Capitol Theatre

220 Bastion Street,
Nanaimo, BC V9R 3A4

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Famous Players

Previous Names: Dominion Theatre

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This house opened as the Dominion Theatre on December 15, 1914. It was renamed the Capitol Theatre on November 23, 1927.

The Capitol Theatre closed June 17, 1972 and the building was demolished by 1973.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

ScreenClassic on February 7, 2015 at 2:19 am

The address for the Capitol Theatre was 220 Bastion Street. It closed on June 17, 1972 and was replaced by the nearby Fiesta Twin Theatres on 91 Chapel Street, which opened on October 26 that year.

bottlejim on September 20, 2016 at 10:14 pm

I have a large silver plated trophy cup with an applied sterling silver riband engraved “ Capitol Theatre Cup. The cup is engraved ” For Basket Ball Nanaimo B C 1922".It is further engraved “ Trustees P.Maffeo,G. Green,T.Lewis”. I can post a photo if you like.

rivest266 on October 22, 2017 at 8:20 am

This opened as Dominion on December 15th, 1914 and reopened as Capitol on November 23rd, 1927. Grand opening ads in the photo section.

Found on

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 22, 2017 at 12:57 pm

bottlejim: Your Capitol Theatre Cup sounds like an interesting item, but as Mike Rivest has found that this theater didn’t become the Capitol until 1927, your 1922 cup must not be related to it. I did find that a Peter Maffeo was a member of the Nanaimo Board of School Trustees in 1922, so the two other trustees named must also have been members of that board.

Googling Capitol Theatre Cup, I found that there were cups of that name awarded in Winnipeg and Regina, as well, during the 1920s and 1930s. There were also Capitol Theatre Cups in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the latter at least as late as 1964. I also found references to an Empress Theatre Cup (Edmonton, 1916) a Strand Theatre Cup (Emporia, Kansas, 1925) and a Fairbanks-Stillman Theatre Cup (Cleveland, 1926.)

Awarding cups was recommended as a public relations gambit in a 1927 Chalmers Publishing Company book called Building Theatre Patronage, by John F, Barry and Epes W. Sargent. As some theaters awarded cups earlier, this was not an original idea from the authors, but something that was likely fairly common already.

As for your cup, it’s possible that there was an earlier Capitol Theatre in Nanaimo that we haven’t found out about yet, or it might have been from a theater somewhere else in British Columbia. The only Capitol Theatre that we have listed as open prior to 1922 in BC is the one in Vancouver, a Famous Players circuit house opened in 1918, but it’s always possible that there was one closer to Nanaimo that we haven’t yet identified.

50sSNIPES on February 9, 2023 at 12:05 pm

Famous Players operated the Capitol Theatre throughout most of its history.

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