Capitol Theatre, Sydney
|Address||13 Campbell Street Haymarket|
|Owner||Foundation Theatres |
|Current use||Jersey Boys|
The site of the Capitol Theatre has provided entertainment to the people of Sydney since the early 19th century when this piece of land was used by early settlers as a market place for produce and hay, giving this area its name “Haymarket”. The building initially functioned as a fruit and vegetable market called "Belmore Markets". The markets were built in 1891 by George McRae, City Architect, and the structural engineer Norman Selfe, but were commercially unsuccessful because they were located too far from Darling Harbour. The markets relocated in 1912, after which Wirth Bros took over the lease and opened their new Wirth Bros Hippodrome in 1916. Attractions included elaborate circus acts with animals such as elephants and seals, theatre and vaudeville shows. Although performing with some success for a decade, the Hippodrome failed financially. The old site was divided up between the Manning Building (1895–1924), facing Pitt Street, and the western half, which was rebuilt as a theatre in 1928.
The current theatre is a brick building designed by R.H.Broderick. It was intended as a hippodrome for arena theatre and featured stone cornices, terra-cotta capitals, rosettes and tiled panels. The architect Henry White turned the interior into a movie palace in 1927, creating the effect of an internal Italian garden or piazza. It also featured an internal imitation courtyard which is the only one surviving in Sydney. The building is listed on the Register of the National Estate. The Capitol Theatre was an "atmospheric" picture palace for many years, but went through a dark period in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1995, Capitol Theatre underwent a massive 2 year reconstruction costing over $30 million.
Since 1995, the following productions have opened in the capitol theatre:
- 1995 - West Side Story, Miss Saigon
- 1997 - West Side Story, Bruce Springsteen, Porgy and Bess, My Fair Lady
- 1998 - Stomp, Kylie Minogue, Jerry Seinfeld
- 1999 - Blondie, Billy Connolly, Chicago
- 2000 - Sting
- 2001 - Stars of the Bolshoi
- 2002 - The Royal Ballet
- 2003 - Hair, The Lion King
- 2005 - Fiddler on the Roof
- 2006 - Diana Ross, Chris Isaak
- 2007 - Billy Crystal, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Barry Humphries: Back with a Vengeance, Paris Opera Ballet, Billy Elliot the Musical
- 2008 - High School Musical on Stage!
- 2009 - Guys and Dolls, French & Saunders Farewell Tour, Seth MacFarlane, Wicked
- 2010 - Fame
- 2011 - Tap Dogs, Shen Yun, The Boy From Oz, Riverdance, Mary Poppins
- 2012 - Love Never Dies, Shen Yun, The Nutcracker on Ice, Barry Humphries: Eat, Pray, Laugh!, The Eifman Ballet: Anna Karenina and Tchaikovsky, Jose Feliciano, Paul Kelly: Conversations with Ghosts, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- 2013 - The Paris Opera Ballet: Giselle, The Addams Family, The Lion King
- 2014 - 2014 Helpmann Awards, Wicked
- 2015 - Shen Yun, Swan Lake, Les Miserables, 2015 Helpmann Awards, Lord of the Dance, Cats, The Sound of Music
- 2016 - Fiddler on the Roof, Arj Barker: Get In My Head, The Imperial Bells of China, Cabaret de Paris, Aladdin
- 2017 - Kinky Boots, 2017 Helpmann Awards, My Fair Lady, Madama Butterfly, The Sleeping Beauty, Alice's Adventure in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz
- 2018 - Mamma Mia!, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, 2018 Helpmann Awards, Swan Lake on Ice, Stomp, Irish Celtic, Jersey Boys
- 2019 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chicago, School of Rock
Indicates current production
The closest train station is Central Station, it is approximately five minutes walk from the theatre. The closest light rail stop is Capitol Square, and is directly behind the Capitol Theatre.
- Simpson. "Sydney's Capitol Theatre – a century of entertainment". Inside the collection - Powerhouse Museum. Margaret. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- Sydney Architecture, John Haskell (UNSW Press) 1997, p.52
- The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/94
- "History of the Capitol Theatre". Capitol Theatre. Capitol Theatre. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Capitol Theatre (Sydney).|
- Capitol Theatre Sydney Website
- About.Com on the Capitol Theatre
- Laila Ellmoos (2008). "Capitol Theatre". Dictionary of Sydney. Retrieved 8 October 2015. [CC-By-SA]