Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I think the reason “2001”’s Cinerama run in New York was so short is because MGM had “Ice Station Zebra” ready to go out, and there was only one Cinerama theater in New York at that time. So they sacrificed “2001” in Cinerama to make room for “Zebra”. But the 35mm version of “2001” played in only a handful of theaters in Manhattan until March 1969, so the movie played New York for a week or two short of one year before going into wide release.

bigjoe59 on September 15, 2013 at 11:51 am


I was fortunate to have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey twice at this theater during its 2 a day “in Cinerama” roadshow engagement. I believe said engagement lasted on 24 weeks due to the Capitol closing prior to demolition. but the exact same engagement moved 4 blocks south to the Warmer Cinerama where it ran
another 13 weeks. the reason I bring this up is simple. when I found this out rather recently I was shocked that the film’s Manhattan roadshow run was only 37 weeks. compare this to the 2 a day roadshow engagement at the Warner in Hollywood which lasted 103 weeks and the 2 a day roadshow run at the Golden Gate in San Francisco which lasted I believe 72 weeks. and does one explain that?

AlAlvarez on September 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Perhaps “2001” with a live orchestra is not a bad compromise.

Sept. 20-21.

Tinseltoes on September 6, 2013 at 7:35 am

You might also look in Billboard microfilm for the information that you can’t find in Variety. Billboard also reviewed vaudeville and movie palace stage shows until it switched exclusively to covering the music industry…And the skips in Variety might just be due to hold-overs. The Capitol’s programs didn’t always change every week.

paulaeisensteinbaker on September 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Thanks, Tinseltoes; I’ve been reading Variety (which luckily is in a univ library in my city), but it occurred to me that someone might have evidence from some other source. And Variety occasionally does skip a week in reporting on the Capitol (or fail to mention the overture in a given week).

Tinseltoes on September 4, 2013 at 11:55 am

By the time of its 1968 closure as a Cinerama showcase, the Capitol’s seating capacity had been reduced to 1,950, critic Bosley Crowther noted in The New York Times on 9/16/68.

Tinseltoes on September 4, 2013 at 7:17 am

Although it would be very time consuming, Paula, you could probably find the date in the archives of weekly Variety, which reviewed each and every stage presentation in the history of the Capitol Theatre. But to take a guess, I would say that overtures were dropped when the Capitol switched from self-produced stage revues to a variety/vaudeville format employing “name” headliners and supporting acts. That was probably 1930-31, as the Depression worsened. Some public libraries in large cities have Variety on microfilm in their research departments.

paulaeisensteinbaker on July 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Does anyone have specific information about when an overture stopped being part of the show at the Capitol?

Thanks for any leads. I’m still looking for programs from the 1920s, too.

bigjoe59 on June 20, 2013 at 11:47 am


shouldn’t the last line in the intro be changed? the original Cinerama roadshow engagement of “2001” did not end when the Capitol was closed previous to being demolished. it immediately continued at the Warner Cinerama at 47th St. and Bway.

BobbyS on June 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Ofcourse you are right, I was speaking in general and the way the nation looked compared to the problems of the cities today.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

1958 was a great year if you were a straight, white Christian male. Otherwise, you may have encountered some roadblocks.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

1968 was a bad year in American history, but a great year for American movies. And British movies, if you count “2001” as British, and if you consider the year’s Oscar-winning Best Picture “Oliver!”

BobbyS on June 19, 2013 at 9:29 am

You are all correct. 1968 was terrible. I was mistakenly thinking of 1958, which of course was a better year.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 19, 2013 at 8:35 am

This season of Mad Men takes place in 1968. They’ve already dealt with the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, and the Chicago anti-Vietnam war riot at the Democratic National Convention. Characters have gone to see “Planet of the Apes” and “Rosemary’s Baby”. I hope someone goes to see “2001” – season finale is this Sunday. If they do go, it’ll be at the Capitol.

AlAlvarez on June 19, 2013 at 7:27 am

Bobby, 1968 was one of the most tumultuous and violent years ever.

BobbyS on June 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Thanks Bill…..Wonderful ads..What a kinder & gentle world it was when “2001” opened…and you saw it at the Capitol !!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm

In honor of the 45th anniversary of seeing “2001” at the Capitol this past Saturday 6/15, I’m posting this article from LIFE magazine 6/7/68. I read it in a dentist’s office back then and haven’t seen it since, until today.

Tinseltoes on June 18, 2013 at 7:25 am

The Capitol’s longtime telephone number of CIRcle 5500 is now 247-5500 and assigned to the Nook Restaurant at 746 Ninth Avenue.

Tinseltoes on November 14, 2012 at 7:06 am

Who knew that within a few years time, Lucille Ball would become Queen of the entertainment medium known as television?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 14, 2012 at 6:13 am

Excerpt from Bosley Crowthers' NY Times' review of 11/14/47:

“What with Frank Sinatra as the star of the Capitol’s stage show, it wasn’t likely that much attention would be paid to the film on the screen. So the management has graciously provided the least temptation in this respect — a feather-weight farce, from Columbia, entitled ‘Her Husband’s Affairs’…But in nonsense as well as serious drama, there must be a pattern, a plan, to sustain the humor. This film has none. Mr. Sinatra, take it away!”

Tinseltoes on November 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Sixty-five years ago today, Frank Sinatra left his traditional berth at the Paramount Theatre to headline the 28th anniversary program at the Capitol Theatre. Sinatra was now contracted for movies to MGM, whose parent company controlled the Capitol. Sharing the stage bill were comedienne Lorraine Rognan, Skitch Henderson & His Orchestra, and the Will Mastin Trio (with a future member of the Sinatra Rat Pack). Occupying the Capitol’s screen was Columbia’s B&W comedy, “Her Husband’s Affairs,” starring Lucille Ball and Franchot Tone. Doors opened daily (except Sunday) at 9:30am, with resident organist Ted Meyn performing at intermissions.

Tinseltoes on October 29, 2012 at 11:34 am

Pictured in a two-page 1944 trade ad starting here: Boxoffice

CSWalczak on October 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

What I really like about the photo selection system here on CT is that it is basically democratic; the photo that comes up is the one most visitors are currently choosing to look at as the photographic memory of choice, rather than just a fixed arbitrary view of what one person believes is the most representative view of the theater.

That shot of the Cinerama screen and the ones of its marquee showing “2001” are my favorite photos of the Capitol, so I am not going to join any crusade to change it. One can always click on the photos tab and savor any other photo one likes for as long as one likes. If the lead photo changes later on, I think that is just fine, but I do not think any photo should be locked in there as being the best or most representative way the theater should be remembered.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

You’ll have a better shot of jacking up the numbers on one of the older photos. Like the marquee shot from the “2001” engagement. The current curved screen image has 355 hits!

Tinseltoes on October 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I first complained about that photo being positioned in the introduction in a post here on September 6, 2011, at 6:39am, which is MORE THAN A YEAR AGO! Check it out if you don’t believe it.