Entertaining Sydneysiders since the early 19th century, the beautiful Capitol Theatre is located in Haymarket. It hosts world class musicals, theatrical plays, ballets and concerts within its magnificent historic setting.
The site was used by Sydney’s early settlers as a market for produce and hay (hence the name “Haymarket”), with the building designed by architect George McRae and structural engineer Norman Selfe. It originally housed a fruit and vegetable market, however, its distance from Darling Harbour meant it lacked commercial viability and its lease was transferred to the Wirth Bros in 1912.
It was then that it had its first use as a performance venue, the Wirth Bros Hippodrome, with circus acts, vaudeville shows and theatrical plays performed here. But after a decade of success, punters lost interest in the Hippodrome and in 1927 the site was divided into the Manning Building and the Capitol Theatre.
Architect Henry White was responsible for the interior of the Capitol Theatre, which was inspired by an Italian piazza with its imitation courtyard. It served as a picture house for many years before undergoing extensive reconstructions in 1995 to create the venue seen today.
From children’s performances such as “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to Broadway hits like “Mamma Mia” and “Jersey Boys”, the Capitol is the home of musicals in the city today. The beautiful, heritage-listed foyer opens an hour before show times so you can enjoy a drink and admire the elaborate decorations, with antipasto and cheese platters, as well as dessert treats served.