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Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 13



All that Glitters: A Memorial to Ottawa's Capitol Theatre and its Predecessors

by Hilary Russell

Contents

Abstract

Sommaire

Acknowledgements

Introduction

In the Beginning

Zenith—The Palaces

"Lamb and Adam"

Building a Movie Palace: The Capitol

The Capitol: Equipment and Decoration

Sound

The Circuits

Aftermath

Appendix: Ottawa Openings up to 1920

Endnotes

Bibliography

Illustrations

Figures 26-30, 51-53, 58, 61, 65, 77, 86-88, 95, 99-100, 105-106, 112, 118, 120 and 121, in colour, will be found at the end of the report. (shown in order in the on-line edition)

1 A Kinetoscope parlour.

2 Ottawa's Holland Brothers.

3 Edison's letter to the Holland Brothers.

4 Koster and Bial's programme, April 1896.

5 Schuberg's tent theatre, 1900.

6, 7 Two Canadian "converts."

8 Nickelodeon Recollections.

9 Thomas Tally's Electric Theatre.

10 Theatorium on Yonge Street, Toronto.

11 A 1909 Allen Theatre in Kitchener, Ont.

12 Members of the Bennett vaudeville theatre circuit.

13 Proscenium arch and stage, Savoy, Hamilton, Ont.

14 Ouimetoscope in Montreal.

15 Programme of second Ouimetoscope.

16 Exterior of 1907 Ouimetoscope.

17, 18 Lobby and auditorium of 1907 Ouimetoscope.

19, 20, 21, 22 Fašades of "new, improved" movie houses.

23 The Regent in New York.

24, 25 Decorative components of movie palace flamboyance.

26 Grand foyer, Michigan theatre, Detroit.

27, 28, 29 Decorative styles used by Thomas W. Lamb.

30 Dome, Fifth Avenue theatre, Seattle.

31 Grauman's Egyptian, Hollywood.

32 A stage show rivalling the ostentation of movie palace decor.

33, 34 Pretentious fašades from 1913 and 1914.

35 Glass-domed auditorium of the Dominion Theatre, Vancouver.

36, 37 Calgary's Allen theatre.

38, 39 The Regent's fašade and auditorium.

40, 41, 42 The Allen in Toronto, designed by C. Howard Crane.

43, 44, 45 Three more examples of Crane's designs.

46 The Allen opening programme.

47 A 1928 portrait of Thomas W. Lamb.

48 Adam's ceiling design at Kenwood.

49 Grand staircase of the Wintergarden.

50 View from the Wintergarden stage.

51 Wintergarden sidewall decorations.

52 Wintergarden stage with "picture sheet."

53 Painted decoration in mezzanine hallway.

54, 55, 56, 57 Four similar Lamb auditoriums.

58 One of Lamb's favourite chandeliers.

59, 60 Variations on a theme in lobby decoration.

61 Capitol theatre, Montreal.

62, 63, 64 Lamb auditoriums.

65 Auditorium of the Montreal Capitol.

66, 67 Loew's (Ottawa) theatre, 1919.

68, 69 Dome of Pantages theatre, Toronto.

70, 71, 72 Roof and dome construction, Ottawa Capitol.

73, 74 Two plans with instructions on decoration.

75, 76 Examples of the Capitol's plaster decoration.

77 Friezes and columns in the auditorium.

78 Stencilled wall panel in the Capitol auditorium.

79, 80 Architect's plans, orchestra and mezzanine.

81 Projection room.

82 Brenograph effects machines.

83 Switchboard backstage at the Capitol.

84 Stage setting and organist at the Palace, Calgary.

85 Part of the Capitol's 54 sets of lines.

86 Backstage.

87 Curtain and draperies at Los Angeles Theatre.

88 Curtains in the Ottawa Capitol.

89 Stage curtain at Pantages Theatre, Toronto.

90 Architect's plan of ballroom.

91, 92 Two phases of a fašade.

93 Another Lamb fašade.

94 Lobby of the Ottawa Capitol.

95 Polychrome ceiling in the lobby.

96 View from the bottom of the stairs, grand foyer.

97 Grand foyer in Loew's Montreal.

98 An Adam drawing room, Derby house, Grosvenor Square.

99 Ottawa Capitol auditorium.

100 Side wall arch, Capitol auditorium.

101 Adam-derived panel, Capitol ceiling.

102 Decorated panel.

103 Grand foyer decorations.

104 Grand foyer dome in the Capitol.

105 Music-making scene of the sounding board.

106 Ladies' cosmetic room.

107 Men's smoking room.

108, 109 Examples of movie palace furnishings.

110, 111 Grand foyer furnishings in the Ottawa Capitol.

112 One of the Imperial Six, Toronto.

113 The Capitol's sounding board.

114 Orchestra of the Palace, Calgary.

115 The Mighty Wurlitzer.

116 Access door to the organ loft.

117 The Capitol organ.

118 A Mighty Wurlitzer in the Portland Paramount.

119 Allen Theatre Enterprises.

120 The State theatre, Syracuse, N.Y.

121 The State theatre. Kalamazoo, Michigan.

122 The Paradise theatre, Chicago.

123 The Capitol in Saskatoon.

124, 125 The Capitol theatre, Halifax.

126 The Ottawa Capitol in ruins.

127 Interior view of the Russell theatre, Ottawa.

128 The Family theatre, Queen Street, Ottawa.

129 The Flower theatre, Sparks Street, Ottawa.

130, 131 The Regent theatre.

132 One of Citizen pages devoted to the opening.

Erratum.

Due to an error, the illustrations appearing as Fig. 30 (p. 103) and Fig. 87 (p. 108) were transposed. The illustration appearing as Fig. 30 is in fact Fig. 87, and vice versa. (corrected in the on-line edition)



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