Capitol Theatre

103 King Street E,
Hamilton, ON L8N 1A9

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cineplex Odeon, Famous Players, Loew's Inc.

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Functions: Restaurant

Previous Names: Loew's Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Interior arch window detail. March 2016

Opened as the Loew’s Theatre in 1917, designed by Thomas W. Lamb, it was taken over by Famous Players from 1930 to 1946.

Odeon took control of the theatre in 1946 and renovated and renamed it the Capitol Theatre.

The 2,259-seat theatre, the largest in Hamilton when it opened, was sadly closed in 1971 and mostly demolished on January 10, 1973.

The former lobby space is still standing, and houses a restaurant today.

Contributed by Chad Irish

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

TLSLOEWS on April 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Another old LOEWS house pretty cool.

Bway on June 10, 2010 at 9:39 am

The building’s facade, still shows it’s theater past quite evidently judging by this street view of the old front. I guess the whole lobby front was preserved, but opened up to a sort of courtyard and parking lot now where the theater auditorium used to be?

Click here for Google Street View

TivFan on May 1, 2012 at 8:38 am

You can see the original facade of the Capitol entrance building on the Google street view. It still looks like this as of April 2012, minus the “for sale” sign. It was purchased over a year ago, but nothing has happened to it since. This building was just the entrance to the main theater, which was built on the King William Street side of the alleyway. The interior of the entrance building was basically a “ramped” walkway, that graduated from the street level box office, over the alleyway and connected to the lobby of the auditorium building. This was typical of a lot of theaters: the Hamilton Pantages/ Palace, the Toronto Pantages and the Tivoli in Hamilton (the latter entrance way was not “ramped”). They built the small entrance buildings on the expensive main steet land and built the larger auditoriums on the cheaper property on the next block. You can see the rear of the building on the Google street view (the word “GRAPES” is visible on the back wall for Grapes and Things, a former tenant).
The second archive photo is of the lobby, looking towards and down the entrance (that’s sunlight down there!).

TivFan on May 1, 2012 at 9:12 am

The parking lot seen in the Google street view, is where the Capitol auditorium once stood. It was huge! And about four-stories high. I went to the Capitol, during the demolition, after school. The workers let me look around the building once (I guess we were less litigious, in those days). I got poster frames, coming soon signs, reels, a boiler licence and a mimeographed seating plan, among other things. This was a beautiful place. It had a domed ceiling and I remember a mural over the procenium. I used to love going there and looking around. In its last year, I saw a double feature of “King Kong” (with added censored scenes) and “Mighty Joe Young”. I went by myself on a Saturday afternoon. There were, maybe, a total of ten people in an auditorium that held over two thousand patrons.
The Capitol was run as an independant, in the last couple of years. I remember they had successful runs of “Point Blank”, with Lee Marvin and “The Stewardesses” in 3D…

TivFan on November 7, 2012 at 5:25 am

If you look at the Capitol facade, on the Google street view, a stairway to the second level can be seen. As of the first of November, I noticed that it has been removed.
A correction to my May 1/12 comment: The Lee Marvin film title should be “Prime Cut”.

DavidDymond on November 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

The Capitol, Palace, Savoy and other Hamilton theatres were operated as Famous Players affiliates with the name Hamilton United Theatres. Famous Players agreed to do their booking, and after paying all expenses to split the profits in equal shares. Famous Players do not guarantee any results however. George Stroud was the majority shareholder and after he passed the George Stroud estate controlled these theatres. They were sold off to Odeon Theatres without telling Famous Players.

BrockKing13 on July 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I went to both Capitol and Palace pre auction and auction in 1972. Got some souveniers and a love for old theatres that led to my working for Famous Players as usher and later ass’t mgr and manager until the mid eighties. Too bad video killed the old movie palaces.

gordonmcleod on July 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm

The organ (warren/woodstock) from here and another Hamilton theatre are installed at Ancaster High Scool Sandy MacPherson was the organist for a while (from Paris Ontario) before going to Buffalo and then on to England to be the organist on the BBC

DavidZornig on February 18, 2015 at 10:56 am

Just added a circa 1944 photo courtesy of the Alte Bilder aus vergangenen Tagen für Autofans Facebook page. Note the earlier marquee. Buildings next door on either side are the same as those in the other photo. The Spectator offices were next door.

DavidZornig on October 17, 2018 at 7:03 pm

Circa 1958 photo added credit Downtown Hamilton, The Heart of It All.

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