Capitol Theatre Now Being Demolished

The Capitol Theatre has been removed from the city’s historical buildings list and is being demolished.

As of Tuesday, February 26th, 2002, demolition crews cracked open the roof of the Capitol theatre, exposing the grand, domed ceiling that once greeted movie-goers in the golden age of cinema. The debris should be removed by March 15th, 2002. (Winnipeg Free Press, February 27th, 2002)

The Capitol Theatre was constructed in 1920 by the prestigious North American theatre architect, Thomas W. Lamb. The theatre was innovative because it distinguished itself by replacing the usual “double cliff hangers” by a single balcony with a gentle slope and moving the visually obstructive balcony columns behind the last row of seats. In its day, the theatre was one of the most lavish and attractive movie palace auditoriums in Winnipeg.

A recent engineering report of the building stated that the interior features a host of problems, including mould and asbestos. A new roof was also desperately needed by the building.

After looking at the Capitol, an interior architectural consulting company found a number of items that are to be salvaged. These include stained glass exits signs, described as “original and hard to come by”, art deco wall sconces from 1929, music stands in the orchestra pit which are believed to be original, and a decorative plaster angel, a signature of the original architect, and two ornamental panels. (Winnipeg Free Press: June 5, 2001)

 
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