iSee Old Capitol Theatre

A shining lighthouse in Jardine’s Bazaar

The most deluxe cinema

The old Capitol Theatre was one of the most prominent cinemas in the city, strategically located at the entrance of the popular open-air Jardine’s Bazaar. An English newspaper advertisement published before its opening on 18 January 1952 proudly claimed the theatre to be the “most de-luxe, comfortable cinema in the colony”.

The ‘lighthouse’ of Causeway Bay

Boasting streamlined round, curved forms in an odd mix of Art Deco and Modern architecture, the building's design was revolutionary back then. Designed by the famous design partnership of Chau & Lee Architects, who also created the nearby iconic St. Mary’s Church. Its most distinctive feature was the rotunda tower in the centre of the façade. The almost translucent tower, which resembled “a glowing lighthouse” at night, overlooked Jardine’s Bazaar.

Romantic hotspot

Capitol Theatre was a real local hotspot — a perfect place for a first date! In the 1950s, Capitol Theatre was one of the few cinemas showing first-run Hollywood films, later switching to Japanese and Mandarin films as they became popular in the 1960s. The cinema finally closed down in 1977. It was demolished and replaced by Capitol Centre, which is one of the most popular commercial buildings in the area today.

Remembering Lin Dai

When Lin Dai, Hong Kong’s greatest Mandarin film actress, tragically died from an overdose of sleeping pills on 17 July 1964, many cinemas set up memorials to commemorate the starlet. The one at Capitol Theatre was the most popular and well-visited by far: hundreds of bouquets, memorabilia and portraits were left on the steps of the spiral staircase.

Most de-luxe, comfortable cinema in the colony
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