Many Singaporeans have fond memories of Capitol Theatre. Some would remember their first date there, to catch a movie, most probably 007 or Bruce Lee. There is also the Capitol Building and Stamford Building. Who can forget the old Magnolia Snack Bar at Capitol Building?
That is why we decided to conserve and restore the three buildings, and have them re-invented into a mixed use integrated development. The site was sold on this basis, for re-development in 2010.
Five years later, the Capitol Theatre has re-opened its doors to the public! And what a wonderful transformation!
An exhibition was organised there by ZB, WB and Perennial Real Estate Holdings for the readers to showcase their collection of old photos and their recollection of the Capitol. It was a nostalgic journey for many.
We also enjoyed the “Seven Letters” by our local producers, their individual SG50 gifts to the nation.
The Capitol Theatre has fully regained its past neo-classical glory – the domed ceiling ringed with the zodiac signs; the stage flanked by handsome Pegasus sculptures; and the iconic neon theatre sign. Clearly, our conservation experts had put in a lot of hard work to preserve the past and ensure accuracy. And more: new technology has been tapped to make the theatre a flexible space for hosting movies, theatre performances and corporate events.
The restoration of the Capitol, tucked within the Civic District, is another lovely SG50 gift to Singaporeans. It will be enjoyed by generations of Singaporeans for a long, long time.
Do you know that the Capitol Theatre was built in 1929, for live shows? And that it used to be known as the Namazies Building? (The Namazies were businessmen and lawyers of Persian origin. During the War, the building was sold to the Shaw Organisation and the theatre converted to a cinema.) You can read more about the theatre and share your own memories of the place at URA’s Conservation Portal.
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