May 05--CHAMBERSBURG -- After four years of Blues, Brews and Barbecue events to raise money for the Capitol Theatre, organizers say the fundraiser's doing better then ever.
Last year's numbers exceeded 900 people who ate barbecue and drank beer while listening to live music in the theater's rear parking lot. Organizers could not immediately provide an attendance figure after the weekend event.
Harrisburg bands Nate Myers & The Aces, Ben Brandt Project, and Shippensburg's Seldom Said No performed throughout Saturday evening as barbecue from McCollums BBQ and Hempen Hill BBQ was served and beer from Roy Pitz, Troeg's, Yards, Deschutes, Great Lakes and Dogfish Head breweries was served from Ace Distributing, along with others.
"It's a good way to show off the theater as well as raise money for the theater," Capitol Theatre Center Manager Linda Boeckman said. "Many people are only familiar with the stage."
The annual event is one of many that help raise capital to pay for maintenance and improvements to the 87-year-old theater, such as repairing the marquee, installing a hearing impaired system and replacing carpeting, among others.
"We're at the stage now where we are still doing improvements and not renovations," Boeckman said. "We are still working on writing grants, doing outreach to get the funds to help the theater."
Laurie McKoy is on the committee for the event and is also a branch executive officer of Orrstown Bank, which was a sponsor this year.
The event began when organizers were looking for a way for everyone to enjoy themselves, she said.
"It draws in such a diverse group of people," said McKoy.
Pam Sanders, Chambersburg, said she remembers walking to the theater for the 25 and 35 cent matinees on Saturdays. One of her first there was the movie classic "Bambi."
"I love this event," she said.
Her husband, Denny, has fond memories of the theater as well and the two have also attended more recent events.
"It's great we can support the Capitol Theatre and enjoy the event," he said. "And the music is great."
Matt Boyer, York, is originally from Chambersburg, and he and his wife, Karen Ruth, enjoyed simply sitting and listening to the bands.
"It's really a great event," Boyer said. "I was here two years ago and I knew I had to come back."
While he lives now in York, Boyer has one particular memorable moment at the Capitol Theatre that he won't forget.
"About a year and a half ago at the premiere of "Route 30," I was able to meet Robert Romanus," he said. "It was pretty awesome."
Romanus is most known for playing Mike Damone in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and also starred in John Putch's locally-centered film "Route 30."
"He was freaking out," Karen said. "He is always quoting that movie with his friends."
Donations can be made to the theater by sending them to Capital Campaign, Capitol Theatre Center, 159 S. Main St.Chambersburg, PA 17201 or by calling the theater at 263-0202.
Lauren Cappuccio can be contacted at 262-4754.
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