Capitol Theatre

20 Queen Street,
Port Hope, ON L1A

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Capitol Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Famous Players

Architects: Murray Brown

Functions: Movies (Film Festivals), Stage Shows

Styles: Atmospheric

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 905.885.1071
Manager: 905.885.1071

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Capitol Theatre

The Capitol Theatre was Canada’s first theater built for sound movies. It opened on 15th August 1930 and had an original seating capacity of 684. It was designed in a medieval Norman castle theme in an Atmospheric style by architect Murray Brown.

After closing as a movie theatre and laying empty for a period of time, a renovation project began in 1993. This was completed and theatre is now open for live performances and film festivals.

Contributed by Jason R, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

richardg on August 22, 2004 at 7:07 pm

I first discovered this theatre in very early August 2004 but the theatre was dark the day I passed through Port Hope. After arriving home, I checked Cinema Treasures to see if the Capitol had been written up and then went to the website link above. I was impressed and decided to return to the Capitol on August 22, 2004 to see a live performance of Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians”. What a lovely little theatre this is and yes, they still show movies. I plan to return soon for a movie. One reason why the Capitol is successful is because like many of these rescued theatres, the Capitol has an “army” of unpaid volunteers.
Today the Capitol seats 361 which appears to be down considerably from its original seating capacity. Newer seating (although they’re still not real wide) and fewer rows as well as a stage in front of the proscenium arch has diminished the seating capacity. Yes, they have a working cloud machine but don’t always use it because they’re worried about replacement parts and are trying to make it last as long as possible.
During October 22nd to 24th, the Capitol is holding a three day vintage film festival, please check out their website above for details. I was informed during the winter months they book films that were shown at the Toronto film festival.

mrcinema on October 21, 2004 at 8:47 pm

The Capitol Theatre in Port Hope opened on August 15, 1930, in a former fish shop, with the auditorium section occupying what used to be a livery. It was the first theatre in the country built specifically for talking pictures.
The Capitol operated as a cinema for 57 years, finally closing in 1987. The Capitol Theatre Heritage Foundation eventually bought the building, and in 1993 began a process of restoration.
It is now used to showcase both performing arts and films.

shoeshoe14 on March 3, 2008 at 8:41 pm

This theatre was in the movie “Tommy Boy.” The vertical marquee was shown twice. Upon checking IMDB, I saw all the shooting locations and cross referenced the other main location besides Canada; Sandusky, Ohio. It was this one.

DavidDymond on February 3, 2013 at 11:18 am

The Capitol Theatre in Port Hope was a purpose built movie theatre in the atmospheric style built by Famous Players Canadian Corporation. After a number of years Famous Players allowed one of their partners Premier Operating to take this over, as it probably wasn’t doing typical Famous Players business!!

porthoper on August 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

The Capitol Theatre on Port Hope History site.

taiga on October 2, 2016 at 7:42 pm

I went to this theatre a lot as a kid and I’m starting a blog about movies. I’d like to get permission to use this photo on my blog. Can anyone help me out with that? Thanks.

JRHagan on September 22, 2019 at 4:54 pm

Ok …. I will admit it….“IT” brought me here,Looks like a beauty.I would love to visit this one someday !

Trolleyguy on September 23, 2019 at 6:46 am

Film festivals should be added to Functions. The website lists a vintage film festival with 12 classic movies to be screened.

m00se1111 on September 9, 2022 at 6:45 am

The above mentioned film festival is continuing! This year has quite an impressive lineup -

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