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Capitol Theatre to reopen next April

SINGAPORE — Almost two decades after it was consigned to the annals of history, the iconic Capitol Theatre will open its doors again in April next year.

SINGAPORE — Almost two decades after it was consigned to the annals of history, the iconic Capitol Theatre will open its doors again in April next year.

The refurbished theatre, which was the Republic’s first cinema and screened its last movie in 1998, will reopen with a musical that depicts the lives and struggles of Singaporeans, including former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, as they built a new nation. The musical will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence.

Capitol Theatre is part of a 542,000 sq ft integrated development project, Capitol Singapore, on North Bridge Road. Work began in October 2010 and includes the redevelopment of the Capitol Building and Stamford House, as well as the demolishing of Capitol Centre.

Following a S$750 million makeover, the development will comprise a luxury 157-room hotel, an upmarket mall, 39 high-end residences as well as Capitol Theatre, which will have close to 1,000 seats. The bulk of the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

The plans for the project were announced at a topping-out ceremony held yesterday.

Originally built in 1929 and more fondly known as The Grande Dame, the Capitol Theatre has been refurbished to meld old with new. It will be fitted with one of South-east Asia’s largest single screens and state-of-the-art sound systems.

It will become Singapore’s first dual-purpose theatre, with cinematic and theatrical capabilities. Via a rotational floor system, the sitting space can be transformed into a flat floor in less than eight minutes.

Such versatility will allow the theatre to hold a wide range of events from cinema screenings and theatre productions to seminars, conferences and galas. With direct ground-level access, the theatre will also be able to host red carpet events.

At the same time, the theatre will retain its original charm: Three iconic neo-classical architectural decorations have been extensively and tediously restored — The Pegasus Panels flanking the proscenium stage, the Zodiac decoration on the dome ceiling and the Art Deco detailing of the Capitol Theatre sign.

Capitol Investment Holdings, the developer of Capitol Singapore, is a joint venture among Pontiac Land Group, which owns a 50 per cent stake, Perennial Real Estate Holdings (24 per cent) and OSIM Chief Executive Officer Ron Sim (26 per cent) in his personal capacity.

Vice-Chairman and President of Perennial Real Estate Holdings Pua Seck Guan said Capitol Theatre is a significant national icon that resonates deeply with many Singaporeans. He also hopes the integrated development will add to the vibrancy of the civic and cultural district.

“The restoration of Capitol Theatre to its original splendour, coupled with its multi-functional event hosting capabilities, will endorse its status as one of the finest performing arts and cinema venues in Singapore,” said Mr Pua.

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