Capitol Theatre

230 Queen Street,
Ottawa, ON K1P 5N2

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Additional Info

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

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Styles: Adam

Previous Names: Loew's Capitol Theatre, B.F. Keith's Capitol Theatre

Nearby Theaters

1954 photo courtesy of the Lost Ottawa Facebook page, via the City of Ottawa Archives, CA003915.

The Capitol Theatre was located at 230 Queen Street at the corner of Bank Street. Opened on November 8, 1920 with D.W. Griffith’s “The Love Flower”, a minature musical comedy “Cheer Up” and four acts of vaudeville. The 2,580-seat Capitol Theatre was owned by Famous Players and was the largest movie theatre ever built in Ottawa. It was equipped with a Warren 4 manual 17ranks theatre pipe organ.

The Capitol Theatre closed in 1970 with a screening of “M.A.S.H.” The following day, a fundraiser for Canadian Save the Children Fund was the last event to be held in the theatre when Mary Pickford in “Pollyanna” was screened.

Contributed by Chad Irish

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

pjws on October 16, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Yes, I believe that this is a photo of the old capitol Theatre in Ottawa. I have a piece of it… I bought one of the 8' decorative mirrors from its lobby whemn it was demolished in 1970.

The streetcars are also gone. Shortly after this picture was taken the local government took the streetcars out of service and tore up all the tracks because they thought that the overhear wires were “unsightly”. Now (2009) they want to build a $1.2 billion (!!)light rail system in Ottawa. Great planning!!

Ashleigh87 on January 27, 2013 at 8:49 am

Hi, I am Karen Brady (my married name) my single name was Brown and my uncle was the last manager of the Capital theater in Ottawa. His name was Edward Albert Brown. A magnificent theater!

DavidDymond on February 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Hi Karen I worked at Capitol Square Cinemas for your uncle Bert Brown. He was the best and most professional Manager I ever knew and he told me lots about the original Capitol Theatre and we became great friends. Mr.Brown told me they had a pay phone back stage so the artists like Tammy Wynette could call him with no hassle in a pre-cell phone world!!!

DavidDymond on February 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Bert Brown installed a pay phone backstage so the artists could call HOME!!!

emmabrown on September 13, 2013 at 10:43 am

Hi DavidDymond! I’m a journalism student interested in writing a story about the Capitol Cinema. I would love to hear about your experience working there. Reply to this comment if you’re interested. Thanks!

gordonmcleod on January 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Bits of the Warren organ are in the Obrien Theatre Renfrew Ontario organ

DavidZornig on August 2, 2015 at 10:29 pm

1954 photo of the Capitol Theatre projection booth added. Courtesy of the Lost Ottawa Facebook page, via the City of Ottawa Archives, CA003459.

DavidZornig on August 2, 2015 at 10:58 pm

Several interior photos added too. All via the Lost Ottawa Facebook page.

CF100 on February 3, 2016 at 9:08 pm

Extensive paper:

All that Glitters: A Memorial to Ottawa’s Capitol Theatre and its Predecessors

Including construction photos, plans, historical background on the development of the “Movie Palace” and on the design practices of architects, particularly Thomas W. Lamb.

Construction photos and plans in this section.

marcwigle on December 12, 2022 at 2:51 pm

Was very proud to work for Bert Brown at the Capitol Square Cinemas for almost four years. Never saw the Capitol but it sure looked magnificent from the pictures I’ve seen.

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