The Government of Canada Commemorates the National Historic Significance of the Port Hope Capitol Theatre

News Release

November 15, 2017                       Port Hope, Ontario                        Parks Canada Agency


Canada’s national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas enable Canadians to experience their rich and varied history in a special way. As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to experience nature and learn more about our history.

Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Northumberland—Peterborough South, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, today commemorated the importance of the Port Hope Capitol Theatre as a place of national historic significance. A special ceremony was held in Port Hope with members of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

The Government of Canada is committed to connecting Canadians to the significant people, places, and events that contributed to our country’s diverse heritage. The Port Hope Capitol Theatre was one of the first theatres in Canada designed specifically for the presentation of “talkies.” Designed by Canadian architect Murray Brown and opened in 1930, the theatre was built in an atmospheric style, and is an excellent and rare example of this type of theatre that remains operational. Atmospheric theatres were built with the intention of creating an effect where theatre audiences felt they were outdoors. The medieval atmosphere of the ceiling with stars, hanging vines, and forest murals made audiences feel like they were in a courtyard waiting to see a command performance under a blue sky with moving clouds.

Canada’s national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas enable Canadians to experience their rich history and heritage in a special way and have been playing a big part in the celebration of Canada 150.

This year also marks the centennial of national historic sites and Parks Canada invites Canadians to discover and be inspired by the stories of the people, places, and events that shaped the Canada of today. We encourage you to learn more about our country’s history, and discover truly Canadian places and stories with Parks Canada.


Quotes

“The Government of Canada is pleased to commemorate the national historic significance of the Port Hope Capitol Theatre. It is a truly stunning example of an art-deco atmospheric theatre that is now one of a kind in Canada. As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, I encourage all Canadians to take this opportunity to learn more about this great theatre and its important place in our country’s history.”

Kim Rudd,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Northumberland—Peterborough South

“The designation of the Port Hope Capitol Theatre as a national historic site is a spectacular culmination of nearly 25 years of dedication and commitment on the part of community leaders who rescued the theatre from demolition and who breathed life into it. This place is a bridge between the past and future of theatrical exhibition and presentations from one generation to the next. We salute and thank the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada for the wisdom and insight of its decision to designate this venue as an enduring national treasure.”

Ms. Olga M. Cwiek,
President, Capitol Theatre and Chair, Capitol Theatre Heritage Foundation Board of Directors

Quick Facts

  • The Port Hope Capitol Theatre was built for the cost of $80,000 and was the first building in the town of Port Hope to used steel girders in its construction. At a time in history where many budgets were being slashed, the theatre did not spare any expense to ensure long-lasting, innovative results. After 87 years, the theatre can boast that most of its original exterior and interior elements remain in place.

  • Located an hour east of Toronto, today’s audiences can enjoy movies, live theatre, concerts and other special events throughout the year.

  • Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national historic significance of places, people and events that have marked Canada’s history.

Related Products

Associated Links

Contacts

Bruce MacMillan
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Georgian Bay and Ontario East Field Unit
Parks Canada
bruce.macmillan@pc.gc.ca
613-923-5261 extension 122

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
pc.media@pc.gc.ca


Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: