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Where: Dublin, Ireland

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When: 01 January 1971

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Good morning campers and welcome to a new collection for the photostream! Today we have an image from the Michael S. Walker Collection showing one of my favourite theatres in Dublin, the Capitol Cinema and Theatre. Let us see what you can make of this one.

And our contributors "made quite a lot of it" :) Apart from the extra info on the La Scala (later Capitol) Cinema itself, the dating of the 'Flight of the Doves' film helped us pinpoint this (previously undated) image, to c.1971. Given its near ubiquity on Irish TV in the 70s and 80s, many of us may have watched the Flight of the Doves on a smaller screen. But several of our contributors caught other shows on the Capitol's big screen - while taking in the interior decoration (including perhaps the the Clarke studio stained glass and woodwork from the Britannic). This made us wonder what became of its architectural salvage, when the cinema was demolished in 1972. (Indeed, salvaged works by the Clarke family have turned up in stranger places). In any event, while I may be stretching, it seems plausible that Walker knew this building's days were numbered - and captured it shortly before it was lost to the Dublin streetscape....

Photographer: Michael S. Walker

Collection: Michael S. Walker

Date: Likely c.1971 (film signage). Certainly before 1972 (demolition)


You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 31247
nationallibraryofireland nationalphotographicarchive michaelswalkerphotographiccolection captiolcinemaandtheatre princesstreet dublin independentnewspapers thefreemansjournal princesstreetnorth oconnellstreet capitoltheatre lascalatheatreandoperahouse lascala flightofthedoves jclarkesons freemansjournal britannic arthurlloyd primark penneys

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  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 29/Nov/2017 08:31:10

    Looking down Prince's Street. This O'Connell St. shot from the 20s shows signs pointing down this street to the Capitol: General Post Office, O'Connell Street, Dublin City, Co. Dublin

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    Niall McAuley

    • 29/Nov/2017 08:33:16

    Per Wikipedia: began life on 10 August 1920 as the La Scala Theatre and Opera House. Despite its name, the La Scala was a cinema. Paramount Pictures took over the lease on the building and renamed it the Capitol. Under new management, the Capitol ran a live show every week to accompany the current film ... The last stage show was on 29 October 1953. The Capitol continued as a cinema until 1972.

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    • 29/Nov/2017 08:33:52

    'Flight of the Doves' was released in 1971, which wrenches this photo out of the '60s ... www.imdb.com/title/tt0067104/ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_of_the_Doves

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    Niall McAuley

    • 29/Nov/2017 08:35:02

    While fleeing across the Irish countryside, two orphans are pursued by their villainous uncle, a master of disguises. With Ron Moody, Willie Rushton, Niall Toibín, Dana (!) and Noel Purcell as the Rabbi (!!).

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    domenico milella

    • 29/Nov/2017 08:41:30

    Congratulation for your beautiful Album.

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    • 29/Nov/2017 08:47:07

    Flickr is sometimes amazing ... 20 years earlier, in 1951 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/fizzcotts/. Spot the differences ... ... https://www.flickr.com/photos/fizzcotts/5018586814/

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    Niall McAuley

    • 29/Nov/2017 08:49:58

    You can actually still read the original name La Scala Theatre and Opera House behind the neon THE CAPITOL sign. Per the DIA, it was built on the site of the Freeman's Journal offices. Also: Stained-glass windows by J. Clarke & Sons. Joshua Clarke was Harry Clarke's father. I wonder what happened to those...

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    John Spooner

    • 29/Nov/2017 09:13:29

    The correspondent of the Irish Society had a chance to see the "La Scala" before it opened and his report was published on Saturday 14 August 1920, and starts by remarking on the absurdity of putting "the" and "La" together. The opening was to be Tuesday night (the 10th - the report is written as if the opening is in the future whereas it had already taken place) , providing the electricians had finished their work,

    a special exhibition of cinematograph films having been arranged at popular prices. The “big” picture of the show is a film story, entitled “Parentage”, told in six parts. “When Love Was Blind” is a two-part comedy, and “In the Land of Madam Butterfly” is a film illustrating travels in Japan. The programme includes the “Topical Gazette” and other short films. In addition to the “pictures”, the enterprising management has secured the services of Mr. John Clarke, an eminent tenor. Orchestral music is provided by a symphony orchestra of twenty-thre performers, and the whole entertainment promises to be a very welcome addition to the long list of attractions for this week in Dublin.

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    • 29/Nov/2017 09:16:23

    Dana sings a beautiful song in the film - youtu.be/QTYoBwbiJhE

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    John A. Coffey

    • 29/Nov/2017 11:01:14

    I saw the film Shane in the Capital (1954/5) with my parents, dont have many memories, lots of smoke on and off the screen------------ In 1956 Dublin still had 56 cinemas in the city and county, now there are 12.

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    • 29/Nov/2017 13:12:19

    Buenas fotos antiguas .

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    Carol Maddock

    • 29/Nov/2017 13:33:34

    Sadly not megazoomable, but lovely sketch of the Capitol by Liam C. Martin, 1978.

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    • 29/Nov/2017 16:25:05

    "In Dublin's . . . Through the streets broad and narrow".

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    • 29/Nov/2017 17:41:27

    I always loved the interior of the Capitol and was convinced that it, in a former life, was an used for Operas. The stalls, boxes, decoration and paneling seemed made for ball gowns, tuxedos and Divas! Information from the Arthur Lloyd site in the UK! The wood paneling and interior doors of the Theatre came from Belfast where they had been made in preparation for installation in the cruise ship "Britannic". However at the commencement of the 1914-1918 war the ship was detailed for use as a troop carrier and was sunk in 1916 during the war. The Theatre had two balconies and many private boxes and could seat 1,400 people. In 1927 Paramount (the Hollywood movie company) took over the lease and renamed it as "The Capitol". Their interest was to have an outlet for their movies in the centre of Dublin and, as in all the other Theatres which they leased, Paramount introduced stage shows. Alec Fryer came over from the London Rialto Cinema to be the musical director. In April 1929 the first talking movie was shown at the Capitol and proved to be a great success.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 30/Nov/2017 23:54:36

    Thanks all - Have updated the description and date :)

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 12/Dec/2017 09:00:06

    great image