But Corkonians still have a soft spot for the building where they watched so many movies over the years.
The Capitol itself replaced what had been another city landmark, Grant’s furniture and clothes shop. It stood on the Grand Parade from the mid-1860s until March 11, 1942, when it was destroyed in the city’s worst fire since the 1920 burning of Cork.
Five years later Capitol and Allied Cinemas opened the new cinema at the site, the first to open in Cork since the Ritz in 1939.
It was opened formally by the Very Rev T O’Keeffe, the Administrator of the North Cathedral. Monsieur Beaucaire, a comedy starring Bob Hope, was the first film shown. The prices for admission ranged from one shilling to two shillings and sixpence.
The Sound of Music set the record at the cinema, running for three months in 1967.
In 1989, to fight back against the popularity of TV and videos, the cinema closed for six months for major reconstruction. It became the Capitol Cineplex, the first multiplex cinema in Ireland outside Dublin. When it reopened it had six screens and much-improved sound quality and it continued to bring Hollywood blockbusters to the movie-lovers of Cork until 2005.
The last public screenings in the Capitol were held on December 1 that year The films showing on that night included Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Constant Gardener.
“It will be a sad moment for the people of Cork when the Capitol closes its doors,” general manager Patrick O’Brien said at the time. “The cinema has been a constant presence in the life of the city. People have been meeting outside its doors for decades.”