At the start of the 20th century, Regina saw a boom in theatre construction. One of the many built during this time was the Capitol Theatre, located on the corner of Scarth Street and 12th Avenue. The 1,500 capacity theatre, built in 1921, was touted as “one of the finest theatres in the Canadian West” by the Regina Leader.
The theatre boasted its own 10-person orchestra to accompany the silent movies and vaudeville acts that were popular at the time. In 1940, the Capitol Theatre had an evening of Hollywood-style glamour when it hosted the world premiere of the movie “North West Mounted Police”. The Theatre was divided into 2 separate theatres in 1975 and in 1992 it was demolished.
The Regina Plains Museum and the City of Regina received some salvaged items from the grand old theatre, including seats, doors and sections of the balcony and ceiling. Currently, a mural depicting many of Regina’s early theatres can be found at the Rainbow Cinemas in the Golden Mile Shopping Centre; included in the mural is the Capitol Theatre.
For more information, see Cornerstones: An Artist’s History of the City of Regina by William Argan, with Pam Cowen.