Capitol Theatre Restoration | RMIT University


The restoration of the Capitol is not just an RMIT project. The Capitol is an iconic
building in Melbourne. If people understood it well enough, they would understand this is
almost like our opera house. The building was designed
in the early 1920s. The designers, Walter Burley
Griffin and Marion Mahony, two of the most important
architects to come to Australia. The very first film to be screened here was The Ten Commandments,
in November 1924. The building, despite
RMIT having spent money and kept it up throughout the years, right up until when we closed it in 2014, was aging and needed a lot of
additional care and support. The Capitol Theatre was originally a leading-edge building, and what RMIT is doing is bringing it back up
to leading-edge building in terms of its film and
media projection technology. I like to call it the rabbit warren. There’s just all these
little nooks and crannies are just hidden all over the place, and a lot of people get lost coming here. Most of the work we’re
doing is extra-complicated because it can’t intrude
on the heritage work. We’ve also got two beautiful fragments
of the original carpet, and we’ve used that as the basis to restore the foyer spaces. We’re
completing demolition works. We’re starting to do all
the fit-out, building walls. We’ve restored the feature ceiling. People will understand, when they see the ceiling lit, just how spectacular the
geometry of the ceiling is. Yeah, it’s gonna be great
to see it all finished, so I can’t wait to come here
with the wife and my daughter, come watch a movie, and just
show her what I was a part of. To work on this building is a pretty much
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on such an important building. It is the best work of two of
the most important architects to ever come to Australia. It’s a greats responsibility, but it’s also a great privilege, and we’re proud to be involved with RMIT. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring back to Melbourne
a cultural, architectural, screen-design icon that will be managed by a
beloved educational institution, not just for its students, but for everyone who lives in the city.

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