El Capitan Theatre

2353 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94110

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Showing 26 - 38 of 38 comments

kencmcintyre on February 29, 2008 at 7:38 pm

The facade is still standing. The auditorium is gone. I think there’s a parking lot behind the facade.

HowardBHaas on February 29, 2008 at 7:34 pm

How can it be a “recent” photo if the theater is demolished?

seymourcox on October 27, 2007 at 8:35 pm

When the United Nations was razed did the marquee move over to this house?
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kencmcintyre on March 18, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Here is a 1985 photo by Michael Putnam:

tomdelay on December 21, 2005 at 4:25 am

Ed Stout was more than correct about the “open toe” voicing of the organ. This was an average size organ trying to fill a large theatre with sound.

This organ has since been removed from the Fox-California Theatre in Salinas and is to now be installed in the 1922 Eberson Indiana Theatre in Terre Haute, Indiana. This will replace the similar, but much earlier Wurlitzer style 235 that once lived in the Indiana.

The organ will be installed by the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society.

kencmcintyre on December 21, 2005 at 1:32 am

This 1944 photo from the SFPL shows what appears to be a theater based on the vertical and the marquee. That being said, I have never heard of a theater being called “El Patio”:

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kencmcintyre on December 21, 2005 at 12:33 am

Here is a photo from 1928:

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kencmcintyre on October 29, 2005 at 8:43 pm

From the SF Public Library website:

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EMSIII on June 27, 2004 at 7:58 am

I always enjoy reading the comments from Gary and my good friend Jack Tillmany. The Wurlitzer in the El Capitan was a style 235, of three manuals and eleven ranks of pipes. That organ had “open-toed” voicing to fill the huge auditorium. I remember the piano being in the pit. Edward Millington Stout

Tillmany on November 30, 2003 at 12:27 pm

El Capitan opened on June 29, 1928 with Patsy Ruth Miller in
We Americans, a second run attraction. It was built by
Ackerman, Harris and Oppen at a cost of $1,250,000.
Boasting 2578 seats (not 3100 as noted above), it was the
largest and most opulent of the many Mission Street houses,
and the first to bring second run films in wide screen CinemaScope to the Mission Street neighborhood in the late fall of 1953.
Unfortunately, its size and grandeur, with inherent operating costs,
soon became a detriment rather than a benefit, and it soon fell victim to the inroads of television. It closed first on
July 24, 1956; re-opened on May 1, 1957, offering 3 features at
reduced admission prices, and then closed permanently on December 15, 1957.

GaryParks on January 11, 2003 at 9:28 pm

As of this writing, the Wurlitzer organ from the El Capitan is installed in the Fox California, Salinas, and has been used on a number of occasions.