El Capitan Theatre

6838 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 251 - 275 of 298 comments

uncleal923 on December 17, 2004 at 12:04 am

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 17, 2004 at 12:00 am

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 12:28 pm

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 10:57 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 10:22 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)?

Bway on December 14, 2004 at 10:02 pm

The building to the right of the El Capitan that now is the studio fo Jimmy Kimmel Live, appears to have been a bank at one time, but I am not sure.

br91975 on December 14, 2004 at 8:23 pm

What did the building located to the right of the El Capitan house, prior to serving currently as the studio from which ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ is broadcast and, previous to that, display space for interactive exhibits tied into films being shown next door?

RobertR on December 14, 2004 at 10:15 am

I still don’t know why Disney does not try this policy in New York.

Manwithnoname on December 14, 2004 at 10:09 am

Yes, I worded my previous post poorly. There was a “generic” show but not specifically tied to the movie being shown. However, that $15 price is to sit on the sides both on the floor and in the balcony only. To sit in the center section on either level is a whopping $24.00!! On holidays, such as Christmas, the $24.00 price is expanded to include the entire front of the balcony. Child and Senior prices apply to the sides only, all ages pay full price in the center. When “Pirates of the Caribbean-Curse of the Black Pearl” returns in January expect to pay $19.00 for the center sections. I do not know if a show comes with that one.

dave-bronx™ on December 14, 2004 at 2:06 am

At Loews we had a ‘Code of Conduct’ poster that was posted near the entrance and ticket taker, but we only put it up when we had a picture that attracted a particularly raucus crowd.

JakeM on December 14, 2004 at 12:02 am

No, I think what Manwithnoname means is that the live show that precedes the movie is a generic “Disney” one, that is not related to The Incredibles. The ticket for a movie alone is $11 (i think) which is the same as the regular price ticket at the Chinese.

RobertR on December 13, 2004 at 10:39 pm

Wow they get $15 for the movie alone?

Manwithnoname on December 13, 2004 at 9:58 pm

Waiting for the show to start at the Chinese I passed by this theater (see above why I will never attend again) and saw posted out front a “code of conduct”. I have never seen such a thing posted in front of a box office which talks to every patron like they are 5 years old. Add to this a $15 ticket price with no special live show for The Incredibles. Incredible!

JimRankin on November 18, 2004 at 10:25 am

I seem to recall that the the ‘Farwell’ concert was recorded and published some years back, and likely someone knows where you can obtain a copy. Contact your local theatre organ society (a list of them is at www.atos.org or www.theatreorgans.com)) and most any member will have a list of the various outfits that distribute and sell such recordings.

LCHEFF on November 17, 2004 at 10:31 pm

I recalled a story a friend told me about this organ that used to be in the San Francisco Fox when I saw a piece done on it in a PBS series called “California Gold”. A couple of her brother-in-laws were into electronics and had a repair shop in Dixon, CA and when they heard the San Francisco Fox was being closed, they got permission to go in and record the musicians who came to play the Wurlitzer “one last time”. She had so enjoyed hearing these performers and this marvelous instrument. I hope the nephews and nieces have preserved these recordings and that they are played so others can enjoy the experience as much as she did. I was please to learn that the instrument had not only been “saved” but was played in a setting much like its original home.

William on October 28, 2004 at 6:01 pm

When Pacific Theatres took over the Paramount Theatre. They ran it into the ground, by booking B type studio film into it. When SRO ran the theatre they cared about it. Most of the time the balconies in many of the theatres would go unused because the films that were booked into the theatre, produced lesser numbers in box office. With that your theatre had a budget for tickets sold to how many floor staff that you could have working on a shift. If the film was a dog you could not open the balcony, because you would have to staff that extra usher and bring in an extra cleaning person to clean the balcony. It does not sound like much to have that extra person or persons. But the janitors position at these theatres were a part of
the union.

JimRankin on October 28, 2004 at 12:24 pm

Ed, another reason many theatres didn’t open their balconies was that their insurnace carriers forced them to pay a higher premium for the time the balcony was open, and often also added terms such as a specified minimum of ushers up there, guaranteed working aisle lights, repaired seats, etc. Also, many fire codes specified a certain minimum number of working lights —usually set by the building inspector during an inspection —and many theatres did NOT maintain any more lights than they were forced to! Yes, they were cheap about it, but then the owner was only interested in profits, not beauty of theatre!

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on October 28, 2004 at 11:46 am

Here Here Ed, I Agree!

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on September 6, 2004 at 6:45 am

One more comment, if I may:

When I worked at the Paramount Theatre, I never understood why we didn’t open the balcony. It was a beautiful balcony, which few theatres could boast of, and the only time we EVER opened it was on Friday and Saturday evenings when we expected the lower section to fill up.

Payroll, or course, was the reason. If we OPEN the balcony each day then we have to CLEAN the balcony… which costs money. By keeping the balcony closed we save money.

Hogwash. We should have allowed patrons to view the movie from the balcony if the wished for each and every performance. So WHAT if we spend a few dollars more cleaning it each night! Big deal. Instead, what do we do? We keep it closed and thus rob countless people of a wonderful movie experience by not allowing them to watch the movie from there. Were we not in the ENTERTAINMENT business?

If we HAD opened it, we probably would have sold a few more tickets each night, which right there would have paid for the additional time our janitor needed to clean it. How many Hollywood theatres at that time had such balconys? Very few, I know that.

SRO was a WONDERFUL company to work for and throughout its organization were MANY bright and hard-working individuals. But like many other companies, we often went overboard trying to save pennies.

My hat is off to Disney for their glorius restoration.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on September 3, 2004 at 12:27 pm

The following paragraphs were taken from an old SRO company newsletter, dated in the fall of 1979. Mark G. Lindermann wrote the article:

“Patrons of SRO’s Paramount Theatre in Holywood recently witnessed a massive facelift taking place in the classic house. District Manager Mike Scheff worked long hours with architects in order to come up with renovations which would compliment the Paramount’s classic lines while at the same time modernizing the theatre’s appearance and improving its efficiency.

When SRO first took over the Paramount in the fall of 1976, their first actions were to renovate the sound system of the house, installing the most up-to-date facilites. Once the sound system and projection booth had been overhauled, SRO went to work on the cosmetic appearances in the lobby.

A new candy stand was constructed last summer, in earth toned tile which reflects the color of the architecture of the theatre’s late 1920’s consctruction. The entire lobby and stairwell of the Paramount’s first floor are carpet weave which closely approximates the weave of the theatre’s original carpeting. The ceramic tile of the candy stand blends nicely with the new decorative tile on the lower ceilings: gold shot through with deeper toned gold veining.

While the lobby of the Paramount is already quite spacious, an illusion of ever greater depth is gained while at the same time tying together the themes of the concession stand, carpet, and ceiling by mirroring the lobby and outer auditorium walls. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors marbled with gold are used here, cut and installed at angles to catch and toss about the light, creating a most unique and fascinating effect.

Along with the lobby, all of the Paramount’s lower auditorium seating, almost 1,000 seats in all, have been recushioned and recovered in a rich and plush deep red mohair, once again adding to the flavor of the house’s heritage."

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on September 3, 2004 at 4:55 am

I have very many fond memories of this theatre. I worked here as an assistant manager in 1982 or 1983. It was known as the Paramount Theatre then, operated by SRO.

I can recall many sellouts. Even before the recent 1990s renovation, it was an abolute beautiful house, and was considered one of SRO’s flagship theatres.

A couple of films that I vividly remember showing are Death Wish III (parts of this movie were filmed directly across the street!) and Prince of the City.

Movie stars attending the theatre was a common occurance. For it was here that I met Chuck Norris and got his autograph.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the Paramount was a live play theatre. As an assistant manager, I had access to all of the wonderful rooms behind the movie screen. These rooms, 50 years ago, were the dressing rooms, bathrooms, etc. from those early vaudeville days. We used some of them for storage but most weren’t used at all. I remember there were several floors and all were dirty, filthy, broken down and downright scary to be in at night. (I suppose 30+ years of neglect can do that.) But at the same time, it was wonderful to go back there, get lost, and explore that section of the theatre. Even all of the neglect and disrepair could not erase the history and nostalgia that I knew existed within the walls.

William on August 31, 2004 at 3:17 pm

The theatre is a beautiful place, but most of it is Disney-Deco.

Bway on August 31, 2004 at 3:12 pm

I have only been in the theater once, and it was to see the 101 Dalmatians – the one with actors, not the animated version.
It was a beautiful place indeed, although I preferred the Chinese Theater across the street.

Mark1 on July 26, 2004 at 5:29 pm

Have heard Linda Evans once worked at the candy counter in this theatre.

William on May 25, 2004 at 8:50 pm

Brucec – That’s a good idea, but one problem with that plan was during the 80’s and 90’s. When every major theatre was showing First Run movies. The best business was always at the Chinese Theatre and the ones that were near. During that time Hollywood Boulevard and the movie business was changing. Because if you booked the same type of film (Drama, Comedy etc…) into the Chinese and the Hollywood
Pacific Theatres. The Chinese Theatre would have better grosses. During the 60’s-70’s, you could play anything on the Boulevard and do well. When I was in Los Angeles, I projected at many of those theatres along the Boulevard. The Chinese could play anything and make money. But during that time the Hollywood Pacific and the near by theatres, did well with action, horror features. When during the 80’s when SRO Theatres were still in the Los Angeles market. They did well with the Paramount and the Crest Theatres. But when Pacific Theatres took over the Paramount, they booked lesser type features on to that screen (“Superman IV”, “Caddyshack 2”, etc..) One of the Best things I remember about the Paramount Theatre. Was they had the Best Theatre Hot Dogs on Hollywood Boulevard.
Over the years each chain showcased different studios on their screens. And that sometimes would change very fast from year to year.
Like during the 50’s-70’s the Pantages Theatre, Pix Theatre Warner Theatre were booked with alot of Warner Bros. product. During the 50’s -60’s the Egyptian Theatre played many MGM features. During the early days the Chinese Theatre play Fox and UA feature, since both companies owned the theatre.