A Melbourne icon
Designed by renowned architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, the Capitol is one of the world’s earliest examples of the Art Deco style. It was designed to evoke a crystalline cave, with a spectacular geometric ceiling concealing over 4,000 coloured lamps within a complex three-dimensional design.
Opening in 1924, it was the first large and sumptuous ‘picture palace’ in Victoria and a popular theatre well into the 1980s. However, with the rise of new technology and multiplex cinemas, the Capitol Theatre fell into disrepair and was in danger of being demolished. Recognising the cultural significance of the building, RMIT’s former Vice-Chancellor Professor David Beanland AO coordinated the purchase of the theatre in 1999. Many thousands of students recall lectures in the auditorium before it had to close in 2014.
With the help of philanthropic support, the Capitol Theatre will reopen its doors, reclaiming its place as a Melbourne heritage icon. Enjoying a new lease on life, the Capitol will once again be a centre of creative excellence for RMIT students, staff and the community. From upgrading the theatre’s signature geometric ceiling with LED lights, to painstakingly restoring the famous Ben Hur mantlepiece, months of care and expertise have gone into ensuring the Capitol remains a heritage masterpiece ready for the next generation of patrons.
Undergoing a transformation into a state-of-the-art presentation and lecture theatre, the Capitol will be fitted out to host TED-style talks and panel discussions presented by RMIT or industry partners. The widened stage and retractable screen will enable festivals and live performances to be hosted in this 580-seat auditorium.
This year, a partnership between RMIT and ACMI will see the Capitol debut as the new home of ACMI’s extensive range of festivals and events as they undergo their refurbishment. Together, we will host more than 500 events at the Capitol and expect over 100,000 visitors at our beautiful theatre. ACMI and RMIT will also collaborate to develop innovative teaching and research opportunities for students and staff.
Your donation today will ensure that The Capitol is a centre for education and creative excellence for generations to come.
All donations of $250 and above will be recognised on The Capitol donor wall. Please note that it may take approximately six months for your recognition tile to be included in the donor wall due to the activities taking place at The Capitol. We greatly appreciate your support and thank you for your patience.
All donations of $2 and above are tax deductible.
We’re here to help - talk to us about how you'd like to make an impact (+61 3 9925 5220).
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