Volunteers are a very important resource to many non-profit organizations, donating their time, energy, and hard work to help an organization meet its mission, goals, and objectives. Here at CAPA, we are beyond fortunate to have a dedicated core of volunteers that help make us possible. We would like to shine the spotlight on one of our longest-standing volunteer, Larry Clark.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born and raised in Columbus, and attended Columbus City Schools. I then spent three years at Ohio State, and finished up my degree at Franklin University. I was employed with Chemical Abstract Services for 35 years, and after retirement, worked as a substitute aid for the Educational Service Center. I’ve been very involved with my church, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal, serving as a church officer for 25 years and holding various other positions for more than 50 years.
How long have you been volunteering with CAPA and what got you started?
I began volunteering in 1989, before the Palace Theatre was purchased by CAPA. I wanted to be an usher at the Palace since its days as the RKO Palace Theatre. All the downtown theatres had ushers that wore very nice uniforms, and during my college days, I wanted a part-time job at the Palace so I could wear the uniform. However, during that time (early 1960’s), those positions were not available to blacks, so I never applied. Years later when the theatre prepared to reopen, there was an item in the paper asking for volunteers. I responded, and the rest is history. I’ve been here ever since!
Can you describe some of the things you do for us?
I primarily work as an usher for the various shows at the CAPA theatres. I’ve also served as a gate attendant and on a committee for Picnic with the Pops on the Columbus Commons.
What’s the first memory that comes to mind while working with CAPA?
There have been numerous memorable moments over the years, but the one that stands out is “the night the pipe burst.” I don’t recall what year or show, but I was standing in my assigned area near the right mezzanine of the Palace Theatre lobby during intermission when I noticed water seeping from a utility closet. I looked in and discovered a pipe had burst and water was beginning to pour out. If I recall correctly, it was winter and the closet was unheated.
I notified Todd Bemis (who was the man in charge), and he took a look at it. Initially, he thought the show would be able to continue, but the leak began to increase. When water began flowing down the hallway towards the front stairway and seeping into some of the electrical fixtures, he quickly determined the theatre had to be evacuated and that night’s performance cancelled. Ironically, I remember the opening scene of Act 2 was a river scene! However, they got everything repaired and dried out in time for the next evening’s performance to go on as scheduled.
Do you have a favorite show you’ve seen with us?
My favorite Broadway shows have been Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. I’ve also enjoyed some of the earlier solo performances held at the Palace Theatre when I first began to volunteer.
What would you tell others about volunteering with CAPA?
Volunteering for CAPA is fun! There are always opportunities to volunteer, but because of their large volunteer base, there is no pressure to work every show and no requirement on how often you must volunteer.
If you would like to join CAPA’s volunteer team and create some great memories of your own, contact Janet Rife at