York, PA – December 15, 2016 – The Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center today announced that the organization will soon operate under a new organizational banner: The Appell Center for the Performing Arts. The new name honors the late Louis J. Appell Jr. and the Appell family’s multi-generational commitment to the performing arts in downtown York, PA.
Scheduled for implementation in 2017, the new name will serve as an umbrella for the performance spaces. Audiences will continue to visit the Strand Theatre, the Capitol Theatre and the Studio for performances, films and classes.
“The soon to be renamed Appell Center for the Performing Arts holds a rich history and ongoing community impact reflective of generations of supporters and performing arts champions,” said Board Chair Eric Menzer. “We are grateful for all of our supporters, both past and present. One family in particular has had a remarkable longstanding commitment to our organization and a true legacy of leadership. As the board and staff began implementation of a new strategic plan and a bold vision for the future, it became clear that by renaming our organization as the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, we ensure that the Appell family’s commitment to community continues to be an inspiration to all who live, work and visit downtown York, PA.”
Spanning three generations, the Appell family’s history with the organization runs deep. Louis Appell’s father, Louis Appell Sr., and his grandfather, Nathan Appell, built the Strand Theatre in 1925 and later purchased and renovated what we know today as the Capitol Theatre. At each milestone throughout its history, the Appell family coupled a vision for what was possible with the belief that the community could make it happen. Louis Appell Jr. chaired the 1970s effort to save and renovate the two theaters, and was the first Board Chair when the Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center opened in 1980. In recent years, Louis Appell Jr. championed the creation of CapLive, a concert series designed to bring new and younger audiences downtown to enjoy and discover new music together.
When informed of the decision to add the Appell name to the Performing Arts Center, the family expressed their support, acknowledging that the Strand and Capitol theaters meant so much to Louis and the generations before him. “Nothing made Louis happier than to see a full house the night of a show,” the family said in a statement. “This place felt like home to him and he wanted everyone in the community to feel that way too.”
Strand Capitol management is working on details for the implementation of the new brand, and May 2017 has been set as a target for the roll-out, with a community celebration of the renaming planned.
“We are so excited to honor the Appell family with this renaming,” said Todd Fogdall, Strand Capitol President and CEO. “The Appell family saw the Strand Capitol as a place that serves an important cultural role in the community, and we aim to preserve that commitment and passion as we envision our future and continue their legacy.”