The Cinema And Theatre Historical Society of Australia Inc.
CATHS VISITS THE CAPITOL THEATRE, MELBOURNE.
Approximately 35 CATHS members and their friends visited Melbourne’s iconic Capitol Theatre on 26 September 2019 for a tour of inspection.
Designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, opening in 1924, The Capitol was purchased by RMIT University in 1999. Following extensive restoration work, including re-
LED lighting and new dimmers have enhanced the functionality and practicality of the extraordinary auditorium ceiling. White is the default lighting base. Red, green and blue extend the gamut from which other derivations can be exquisitely produced. The ceiling has 66 segments for lighting purposes.
A fully certified 7.1 Dolby sound system is installed in The Capitol, and a 4K digital laser projector is housed in a new, lower projection room. However, the need to run old, rare archival film on an ad hoc basis still exists. Hence, the former projection room high above remains intact, as do the Cinemeccanica projectors within. It is hoped that these old film projectors will soon be superseded by modern day, 70/35 mm equivalents, also manufactured by the Cinemeccanica company of Italy.
The Capitol’s theatre organ chamber infrastructure remains. It is believed that the Wurlitzer organ could be reinstated, but the cost appears prohibitive, at least for now.
We enjoyed a most informative, pleasant tour of the superb Capitol Theatre. Our sincere thanks to RMIT University and our convivial guide, Mr Marc Morel, Manager-
… Text: Cameron Hall