Capital Music Hall • Main at Wall St.



COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

Located on the SW corner of Main and Wall St., the Capital Music Hall building stood from about 1891 to 1935 (Wall St. was eliminated during the 1970s Urban Renewal project). Basically a drinking establishment with a variety theater, the Music Hall had a wild run.


Detail of the previous image, showing a beer delivery wagon in front of the Capital Music Hall. The sign on the corner of the building (upper right) advertises Kessler Lager Beer.



Capital Music Hall Bar


COURTESY OF PAUL DANIELS

The mustachioed man in the apron is Alfred Nelson, father-in-law of Paul Knapp, who was the owner of Knapp & Bucks Saddlery and Knapp Service Station on the corner of Neill Ave. and North Main.




Location of the Capital Music Hall and Wall St.

The footprint of the Capital Music Hall, and former location of Wall St., superimposed on a recent satellite image.



Capital Music Hall Site, 2009
TAKEN FROM THE SAME SPOT AS THE EARLY VIEW


PHOTO BY KENNON BAIRD

 

Because of date gaps in the available online Helena newspaper archives, this history of the Music Hall is quite incomplete. The hall opened around 1891; by 1903 it had become notorious for serving alcohol to minors, and was not held in high regard.

A 1907 newspaper story told of a bloody fight between a bartender and an irate customer. The customer, one Paul Dipadova, and a bartender identified only as Lewis, mixed it up with a knife and broken bottle after Dipadova "forgot" to pay for his drinks. Dipadova got the worst of it, waking up in jail the next morning with a bloody gash across his face, from a broken beer bottle wielded by Lewis in self-defense.

In 1909, the Music Hall was apparently closed for good...


 

A fire damged the building in the late 1920s or early 30s. It was used for a time as a garage, but was heavily damaged by the 1935 earthquakes and subsequently demolished...

If anyone has addiitonal information about the Capital Music Hall, please let me know.