Loew's Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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vindanpar on June 28, 2017 at 5:47 pm

There was a paperback book which I think came out in the 70s on the phenomenon that was 2001 which unfortunately I no longer have. It quoted Kubrick as saying or writing that he expected the film to have a 2 year Broadway run. It seems odd now if they knew already the Capitol was slated for demolition when the film opened and Ice Station Zebra needed NY’s only remaining Cinerama theater.

Anybody know how long 2001’s total Broadway run was between the two theaters? For a roadshow film sensation it seems to have been fairly short.

MarkDHite on June 28, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Notice that the photo of the entrance at the bottom of the page includes a banner promoting the Capitol’s closing night live gala show on 9/16/1968. It was hosted by Johnny Carson and featured Bob Hope and many other personalities from the Capitol’s heyday!

MarkDHite on June 28, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Here we go!


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 28, 2017 at 3:27 pm

I found a conflicting 1962 Variety story that says seating went from 5400 to 3662 in 1959 and down to 1552 in 1962. Half the balcony and a third of the loge were eliminated.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 28, 2017 at 3:11 pm

It went from 5230 to 4400 for Cinerama in 1962 (“The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm”)according to Variety. When “2001” opened in April 1968, the theatre was already targeted for demolition that September.

MarkDHite on June 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm

I think in the early 1960s when the theatre was renovated and redecorated (and the escalator installed in the lobby) the rear sections of the balcony were walled off, probably bringing the seating capacity into the 3000s. When the theatre was renovated again a few years later for Cinerama, the seats were removed from the rear orchestra under the balcony and actually replaced with a decorative Japanese-style garden and the front rows were also removed to accommodate the giant screen (never saw this but I remember reading about it and saw photos!). From this time until it closed the Capitol probably had about 1500 seats that were in use. I don’t know if the balcony was used at all at that time, maybe one of the CT members that post here would remember?

vindanpar on June 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm

I think Das Doppelte Lottchen would have been a better June school’s out film at the Hall rather than here.

vindanpar on June 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm

They could have sold it out and not have replenished the Millionaire souvenir book yet so you could have gotten it there. It was definitely not there when I saw the film at the Hall. Only the comic book which as I noted seems kind of strange.

In fact I was impressed when I was able to purchase it a few years later at how large it was. I assumed it was only available for roadshow engagements.

After Cinerama installation the Capacity would be a heckuva lot less than 4,000. You could probably find it was somewhere near 1,500 from old Varietys.

jordanlage on June 22, 2017 at 7:05 am

Trying to account for the discrepancy in seating at the Capitol. Here, capacity is listed as 5,230. Wikipedia entry says 4,000. Did it start out as the higher number and then at some point over a fifth of the seats were removed for… Cinerama installation? Also, to be clear, the entrance to the Capitol (the corner marquee) was on the southwest corner of Broadway and 51st St., judging from the photos. Some of the ads I see in the NY tImes states the address as Broadway & 50th St. (see 6/22/1934 ad for “Operator 13.”

bigjoe59 on June 15, 2017 at 11:25 am


to vindanpar-

I could swear I bought my The Happiest Millionaire souvenir program during its 1st run engagement at Radio City Music Hall. another thought- has anyone ever come across a souvenir program for Cheyenne Autumn which played this theater?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 15, 2017 at 7:57 am

Time for my annual post about seeing “2001” at the Capitol on June 15, 1968. Best moviegoing experience of my life. Next year: the big 5-0!

vindanpar on February 15, 2017 at 6:24 pm

When I saw Nicholas at the Criterion I could swear there was no souvenir book. As soon as I went to a theater back then it was the first I looked for.

However the film does have a souvenir book so I don’t know why it wasn’t being sold. The Criterion had men in tuxes hawking the souvenir books.

Earlier in the year when they had the reissue of MFL they had a soft cover abridged version of the original hard cover which I bought.

When I got to finally meet Jeremy Brett after Aren’t We All(this was right before his sensational portrayal of SH so there was only one other person there. After I’m sure nobody would have been able to get near him)I presented him with the program to sign. Fortunately he did not look for his bio because it had been deleted in the abridgement.

Radio City did not have the souvenir book for Happiest Millionaire though they had a comic book based on the story! Go figure.

bigjoe59 on September 9, 2016 at 2:14 pm


to vindanpar- in answer to your pointed “why does it matter in 2016” question the answer is simple. i have a decent sized movie memorabilia collection a big part of which are movie souvenir programs. to which there are a number of the big roadshow films which played the 7 Times Square theaters i mentioned in my original post that i have never come across a souvenir program for. so though ever roadshow film i went to had a souvenir program i wondered if some for whatever reason didn’t.

to patryan6019- thanks for the info about Patton. that was a big highly promoted roadshow film so i
am quite surprised it did not have a souvenir program. i wonder what Fox’s reasoning was. also for this theater i have never come across a souvenir program for Cheyenne Autumn which opened here Dec. of 1964 on a roadshow engagement.

vindanpar on September 6, 2016 at 9:02 pm

I know I’m the last person in the world who should be asking this question bigjoe59 but why in the world in 2016 does this matter?

For what it’s worth when I saw MFL in Jan of 71 at the Criterion though it was a Super Panavision 70 print it was continuous perfs without intermission and the souvenir program was a flimsy flyer compared to the hardcover edition of the original run.

patryan6019 on September 6, 2016 at 7:48 pm

bigjoe59…There were no programs sold in the US for Patton.

bigjoe59 on September 6, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Hello to All-

I thank everyone for their replies but the central question I asked in my original post still hasn’t been answered. of the 7 theaters in the Times Square area the studios used for most of their roadshow engagements(Criterion,Loews State, RKO Palace, Demille, Warner, Rivoli and Loews Capitol)does anyone know of a roadshow engagement at one of those 7 theaters that did not have a souvenir program? thanks in advance for any info.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm

A quick check on ebay shows programs on sale on all those titles, bigjoe59, although the TANGO program is Japanese.

bigjoe59 on September 2, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Hello to All-

to patryan6019- i have souvenir programs for all the films you listed except Last Tango In Paris, Young Winston, The Last Valley or Ryan’s Daughter. in fact i don’t think LTIP had one. and eventhough i saw TLV in its first run engagement at the Rivoli twice i never remember seeing one for sale. also i saw RD at the Ziegfeld twice and again don’t remember a program being sold.

to Coate-

i am aware several other theaters in Manhattan hosted roadshow engagements. in fact i went to all the ones you listed. what i am trying to find out is if any of the roadshow engagements that played the 7 big theaters in the Times Square area i listed in my original post did not have a souvenir program.

patryan6019 on September 1, 2016 at 11:41 pm

Ryans was a very limited roadshow because most engagements were not using 70mm prints, a sign of the impending end of the real processes being replaced by blown up 35mm that in no way could compare to those images and actual 6 channels of sound.

Coate on September 1, 2016 at 7:54 pm

FWIW, “Ryan’s Daughter” actually was a roadshow in some locales. In most major markets it was a reserved performance engagement (including the NYC run), but it played with reserved seating in markets in which it was booked into a Syufy theater (i.e. San Jose, Orange, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, etc.). And in Chicago the engagement at the Michael Todd switched to a reserved-seat policy a few weeks into the run.

vindanpar on September 1, 2016 at 5:40 pm

I couldn’t believe my bad luck.

When I was finally old enough to go on my own to roadshow films(my parents thought people were crazy to pay those prices when you could fill up the station wagon and take the entire family to a drive-in with kids getting in free-think the perfect drive-in double bill: My Fair Lady and For Those Who Think Young) I got stuck with Fiddler at the Rivoli, oy, and Nicholas at the Criterion.

And flame throwers couldn’t get me into Tora Tora Tora or Florence Henderson in Super Panavision 70.

Then they bring back Lawrence and put it in the Rivoli. Perfect right? No. They show the cliff notes version.

Life, as they say, is not fair.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Another roadshow-era oddness that always gets ignored is “I AM CURIOUS (YELLOW)” at the Evergreen in Greenwich Village.

MarkDHite on September 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Gosh I think I saw all of those films first run. But not in NY.

vindanpar on September 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm


But I agree with you.

Except for Ryan’s Daughter which is a pretty great film. The storm alone is one of the most stupendous sequences ever put of film. Lean hadn’t lost his touch but got put through the meat grinder by those wretched New York film critic hacks who couldn’t review a grocery bill without mucking it up.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 1, 2016 at 9:44 am

Good grief, with that line-up of roadshow offerings it’s a good thing theaters didn’t have the new reclining seats or the racket of snoring would have drowned out the soundtracks…!