three or four years.”

The young planners, whose average age is 25 and who call themselves “T’aint”–without further explanation–have a profit-sharing arrangement with Saraceno. They live in various parts of the state.

T’aint has converted a lounge in the theater into an orange, pink and blue setting that includes an old weigh-yourself-for-a-penny scale. Parts of old chandeliers serve as knickknacks on tables.

From the Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona), Friday, November 3, 1972.
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