Posted December 12, 2013 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Entertainment

Capitol Theater Celebrates Repeal Day

By Patrick Stewart

As we all know, this holiday season is nigh upon us. And as such, I’d like to take a moment of your time to talk to you about the most important holiday that exists in this fine country of ours. It is not Thanksgiving. It is not Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve. It is not Boxing Day (blasphemy)! No, no. The holiday of which I speak has its roots in what is most American about America. If you do not celebrate this holiday, you dear reader, are frankly not a patriot. The day of which I speak is, of course, Dec. 5. For it was on that cold, wintry day in 1933 that the 21st Amendment was ratified and Prohibition was repealed.

I can see the lights going on in your eyes now, dear reader. You are – to a man, woman and child – saying “But of course. This is THE holiday. I must celebrate it with supreme dedication until the day I drunkenly fall asleep in a snow bank and go to that great kegger in the sky!” But how do you celebrate? Sure you could sit at home and crack open a beer. Maybe go to your local pub, see all the usual people, drink all the usual drinks. But nay! Repent! Follow me and I will show you the light– and that light is the brightly glowing sign of Olympia’s own Capitol Theater.

    Every Dec. 5, the Capitol Theater throws an extravagant anniversary bash of drink, music, food, drink and dance. The dress code is formal 1930s. The music is jazz. The dancers lose clothes at a fantastic rate. And so I, intrepid reporter that I am, shirked my many, many other responsibilities on that frigid winter night, and entered the lion’s den. I donned a three-piece pinstriped suit, complete with matching fedora and suspenders, baby-blue tux shirt and tie, and topped it off with a fur cloak.

The Greta Jane Quartet performing at Capitol Theater

The Greta Jane Quartet performing at Capitol Theater

I drank “bathtub gin,” Old Fashioneds, Scofflaws and whiskey-definitely-not-from-a-flask-I-snuck-in. I visited with friends old and new. I ate finger food while enjoying the lovely sounds of the Greta Jane Quartet.

I drank “bathtub gin,” Old Fashioneds, Scofflaws and whiskey-definitely-not-from-a-flask-I-snuck-in.

Everyone drank more, ate more, talked more, laughed more. People were dancing; overcoats and top hats were strewn about in disarray. Suddenly the lights dimmed. A hush fell on the crowd. People were ushered to seats by, well, ushers. As I tipped gracefully into a heap on my seat, TUSH! Burlesque Troupe came on stage. Over a whirlwind skit that was based around the repeal of prohibition (educational!), and around the removing of many clothes (educational!), the group delighted and enthralled the audience to a blend of classic and modern music.

    When that was done, the music began again, and the drinking began in earnest. The pleasantries had been taken care of, the entertainment portion of the evening was over, and everyone remembered exactly why they were there– to drink. I know now that this was no mere Repeal Day celebration. No, we were transformed, both in spirit and in body, to 1933 to celebrate this most glorious of days. I know this to be true, because when I awoke the next morning I found I had all of the usual symptoms that accompany time travel. The memory loss, the pounding headache, and the waking up on a stranger’s floor wearing nothing but a fur cape.

    So next December, make your way to Olympia’s Capitol Theater for a night you’ll never remember, and celebrate the day this country became great again.