The Capitol Theatre, Pretoria, was one of the
first atmospheric cinemas to be built in South
Africa and is situated in Parliament Street. It
was opened by General J.B.M Hertzog (then
prime Minister of the Union Of South Africa)
on 5th September 1931. The theatre was
designed by Percy Rogers Cooke, a
prominent architect of the time, in the Italian
Renaissance style.
A remarkable feature of the Capitol was the unusual entrance foyer as well as
the grand foyer which gave access to the orchestra stalls. These foyers were
over 200 feet in length and at right angles to the axis of the theatre.
From the foyer grand staircases led to a wide promenade for use during intermissions for the serving
of refreshments. From the mezzanine promenade two corridors gave access to the aisle dividing the
loge seats of the dress circle from the upper circle. The total seating capacity of the theatre was 2242.
The Capitol was also the proud
owner of a Wurlitzer organ that
was set behind latticed screens
on either side of the proscenium
arch and controlled from the
orchestra pit.
The original seating plans of the
Capitol in 1931.Left is the Stalls  
and below the Circle plan
After serving the public for over 40 years as a premiere place of
entertainment, the Capitol Theatre was closed on 26th October 1974,
stripped of its fittings and furnishings and converted by the Pretoria
City Council into a parking garage. To see more photos of the Capitol
in its present state, please go to the next page by clicking on the link