Capitol Theatre

204 Dundas Street,
London, ON N6A

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The Allen Theatre opened on February 23, 1920. All seating was on a single floor. In 1924 it was renamed Capitol Theatre and was twinned in 1979 with seating reduced to 905.

Famous Players last ran this theater, which closed in 2002. The Capitol was demolished in September 2006.

Contributed by Chad Irish

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

vic1964 on October 15, 2007 at 5:35 pm

performing arts
Performing Arts Centre
Leaving aside the debate can we afford a Performing Arts Center. The question being asked by Tom Gosnell is, where should it go? Where should it be built? Possibly at Western?

But first, I certainly understand Tom Gosnell the fiscally wise budget chief’s desire to find a possible financial partner such UWO.

Tom you should take much pride being part of those that made excellent decision to re-focus the cities efforts with respect to the Downtown.

The millions spent in the past 10 years to build the JLC, Library and Covent Garden Market have proven their value to the City as a whole, and all are doing very well.

The Performing Arts Center would be another piece in the puzzle in the ever improving Downtown.

It’s not time to abandon the Core. The synergies of a performing Arts Center in the Core (Downtown) with current amenities make it the only sensible location.

Let’s remember that if UWO was to be a partner that would be wonderful, if they were partners in the Downtown.

UWO is already a great asset to the City and in the Downtown with its Campus at Galleria.

Let’s keep focusing on the core, the job of rejuvenating it is not finished.

I guess the real question should be can we afford not to build a Performing Arts Center in the Downtown if we truly want to be a world class city.

POSTED BY: Bob Usher, Chair London Downtown Business Association, London
POSTED ON: October 5, 2007
World class city? Dear Mr Usher I dont think Mr Gosnell had a thing to do with the JLC or Covent garden market but he did play a big part in building the Galleria mall which has been bad for downtown.He was happy to do nothing to save the Loews and Odeon as mayor in the late 80s.I recently visited the world famous Fox theatre in Detroit,5045 seat movie palace designed by architect C Howard Crane.Some staff i spoke to knew of London Ontario and the demolition of the Capitol because he was also the architect of our last downtown movie palace.When the curtain was falling on the Capitol, you went right along with it.It upset me because i was trying to save it.So it is difficult to have much sympathy for your fight of what is left of downtown but i do and i agree with you but for me downtown is forever lost.
POSTED BY: victor liorentas

vic1964 on October 16, 2007 at 11:12 am

London does need a new Performing Arts Centre; with affordable admission pricing so everyone may be able to enjoy the facility. While it seems less costly to revamp Centennial Hall the future cost to build a new centre would escalate. The time is now so we are no longer throwing good money after bad. In my opinion the centre should be located either in the downtown core or the Old East London area. These areas are looking for revitalization so why not erect a Performing Arts Centre in these areas to attract people and businesses.
POSTED BY: Eugene Dustin
performing arts Absolutely right but remember this is the city which allowed the demolition of its last downtown movie palace [the Capitol]without any regret,or sadness accept from a precious few real Londoners.This is after all previous theatres like the Loews and Odeon were wasted.Seating capacity at Loews 2000,Odeon 1800,Capitol 1400.
POSTED BY: victor liorentas

vic1964 on October 29, 2007 at 8:28 pm

The main point of the above posts is how a once great downtown lost most of the magic needed to be a real downtown.It was overseen by one man more than any other.He and many others have let London down!BIG TIME!

vic1964 on November 9, 2007 at 8:04 pm

Hello Lost Memory!Yes indeed it is whats left of the Capitol.The new owner who demolished the auditorium wants to destroy the facade as well and so he lets it sit there and decay.Before the demolition he called the Capitol an eyesore but over a year later it looks even worse.

vic1964 on November 13, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Intact behind the white metal is a wonderful terra cotta stone and windows with curtains still hanging!It was covered over in 1976.

vic1964 on November 18, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Captain Crunch. The city of London has been not very fortunate. Maybe TG can take credit for the “ongoing of the city (sic)” over the last 20 years. There isn’t a thinking person in London who isn’t looking for an explanation for why London sucks so much. London sucks…TG was in charge for 20 years…you do the grade one math. Captain of the Titanic maybe.
gosnell tom gosnell is an idiot!I’ve listened to him numerous times in council, and out.I’ve heard his snide remarks in public'and overheard him in private. tom gosnell serves nobody but himselfand his golfing buddies in the developement industry!
POSTED BY: k jones
Gosnells expertise Gosnell brings “ a wealth of experience, expertise and good practical solutions” to aid the destruction of communities, families, and the White-Anglo-Saxon-Protesant species, or WASPS for short.

vic1964 on November 30, 2007 at 10:41 am

city hall
Capitol theatre
It is very simple,Shmuel Farhi demolished Londons last downtown movie palace 15 months ago,NOT years ago as he likes to say,which sounds like someone else did it!The theatre auditorium was in excellent condition and at least 2 different groups wanted to restore its former glory.This rescue mission was moving forward until Farhi out bid us because he wanted a parking lot.The city could have stepped in to save the Capitol at this point which is normal in other cities.Instead they handed out a demolition permit under condition the facade be preserved.Yes you may destroy 95% but not the 5% we care so much about.So now he offers ownership of this 5% Capitol facade to the city for free but council rejects it.I predict a gap tooth or a facade of the facade in the future.Most Londoners think the Capitol is still 100% reopening soon so a gap tooth solution might make them think we have a growing sinkhole problem downtown!We cant have that.Poor city council,what to do?

POSTED BY: victor liorentas, london
POSTED ON: November 29, 2007

vic1964 on April 26, 2009 at 2:48 pm

You are the best! Lost Memory!

vic1964 on February 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Here is a new and topical letter to the Editor!
Detroit got it right
Regarding Em touts Chrysler in Super Bowl ad (,Feb. 7), Eminem doesn’t just park outside “a theatre” displaying the message “Keep Detroit Beautiful.” That theatre is the Fox.

The Fox is a cousin to London’s Capitol Theatre, demolished to make way for a parking lot. Both theatres were designed by the renown theatre architect C. Howard Crane.

There is something very telling in the fact that Detroit, known for urban decay, a declining population and a shrinking tax base, was able to save the Fox and its magnificent hall while London lost the Capitol, except for a bit of the facade. We don’t even have the marquee left to post the message “Keep London Beautiful.”

POSTED BY: Ken Wightman, London
POSTED ON: February 11, 2011

EDITORS NOTE: As published in The London Free Press on Feb. 11, 2011.

gordonmcleod on January 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm

The HillGreen Lane organ is now in a church in Ingersol Ontario but very much altered

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