The multi-functional space boasts one of the largest single screens in the region and an advanced rotational floor system that can transform the interior from a 1,000-seat configuration to a flat floor, and multiple seating arrangements in between, in under eight minutes.
Interesting Facts about Capitol Theatre
• Capitol Theatre was built in 1929 by M.A. Namazie, an early Singapore pioneer of Persian origin.
• The Grand Dame, as it is fondly known, was the Republic’s first cinema and considered one of the finest cinemas of its time. It opened on 22 May 1930 with the musical comedy Rio Rita.
• Spanning some 2,100 sq m, the theatre was designed by British architects P.H. Kys and F. Dowdeswell, who drew inspiration from the seating, lighting and plan of the Roxy Theatre in New York.
• Before the Japanese Occupation, it was requisitioned by the British as a food depot and to screen films to boost morale. During the Occupation, in 1942, the Japanese took it over and renamed it Kyoei Gekkyo. After a few months, Western films were banned and it screened only Japanese or propaganda films.
• The building’s façade was severely damaged by an explosion in 1944.
• The theatre was sold to Shaw Organisation after World War II, but was acquired by the Singapore government for conservation in 1987, although Shaw continued to lease the building.
• Capitol Theatre screened its last movie, Soldier, on 29 December 1998, and closed the next day.
• It reopened on 19 May 2015 after a 17-year hiatus – including a four-year refurbishment – with the world premiere of Singapura: The Musical.
• It now boasts both cinematic and theatrical capabilities, and is fitted with one of the largest single screens in the region. Direct ground-floor access also means that it is able to host red-carpet events, and was where Crazy Rich Asians made its Singapore debut.
• The venue has 1,000 seats, but a rotational floor system means the area can be transformed into a flat floor in under eight minutes, lending itself to a variety of events, including weddings, conferences and galas.
• Care has been taken to retain aspects of the theatre’s neoclassical design, including the Pegasus panels flanking the stage, the zodiac decoration on the dome ceiling, and the Art Deco detailing of the Capitol Theatre sign.