Capitol Theatre

A Photographic Essay

The Capitol Theatre located at the beginning of Wolferstan Road (Jalan Bendahara) was opened by the great grandson of Tan Kim Seng , Tan Soo Sim in 1931. The name Capitol remained unchanged throughout its existence until late 1980s. Many hawkers who operated at the compounds of the cinema still retained their names although they no longer operate at the premise eg, Capitol Satay Chelop (now operates at Lorong Bukit China), Capitol Nasi Lemak also known as Ah Ho Nasi Lemak now operates in Bachang. 

Purachatra Jayakara a Thai Prince who was a keen photographer and film . He is known as Father of the Thai radio and the Father of the Thai railways, due to his contributions in both fields.

He was one of the guest dignitaries invited to Malacca for the Wangkang Festival . Purachathra filmed the Wangkang Festival in 1933 , Malacca. The film was later screened in Capitol Theatre in both Malacca 1933 and Singapore in 1934 . The film is nowhere to be found today.

Evolution in maps




The Capitol Theatre land has been divided into several lots. This indicated that the theatre was destined to be demolished. However, due to the adoption of the Heritage Act, it was saved.

Theatre Advertising

In 1937, Capitol Theatre heavily promoted it’s shows, employing three young ladies, calling them Three Smart Girls.  They would drive around town to advertise the current shows to attract audience. 

Photo Credits: Three Smart Girls photos courtesy of Audrey Lim

Photo Gallery

Melaka Downtown Exhibition