RMIT has officially launched a fundraising appeal to generate funds for the reactivation of the Capitol Theatre, three years after the beloved space closed its doors to the public.
The University's vision is to transform Melbourne’s iconic Capitol Theatre into a centre for cutting-edge tertiary education, as well as a cultural landmark and creative space for the city.
RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Martin Bean CBE, said: “Melbourne’s creative minds will be able to come together and teach, learn and create, all in a truly majestic space, where old media meets new media.
"It’s very fitting for RMIT – with our motto ‘a skilled hand and a cultivated mind’ – to be leading the charge towards returning this theatre not only to students, but the entire Melbourne community.”
Academy Award-winning animation writer, director and producer Adam Elliot has joined the appeal as an Ambassador, alongside John Kirby AM, Deputy Chairman at Village Roadshow; RMIT alumnus and British Film Institute (BFI) Head of Festivals Clare Stewart; and RMIT Adjunct Professor Sue Maslin, Producer of The Dressmaker.
"The Capitol has played a vital role in establishing Melbourne as the nation’s arts and culture capital; a veritable mecca of collaboration, creativity and innovation,” Elliot said.
The Victorian Government has announced a contribution of $2.5 million in support of the project and RMIT is seeking to raise $2 million for the project from the general public.
RMIT has committed to match every donation to the appeal dollar for dollar, and will be acknowledging the names of all donors (or their nominated family member) who give $250 or more in a special feature within the building.
Victorian Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney said she hoped the reimagined Capitol Theatre would be a go-to place for creatively inclined people seeking access to high quality education and training.
“Through our TAFE Rescue Fund, we’re making sure every Victorian has access to the best training possible to get the skills they need to get a job - the Capitol Theatre will help RMIT do just that.”
Once a thriving hub for Melbourne’s entertainment and arts scene, the Capitol Theatre has been home to world premieres, film and cultural festivals and live concerts in the decades following its 1924 opening.
A treasured landmark of Melbourne’s urban landscape, the Chicago Gothic-style theatre is internationally renowned for its breathtaking design, including a geometric ceiling comprised of over 4,000 dazzling lights.
For more information and to make your valued contribution to the RMIT Capitol Theatre Appeal, visit rmit.edu.au/capitol
Story: Geane Lyall