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The Capitol (JD Wetherspoon), Forest Hill, SE23

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
11-21 London Road
SE23 3TW
Phone: 02082918920

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Pub Type

J D Wetherspoon

Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Lester Ford left this review about The Capitol (JD Wetherspoon)

2 visits on 2 successive evenings for a few beers to finish my evening’s off within the last couple of weeks.

Arrived at around 10.30pm both evenings and the pub (as always) was still pretty busy.

Swift service on both occasions and during these visits I drank Moorhouses Spring Watch @ 3.9% & Weltons St Georges Special @ 4.6%. As a fan of Moorhouses beers this was the slightly better ale.

Lovely old cinema, quick service (most of the time), cheap prices for London and convenient for the station and bus routes, what’s not to like!

On 8th May 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 80 recommendations about 78 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alan Winfield left this review about The Capitol (JD Wetherspoon)

The Capitol is a large Wetherspoons that is house in an old cinema.
Once inside you have to go up some steps to get into the main room,there are a few seats at the top of the steps,the main room looks very grand and is down a few steps,the bar is facing in what was probably where the cinema screen was,there are tall tables and chairs to the right and normal tables and chairs elsewhere.
There is the usual line up of pumps on the bar,i had a drink of Trumans Gypsy Queen which was a very nice drink,the other beers noted were Marstons one is 90,Great Newsome Holderness Dark plus the Spoons regulars Doom Bar and Ruddles best.
I quite liked this Spoons a lot grander and more civilized than some i have been in.

Pub visited 14/5/2016

On 3rd June 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Capitol (JD Wetherspoon)

Set in a majestic old cinema, and previously a music hall I believe, this 'spoons is one of the mosr impressive that you're likely to visit. You enter the orginal foyer (of course) with the ticket office on the right manned by a mannequin in full cinema livery; then up two or three stairs to a sort of interim platform with a dozen or do tables and chairs; then on down three or four steps to the main bar in the erstwhile cinema stalls. This is a massive room with loads of normal tables and chairs and tall tables/tall stools in it, but unusually for a 'spoons they've not crammed in as many as they could have done. The bar counter is at the far end where the screen and stage would have been.

What might be regarded as a drinking barn is vastly improved by the richness of the ornate music hall/cinema decor that has been retained. It's certainly a bit different from the majority of 'spoons. The usual cheap food and drinks are available here of course.

On 15th February 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about The Capitol (JD Wetherspoon)

Visit 18/12/2014
I turned up today half expecting it to be closed. Had a couple of pints both good. I got a far more optimistic reaction about the future of the pub than my last visit. Let's hope the gentrification brigade are on the run.

Visit 12/09/2014
Having been here a few times since my last ramblings about it I came back to find it much the same as before. Over the last five years there have been various rumours about the building reverting to a cinema. These rumours now seem to have become a reality. I asked the manager / duty manager about it and he told me that it would close just before or after Christmas but it depends on the resolution of issues between the cinema company and the Council.
Hopefully it will stay open long enough for the Autumn Spoons festival so I can make a final visit.

Visit 18/10/2013
As has been stated below this is an impressive cinema conversion, much better than the ubiquitous shops and is also GBG 2014 listed. I arrived here fairly early when there were a few of the older daytime Spoons types around and one or two having breakfasts.

Of the ten pumps one was unused, two were taken by Ruddles and Abbot, two ciders and five festival ales. I went for the Everards Pumpkin Ale and the Caledonian Ninkasi Cream Ale both of which were in good nick at £2.15. It's not a bad place at all and would return if in the area.

On 18th December 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Capitol (JD Wetherspoon)

Although many of Wetherspoons shop conversions are pretty drab affairs, they do seem to know how to look after some of their grander stock. The Capitol is a former cinema that opened in 1929, much of the elaborate art-deco/Egyptian style interior has been well preserved as has the cream tiled façade. Entering, a shuttered hatch to one side seems to be a separate coffee servery, this looks to be the original booking office, steps then lead to an upper seating area then down again to the main bar area where the bar runs along the back wall where the screen and stage would once have been. Looking up, the former circle area remains, decorated with a series of heads of Ceres, a Roman goddess. Four high level leaded windows must be recent additions following the pub conversion. The pub is carpeted mostly, the usual ranks of crammed in mixed seating and with high backed leather style benches around the side walls. Décor includes a few film related posters plus a homage to local boy David Bowie. Some outdoor seating is available to one side for the smokers in a scruffy looking concreted area.
Certainly an interesting building even if that well known JDW atmosphere is present along with the usual customer mix, there were clearly a few "all-dayers" in. Service was rather strange, several of the people waiting seemed to think that a queue system was the norm, which I ignored, naturally. A decent pint of Cotleigh Sea Hawk was finally obtained, not bad at £2.15 less 50p for my CAMRA voucher. Even if you're not a 'spoons fan, this Grade II listed building is worth a look and I understand tours are available by arrangement.

On 23rd February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1686 recommendations about 1662 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Capitol (J D Wetherspoon)

This impressive building began life as a music hall before being variously used as a theatre, cinema and bingo hall. It's now a Wetherspoons pub and as is often the case with this chain, a lot of the original features have been retained, so that it does actually feel like you're drinking in an old theatre. The facade alone is striking enough, but the interior is worth a look as well. You enter in to what would have been the lobby area, where there is, rather confusingly, a short stretch of bar counter where I expect the ticket office may have once been, which was shut on my visit. Steps lead up to the upper stalls - now a raised seating area with some very high backed leather banquettes and plenty of normal tables and chairs. The room then opens out to a large, lower stalls space, with the servery at the rear where the stage would have once been. The proscenium arch can still be glimpsed in places and there are two doors either side of the servery which have elaborate decorations and light fixtures above them. This part of the room is a large arc shaped area, with loads of seating, including more of the leather banquettes. By turning your back to the bar you can look up to the balcony which is adorned with twelve sculpted heads. A few pictures line the walls depicting scenes from old movies and there were the usual TV screens showing muted 24 hour news coverage. A door on the right hand wall leads out to a rather drab looking smoking area.
There are ten hand pumps, five of which had beers from the current festival, with three more offering festival ciders, whilst the other two had the regulars of Abbot Ale and Ruddles. I tried two of the festival beers and thought they were in pretty good shape, although the barman who served me was pretty surly.
I'm quite a big fan of these sorts of interesting Wetherspoons conversions and enjoyed spending a bit of time in here taking it all in. The large open spaces do seem to dampen the atmosphere somewhat but there were enough plus points to make me leave with a favourable impression.

On 16th October 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2446 recommendations about 2446 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Capitol (J D Wetherspoon)

This former cinema looks imposing enough from the street, but once inside the grand 1920s interior is really something to behold. Plenty of seating on two levels in the upper and lower stalls, but the bar looks slightly out of place because it is in front of the stage and below the natural eye level for such a building. Went at a quiet time so the atmosphere was rather cavernous with large spaces between each group of customers. Ten handpumps in two banks of five, one with the usual suspects and the other with some more interesting beers. These included two from Weltons of Horsham, both with the usual creative pump clip designs, and at £1.89 my pint of Moat Man (having a dig at the infamous MP Douglas Hogg) was good value.

On 27th March 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6000 recommendations about 6000 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john mcgraw left this review about The Capitol (J D Wetherspoon)

Large spacious open-plan Wetherspoon's that has been converted from an old cinema. Not much in the way of real ales but at least "Old Rosie" cider is on tap

On 3rd March 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2043 recommendations about 2024 pubs]