Sunday, August 14, 2011

Urban Exploration: The Old Capitol Theater

The old Capitol Theater. Year and date unknown.

Two years ago I posted this old postcard image in which I talked about collecting postcard. Our topic today is solely on the old Capitol Theater. The 79-year-old building which screened its last movie in 1998, is undergoing redevelopment along with its adjoining buildings - Stamford House, Capitol Building and Capitol Center.

An underground pedestrian walkway will link City Hall MRT Station to the future development at the Capitol Theater site, on the other side of North Bridge Road. From the Capitol Theater site, pedestrians will be able to use the existing network of covered walkways to reach other buildings in the area.

How long does it take to complete this redevelopment project? I do not know. One thing I do know is the opportunity has arrived for me to explore the building interiors. Make the jump to find out more.

Present day Capitol Theater.

The theater building has been locked out with hoarding boards, blocked staircases and locked doors, for almost a decade. All retail tenants have had moved out for the past several months. Now the redevelopment process has began at its initial preparation stage since April 2011, where workers are clearing the unwanted stuff in the building. The hoarding boards and locked doors are opened. I took the advantage to explore the interiors of the old theater building. Well I have something in mind on doing light-painting inside the theater. It would be great to view them on my website.

Look at that old classic interior design with white statues placed on each side of the white screen or stage. This shot was taken from the balcony seats area. I estimate this theater can hold more than 300 people. I remember vividly of the 12 Horoscopes imprinted on the dome ceiling.

I was all alone by myself as I entered into the theater. The air is filled with smelly decays of the cushioned seats, dust and rats' wastes. I took the time to explore the whole theater and took a few pictures with my mobile phone camera.

This is the entrance to the balcony seats. In the older days, they called the Circle Seats. Here are a few pictures I took.

Although I took this shot during the day time, the seats are just besides an Exit door where mid-day sunlight was shining in. It has the effect of light-painting. It would be fun and interesting to do light-paintings inside this building during the night or even day time as some parts of the building are really dark.

How interesting to have a restaurant. I guess perhaps people will have supper here after the movie. I didn't go inside but will be going back to the theater soon. The restaurant interior is really dark and I'm sure I can do some light-paintings in there. So do check out my Night Photography Blog for new updates.


  1. Hi, I am doing a write-up, a school assignment actually on the Capitol Theatre and was wondering if I could include your photographs of the interior of the theatre? I will fully credit your work in my write up, which will be published on Wordpress.

    Do let me know :)

  2. Hello Zulaikha!

    It's nice of you to write up on this old theater for your school assignment and seeking permission to use my pictures. May I know which school are you from? Possible to send me your Wordpress address? Just for verification. Hear you soon.