Port Hope Capitol Theatre National Historic Site of Canada

Port Hope, Ontario
View of the auditorium showing decoration details : artificial vineyard, pennants and lanterns giving a medieval castle yard ambiance © Parks Canada Agency | Agence Parks Canada, C. Boucher, 2014
View of the auditorium showing decoration details
© Parks Canada Agency | Agence Parks Canada, C. Boucher, 2014
General view showing Port Hope Capitol Theatre located on Queen Avenue. © Parks Canada Agency | Agence Parcs Canada, C. Boucher, 2014Detail of the main facade featuring a marquee and a vertical sign © Parks Canada Agency | Agence Parcs Canada, C. Boucher, 2014View of the auditorium showing decoration details : artificial vineyard, pennants and lanterns giving a medieval castle yard ambiance © Parks Canada Agency | Agence Parks Canada, C. Boucher, 2014
Address : 20 Queen Street,, Port Hope, Port Hope, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 2016-06-06

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Murray Brown  (Architect)
Other Name(s):
  • Port Hope Capitol Theatre  (Designation Name)
Research Report Number: 2014-24

Plaque(s)


Existing plaque:  20 Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario

Constructed in 1930 and designed by Canadian architect Murray Brown, this theatre was one of the first cinemas in Canada to be created specifically for the presentation of “talkies.” Its twilight sky ceiling, nocturnal ambiance and interior walls that evoke a medieval castle make it a remarkable example of a small-town atmospheric style theatre. Closed in 1987, it was restored and then reopened in 1995 as a multi-purpose theatre, thanks to a campaign led by a group of dedicated citizens. Its high level of architectural integrity and excellent physical condition make it a rare example of its kind still in operation in this country.

Commemorative Intent

Port Hope Capitol Theatre was designated National Historic Site because: with its ceiling with stars, nocturnal atmosphere and side walls decorated to resemble a medieval chateau, the Capitol Theatre is a remarkable example of an atmospheric theatre located in a small town, designed by Canadian architect Murray Brown in 1930; as one of the first theatres in Canada designed specifically for the presentation of “talkies,” it bears witness to the major architectural changes that took place at the end of the 1920s in terms of movie theatre design; its high level of architectural integrity and excellent physical condition make it a rare example of its kind still in operation in Canada.

Source: HSMBC, Minutes, December 2014.