Capitol Days is the story of the Capitol Cinema in Cardiff from its opening in 1921 through its heyday, its painful decline and eventual closure in 1978. Featuring many first-hand accounts and contemporary press cuttings, Capitol Days illustrates how both the public and significant figures reacted to the events of the day and analyses the motives behind some of the key decisions taken by the owners and proprietors. This book takes a fond look back at former times, when cinema truly lay at the heart of the community. The Capitol, due to its central location and distinctive decor, was more successful than most, and was often full to capacity both in the early days for hit films such as The Wedding Singer (1927) through to performances in the 1960s by Bob Dylan and The Beatles, and the live screening of Muhammed Ali's fights during the same era. Contributions from many former employees of the cinema, together with many previously unseen photographs, bring this most remarkable venue to life, representing an important part of Cardiff 's social history during the last century.
Capitol Days is essential reading for both former visitors to the cinema and for those who wish to explore the tale behind the rise and fall of one of Cardiff 's most recognisable centres of entertainment.
Gary Wharton lives in Cardiff and has had a lifelong interest in cinema. He has previously published Ribbon of Dreams: Remembering the Cardiff Cinemas (1998) and is an expert on the social history of the area. For this book, the author has been given access to a selection of previously unseen Capitol photographs and memorabilia.