How soon do they open? We sit in the car. Across the road is a building with folding partitions as a giant entrance. Two staff emerge and slide the doors open giving us access to this amazing building.
As you walk in, you pass a ticket booth with a mannequin head watching the people who go in and out. You see the café bar on your right as you walk into this expansive space. Turning around to face the way you came in you look up to see an upper seating gallery and round leadlight glass windows that have the letters ‘CT’ overlapping each other. And that is just the beginning!
As you look further up you will notice the ball lighting and criss-cross pattern on the high ceiling. Then I noticed light on the other side of the criss-cross. There is space above the pattern too. As I turn my attention I see a stage framed with gold trim and covered by red velvet curtain and projector screen. The music that is playing makes it feel like we are waiting to watch a movie or play. It feels exciting.
In the dining area is a range of places to sit. The chairs with their gold frames also match the curtain with their red velvet seats. It feels like we are in a royal palace. However, we are not dining with the queen. We are actually in the old Capitol Theatre building in Peterborough.
There are also lounge suites with the coolest pillows on them. There were hamburger pillows, an iced donut pillow and those sequin colour change pillows. They had blankets too in case you are cold. From the couches you notice posters all up the acoustic panelling on the side walls. Of the 80 posters I only recognise Goofy on one of them. The rest have characters that Mum recognised: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin and three people who, on the poster, are named as Howard, Fine and Howard. Mum laughed when she heard me read their names and called them ‘The Three Stooges’.
As I eat from the big serve of chips known as ‘heaven in a bowl’ I feel the sweet chilli and bacon flavours on my tongue with the smooth taste of the cheese and sour cream. As I eat I look at lots of old fashioned stuff: signboards, tins, books, laterns, film projectors, china and ornaments. A china doll hides next to one of the speakers too. The stage also boasts celebrities with Marilyn Munroe on a chaise lounge and the Blues Brothers on the corners of the stage. Blues Brothers is my Dad’s favourite movie so I can tell who they are.
All the things I see make everything at home feel very far away. And we are very far away too. After eating I head to the kid’s corner. There’s toys and colouring activities and lots of comfy things. It’s been lots of fun and lots of other children have been here with their families too. I think sitting in the car waiting for them to open was worth it. You should visit too.