Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on February 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Hello-

that is most certainly true but those plaques honoring former Loews theaters are in many cases wrong. for instance the one for the Capitol says it was torn down at the end of 1967 which we all know is not true.

theatrefan
theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Auditorium #6 in the Sony/Loews Theatres Lincoln Square complex on New York’s Upper West Side is named in honor of this former Loew’s Motion Picture Palace.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on February 11, 2015 at 8:59 pm

Hello-

i thank my fellow posters for their replies. I still would love to know why Paramount chose not to open it on a roadshow engagement.

also I wonder what the audience’s reaction was
in 1956 to seating thru a 3hr. 28min. film with
no intermission.

Stephen Paley
Stephen Paley on February 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

“War and Peace,” which opened at the Capitol on August 22nd, 1956, following an invitational VIP screening the previous evening. It was treated as a “normal” release, with no roadshow or reserved seats, and at the Capitol’s regular price scale of $1 to $2.50 tops (depending on time of day). Though running time was 3 hours and 26 minutes, “War and Peace” was shown at the Capitol without an intermission to enable four performances per day.

jamestv
jamestv on February 10, 2015 at 3:40 am

Are we talking about the same War And Peace? If this book says that War And Peace from 1956 was one of the last roadshow runs in Manhattan, then where does that put all the roadshow runs that came after it!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on February 9, 2015 at 11:02 pm

Hello-

the book I mentioned does in fact state that W&P’s run at the Capitol was a roadshow engagement. in fact one of the last roadshow runs in Manhattan The Trojan Women starring Katherine Hepburn played the Fine Arts Nov. 1971 is mentioned nowhere in the book. in my review on Amazon where I bought it I suggested the author do a revised edition to correct all the factual errors.

three quick questions about War and Peace from 1956.

*it was a large scale historical epic the typical roadshow material and just about 3 and a half hours. so why didn’t Paramount choose a roadshow run for it?

*since it was 3hrs. 28mins. did it at least have an intermission? eventhough as you say it was run on a continuous performance basis I can’t believe they’d run such a long film straight thru.

*since it was a prestigious exclusive 1st run engagement did it at least have a souvenir program?

patryan6019
patryan6019 on February 9, 2015 at 4:37 am

bigjoe59…Does this book say where W&P played as a roadshow? It’s first engagement was in NY at the Capitol where the 8/22 ad states — “Regular continuous performances start TODAY. Doors open 930 am. Come anytime between 10 am and 845 pm and see a complete showing of the picture”. It was the same in Hollywood(Paramount) and Chicago (State Lake) — markets 1, 2 and 3. Also Boston (Metropolitan), Toronto (Imperial),DC (Capitol) and at least 9 others I checked. For a movie to be a roadshow ads must say “All Seats Reserved” or “Reserved Seats Only” and sell first tickets by mail order starting at least one month before opening. This is the one unique requirement. It doesn’t have anything to do with length, intermission, souvenir programs, process, etc. This picture was not a roadshow. The book is wrong.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Hello-

thanks for your reply. according to “Movie Roadshows” by Kim Holston is was a roadshow run. 3hrs. 28mins. seems awfully long certainly in 1956 for a continuous performance film without an intermission.

patryan6019
patryan6019 on January 26, 2015 at 6:49 am

bigjoe59…Simple—it doesn’t have an intermission because it wasn’t a roadshow. You always ask questions but never answer any. Your “rather large collection of souvenir programs"should answer my questions of Sep 14 on the Embassy 1,2,3 page. Can’t you help me with this?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 25, 2015 at 11:28 pm

Hello-

this past Tues. Paramount Home Video released a blu-ray disc of War and Peace from 1956. to which i have two questions.

*the blu-ray disc has a running time of 3hrs.
28mins but there’s no intermission. i can’t
believe the film didn’t have an intermission
during its roadshow run.

*i have a rather large collection of souvenir programs. now in all the years i’ve been collecting them and in all the memorabilia shops i’ve been in i have never come across a souvenir program for War and Peace. did it not have one?

William
William on July 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm

The NYC roadshow run of “Cheyenne Autumn” was also about 8 weeks too at the Capitol theatre.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 1, 2014 at 1:26 am

to William-

thanks for the info. as you state the 179min. cut was just used in previews and was cut to 158mins. for the premiere roadshow runs like the one at the Capitol. so however long the film’s roadshow run was at the Capitol the Dodge City sequence was intact the entire run and was only cut for the general release prints which went to neighborhood theaters around NYC.

William
William on June 30, 2014 at 11:32 pm

The film previewed at 179 minutes, but audience reaction was poor and the studio recut the film to 158 minutes for the roadshow engagements. The general release version runs 148 minute. On the west coast it roadshowed at the RKO Pantages Theatre, but that run was just 8 weeks. Their next roadshow was not till July just like the Capitol. I don’t have a number for the roadshow run at the Capitol. It may have a low number of weeks too.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 30, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Hello-

a further question about Cheyenne Autumn. was the engagement of the film which opened Dec. 1964 a traditional 2 shows during the week and 3 on the weekend roadshow engagement?

Bobb
Bobb on June 30, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I saw comments on the Screen at the Capitol. It was also perforated and I was in the theater when they installed it. It was strips of material so it could hung from top to bottom and be able to have a curve. Before the Cinerama was installed. David Selznick visited the Capitol. He wanted to do a stage production of “Gone with the Wind” and discussed with my Dad his plan for placing equipment in do be able to show the burning of Atlanta. Mr. Selznick produced the original Gone with the Wind for the Screen.

The Capitol had a great stage.

Bobb
Bobb on June 30, 2014 at 6:49 pm

You are correct. It was 1959-1966. He then became a district manager. Thanks for the correction.

Bob

William
William on June 30, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Bob , Congrats on your fathers 100th birthday. But the Capitol Theatre did not make it into the 1970’s. It closed in 1968 with the film “2001” (24 week run at the Capitol). “2001” moved over to the Warner Cinerama to finish the run that started at the Capitol.

Bobb
Bobb on June 30, 2014 at 6:16 pm

I just wanted to announce that my father managing director for the Capitol during the 60’s and 70 s. just had his 100 birthday were we honored him for being our Dad (Edward Brunner) but also for his 45 years with Loews Corporation including being manager of Valencia, Queens and the Loews New Rochelle, NY. He started as an usher for the Loews 83rd Street and remember leading Babe Ruth to his seat giving my father a tip. Ushers had to wear gloves.

This was the start during the depression for his career. I spend all my weekends as a kid going with my Dad to work and hanging our with the managers along Broadway.

I went on to both Graduate from the American Film Institute and then make documentaries for the U.S. Navy.

Bob Brunner

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Hello-

thanks for the info on Cheyenne Autumn. another question. from when i went with my parents to when i started going by myself one thing i always liked about reserved seat engagements was buying the souvenir program in the lobby during intermission. i have approx. 135 in my collection most of which i bought at theaters. others were purchased in memorabilia stores. which is where my question comes in. did Cheyenne Autumn have a souvenir program? i can’t imagine a big epic like CA with a big director and big stars released on a reserved seat engagement not having a souvenir program. yet in all memorabilia stores i have been to and all the online memorabilia sites i have looked at i have never seen one. in fact there are a few others big even award winning reserved seat films i have never come across a souvenir program for. i always thought roadshow engagements and souvenir programs were inseparable like peanut butter and jelly.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 16, 2014 at 10:31 pm

to AL A-

you are always quite helpful with my questions. to which could you please go to the Strand/Warner Cinerama page and see if with your font of knowledge you can answer my question about The Greatest Story Ever Told which opened at that theater Feb. of 1965. thank you.:–)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

According to the NYT in April 1955, the Paramount VistaVision screen was 64ft x 35ft, the Roxy Cinemascope was 64.5ft x 26.5ft, the Warner Cinerama was 67ft x 24.5ft.

BobbyS
BobbyS on June 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Thanks Robert….Once in awhile I see the ToddAO name in the credits of todays movies. I wonder if it is the same process being used. Even the largest screen in a multiplex, not counting IMAX, is not even close to the Michael Todd’s screen. I can only imagine the thrill of the Capitol’s.

RobertEndres
RobertEndres on June 16, 2014 at 8:19 pm

In answer to BobbyS' questions: ToddAO was Mike Todd’s answer to Cinerama. He’d been in volved with Cinerama and wanted a process to emulate it with the picture “coming out of one hole” as opposed to the three projectors required for Cinerama at the time. The process was named after him and the American Optical company which developed the 70mm process for him. “Around The World In 80 Days” was his signature picture in the process. In a sense it combined the wide screen of CinemaScope with the sharpness of VistaVision which used two frames of 35mm moving horizontally through the camera to provide a larger negative.

Coming from Illinois I saw quite a few 70mm presentations at the Michael Todd, and I suspect the Capitol’s screen was much larger. The Michael Todd was converted from a legitimate theatre (either the Selwyn or the Harris I can’t remember which was which since they were both taken over by Todd and were side by side – the other house was the Cinestage after Todd took it over and was also 70mm equipped), therefore it wouldn’t have been as large as the Capitol which was a true “movie palace”. Nonetheless, the screen had great impact because it was proportioned to fit the house just as the Capitol’s was.

BobbyS
BobbyS on June 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Thanks AlAlvarez. Was this screen as large as the Capitols? I remember seeing “Around the World in 80 Days” at the Michael Todd theater in Chicago in a very large cinerama-type screen. I believe it was super 70mm because there were not the usual 3 panels, but the screen was as large as Cinerama. Also what did Todd-AO mean? Was that a form of Cinemascope only larger? Thanks everyone. Glad everyone is back……..

BobbyS
BobbyS on June 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Thanks AlAlvarez. Was this screen as large as the Capitols? I remember seeing “Around the World in 80 Days” at the Michael Todd theater in Chicago in a very large cinerama-type screen. I believe it was super 70mm because there were not the usual 3 panels, but the screen was as large as Cinerama. Also what did Todd-AO mean? Was that a form of Cinemascope only larger? Thanks everyone. Glad everyone is back……..