Dormant for over a decade, this once-popular leisure venue comprising three iconic buildings (Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House) built in the early to mid 1900s, has regained its position as an important cultural and social landmark.
One of its many highlights is the interior of the Theatre. Within it, original Art Deco and Neoclassical design nuances from the 1900s to the 1940s have been restored through a combination of technical excellence and artistic skill. Delicate work included the reinstatement of missing details and finishes such as original gold gilding on the ceiling grid. This has been restored following a historic microscopic paint seriation analysis on the original colour scheme. The team engaged an artist to recreate and capture the spirit of the original Persian Zodiac ceiling mural – a key feature that is deeply lodged in the memory of generations of cinema goers, but which could not be salvaged due to years of neglect and deterioration.
Similarly memorable, the pair of ’Pegasus’ reliefs at the sides of the stage were delicately cleaned to reveal details long hidden by many coats of paint. Of notable mention is the revival of the iconic ‘Capitol Theatre’ Art Deco neon sign. The sense of encountering history is also strengthened with the restoration of period shopfronts of Capitol Building and Stamford House.
Within the Theatre, new flexible seating – believed to be Asia’s first floor rotation system – allows theatre chairs to be turned over and tucked under floor to cater to different seating requirements. The team also employed advanced technology, such as 3D laser scanning, for the detailed replication work on missing decorative features throughout the Theatre’s interiors. A new roof over the Galleria and insertion of balconies to the rear court of the Capitol Building have transformed a formerly overlooked back lane into a lively F&B area, while preserving the architectural qualities of the heritage property.
Owner: Capitol Retail Management Pte Ltd (Trustee-manager of Capitol Retail Trust), Capitol Hotel Management Pte Ltd (Trustee-manager of Capitol Hotel Trust), and Capitol Residential Development Pte Ltd.
Architect: Architects 61 Pte Ltd
Engineer: Arup Singapore Pte Ltd
Contractor: Shimizu Corporation
Conservation Specialist: Studio Lapis