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The Capitol Pub

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by Mike Whyte (subscribe)
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Published September 7th 2014
A pub with a grand history - and a secret

The Capitol in Forest Hill has a secret, and it is one I am about to reveal to you right now...

That's right, in this rather glamorous looking former cinema, there is something any fan of popular culture should seek out, but more about the building first.

The building itself was once in danger of demolition, after its closure as a pub in 1973. This would have been a real shame if you look at the beauty of the building, which is in original 1920's Art Deco style. During its life as a cinema it changed its name to the popular brand ABC, before finally ceasing to function in 1973. The building then underwent a transformation, becoming a bingo hall up until its closure again in 1996.

Desperate times followed, as the building was allowed to fall into disrepair, and as I previously stated, near demolition. Luckily Weatherspoons stepped in and brought it back to something like its previous beauty, though this time as a pub, which it remains to this day.

Being that it is a Weatherspoons pub, you know what to expect - famous brands for incredibly cheap prices - with craft beers now also being an option - cheap and cheerful pub food - and that secret that I mentioned at the beginning...

If you head into the pub and turn right before heading to the bar, look over at the corner wall to see a rather intriguing triptych/ shrine to David Bowie.

The connection of the pub to the singer? Well David Bowie was of course a resident of South London as a child - being born in Brixton, and then going to school in nearby Bromley.

So, next time you're in the area, go have a pint with Bowie in your local cinema pub - then you really have a story to tell your mates...

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Why? It's a pub with a grand history - and a secret
When: Mon - Sun: 8am to 11pm
Phone: 020 8291 8920
Where: 11-21 London Road Forest Hill Greater London SE23 3TW
Cost: Cheap (it's a Weatherspoons pub)
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