Capitol 6 Theatre

820 Granville Street,
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1K3

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Cinerama on September 24, 2015 at 8:11 am

This was a Cinerama theatre from 1965 to 1969. It would be cool if there were some pictures of the theatre during that time and/or ads that mention Cinerama for the movies that played there.

rl_83 on September 24, 2015 at 12:04 am

Best source of those is a library with microfiche archives and a lot of time to go through them. I did it many years ago and its really quite something to look at.

BCexpatriate on September 14, 2015 at 9:48 am

Does anyone know where one can possibly find new and different pics of the Vancouver Sun movie listings from the 1980s (for this theater and others)? I would live to see more of those photos.

SnoozeKing on April 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm

I worked at the Capitol 6 in the very early 1980s; its manager was named Cliff Gallant, who by 1985 had been transferred to the Stanley. His replacement was Doug Smith. Any idea if Cliff or Doug is still alive? I knew them a long time ago, and they weren’t exactly teenagers then (although Cliff was still in his 30s).

rivest266 on February 9, 2014 at 10:08 am

1977 grand opening in photo section.

BCexpatriate on May 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I remember seeing a lot of movies at the old Capitol 6, namely ‘The Ghost and The Darkness’, ‘Alien’, and ‘Titanic’. I agree with rl_83 that FP neglected it sadly and letting it die the way they did; sadly, this seems to have been their policy with a lot of classic Vancouver-area theaters.

rl_83 on November 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Cap 6 was pretty much a cesspool right at the end with ads for the new Paramount ( later named Scotiabank ) all over the place.

The place did have an odd, musty smell to it. But I don’t think it was cigarette smoke.

The chairs left an odor on your clothes, and the stairway on the south side of the building, which oddly enough had a bathroom mid way between the 1st and 2nd floor, reeked of piss.

The place also had major water damage from leaks that were not repaired promptly. The Granville side entrance, which had skyline windows in the ceiling leaked for some time before it was fixed ( or was it? ) and caused brown stains all over the ceiling of the granville entrance roof.

I also recall at a sneak peek of the first “ Underworld ” , looking up at the booth and seeing what looked like black tarps or garbage bags taped to the ceiling of the booth.

But all in all, I still loved the place. The Main house ( #1 ) was something that cannot and will not be matched in terms of the size, uniqueness, and just pure awesomeness.

I fully blame FP for not taking care of it properly and letting it die a horrible death, leaving it’s last years' a dark spot on the memories of many movie-goers.

Spire on July 22, 2012 at 10:18 am

Wow. I wouldn’t really take the experience of that one situation to make a blanket statement about all Canadians…

I imagine there’s been a few American mega-chains that have “pulled the plug” on an old theatre before they actually closed it!

Snooze_King on July 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm

My last visit to the Capitol 6 was a few months before Famous Players closed the cinema. The place was a pigsty; it reeked of cigarette smoke, the seats and carpets were filthy and many of the seats were broken. A manager stood near the candy counter, so I asked him about the squalor. He said, “I apologize for this, but we’re closing the place soon, so we have discontinued all cleaning and maintenance.” I noticed, however, that their ticket/confection prices were as high as ever despite refusing to spend any $ on providing a comfortable viewing experience for their guests. I used to manage a movie house in a major US city and we would never have pulled a stunt like that on our customers. Canadians don’t understand (or care about) the concept of customer service.

CSWalczak on July 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

A picture of the theatre’s Seymour Street entrance c. 1926 from the City of Vancouver Archives (click upon it to expand) View link

CSWalczak on July 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

Two pictures of the Capitol from some time in the 1940s from the City of Vancouver Archives (click on them to expand):

Exterior: View link

Interior: View link

lovitz on April 23, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Great Photo!

That Capitol 6 “ Extension ” out into the sidewalk was there up until around 2003-2004, when it was demolished.

I didn’t know about the monitors built into it, I wonder when those were removed? They weren’t there in 2002-2004.

lovitz on November 16, 2008 at 11:59 am

I thought you would be adding to this Jason! haha

Speaking about the sound in #1, they were equipped with ALTEC Stanley Screamer subs ( same ones used during Pink Floyd’s The Wall Tour ) for extra bass impact.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte on November 16, 2008 at 10:22 am

Here is a link to a Tyee article circa 2005 when the cinema closed. It has some rather interesting comments as well, even from one of the former managers who didn’t appear to like the place very much.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte on November 16, 2008 at 10:20 am

Cinema One was a glorious room. It was anywhere between 1031 and 1012 seats over the years (I believe some seats were removed for more wheelchair spots), and it pretty much filled up every Friday and Saturday night, no matter what the movie. Huge screen, incredible SRD sound system, the seats were okay and it was always a treat to see a movie there.

Just don’t let anyone tall sit in front of you…the sight lines were TERRIBLE in that cinema, and I think the unofficial rule over the years was for everyone to “lean down” when they saw a flick there. :)

lovitz on November 15, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Yeah #1 was something else, 1021 seats I believe.

2 & 3 were decent screens as well, but the top floor of the complex was nothing to write home about, especially towards the end.

telliott on November 15, 2008 at 6:52 pm

That’s too bad…would love to see shots of the Cinema 1…that was the big one that sat over 1000…would love to have seen each cinema.

lovitz on November 15, 2008 at 6:38 pm

There were shots of the lobby, but none of the actual theater itself.

telliott on November 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm

No…the ones I took were only of the exterior. I believe on Cinema tour there are interior shots of the Capitol 6

lovitz on November 15, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Tim Elliot;

You wouldn’t happen to still have those pictures from the Capitol 6 #1? I tried to take a photo during a screening of Return of The King, but the low light level made the picture to dark to develop.

If you still have these photos and if you can scan them PM me PLEASE!

kencmcintyre on May 7, 2008 at 8:18 pm

I was able to save that one, so if it goes down I can repost it.

kencmcintyre on May 7, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Those crafty Canadians won’t let me copy this photo so the link won’t fail. Here is the third version of the 1934 photo:

kencmcintyre on May 7, 2008 at 7:53 pm

The demolition video reminded me of those time-elapsed shots on the Discovery Channel where they show a dead zebra turning into a skeleton.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 9, 2007 at 10:49 am

What a great (but very sad) video. I wonder if the original Thomas Lamb designed facade & lobby part of the building survived (again)?

George75 on August 24, 2006 at 7:12 am

I was an usher at the Capitol 6 in the very early 1980s. The place was unionized and pay started at $4.24 per hour (a small fortune back then). Management supplied the jacket, shirt and bowtie and weren’t shy about getting angry at ushers and doormen for slouching or spending too long in each theatre. But once you were there long enough to join the union, your job was quite safe (a few staff were so difficult that management wished those folks could be terminated) and it was the best-paying, do-little job in town (all those free movies, too!) I made lots of friends there and dated a cashier.

I guess theatres have long since become de-unionized, and that’s a shame. Can you imagine getting $13 per hour today just to wander around and open doors? That was the greatest job any high school or college kid could have asked for. Back then, the Capitol 6 and other movie houses were inundated with applications; you could grow old and die waiting for an interview.