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Théâtre Capitol Theatre

811 Main street, Moncton, New Brunswick, E1C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/03/31

Théâtre Capitol Theatre - Main Street - 2004; Moncton Museum
Théâtre Capitol Theatre
Théâtre Capitol Theatre - Interior; Théâtre Capitol Theatre
Théâtre Capitol Theatre
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/08/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Théâtre Capitol Theatre, a two-storey brick Italianate opera house-style auditorium constructed in 1926 and a pillar of the performing arts, is located on Main Street, Moncton.

Heritage Value

Théâtre Capitol Theatre is designated a Provincial Historic Site for its architecture, for its role as a pillar of the performing arts and for the multiple uses made of its spaces.

Théâtre Capitol Theatre has a heritage value that relates to its architect, René-Arthur Fréchet, who designed the plans for many public, religious, and private buildings throughout the Maritimes. This brick building was completed by Ambrose Wheeler in 1926 after the original 1922 structure was razed by fire. The Italianate design includes a cantilevered marquee. The interior is decorated in the most elaborate work of world renowned theatre decorator Emmanuel Briffa, who created a Romanesque décor for the theatre.

Théâtre Capitol Theatre is also recognized for its role as a pillar of the performing arts and for the multiple uses made of its spaces since its erection, including film, circus, vaudeville and musical performances.

Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch - File # 1057.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements relating to the exterior elements of the structure include:
- brick two-storey façade with symmetrical fenestration;
- cantilevered marquee in the style of the period;
- paired doors;
- 2 over 2 windows with 12 light rectangular transoms;
- brick stringcourse;
- plain lug sills;
- central pilaster;
- common bond red brick rear and side walls.

The character-defining elements that describe the interior of the Théâtre Capitol Theatre include:
- Emmanuel Briffa’s stencils and frescoes;
- Briffa’s murals above the proscenium (forestage) representing the Three Graces of classical literature;
- Briffa’s forestage curtain;
- deep stage, the proscenium arch;
- orchestra pit for 10 to 15 musicians;
- richly decorated Louis-XIV-style balconies;
- original chandelier;
- wooden structure and its bowed floor contributing to its acoustics;
- 822 seats on the main floor;
- lobby;
- multipurpose Empress Room located on the second floor.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Province of New Brunswick

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(1)

Recognition Type

Historic Sites Protection Act – Historic

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1922/01/01 to 1922/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub


Architect / Designer

René-Arthur Fréchet


Ambrose Wheeler

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch. File # 1057

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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