Friends of the Capitol Theatre Signs Agreement to Acquire Historic Venue


Flint’s historic Capitol Theatre could reopen within the next 18 to 24 months thanks to a new purchase agreement between Capitol Theatre Building LLC and the Friends of the Capitol Theatre, a subsidiary of the nonprofit Uptown Reinvestment Corporation (URC).

The Friends have up to one year to perform due diligence and put together the financial structure for the project, which involves the 2,000-seat theatre and adjoining office and retail space. Ownership and operation of the Capitol will officially transfer to Friends once due diligence has been completed satisfactorily and closing occurs.

“This is a major step forward and could be the tipping point for taking downtown Flint’s resurgence to the next level,” said Tim Herman, URC President and CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “We envision restoring this community gem back to its historic glory and creating a modern entertainment venue for concerts, stage plays, comedy shows and other performance arts.”

The Farah Family, which has owned the Capitol for 38 years, has worked to preserve and protect this wonderful and strategic community asset until the structure could be fully restored and redeveloped.

“My father, George Farah, acquired the building in 1977 when he fell in love with the architecture,” said Troy Farah of Capitol Theatre Building. “My father also realized the importance of this property to the Flint community. I’ve been told by experts that the Capitol Theatre is the best-preserved, unrestored theatre in the country.”

Designed by a noted theatre architect of the era and opened in 1928, the Capitol is an atmospheric theatre, creating “the impression of outdoor settings featuring ancient and exotic places inside the building,” according to A Guide to Flint Architecture, published by the Flint chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Outside, the exterior features buff-colored brick set off by terra cotta piers, colonnades and roofline cresting, common to 15th century Hispano-Italian Style, the Guide states.

Herman said the historic theatre’s restoration creates significant opportunities for synergies with Flint’s outstanding Cultural Center.

“Downtown Flint continues to show steady growth,” Herman said. “The revitalization has been on the upswing for a decade now with buildings being renovated, lofts and other residential living made available, and great restaurants and nightlife. Now, we’re primed to add the Capitol to this wonderful mix.”

Farah also believes that the agreement between Friends and Capitol Theatre Building will create great momentum for the theatre’s redevelopment.

“The Farah family has been committed to Flint’s downtown revitalization for the past 40 years, and is an active partner and participant in many other downtown projects,” he said. “We’re eager to assist with the Friends of the Capitol in any way needed to help facilitate the redevelopment of this community gem.”

Officials say due diligence for the project will begin immediately.

Foodie Fave Friday: Tropical Smoothie Café

smoothieWith five locations in Genesee County, Tropical Smoothie Café is the perfect option for a quick, yet flavorful breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.

Each 24-ounce smoothie is made with turbinado, a minimally refined sugar, unless otherwise requested. Flavors range from the classic strawberry-and-banana Jetty Punch to the indulgent Peanut Butter Cup (made with peanut butter, banana and chocolate). Customers can also request the addition of supplements, such as B-12 and whey protein.

In addition to flatbreads, sandwiches and salads, each restaurant offers a breakfast menu, featuring a variety of omelet wraps. Also on the menu for a limited time are a trio of artisan tacos, including Thai Chili Steak, Cilantro Lime Fish and Smoke Jalapeño Chicken.

Looking for the nearest location? Check out Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce members: Tropical Smoothie Café – Flint, at 2103 S. Linden Road, and Tropical Smoothie Café – Fenton, at 4009 Owen Road.

Other nearby branches include:

  • 5105 W. Vienna Road, Clio
  • 703 S State St., Davison
  • 2383 E. Hill Road, Grand Blanc

Click here for more information on hours, contact information and “Text Club” discounts.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

Flint City Derby Girls to Roll Out 2015 Season this Weekend

Flint City Derby Girls

The Flint City Derby Girls are rolling out their 2015 season with a game this Saturday against the Ohio-based Glass City Rollers at the Perani Arena and Event Center in Flint.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun, although we’re expecting it will be a pretty tough bout,” said Jess Duncan, known as Duncan GoNuts on the track. “A team can roster 14 skaters per game, and we’re down to nine skaters this weekend. It’s really going to test our skills and athleticism.”

In the sport of amateur flat-track roller derby, each team fields up to five skaters per playing segment, which lasts up to two minutes. Each side has a designated “jammer,” identified by a star on her helmet, with the rest of the skaters serving as “blockers.” Points are scored whenever a jammer passes one of the opposing team’s blockers.

Blockers play both offense and defense as they aim to prevent the opposing team’s jammer from getting through their pack, while also helping their jammer get through the opposing team’s blockers.

“The blockers are allowed to hit the jammers with their hips, butts, and shoulders,” Duncan said. “But there are no elbows being thrown. There’s no punching or kicking.

“It’s a game that’s played as clean as possible, but there are some really hard hits that can happen.”

Admission to this Saturday’s game, which starts at 7 p.m., is $10 per adult in advance and $12 the day of. Children 10 and under are granted free access to the event, provided they come with a paid adult. (There is a limit of two free children per adult.)

Ringmaster Zeb, a performance clown and creator of The Octopus Umbrella Circus, will serve as the intermission entertainment.

Beyond this weekend, the team’s schedule is as follows:

  • May 9: Away Game in East Lansing
  • May 16: Home Game at Perani
  • June 13: Inaugural Trout Town Invitational in Kalkaska
  • TBA: Home Game at Perani
  • October (TBA): Mitten Kitten Mash-Ups
  • November 7: Home Game at Perani

To stay up-to-date with future FCDB news, visit the team’s Facebook page. To purchase tickets for Saturday’s game, click here.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

Celebrate the Wonder of Trees at For-Mar Nature Preserve

Photo by Alfred Borchard

Photo by Alfred Borchard

National Arbor Day (April 24) is fast approaching, and For-Mar Nature Preserve in Burton is ready to celebrate. In honor of the upcoming holiday, dedicated to the planting and care of trees, the nature preserve will host “Arbor Day: Dead, But Never Gone!”

From noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, visitors will learn how trees serve an  important role in our ecosystem and society even after they’ve died. The event is free to the public and is recommended for families of all ages.

For-Mar Nature Preserve is located at 2142 N. Genesee Road in Burton. For more information, call (810) 789-8567 or visit

Also, the National Arbor Foundation has compiled a list of potential ways to celebrate the holiday, founded by J. Sterling Morton more than 135 years ago. A few examples include:

  • Plant a tree.
  • Choose a public park or downtown area to clean up.
  • Read a book about trees.
  • Organize a tree identification hike.


Click here for more ideas.


Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

Local Theater Screens Independent, International Films on Weekends


Love movies, but looking for something a little less mainstream? Check out the Flint Institute of Arts Theater. Each weekend, the 330-seat venue – in cooperation with the Friends of Modern Art – presents independent, international and classic films that otherwise would not be screened in the Flint area.

This weekend, the film of choice is Force Majeure, a Golden Globe finalist for best foreign film. The two-hour, R-rated movie follows a Swedish family besieged by an avalanche in the French Alps. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

The following weekend, April 24-26, the FIA Theater will present The Search for General Tso, which looks at the origins of Chinese-American food.

General admission is $6 with discounted prices available for FOMA and FIA members. On Fridays, couples can opt for the theater’s “Date Night” package, which includes two film tickets, two drinks and a cheese plate. It is available from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For more information about the theater, visit or call 810-234-1695.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

At the FIA: Walter Anderson’s Watercolors of Horn Island

Horn Island - Fall

Horn Island – Fall

Born in New Orleans in 1903, Walter Anderson produced thousands of paintings during his lifetime. However, the pieces in The Islander: Walter Anderson Watercolors, on display at the Flint Institute of Arts through June 28, were never intended for public viewing. In fact, it wasn’t until after Anderson’s death in 1965 that his widow discovered the images.

Anderson had studied art in New York at Parsons Institute, graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1929, and worked on regional Works Progess Administration mural projects. But by the mid-1930s, he began to show signs of mental stress and was institutionalized several times.

After 1947, with the understanding of his wife and children, Anderson left to live alone in Mississippi, where made frequent trips in a small skiff to Horn Island, part of the barrier reef along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There, over the next 18 years, he made thousands of watercolors depicting the animal life, flora and fauna.

As the critic Edward Sozanski remarked of Anderson, “his paintings are like Van Gogh’s in the way they bombard viewers with more visual information than they can handle comfortably.”

The Flint Institute of Arts, at 1120 E. Kearsley St., is open noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; noon to 9 p.m. Thursday; noon to 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 810-234-1695 or visit

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

See What’s Happening In and Around Flint & Genesee for the Week of April 13-19

Information and dates are subject to change without notice. Please call ahead to confirm.


April 18: “Super Saturday Storytime” at the Flint Public Library (Main Branch), 1026 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 232-7111 *

  • (Event runs 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.) Join a library staff member for themed stories, literacy and hands-on activities in the Children’s Room featuring “Growing for Spring” this weekend. Recommended for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school ages.

April 18: “Arbor Day: Dead, But Never Gone” at For-Mar Nature Preserve, 2142 N. Genesee Road, Burton * (810) 789-8567 *

  • (Event runs 12 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Join the For-Mar staff as they celebrate the wonder of trees! Learn how trees serve an important role in our ecosystem and society even after they’ve died. Recommended for families of all ages. Free admission.

April 18: “STEM Saturdays: Marvelous Math Adventures” at the Flint Public Library (Main Branch), 1026 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 232-7111 *

  • (Event runs 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) Join a library staff member for some interactive fun while learning math skills featuring “Bubbleology” this weekend. Expert Ron Loyd explores the science of bubbles and creates bubbles of all shapes and sizes with the assistance of the audience. Recommended for grades 2-6.

April 18: “Flint City Derby Girls” at Flint’s Perani Arena & Event Center, 3501 Lapeer Road, Flint * (810) 744-0580 *

  • (Bout begins 7 p.m.) Experience full-contact, aggressive, fast-paced, fun and exciting flat-track roller derby as the Flint City Derby Girls take on the Glass City Rollers.

April 18: The Flint Symphony Orchestra performs at The Whiting, 1241 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 237-7333 *

  • (Performance begins 8 p.m.) Enrique Diemecke conducts this special evening in remembrance for fallen soldiers as the Flint Symphony Orchestra performs with guest artists Indra Thomas, Soprano, Jonathan Boyd, Tenor, Andrew Cummings, Baritone, the Flint Festival Chorus, Vanguard Voices and the Ann Arbor Youth Chorale.

Continue reading