After planning and re-planning, construction is set to break ground on an expanded and renovated Capitol Theatre on Tuesday.
In recent months, Clearwater city leaders rescinded the historic designation on the building and the two adjacent ones planned as part of the construction project.
Leaders also vacated the alley behind the building. This will effectively close off the alley that connects Osceola and Fort Harrison Avenues. It also increases the footprint of the land available for development.
The Lokey Building, which was most recently the office for the Chamber of Commerce building and one time space of the Clearwater Sun, will be destroyed as part of the construction of the renovated Capitol Theatre.
Plans initially included incorporating the building and converting it into a grand lobby, concession areas, and restrooms for the theatre which would then be able to seat 655.
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The 1914 structure, one of the oldest in northern Pinellas County, was originally going to be part of the Capitol's upcoming year-long renovation. But officials decided it isn't sturdy enough to handle the load needed for a planned rooftop terrace, wraparound balcony and more to be added on top.
The Lokey building, named after a local businesswoman who owned a high-end women's clothing shop there through the 1990s, was originally home to the Clearwater Evening Sun newspaper.
The Capitol Theatre, theaters in Florida. Sen. John Taylor had the movie house built during the city's first boom. Movies ran throughout the week and vaudeville performances were Friday night.
The city designated the structure a historical landmark in 2009, the first by the city. When it was seen as an impediment to these construction efforts, leaders rescinded the designation earlier this year.
If you go:
What: Capitol Theatre groundbreaking
When: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11
Where: 405 Cleveland St.
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