Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
Yakima’s Capitol Theatre recently opened a unique new venue to compliment its historic performance hall. The Fourth Street Theatre, also known as the Black Box, was created as a smaller more personal stage where patrons could enjoy music, comedy, or theatrical performances more intimately. The Black Box facility can be arranged in the traditional theatre style seating or a cabaret-style seating complimented by hors d’oeuvres and beverages. The stage can be set anywhere inside the theatre so performers are provided maximum flexibility to create a particular show environment. “Everything is meant to be evolutionary and it gives younger audiences a place to go,” says Steve Caffery, executive director of The Capitol Theatre. “We’re really excited about what we’re going to be able to do with this venue.” The 4th Street Theatre was constructed on top of a new loading and staging area that supports the Capitol Theatre. Its entrances are separate from the main theatre so it can be a standalone operation. Funding to construct the new theatre space came from private donations and grants. The city of Yakima also chipped in on the project by tapping sales tax revenues that are generated through a state authorized Public Facilities District. Plans are moving ahead to complete an outdoor venue on the roof-top of The Black Box to support weddings, receptions, and other similar events. In addition, the historic Wilson Building just north of the theatre will be renovated to house a box office, the Capitol Theatre’s staff, and some retail space. “Yakima’s been very supportive of our efforts and plans are moving right along,” says Steve Caffery.