Thursday, 28 February 2013

Capitol and Dracula

The old Capitol building at Stamford Road. Taken in January 2013.


WHAT bits and pieces of memories do I have of this building?  Dracula movies in the late 60s and early 70s. Going there in a maxi with a lot of frills for a midnight show. The maxi (with a lot of frills) happened to be the fashion of the day in the 70s. You've got to wear this maxi with clogs -- those Dutch-looking ones. You wear them to discos too. There was a sort of dance where you had to stamp your right feet a few times (very impressive especially if you are wearing those wooden clogs), and then your left feet.   

Now, back to Capitol. The place smelled of stale cigarettes. The black marble floor (if memory served me well) are littered with cigarette butts. Guys in bell-bottoms hang around with the girls... smoking... chatting... sometimes they just sat on the floor before the plush velvet curtains drew apart to let in the audience for the next show.

Inside, if you are bored with the movie, you look upwards and see a beautiful dome decorated with zodiac signs. And if  the movie is sad, you could always divert your attention to the winged horse sculptures at both ends of the screen. 

2 comments:

Lay Tin Qua said...

Dear friend, many of our secondary days were spent watching Count Dracula movies which starred Christopher Lee.....who recently passed on. Adjacent to the cinema, there was this memorable "Merlin Coffeehouse" (if I remember the name correctly)and Art shop tucked away within this same row of colonial shop houses.

Why memorable? As students then, we didn't have enough pocket money (not like this new privileged generation with spending power..haha) Those days, it was not ordering what you would love to eat!!! Eyes scanned down the menu items to find and pick the cheapest item which your pocket could afford. We even joked about having to wash the dishes in the kitchen to buy our meals.

I secretly held this hope that there will come a day when I could order any dishes without constraint...haha! I wish to believe that that day has arrived for us and we will continue to have this "hau-fook" (Cantonese), loosely translated, good fortune to eat whatever one fancies. Cheers to more good food, & especially, good company!!!

Tienyin Lo said...

Hello, my good friend. Oh yes, certainly remember those days when we had to choose the cheapest in the menu to avoid washing dishes in the kitchen. Oh yes, Merlin was the name of that restaurant with the Ipoh hor fun. Straits Commercial is the name of the art shop which is now opposite Bras Basah Complex.

Now, though we may not be able to (and we don't want to anyway) order bear's paws, we can now afford to pick those not so far down the menu. Even then, I think Peking Duck and the more expensive dishes are sill rather a luxury. May not have to wash dishes, but may need to take bus for a month after Peking Duck. Hahaha.

Yes, cheers to good food -- and the best of company. Just want to add that Ms Qua's kitchen offers the best fare. No need Bear's Paw or Peking Duck.