Capitol Theatre, Sydney
Activities, History and museums
Capitol Theatre is a historic theatre located at 13 Campbell Street, Haymarket, Sydney, Australia.
In May 2009, Capitol Theatre Management Pty Limited became a wholly owned subsidiary of Foundation Entertainment Group Limited. Foundation Entertainment Group Pty Limited owns the Sydney Lyric and Capitol Theatre.
The Capitol Theatre is at the former site of the Belmore Markets. The latter were built in 1891 by George McRae, City Architect, and the structural engineer Norman Selfe, but were commercially unsuccessful because they were located too far from Darling Harbour. The old site was divided up between the Manning Building (1895–1924), facing Pitt Street, and the western half, which was rebuilt as a theatre in 1928.
The current theatre is a brick building designed by R.H.Broderick. It was intended as a hippodrome for arena theatre and featured stone cornices, terra-cotta capitals, rosettes and tiled panels. The architect Henry White turned the interior into a movie palace in 1927, creating the effect of an internal Italian garden or piazza. It also featured an internal imitation courtyard which is the only one surviving in Sydney. The building is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
The site of the Capitol Theatre has provided entertainment to the people of Sydney since the early 19th century when this piece of land was used by early settlers as a market place for produce and hay, giving this area its name “Haymarket”. The building initially functioned as a fruit and vegetable market called "Belmore Markets" which in 1912 were moved to another location. After the markets were relocated, Wirth Bros took over the lease and opened their new Wirth Bros Hippodrome in 1916, attractions included elaborate circus acts with animals such as elephants and seals, theatre and vaudeville shows. Although performing with some success for a decade, the Hippodrome failed financially and The Capitol Theatre was opened in 1928. The Capitol Theatre was an "atmospheric" picture palace for many years, but went through a dark period in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1995, Capitol Theatre underwent a massive 2 year reconstruction costing over $30 million. Since 1995, the theatre has been host to many productions:
Indicates current production
The closest train station is Central Station, it is approximately five minutes walk from the theatre. The closest light rail stop is Capitol Square, and is directly behind the Capitol Theatre.