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Tours of Capitol II to be available during Alumni Weekend

Theater will screen special viewings of ‘Grease’ this weekend

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 11:14 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 11:15 a.m. CST

The Newton Senior High School Class of 1978 and Capitol II owners Paul and Dawn Bleeker will be hosting a special event in conjunction with Alumni Weekend in part of an ongoing effort to raise money for the cinema’s conversion to digital projection.

Friday night, at 11:45 p.m., the Capitol II will show the film “Grease,” starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The film will be shown again at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

Additionally, the Capitol II will provide tours of the historic cinema — including the basement of the building — at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Saturday. The tours will be hosted by Doug Hundling, whose family ran the movie house for decades.

“We will have on display some items associated with the theater from the late ’20s on up,” Dawn Bleeker said. “You must be at least 13 years old to tour the basement. There is no fee for the tour, but we will be accepting donations to help with our digital conversion.”

The cost of the digital conversion has been estimated at $140,000. Without it, the Capitol II will soon be unable to receive new, first-run films.

A couple of other fundraisers are planned for the weekend.

C.J. Johnson, a member of the NHS Class of ‘78, has donated a photo of the lighted Jasper County Courthouse in various sizes. A silent auction will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday.

Additionally, the Capitol II will be selling dozens of surplus 9-inch vintage marquee letters for $25 apiece. The NHS FFA will be on-hand, as well, to make framed boxes to hold the letters, which will be a fundraiser for its own programs.