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Catch the glamour of theatres past here at the Capitol Theatre

Civic & Cultural District

17 Stamford Rd

If you want to catch a glimpse of what going to the theatres was like back in the day, make sure to put the Capitol Theatre in your To See list. It was revered as one of Singapore’s finest theatres in the 1930s. 

Photo from Jay Phagan

Capitol Theatre was first built in 1929. Its design and layout were inspired by the Roxy Theatre in New York, and the theatre could house 1,600 people. Movie stars of that era, like Charlie Chaplin and Ava Gardner, set foot in the Capitol Theatre to promote their movies when they were in Singapore. 

After World War II, the theatre and its surrounding buildings was purchased by Shaw Organisation for $3 million, and became its flagship cinema. The Capitol Theatre and the adjacent Capitol Shopping Centre were gazetted for redevelopment in February 1984. The theatre screened its last film, Soldier, on 29 December 1998 before it officially closed the following day. 

Today, the Capitol Theatre can only hold up to 977 people. The seats are now “smart seats” allowing for that space to be transformed and made more suitable for large-scale functions and other uses such as seminars and MICE events. 

The Capitol Theatre has definitely evolved from being your ordinary, mundane cinema, to a high-end arts venue. Before you visit, be sure to check out the different events that you can catch at the theatre! You can also find the Capitol Piazza next to the Theatre, which houses a number of eclectic shops that are worth checking out. 

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