The Municipal Council has voted 3-1 to trade two city-owned houses for the 65-year-old Capitol Theatre.

Mayor Newell Daines recommended the trade, saying the Capitol could become an important community center for conventions and cultural events.He said rehabilitation should be done through private funding or grants.

Councilman Loye Martindale cast the dissenting vote, and Councilman Lynn Bracken was absent.

"The minute we take over that building we have a liability on our hands, and I think the issue should be settled by all residents through a ballot vote," Martindale said.

Councilman Richard Thomas said he did not consider a ballot vote necessary since the acquisition would not require a tax increase. He said the theater will help stimulate tourism.

Operators of a movie theater have the Capitol leased until 1993, but have agreed to allow the city use of the building for 60 days a year until the lease expires.

Opera singer Michael Ballam, a Utah State University music professor who proposed acquiring the building, said, "I am glad I came back home to Logan and that people here stand for things that are beautiful."

He said he hopes to stage an opera, now being rehearsed by his students, in the Capitol the first week of June.