The Capitol in Forest Hill is shutting down

Yep, it’s officially shutting down. The Capitol is one of of 8 Weatherspoon pubs in London up for sale…

The Capitol is a rare survival of a 1920s cinema, The Capitol, on London Road, first opened its doors to the cinema-going public in 1929, with a screening of Man, Woman and Sin. Renamed the ABC in 1968, the cinema gave its last picture show in October 1973. There were plans to convert and even demolish the building. However, The Capitol opened as a bingo hall in February 1978, closing in the first week of December 1996. It opened as a Wetherspoon pub back in 2001.


View from the Top Circle with years of dust (not open to the public).

Staff at The Capitol have been allocated jobs elsewhere and have also been informed that the next use for the building is likely to be a cinema. There have been many speculations that the pub will revert back to a cinema on local forums, so the rumours may well be true.

I have fond memories of The Capitol (Weatherspoon) from when I was in school. The bus stop area and the inside entrance of the building was the hangout spot to meet friends/or just hangout. The manager used to get so cross with all the school kids, he’d come out, shout and everyone would run away!

I visited the Weatherspoon a few times for meals with my friends and the interiors of the old cinema is magnificent. It was a delight to have a meal in an extraordinary surrounding. Though, I’ll miss The Capitol as Weatherspoon, I think reverting the building back to a cinema would be a wonderful thing.

Do you have any memories of The Capitol? Or any news update on the sale? Please comment below…

*First image thanks to weekendnotes and second image thanks to DerelictLondon

About this article

Shapa Begum

About Shapa Begum

Hi, I’m Shapa Begum, Blog Editor. Born and raised in East Dulwich, I love what I do here at Dulwich OnView, I’m absolutely passionate about south London and reaching out to local communities – you can read about my favourite Dulwich spots on Time Out London and Completely London blog. My role goes beyond editing, I write, review, participate in conferences/events, attend local happenings and oversee the marketing. There’s no rest for the wicked! When not working, I love to read, write, visit museums and spend time with my loved ones.
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  1. Les Woodhall 9 Jun 2016

    memories of The Capitol,lined up around the side of the building to get in with the air raid sounding,the organ playing before the film started,the Walls ice cream girl selling during the interval, and getting the tram back over Hornimans hill to Dulwich library during the War.

    • Shapa Begum 10 Jun 2016

      Hi Les, Many thanks for sharing your lovely memories with us. We’d love for you to write your memories as an article and contribute to Dulwich OnView. If interested, please email me. Cheers, Shapa:)


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