A fourth generation family run theatre serving Muskoka for over 80 years. Presenting first run movies in a vintage building. Contemporary visual, sound and seating in climate controlled comfort. For 24 hour movie info call (705) 789-2171 or visit us @ capitoltheatrehuntsville.com
The Giaschi Family History In Cinema
The Giaschi family has been in the cinema exhibition business for over eighty years. Joseph Giaschi built his first theatre The King George in Huntsville in 1926.
Joseph operated it successfully for twenty years with the aid of his two sons Andrew and Frank. In 1937 he rented the Strand Theatre at 75 Manitoba Street in Bracebridge. In 1939 Mr. Giaschi added to his list the Port Colborne theatre with a seating capacity of 1000. In the late 1940's Joseph with his sons started construction of two new theatres. The Capital in Huntsville with a seating capacity of 750 was opened on November 2nd, 1948. The original King George he eventually converted into a bowling alley.
On Tuesday July 19th, 1949 The Norwood in Bracebridge opened with Little Women to a capacity crowd. The Strand Theatre was then closed. Recently the Strand Theatre building under went a major renovation bringing the faĆ§ade back to its early theatre days. Currently it is operated as a retail store.
After Mr. Giaschi's death one of his sons Frank operated The Capitol in Huntsville. Eventually it was sold to The Stinson Company from Barrie Ontario.
His other son Andrew took over The Norwood in Bracebridge. Andrew owned and operated the Norwood until his death in the mid 60's. In 1965 one of Andrews's two sons Larry Giaschi with his wife Marion and six young children purchased The Norwood Theatre in Bracebridge. He soon built a restaurant called Norwood Place next door to the theatre. This was his vision of dinner and a movie for Bracebridge. In the 70's Larry purchased The Muskoka Theatre in Gravenhurst. He ran it until it closed in the early 90's.
In the Early 80's Larry converted The Norwood into a two-screen theatre. In 1991 he converted the restaurant by adding an addition creating a third screen. Thus, the Norwood Cinema Three name appeared on the Marquee.
Gina Giaschi Mitchell and Brian Mitchell Purchase The Norwood
Prior to Larry's death in 2001 one of his daughters Gina Giaschi Mitchell and her husband Brian Mitchell purchased the cinema. With their purchase the Giaschi name is now in its fourth generation of family business.
In 2002 Gina and Brian began updating the three theatres with new technology on the projectors, new screens, new sound systems and new seating. The Marquee was as well rebuilt to today's standards yet keeping with its original design. In 2002 a private not for profit film group called Spinning Reels was formed. Since opening night at The Norwood they have successfully presented "Movies with a Difference" every month. The smallest theatre has been outfitted with special presentation equipment for a variety of private rental options. Sales presentations, birthday/retirement parties, Caribbean DVD wedding receptions and home movies on the big screen have all been presented.
In June 2007 New Line Cinema in association with Alliance Atlantis and Universal Studios choose The Norwood for an advance screening of Hairspray for their top international executives along with invited industry guests. Again in 2008 Universal Studios in conjunction with Alliance Films presented an advance screening of The Incredible Hulk at The Norwood.
Gina Giaschi Mitchell and Brian Mitchell Purchase The Capitol
In December 2008 Gina and Brian purchased The Capitol Theatre from The Stinson Company. Restoration of the building and major renovations began immediately. The theatre was reopened in late March of 2009.
In October 2013 The Capitol began the transition of converting 35mm film equipment to Christie digital cinema projectors. The units chosen feature Academy Award winning DLP Cinema® technology. In addition we have been intergrading Dolby CP750 Digital Cinema Processors with Dolby Digital 7.1, Dolby Digital Surround EX, Dolby Pro Logic®, and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding to deliver the best in surround sound before and during the show from all content.
Now for over 60 years The Capitol continues to welcome our own communities, our seasonal cottagers who come home to Muskoka from near and afar. Our patrons as well have been coming here for generations to share in the history of a family tradition.