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SINGAPORE    High & Low Tides


    What's New - What's Gone

What's Gone - Thanks For The Memories!

     Places -      Capitol Cinema

Circa 2001

The Capitol Cinema (Shaws Building) in Stamford Road was completed in 1931 by the architect Keys & Dowdeswell. The style of the building is eclectic neo-Classicism, characterised by somewhat ponderous detailing.(1)

It was one of the very few air-conditioned theatres. It was built by the Namazie family to host live shows.(4)

By the mid-1930s, there were 10 cinemas, of which the Capitol was the largest and the newest. It opened in 1930 and was followed by the Alhambra, Marlborough, Pavilion, Roxy, Wembley, Tivoli, Empire, Jubilee and Gaiety. (3)

During the Japanese Occupation, the Capitol operated under the name Kyo-Ei Gekkyo until 1944, when a bomb planted by the anti-Japanese resistance damaged it. The theatre's English-language movies were later forbidden by the Japanese who replaced them with their own films. After 1946, the Capitol was purchased by Shaw and rebuilt. It became the organisation's flagship theatre (1,686 seats). The patrons had "the choice of gallery, stalls and circle seats which were priced at S$1, S$2 and S$3 respectively from the early post-World War II years until the 1970s. (4)

It was listed for preservation in August 1983 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and acquired by it in 1983-1984 so that it would be preserved as part of a future development.

Its career as a movie theatre ended on 29 Dec 1998 when Shaw Organisation, its tenant since 1984, returned it to the Urban Redevelopment Board (URA).(4)

More pictures.....


(1) Page 369, Singapore - A Guide To Buildings, Streets, Places by Norman Edwards & Peter Keys. (ISBN 9971 65 231 5)

(2) Keys & Dowdeswell was also the architect for Fullerton Building, Heeren Building, Nedlloyd House, & Singapore General Hospital (General Hospital & Medical College & Bowyer Block). - Page 598 Singapore - A Guide To Buildings, Streets, Places by Norman Edwards & Peter Keys. (ISBN 9971 65 231 5)

(3) Page 181, Singapore - A Pictorial History 1819 - 2000 by Gretchen LIU. Published by Archipelago Press, an Imprint of Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 981 3018 81 X.  

(4) Page 152, Latent Images: Film In Singapore by Jan Uhde & Yvonne Uhde. Published by Ngee Ann Polytechnic 2000. ISBN 0 19 588714 X