Westchester’s Newly Restored Capitol Theatre Opens Today, Now How in the Hell Do You Get There?

09/04/2012 12:30 PM |

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I thought I missed the bus back to Penn Station when I went to see Wolf Parade at The Wellmont Theatre a few years ago. The show ran a few minutes late, and while I bolted from bus stop to bus stop unsure of the exact pickup location, I saw flashes of spending the night on the mean (perfectly manicured, Starbucks-lined) streets of Montclair, New Jersey, alone and cold. Turns out, the bus was running an hour late and didn’t stop at the designated spots—you just had to run into the street and flag it down. This is apparently common knowledge in Montclair. The situation made me rethink traveling outside of NYC for a show ever again. What if I couldn’t run fast enough to catch the bus home next time?

But now the legendary, freshly face-lifted 1,835-seat Capitol Theatre in Port Chester is set to open its doors tonight with a sold-out performance by Bob Dylan, giving my story about the time I was scared in the suburbs of New Jersey a purpose. After years of hosting corporate events and bar mitzvahs, Brooklyn Bowl founder Peter Shapiro is hoping to restore the venue to its glory days by booking the likes of The Roots, Dirty Projectors, Blondie, Fiona Apple, Al Green, My Morning Jacket, who are all set to grace the stage by the end of the year, along with help from the $2 million renovation that’s been underway for months.

Lisa Reiss, director at competing Westchester concert hall the Paramount, told Newsday that she’s not too worried about the impact The Capitol will have on the Paramount’s business. According to her, “Most of [The Capitol's] audience is going to come from the New York [City] market, not necessarily from the mid-Hudson area,” suggesting that we, the concert-going public of New York City, better figure out how in the hell to get to Port Chester. Good news, it seems really easy.

Final destination: 149 Westchester Avenue, Port Chester, NY 10573

By train:
From Grand Central, the Metro-North New Haven line stops at the Port Chester train station, and all you have to do upon arriving is follow the tracks south and walk down the stairs to Westchester Avenue. Then walk west under the train tracks, and The Capitol is one block away on the right. That doesn’t seem too difficult. It’s about a 47-minute trip each way, and costs you $16.50 for a round-trip ticket on off-peak hours ($22 for peak hours), which you should always purchase before boarding (prices rise once you’re on the train). Here’s something important: The last NYC-bound train from Port Chester leaves at 12:58am. “Don’t forget! 12:58!” says Mom.

By bus:
Too many bus stops to keep track of, see above for sob story.

By car:
It’s about a 50-minute drive down I-95 for those with access to a stage coach, Vespa or automobile. Get off at Exit 2 (Delevan Ave/Byram) and at the first full traffic light, turn right onto Develan, which will eventually turn into Mill Street. You’ll want to turn left onto Main Street once you see it, and then at the third traffic light, hang a right onto Westchester Avenue. Bam! The Capitol is one block on your right.