×

New Cap Center space to be named after Bank of New Hampshire

  • An interior of the old Concord Theatre is under renovation. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

  • A conceptual drawing shows what the new theater space at the Capitol Center for the Arts will look like. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

  • A conceptual drawing shows what the new theater space at the Capitol Center for the Arts will look like. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

  • Paul Falvey, president and CEO of Bank of New Hampshire, speaks in the old Concord Theatre on Wednesday. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

  • Nikki Clarke, executive director of the Capitol Center for the Arts, speaks at the old Concord Theatre on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Sunday, September 02, 2018

The name of the Capitol Center for the Arts’s new theater will be familiar to many Granite Staters.

The new 400-seat performance space at the site of the former Concord Theatre has been named the Bank of New Hampshire Stage after the company made a “significant” donation to the project, said Nikki Clarke, executive director of the Cap Center. The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon in the bones of the old theater, which has been gutted amid demolition.

Paul Falvey, president and CEO of Bank of New Hampshire, said the donation is just another milestone in the company’s history of supporting the Cap Center.

“We’ve been sponsoring them since 1997,” he said. “This is quite an exciting project for us to support and to continue our relationship with the community.”

“To think, all of this,” he said, gesturing to the theater’s brick walls, “could have gone away.”

Bank of New Hampshire already has a footprint in three places in Concord – two banking branches in the Heights and close to the county courthouse, and a wealth management service across from the State House.

Falvey declined to say how much the company donated to the Cap Center, but he did say it would be paid out over 10 years. The company also is helping the project with some bank financing.

But Falvey said he hoped Bank of New Hampshire’s relationship with the Cap Center would last well beyond 10 years.

“We’re committed to the community and embedded in the downtown,” he said.

About $2 million still needs to be raised to cover the $6 million project, officials said. Clarke said the project recently secured about $1.1 million in net new market tax credits; about $1.2 million has already been raised through fundraising events, and another $2 million was covered by bank loans. Clarke has said the bank money will eventually be recovered through fundraising.

Not all of the fundraising is specifically for the new theater. The capital campaign will also fund a new marquee, a ticketing system and a new heating system.

The new theater would operate as a flexible, multipurpose event venue. Set up for a standing-room-only crowd, it could fit 400, or by extending the retractable bleacher-like seats, it could sit 260. It has a bar upstairs, a lobby downstairs and a box office out front. An additional venue will allow the Cap Center to book more niche events and club-like dance shows with a smaller audience while still booking bigger acts for the 1,300-seat main theater.

Clarke said the project should be complete by the spring, with a grand opening in May.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)