Capitol Theatre

229 Main Street W,
Peterborough, SA 5422

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Functions: Café, Retail

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Capitol Theatre

The Capitol Theatre Peterborough was built by H.W. Rees (known by his stage name as Leslie Lester) and Thomas Rees. The contractors were Messrs. Silver & Ollrich, of Rosewater. The grand opening took place on 17th May 1921 under the auspices of Mr. A.R.G. Hawke M.P., who wished the proprietors every success, and then with over 1,000 persons present declared the theatre open. The sign “House Full” had been exhibited long before 8pm and hundreds were denied admission. The theatre had a seating capacity of 1,020. The stage was 25ft wide with an orchestra pit that could cater for 10 musicians. Two large dressing rooms had been built at the back with all modern facilities.

The ceiling is decorated with lattice-work, while 12 electric fans had been installed for ventilation. All woodwork is polished black-wood. The bio room is located above the dress circle. There are 20 windows, which can be darkened during the day, with six exit doors to cater for public safety. The vestibule is lined with tiles, and the wall is tiled to the height of 12 feet. The building is situated in Main Street West and is 50 ft wide and 140ft long. It was designed primarily as a picture hall.

On the ground floor are the ticket offices, managers office, and ladies retiring rooms. The theatre has 2 shops located on either side of the entrance doors. Mr Matthews, of Adelaide, did the artistic work, and Mr. Lowe of Port Adelaide had charge of the electric light installation.

The Capitol Theatre was closed on 18th May 1977. The theatre building still sits on Main Street W in 2021, operating as a café with a cinema theme. Most of the original fittings are still intact. The business is known as 229 On Main Café with Peterborough Antiques and Removals located alongside the theatre.

Contributed by David Coppock, Greg Lynch

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

davidcoppock on September 11, 2016 at 5:47 am

Opened on 17/5/1921 and closed in October 1977.

davidcoppock on June 8, 2018 at 2:19 am

Closed on the same day, the Peterborough Drive-in opened(18/5/1977).

film on May 29, 2021 at 7:18 pm

The Capitol Theatre Peterborough was placed on the State Heritage list in 1993.

Contributed by Greg Lynch

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