Capitol Theatre

103 King Street E,
Hamilton, ON L8N 1A9

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

rivest266 on December 6, 2023 at 3:47 pm

Taken over by Granada Theatres on September 2nd, 1971 after the new Odeon theatres opened and closed on August 31st, 1972.

Capitol and Palace theatre closing and demolition. Capitol and Palace theatre closing and demolition. 06 Oct 1972, Fri The Hamilton Spectator (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

rivest266 on December 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

Became the Capitol theatre on September 16th, 1922. Two more ads posted.

rivest266 on December 5, 2023 at 10:27 am

The Loew’s opened on December 31st, 1917. Grand opening ad posted.

DavidZornig on October 17, 2018 at 9:03 pm

Circa 1958 photo added credit Downtown Hamilton, The Heart of It All.

DavidZornig on February 18, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Just added a circa 1944 photo courtesy of the Alte Bilder aus vergangenen Tagen für Autofans Facebook page. Note the earlier marquee. Buildings next door on either side are the same as those in the other photo. The Spectator offices were next door.

gordonmcleod on July 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm

The organ (warren/woodstock) from here and another Hamilton theatre are installed at Ancaster High Scool Sandy MacPherson was the organist for a while (from Paris Ontario) before going to Buffalo and then on to England to be the organist on the BBC

BrockKing13 on July 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I went to both Capitol and Palace pre auction and auction in 1972. Got some souveniers and a love for old theatres that led to my working for Famous Players as usher and later ass’t mgr and manager until the mid eighties. Too bad video killed the old movie palaces.

DavidDymond on November 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm

The Capitol, Palace, Savoy and other Hamilton theatres were operated as Famous Players affiliates with the name Hamilton United Theatres. Famous Players agreed to do their booking, and after paying all expenses to split the profits in equal shares. Famous Players do not guarantee any results however. George Stroud was the majority shareholder and after he passed the George Stroud estate controlled these theatres. They were sold off to Odeon Theatres without telling Famous Players.

TivFan on November 7, 2012 at 7:25 am

If you look at the Capitol facade, on the Google street view, a stairway to the second level can be seen. As of the first of November, I noticed that it has been removed.
A correction to my May 1/12 comment: The Lee Marvin film title should be “Prime Cut”.

TivFan on May 1, 2012 at 11:12 am

The parking lot seen in the Google street view, is where the Capitol auditorium once stood. It was huge! And about four-stories high. I went to the Capitol, during the demolition, after school. The workers let me look around the building once (I guess we were less litigious, in those days). I got poster frames, coming soon signs, reels, a boiler licence and a mimeographed seating plan, among other things. This was a beautiful place. It had a domed ceiling and I remember a mural over the procenium. I used to love going there and looking around. In its last year, I saw a double feature of “King Kong” (with added censored scenes) and “Mighty Joe Young”. I went by myself on a Saturday afternoon. There were, maybe, a total of ten people in an auditorium that held over two thousand patrons.
The Capitol was run as an independant, in the last couple of years. I remember they had successful runs of “Point Blank”, with Lee Marvin and “The Stewardesses” in 3D…

TivFan on May 1, 2012 at 10:38 am

You can see the original facade of the Capitol entrance building on the Google street view. It still looks like this as of April 2012, minus the “for sale” sign. It was purchased over a year ago, but nothing has happened to it since. This building was just the entrance to the main theater, which was built on the King William Street side of the alleyway. The interior of the entrance building was basically a “ramped” walkway, that graduated from the street level box office, over the alleyway and connected to the lobby of the auditorium building. This was typical of a lot of theaters: the Hamilton Pantages/ Palace, the Toronto Pantages and the Tivoli in Hamilton (the latter entrance way was not “ramped”). They built the small entrance buildings on the expensive main steet land and built the larger auditoriums on the cheaper property on the next block. You can see the rear of the building on the Google street view (the word “GRAPES” is visible on the back wall for Grapes and Things, a former tenant).
The second archive photo is of the lobby, looking towards and down the entrance (that’s sunlight down there!).

Bway on June 10, 2010 at 11:39 am

The building’s facade, still shows it’s theater past quite evidently judging by this street view of the old front. I guess the whole lobby front was preserved, but opened up to a sort of courtyard and parking lot now where the theater auditorium used to be?

Click here for Google Street View

TLSLOEWS on April 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Another old LOEWS house pretty cool.

heyrockstar on January 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I was there when they started the pre auction for the palace and capital…got to go backstage and down to the old change rooms and more..Thrilling,so much history..still can see it.I was only 15…I remember the huge pa system behind the curtains that was sold to a rock band..There was a story about someone buying the dome ceiling from one of them? We used to sit in the opera seats upstairs sometimes and think what it must have been like in the early 20s,30s 40s..up there ..Wow…When I was a little guy ,my mother would give me a dollar on sat to go to the shows..10cents each way on the bus,25 cents for the show,25 cents for a hot dog.15 cents for popcorn,15 cents for the milk shake machine..I was Rich! and we always stayed for a second screening of the movie .so much history and workmanship..gone..but I still remember…Hamilton should have kept at least one of them…

hamiltonmark on January 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I recall reading that the organ was removed from the theatre and was re-installed some where in Ancaster. The Hamilton Spectator newspaper from what I can recall stated that there was a rush to remove it because they had started to demolish the auiditorium.

heyrockstar on March 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm

There was a Woolworth store but it was two blocks west on the same side as the capital…My Mom knew the people that ran the Capital and Palace… I remember getting in from the back door and walking along the stage while the movie was playing I was about 8..My mom used to take me there everyweek. I remember all the elvis movies and so many more…Miss these theatres.The palace had a milk shake machine ,I think it was 15 or 25 cents…..If anyone has any pic of the inside and out of these could you let me know ..thanks Rob

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 3:00 pm

“….the 2259-seat auditorium was demolished.” What a shame!

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 2:58 pm

After comparing the archive photo of 1945 to the above photo I see the changes and am not pleased although the building’s exterior seems to have been untouched!

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 5:56 am

Chad: Did find great b/w vintage photos on the archives site! And then decided to enlarge and print out the one marquee/store front photo! It looks like a F.W. Woolworths store to the right with their familiar red and white striped awnings. There was one near me while growing up and it is now the Lucy Desi Playhouse in Jamestown NY. ( Thanks.

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 5:48 am

Chad: Where does one go to find more inforamtion on the Capitol when clicking on the Hamilton site?

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 5:46 am

“The former lobby space is still standing, and houses a restaurant today.” At least something of Mr. Lamb’s theatre in Hamilton still stands today though it is a restaurant today.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 24, 2005 at 4:33 am

This entry needs to be updated:

Opened as Loew’s Theatre, New Years Eve, 1917. The architect was Thomas W. Lamb. Although the auditorium was demolished, the lobby was not, and now houses a restaurant.

mrcinema on October 19, 2004 at 11:37 pm

You can cheak out some classic pictures of the Capitol Theatre in Downtown Hamilton back in the 1940’s. Just click the link… View link

hamiltongirl on October 16, 2004 at 12:14 pm

I never got a chance to see this theatre, as I was only 2 when it closed. I wish I had gotten a chance to experience it.