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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


This paper is one result of the 1970 destruction of Ottawa's Capitol theatre, a movie palace built in 1920. Movie palaces were those gigantic, extravagantly embellished theatres built between about 1914 and 1932 in which vaudeville and motion picture entertainment was presented. One movie palace, the Capitol in Ottawa, is examined in terms of its construction, decoration, equipment and ownership. The investigation includes a general discussion of the movie palace phenomenon and the major developments in the evolution of motion picture exhibition that contributed to the building of movie palaces. Certain American prototypes are considered, as many Canadian palaces were built by American-controlled theatre circuits, designed by American architects, and exhibited American movies.

Submitted for publication 1974 by Hilary Russell, National Historic Parks and Sites Branch

Readers who wish to receive a copy of a chronology of events and performances associated with the 50-year existence of Ottawa's Capitol Theatre may write to the author.

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