Empire Theatres Victoria

805 Yates Street,
Victoria, BC V8W 1M1

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Capitol #2 auditorium, wide shot

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as the Capitol Theatre in 1925. It was owned by Famous Players with seating listed at 1,212 when it opened. Cineplex operated the theatre for a short time in 2005 and it has been operated by Empire Theatre since then.

Current seating is listed at 1,685 with the smallest auditorium seating 127 and the largest 544. It has been expanded from the original single screen to six screens featuring first run attractions. It was closed on October 17, 2013.

Any further information or corrections on this theatre would be appreciated.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

telliott
telliott on June 1, 2014 at 8:02 am

Thanks Jason! One of the most unique and modern movie theatres I have seen anywhere. Can’t believe it’s gone. Interesting that here and in Vancouver they chose to demolish and rebuild both Capitols rather than divide up in to multiple cinemas like they did in so many other cities. I’m glad they didn’t. This one is stunning.

DavidDymond
DavidDymond on June 1, 2014 at 8:40 am

Famous Players Canadian Corporation went all out in the construction of this CAPITOL Theatre!! The first manager was veteran showman Jack McRae — whose family owned lots of property in the Victoria area.

telliott
telliott on November 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm

On another topic Jason, do you think there will ever be a new multiplex for the north shore in Vancouver. They seem to be the only area of a major city without a modern stadium seating, wall to wall screen multiplex. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened years ago.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte on November 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Cineplex go into the mall area in West Van at some point. I know a theater used to be there but they could do really well with a new build.

That said the Cineplex Odeon Park & Tilford IS all digital, so who knows for the time being.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte on November 23, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Meanwhile Capitol 6 is just sitting there, with the few tenants on the lower floor (the film fest office and the rent-to-own store) still open as of now.

From what I know everything except the digital projectors and some of the concession equipment is still in the building. Even the posters from the last few movies that played there are still sitting in the lower lobby!

telliott
telliott on November 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Too bad eh. Think of all the movies they could have shown by now. Our own Westwood here in TO sat empty from 1998 until last year when they finally tore it down. Rainbow could have shown movies there all these years. Going back to Vancouver, I remember when West Van had the Odeon and Park Royal and North Van had none after the Odeon Totem closed down. Now it’s been North Van that’s had the movie theatres all these years. I just think it’s odd that Cineplex or Landmark haven’t replaced either one with a multiplex and VIP would certainly fit in with the moneyed population of that area.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte on November 24, 2014 at 9:45 pm

The closing of the Capitol has still left a big hole in my heart, and it saddens me every time I walk by it. Ever since it closed it has been really tough to get particular movies to show here now, and many smaller releases now bypass our city because of it.

As for West Van area, they could do with a 10-12 screen Cineplex right in the mall with a few VIP theaters no problem. Easy to get to by transit as well. That would likely close both North Van locations, however.

It’s also really interesting to think that the two locations in North Vancouver are both total 80’s design cinemas (a Drabinsky era Cineplex Odeon AND a late 80’s Famous Players “Bijou”, “Rialto”, “Avalon”), largely unchanged since they opened. Very few of either type of cinema even exist anymore.

telliott
telliott on November 25, 2014 at 7:39 am

And that’s why it’s weird that they have not replaced either of these 80s cinemas with something more modern. And doesn’t seem to be any plans in sight either, haven’t seen any announcements from Cineplex or Landmark. It really IS too bad there isn’t more competition in Canada anymore.

Matt Ceccato
Matt Ceccato on August 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

I saw “Eraser” here on July 2, 1996. I don’t remember anything that really stood out, but I did find it amusing that the posters used were for the US market and the MPAA rating was obscured. Also, James Earl Jones voiced over a commercial for a performance, but I can’t remember what…

Hailee
Hailee on August 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

Love being able to come on here and see all the pictures of this theatre in detail. Wish i had taken more pictures of all the cinemas i worked at. I miss working there, lots of memories with the Capitol 6, it makes me so sad that i’ll never be able to go inside again. It’s only a matter of time before the building is demolished i’m sure.

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