The property upon which the Capitol was built was purchased in 1927 by Louis Rosenbaum, a Sturgeon Falls businessman. He began building the structure and, when he ran out of funds, he sold it to Famous Players Canadian Corporation. They opened the Capitol Theatre on June 1st, 1929. The Capitol had 1455 seats and was referred to as “a palace of splendor” had been elaborately decked out with Spanish lights and décor.
The movie that was shown to the sold out grand opening crowd was, In Old Arizona. It was the first all-talking Fox feature movie, a western starring Edmund Lowe, Warren Baxter and Dorothy Burgess. It was in the Capitol Theatre that Roy Thomson, Lord Thomson of Fleet,
started his media empire with the opening of his first radio station,
CFCH, on March 3, 1931. It
was also the movie house that the Dionne Quints frequented on many
Friday nights. The 80’s saw a decline in movie audiences and there was a fear that the
building was going to be chopped up into smaller theaters
or sold to a
non-entertainment interest. During this same time, a group in North Bay
known as TACC, the North Bay “Theatre and Arts Community Centre”
was looking for space to
use for major stage productions, studios, etc. Betty Speers, known as
“The Lady of the Arts” was spearheading this association
of over 40 arts related
groups and individuals. She led TACC and the community on a determined
drive to save the Capitol.
On December 19, 1985, Betty signed the cheque to purchase the building from Famous Players. Over the following two years, the Capitol underwent major renovations
that saw the removal of over 400 seats to make room for a reception
room and a restructuring
to include a state-of-the-art art gallery known as the WKP Kennedy
The Capitol had its grand reopening as the North Bay Arts Centre on
April 2, 1987. The evening’s entertainment was provided
by well-known singer
Maureen Forrester, the Nylons and Don Harron as Charlie Farquharson.
In 1997, the name was changed to the Capitol Centre. It continues to
provide North Bay and surrounding communities with
quality arts and
entertainment. Reminders of its origins still remain today in the form
of the Spanish Galaxy motifs that adorn the theatre walls
and one of the original
Spanish chandeliers that hang above the stairs that rise up to the
balcony. Since its reopening, the Capitol centre has seen such greats as Johnny
Cash, Phyllis Diller, Brenda Lee, Roy Orbison, and Jack Klugman;
by the Toronto Symphony
Orchestra; Broadway shows and international productions.
The WKP Kennedy Gallery
provides a wonderful venue for local, as well as international, visual
arts shows in a wide variety of media
The Capitol Centre is truly our home for Arts and Entertainment.
Monday through Friday – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturdays – 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
In August, our summer hours are 11:00 am to 4:00 pm from Monday to Friday.
On a performance night, the Box Office will remain open until showtime and open one hour before Sunday Cinema (Sunday at 7pm)
Wheelchair Accessible Ramp.
Accessible Seating Locations
150 Main Street E, North Bay, ON
Toll Free: 1-888-834-4747
Phone: (705) 474-1944