Film News Preview Singapore

Film Fanatic: New documentary film ‘The Capitol of Singapore’ premieres during Singapore HeritageFest 2022

Capitol Theatre will play host to the Singapore premiere of “The Capitol of Singapore” (also known as “Le Capitol de Singapour”) documentary on 6 May 2022, in conjunction with Singapore HeritageFest 2022. Presented by Capitol Singapore, which is home to Capitol Theatre at the heart of Singapore’s Civic and Cultural District, the premiere marks the documentary’s first showing outside of France.

Directed by French filmmaker Raphaël Millet, who has been based in France and Singapore over the last 20 years, “The Capitol of Singapore” is the latest addition to the “Mythical Cinemas” documentary series produced by Paris-based Kolam Productions, which takes viewers to legendary cinemas around the world. It chronicles Capitol Theatre’s illustrious legacy since its founding in 1930 and recounts personal stories of what the theatre has meant for many Singaporeans. In telling the story of Capitol Theatre, the documentary also explores, in parallel, the history of Singapore cinema, highlighting the golden years of film production when Singapore was at the centre of Southeast Asia’s film industry.

“The Capitol of Singapore” features past theatregoers, industry insiders and a third-generation member of the Namazie family, who originally owned Capitol Theatre before World War II. It also offers a rare glimpse of Capitol Theatre in its early heyday through archival black-and-white footage and historical photos.

In line with Singapore HeritageFest 2022’s theme of travel/tourism, the documentary also sheds light on how Capitol Theatre brought the world to Singapore through its selection of international titles as well as celebrity visits from the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Ava Gardner and Douglas Fairbanks.

Tickets for the 6 May 2022 premiere are available for public purchase, and Capitol Theatre will also host a second screening of “The Capitol of Singapore” on 7 May 2022 as part of the Singapore HeritageFest 2022 programme line-up. All public sales nett proceeds will go towards the National Heritage Board to support its mission of safeguarding and promoting the heritage of Singapore’s diverse communities.

Regarded as one of the finest cinemas of its era, Capitol Theatre was gazetted for conservation in 2007. It underwent an extensive restoration following a successful integrated development tender by a Perennial Holdings Private Limited (“Perennial”)-led consortium in 2010. The integrated development, now known as Capitol Singapore, is owned and managed by Perennial and comprises three conservation buildings: Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House. The 977-seat Capitol Theatre is the first in Southeast Asia to have a rotational floor system that allows for flexible seating configurations, making it a versatile venue for concerts, exhibitions, trade shows and weddings.

Ms Dawn Tan, Chief Operating Officer, Singapore & Regional (excluding China) of Perennial, said, “We are pleased that “The Capitol of Singapore” featuring Capitol Theatre recognises the theatre for its historical significance, making it the only Asian venue featured in a renowned 3 series about the world’s most iconic cinemas. The documentary will allow more people within and outside of Singapore to understand Capitol Theatre’s legacy and evolution over nine decades. It is especially fitting that Capitol Theatre, with its long history of being at the forefront of world-class entertainment, will premiere the documentary during Singapore HeritageFest 2022. As the owner of several heritage landmarks including Capitol Theatre, we are heartened that full public sales nett proceeds from the film screening will go towards supporting the National Heritage Board’s work to preserve and celebrate our shared heritage.”

Ms Olga Prud’homme-Farges, Executive Producer, Kolam Productions said, “We are delighted that “The Capitol of Singapore”, which is part of our documentary series “Mythical Cinemas”, will be premiering in Singapore during Singapore HeritageFest 2022. With the iconic Capitol Theatre, the series features its first cinema in Asia. Now, in addition to cinemas in Chile, Cuba, Greece, the Netherlands and the United States, we can proudly add Capitol Theatre in Singapore to the list of mythical cinemas of the world.”

Mr David Chew, Festival Director, Singapore HeritageFest, said: “We are very happy to have Perennial on board as a festival partner as we explore Singapore’s vibrant travel and tourism history, which is one of the themes of the festival this year. We are pleased to showcase the rich heritage behind Capitol Theatre, which was iconic in its time in the region, seeing cinephiles flocking to attend its screenings, with stars like Charlie Chaplin gracing its openings. The theatre represents some of the most glamorous international links that Singapore had with the world even back then.”

Against the backdrop of Singapore HeritageFest 2022, which will take place from 2 to 29 May 2022, Capitol Singapore, in conjunction with CHIJMES, will also launch in May a guided walking tour in collaboration with the Society of Tourist Guides (Singapore). The tour will take participants around prominent heritage spots at both Capitol Singapore and CHIJMES.

The Capitol of Singapore premieres on 6th and 7th May 2022 at Capitol Theatre, as part of Singapore HeritageFest2022. Tickets available here

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