INDUSTRY Sue Maslin, Filmmaker, producer of The Dressmaker
The Capitol is a place that has great meaning for me, because my very first documentary film called Thanks Girls, And Goodbye, was screened there, as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival, in 1987. I’ll never forget seeing 600 people in this cinema – and an audience of that scale, watching your very first film - in this beautiful setting which just celebrates the nostalgia and romance of cinema. It’s a very fragile thing having the capacity to tell your own stories and your own accents to your own audience. To me, this is what the Capitol theatre symbolises. The building is a celebration of Australia’s love affair with storytelling on screen. And I would love to see it restored and made relevant for new audiences.
STAFF Marc Morel, RMIT venue manager and lecturer
It’s fair to say that anyone that works in the Capitol gets a little bit unhealthily obsessed by it. And I’ve certainly fallen victim to that. I think people get obsessed with the building because it is the most beautiful cinema in the world. An extraordinary space. But it’s also amazing that it’s just sitting here on Swanston Street behind these closed doors. It’s not entirely visible, it’s a bit of a reveal – and there is treasure that lies within. It gives you a sense of the scope of the Griffins, and architectural impact they had globally. That’s how important this building is, it’s not just as an asset for Melbourne - but for the world.
ALUMNI Michael Johnston, alumnus, Creative Director, Momentary Films
In the film industry, as with any industry, community is really important - a place to share ideas as well as support each other. If at any time you’re struggling or if you’re trying to something get off the ground – you can meet people who have been there and done that. One of the most valuable things I learnt at RMIT was how to tell a story. I had a short film that was screened at Capitol, and it won an award, which was quite a special occasion for me - I think it was my first ever award. And it was great to celebrate in such a beautiful theatre before it was no longer used. I’d love for other students to have that same opportunity and same experience to have their own films shown and appreciated and celebrated in such a gorgeous place. Add in new technology – and the possibilities are endless.
STUDENT Bradley Dixon, Bachelor of Communications (Media)
The first thing you notice as you walk up the stairs is the amazing ceiling. The art deco design, and the great coloured lights, that’s not something you see in the usual cinema space. Growing up, as someone who is interested in creating content, you might not imagine that you could see your work projected in a space like this. It’s quite awe inspiring to see such an amazing, grand space, that’s dedicated only to showing that kind of material.
STUDENT Georgia Imfeld, Bachelor of Communications (Media)
I think one of great things about RMIT is the industry connection. And feeling, as a student, as though you’re part of the real world as well – I think there is a lot of potential with the Capitol for students to connect to the film industry which will create so many opportunities.
Join us to reimagine the Capitol Theatre.
RMIT will match all gifts to the appeal – dollar for dollar.