The Capitol Theatre Redevelopment
The Capitol Theatre, designed by renowned architect Marshal Mackenzie, first opened in February 1933. Recognised as Aberdeen’s most luxurious theatre, The Capitol was the first cinema in the UK to be designed from the outset to incorporate a full holophane lighting system in the auditorium, which allowed up to 17,000 colour combinations to be projected in time to music from a Compton organ.
In the 1950’s The Capitol began showing stage acts and later in the 1960’s became famous for hosting pop and rock concerts. The final film was shown in 1995 and The Capitol closed its doors as a theatre in 1998. Operating as a bar until 2008, the building lay derelict until 2013 when Knight Property Group and M&G Real Estate purchased the building in a state of disrepair.
The Capitol was acquired in the autumn of 2013 following 12 months of diligence which was carried out relative to its design, configuration and costings. The planning consent for hotel use that already existed was unsuitable for office use and it was reworked time and time again to achieve the flowing scheme, offering maximum flexibility for occupiers that exist today.
Respecting its landmark status within Aberdeen, Knight has made it a priority to ensure that the Capitol Theatre was returned to its original glory. Beginning with the unrivalled splendour of a 1930s cinema as its starting point, The Capitol extends into sensational modern office space with breath taking views across the city.
Investing time and money into the renovation, Knight were able to refurbish many of the areas including the canopy entrance and inner vestibule doors, art deco light fittings and clocks, pilasters and motifs.
Investing over £30 million into The Capitol development, Knight have impacted the community by creating jobs and providing much sought after city centre space. In times of difficulty within Aberdeen, Knight and M&G have provided high levels of work to contractors and subcontractors within Aberdeen. The Capitol Development itself has provided work for 250 site based employees and many more off site involved in manufacture since 2014.
The Capitol will also help bring much needed footfall back to Union Street. With space for approximately 700 employees working within the building and visiting retailers and restaurants, local business will benefit from an increase in spending in the area.
Recognising the work done to The Capitol, Knight Property Group and M&G were awarded ‘City Regeneration Project of the Year’ by the Scottish Property Awards in March 2016. The project was also shortlisted for a 2016 RICS Award in the Building Conservation category.