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LOCAL TIME: 04:51 am | Thursday, 17 October
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The Capitol Theatre

Built in 1931, the Capitol Theatre was one of the first atmospheric cinemas to be built in South Africa, with a total seating capacity of more than 2240.

The theatre was designed by Percy Rogers Cooke in an Italian Renaissance style and officially opened by the then prime Minister of the Union Of South Africa, General J.B.M Hertzog, on the 5th of September.

Photos from cinemasouvenirs.net

Photos from cinemasouvenirs.net

The theatre is situated on the site of the original President Theatre in Parliament Street, opposite Church Square.

Capitol Theatre boasted a Wurlitzer organ, star-spangled ceilings and a grand foyer of over 200 feet in length.

Closed on 26th October 1974, the theatre was stripped of its furnishings and converted into a parking garage by the Pretoria City Council.

Occasionally still used for musical events and parties, the Capitol Theatre would need significant renovations to be restored to its former glory after years of neglect and lack of maintenance.

Although not officially open for tourists, the theatre is open (as a parking lot) during the day and accessible per foot from Church Square. The nearest Gautrain station is the Pretoria Gautrain Station (GPS: S:25°45.490′, E: 028°11.368′).

 

 

 

Hope for Capitol Theatre

A group of young artists called Capital arts Revolution have proposed that they use the theatre as a place for artists to develop and exhibit their art.

Capital Arts Revolution, picture by Pretoria Street Photography

Capital Arts Revolution had a petition signed by young artists from Pretoria and even held a peaceful march on the 16th of June 2013 in hopes to have their plea heard. They have organised an army of people who are willing to help bring the theatre back to life, all they want is permission to make constructive use of the space.

On the 2nd of November 2013, Capital Arts Revolution held an art event called Re: Capitoli at the Capital Theatre that included all forms of art, for example, music, crafts, photography and dance.

The Capitol theatre is a part of South Africa’s heritage and it should be preserved as such.

Church Square Tourist Attractions by Gautrain



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