El Capitan Theatre

6838 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 226 - 250 of 293 comments

RobertR on August 4, 2005 at 2:22 am

You bring up a good point, with all the money Disney put into the New Amsterdamn they pretty much left the old marquee. It’s not that it’s so nice that it’s considered a landmark.

BobT on August 3, 2005 at 11:52 pm

I visited this treasure only once in the summer of ‘96 to see the Disney’s yearly animated musical “The Hunchback Of Notre Dame”. Got there early but was still all the way around the block. By the time I got it seat it was the nosebleed balcony but it was still a fine sightline. With the film they had a stage show featuring Disney characters. I’ll assume there was no backstage at the time because there were large tents in the back of the place for the performers. I worked for the company that did all the menu signs and mylars for theatres and it was very cool to see the beautiful candy stands with my work hanging there. The marquee, even before the new animated panels was the most beautiful I have ever seen. In fact I was hoping for something as spectacular when Disney restored The New Amsterdam in New York. Alas, as amazing as that restoration was, the marquee was the only letdown. The El Capitan is everything this website is about.

uncleal923 on April 18, 2005 at 8:28 pm

I was talking about the LCD Screen Technology. It looked great under those lights from the earlier times, and added a nice modern touch.

JimRankin on April 18, 2005 at 6:27 am

Animated marquees are indeed wonderful things, and I fervently wish more theatres/cinemas had them! But it is a sad commentary about our society when we are marveling at an invention of 1900, now 105 years later, only because such artistry has all but vanished from our lives, lo these many years now.

uncleal923 on April 17, 2005 at 8:09 pm

Glad you were Bway

Bway on April 17, 2005 at 8:03 pm

It is. It’s been a few years since I have been inside. I was last in there for the live version of “101 Dalmations”, whenever that was out a few years ago. The inside was beautifully restored. As you were, I was also quite impressed with the animated marquee.

uncleal923 on April 17, 2005 at 7:15 pm

Last month I was in California and stood in the area around Grauman’s Chinese and the Le Capitan. I saw the marquis of the El Capitan and found it delightful. I never saw an animated theater sign before. I did not go inside, but I’m sure that old theater is as spectacular as that marquis.

GeorgeStrum on April 14, 2005 at 7:35 pm

The Theatre Historical Society of America will be visiting this theatre on June 22, 2005.

unihikid on April 6, 2005 at 8:29 pm

the old el capitan is known as the palace if that helps.i worked for pacific theatres “the grove” from 01 to 03,and they own the el capitan consession stand which i think is odd.after every two hours the whole staff gathers around and they read the “numbers” and they always take the count for the el capitans numbers.this may have been changed since the arclight is closer and is also owned by pacific.

trooperboots on January 10, 2005 at 9:22 pm

Sorry, one correction… the Montalban Theater was a movie house in the early 1930s, not 20s.

trooperboots on January 10, 2005 at 9:21 pm

The “other” El Capitan no longer goes by that name. The original El Capitan above was built in 1927 as a live theater. A few years before, the “Hollywood Playhouse” opened on Vine Street also as a live theater (it has always remained a live theater to this day). When the original El Capitan above became a movie palace instead of a live theater, (the late 1930s, if memory serves me) it was renamed the PARAMOUNT. It was around that time the Hollywood Playhouse on Vine Street became the new El Capitan.

Sometime in the 1940s, the Vine Street El Capitan’s name was taken back to be the “Hollywood Playhouse” and has remained that name ever since (except in the 1960s, when it was known as the “Hollywood Palace” because of the TV show which was broadcast from there).

The original El Capitan was renamed it’s original name by Disney when they bought it a few years back. This grand theater was mainly purchased as a venue for DISNEY premiers, which are a regular event these days. The theater is restored and glorious. There are some live events there, some are in conjunction with the films shown there, I am told. Check to see with the theater to be sure.

So when you visit, there will only be ONE El Capitan…. the original. The Hollywood Playhouse on Vine street is mainly for live popular music acts, from what I understand. Fortunately, it has remained largely intact over the decades, although showing it’s age. Neither of these theaters is to be mistaken for the Ricardo Montalban Theater (which they often are) on Vine Steet one block to the south. That was a movie theater in the 1920s, and so it has a link here on cinema treasures at /theaters/9863/

Here is a photo of the El Capitan theater (above) when it was brand new in 1927… notice the Roosevelt Hotel, where the first oscar ceremony took place, under construction a block further……

Here is a photo of the Hollywood Playhouse, which for a while was called the El Capitan (I believe the 1930s)… but today is a live music venue….

This is as much as I know. Hope it solves the confusion. Perhaps someone can go into greater detail on these 2 great theaters? Both have a great history.

uncleal923 on January 10, 2005 at 7:35 pm

Maybe I should explain. I heard the El Capitan has stage shows much like they once did at Radio City Music Hall in New York, near where I live. This would be a great return to the past. I plan to visit the LA Area in late March, and want to see a movie at one of these picture palaces.

uncleal923 on January 10, 2005 at 7:32 pm

Does the El Capitan have many stage shows?

William on January 10, 2005 at 12:24 pm

The other El Capitian Theatre is located at 1735 North Vine Street, almost across the street Capitol Records building.

Englewood on January 10, 2005 at 11:13 am

In an earlier posting here, Oct. 19, 2003, there is mention of another El Capitan theater. It was also used as a television studio. Where was it? In one of those El Capitans, Richard Nixon delivered his famous “Checkers Speech.” Which one, and where?

trooperboots on January 1, 2005 at 7:00 pm

I was raised in Hollywood in the 1950s and the El Capitan was called “The Paramount” in those days. There was a huge marquee over the entrance, and I found a photo of it as it looked then…..


Patsy on December 22, 2004 at 11:48 am

I just spoke with a friend who told me about this theatre so I then looked here and found it! Great find!

Bway on December 17, 2004 at 4:44 am

It’s a paradox. Although I did have comments in this theater thread before this, if you repied to any of the “poll” threads, you will get “just responded emails” to the corresponding theater with the same number. For example, if you participated in one of the polls that havd “17” at the end of it’s URL, you will get the responses from the theater with “17” on it’s URL, which happens to be the El Capitan theater.
I first noticed this happening with the Zeigfeld in Manhattan. Rigth after I responded to one of the poll threads that had “12” in it’s URL, I got “someone just responded to” emails for the Zeigfeld which has “12” in it’s URL.
It’s a glitch in the website code I guess.

uncleal923 on December 16, 2004 at 9:04 pm

Okay, I noticed a few names that are in the Loew’s Kings Message Board. I just figured that the people who don’t know about it, and helped with the restoration of the Cl Capitan, which I think I may have heard the name of, could help us. Furthermore, 3,000 miles is too far for competition between the theaters (file that under obvious to all).

uncleal923 on December 16, 2004 at 9:00 pm

I don’t know how I am getting replies for a comment I never made, but maybe you Californians can help me anyway. Maybe if some of you could go to the Cinema Treasures page on the Loew’s Kings. We are trying to restore this Brooklyn, NY, landmark. If some of you could give some suggestions so that the theater could be restored like the El Capitan.

Manwithnoname on December 16, 2004 at 9:28 am

Some of us old hippies remember the Earl Carroll Theater as The Aquarius where “Hair” opened. It is now the home of some Nickelodeon Channel productions.

William on December 15, 2004 at 7:57 am

The building next door to the El Captian Theatre is the former Masonic Temple in Hollywood.

And the theatre that Fox converted was the former Earl Carroll Theatre on Sunset Blvd., which Viacom uses for one of their children shows as a stage.

br91975 on December 15, 2004 at 7:22 am

Does anyone remember what theatre it was Fox bought and converted into the studio for ‘The Chevy Chase Show’ (which was on the air for about as long as it’s taking me to type these words in the fall of ‘93)?