Live entertainment legend Peter Shapiro, owner of Port Chester’s The Capitol Theatre — or “The Cap,” as it’s affectionately known, says seeing a show is like fuel for the soul.
“After a live show, when you wake up, you are still going. But then it starts to fade, and you need more.”
Shapiro, who previously owned the legendary Wetlands Preserve and currently owns the Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Las Vegas, and Nashville, reopened The Capitol Theatre, originally built in 1926, in 2012. The reopening featured Bob Dylan and was widely celebrated.
But the pandemic put that resurgence in jeopardy like it did with many local live venues, leaving many live music lovers with an empty gas tank, waiting to be filled.
“It was bad,” Shapiro said of what The Cap has gone through. The top concert promoter, media producer and venue owner has been sought out over the last year and a half for his insight on the pandemic’s impact by everyone from Rolling Stone to Variety.
He was also a public advocate for the Save our Stages Act, which was launched by the National Independent Venue Association formed in response to the pandemic.
In June of 2020, 600 artists, including Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, Mavis Staples, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Willie Nelson, Billie Ellish, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, and Billy Joel, along with others, issued a letter to Congress asking legislators to provide urgent financial support for independent venues and promoters in the U.S.