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Our History

Our History

The recent refurbishment of The Capitol is just one chapter in a long history of entertainment and the arts in Horsham.

The site of the current Capitol was originally an ABC Cinema. First opened in 1936 as a one screen with a 900 seat capacity, it was then just one of many cinemas in Horsham.

The original Capitol theatre (after which, the new arts centre is named) was actually situated a few minutes walk away on the site that is now Marks and Spencer. With its closure in 1983, the council purchased the ABC on North Street and developed it into the Horsham Arts Centre. This opened its doors to the public Christmas 1984.

After nearly 20 years, Horsham Arts Centre closed its doors in January 2002 and so marked the beginning of what was arguably the most ambitious and impressive change to the town’s key entertainment centre. A massive £6million refurbishment was completed this September 2003 and the result is a stunning arts complex that melds the elegant art-deco features of the original ABC with an innovative and modern design for the 21st Century. After being closed for just 20 months, the exciting new venue offers unrivalled all round facilities including a theatre, 2 cinemas, studio, gallery space and stylish café and lounge bar.

 

ABC Cinema C.1982

ABC Cinema C.1982

Horsham Arts Centre C. 1984

Horsham Arts Centre C.1984

Photographs West Sussex County Times

 

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