Capitol Theatre & Creamery

Entertaining East Arlington since 1925!

The Capitol Theatre opened on November 25, 1925. It was built by the Locatelli family, who built other area theaters like the Ball Square Theatre and Central Theatre, both in Somerville. The original auditorium had a mural above the proscenium arch that incorporated the town seal of Arlington into its design, and an amazing pipe organ.  Originally seating almost 1600 patrons between the expansive orchestra section and balcony, the Capitol had a full stage with dressing rooms to accommodate the occasional vaudeville or novelty act that would be presented with the movies on screen. Bank nights, gift nights, and other prize nights were common during the depression years of the 30’s.

The Capitol in the 1930’s. The blade sign had to be removed in the 60’s due to strain on the building.
Known to Arlington residents as “Your Home Theatre”, the Capitol was the largest and most luxurious of the neighborhood theaters in the area. After the Locatelli’s sold the theater in the late 30’s, it was leased by various local cinema chains such as M&P (a Paramount Theatres affiliate) until Arthur Viano of Viano’s Theatres took over for many years. Along with other Viano’s locations like the nearby Regent Theatre, and the Somerville and Broadway theatres in Somerville, the Capitol became well known for its fresh popcorn and friendly atmosphere. While the theatre was under Viano’s management, the entire Capitol Theatre Building was sold to the Fraiman family. When Arthur Viano tired of running the theatre, the Fraiman family decided to operate the movie house itself, rather than see the old palace close. During renovations, much of the original décor was uncovered in the lobby. Behind 1960’s-era faux-wood paneling were granite columns and gold leaf! The entire lobby was restored to its original glory, and a new concessions stand was built. Trying to draw audiences with only one screen was nearly impossible, however, and in order to save the theatre, it was multiplexed.

This mural on the upstairs lobby was similar to other murals in M&P Theatres.
Rather than trying to hide the old style of the original auditorium, as happened with other old theaters during multiplexing (think of the Harvard Square Theatre), it was decided to make each auditorium unique and special, decorated in the style of the original theatre. The new 5-screen Capitol debut in 1989 and proved to be a smashing success, giving Arlington movie-goers more films to choose from, and with modern comfortable seats and stereo sound as well. It proved so popular that a sixth screen was added on the site of the old stage in 1990.

In 2010 renovations included new seating in auditoriums, a fresh coat of paint in the lobbies and cinemas, and the addition of REAL-D 3D movies.

Today, the Capitol continues its tradition of affording locals a steady mix of movies, with an emphasis on family-friendly films and independent productions. The original screen and proscenium survive in the majestic theater #1 and the historic lobby is even better, with a newly added seating area suitable for relaxing before your movie with a nice ice cream. The theater is also a popular place for children’s birthday parties.  The Capitol features three REAL-D 3D movie screens and has the lowest priced 3D ticket in the area.arts


The Capitol Creamery is currently operating on it’s fall hours; Mon-Thu 1 – 8pm, Fri & Sat 12 – 1030pm, Sun 12 – 8pm.

Located on Lake Street around the corner from the Capitol Theatre, the Capitol Creamery features locally-made  Richardson’s Dairy-Fresh Ice Cream  and offers a variety of delicious treats including  frappes, sundaes, floats, seven flavors of Richie’s Italian Ice, Soft Serve, and our trademark ice cream cookie sandwiches, made with cookies fresh from the Quebrada Bakery next door!

While you sit and enjoy a hot latte or cappuccino, your kids will be
entertained by our model train set, and of course the Capitol Creamery pet fish. The cool ice cream and warm friendly environment will have you coming back for more!

The Capitol Creamery is the perfect place to hold your next meeting or event. Nothing lets your sports team know they’ve done a job well done, than a private ice cream social after the game! For inquiries on rentals or private events, contact Capitol General Manager Jamie Howard at


Beer & Wine:


Blue moon
Sam Summer
Harpoon IPA
Angry Orchard Cider
Shipyard Export Ale
Sam Boston
Harpoon Summer
Coors Light (cans)

Castle Rock Pinot Noir
Dona Paula Los Cardos Malbec
Cellar No. 8 Cabernet Sauvignon
William Hill Chardonnay
Lagaria Pinot Grigio
Beringer White Zinfandel