Loew's Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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RobertR
RobertR on January 22, 2007 at 1:31 pm

A Windjammer re-release in Cinerama
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BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on January 2, 2007 at 2:15 pm

I remember reading as a kid those early 50’s ads about “open ‘till dawn” and then cross-checking the column of “Show Times” in the NY Daily News to see how the theaters managed to do what they claimed. Here’s how: the last stage show began just after midnight, drawing in the Times Square crowds after the ball fell. It was followed by the film, which then ran continuously until dawn. Truth in advertising: the bottom line of the ad would have read “Last complete show starts at midnight” (even the ad that Warren posted reads “Last complete show starts tonight (Friday)10:15 p.m.”). Eddy had to get some sleep before starting up the next day’s first stage show a bit after noon.

As it happened, I attended that memorable show at the Capitol at the age of seven and reported on it above, Feb 15 2005. To save you the scroll, here’s an excerpt: it “accompanied the ’49 Christmas presentation of “Adam’s Rib,” which I saw as a consolatory turn-away from the long lines for “On the Town” at RCMH. Hardly a consolation prize, the film was great, and the stage show offered a pitch-perfect match. It featured Eddy Duchin and his Orchestra, with some impressive finger-work at the piano in classical-sounding pieces (Chopin?) that drew the attention of even this mass-pop-culture-bred kid. I sensed that something larger that what I knew was happening. And I liked it even better than the flashy acrobat act that was more obviously but pleasantly designed for my boyish tastes.” Evidently the name of that acrobatic act was “The Kanazawa Trio”?

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on January 2, 2007 at 1:19 pm

I don’t think there was an outcry when any of the grand Times Square palaces were demolished. People just didn’t care in the 1960’s.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 2, 2007 at 11:41 am

Saps: To be fair to your parents, I was 13 at the time and the whole demolition-of-the-Capitol thing was kept pretty quiet. I saw “2001” there in June of 1968, and I couldn’t believe it when I found out that beautiful theater with the tremendous Cinerama screen was closing. There was a very short mention of it on the Today Show one morning in September. In my mind the movie was a hit, so why was the theater being torn down? I knew nothing about economics and Manhattan real estate – the demolition deal was probably made long before “2001” even opened there.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 2, 2007 at 11:19 am

As I posted back in 2004, it kills me to know that I was alive when the theater closed (though still a youngster living in the suburbs.) Actually, maybe I should kill my parents instead for not realizing what we were about to lose and taking me to see it.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 2, 2007 at 10:26 am

Got it! I’m still wondering… did they have the stage and screen show running continously through the night? The overtime pay must have been great for the performers if so!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 2, 2007 at 10:08 am

Maybe that Friday night wasn’t New Year’s Eve? Hold on – I’ll check the World Almanac …

In 1949 New Year’s Eve was a Saturday, so they were advertising the all-night show a day early.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 2, 2007 at 9:59 am

If the last complete show started at 10:15pm, how on Earth did they remain open until dawn?!? Did the movie play continuously without the stage show during the wee hours?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on November 1, 2006 at 9:14 am

That’s the Capitol all right. Check out the picture at the top of this page – the windows above the marquee are still the same in 1968.

RobertR
RobertR on October 9, 2006 at 3:56 pm

A classy pre-opening ad for Gone With the Wind

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williamburge
williamburge on October 5, 2006 at 5:02 pm

Thank you bill huelbig for your kind comments on one of the GREATEST SCIENCE FICTION FILM EVER MADE PLANET OF THE APES STARRING THE GREATEST ACTOR IN FILM CHARLTON HESTON. MR HESTON IS A CLASS ACT AND A TRUE GENTLEMAN—A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 18, 2006 at 8:27 am

August 1939: One of the Capitol’s most memorable shows.

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Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 15, 2006 at 2:54 am

Thanks for the ads, williamburge. I love how Pauline Kael says “You’d better go see it quickly” … before one of your friends can’t resist giving away the ending. I’m sure that happened a lot with that particular movie.

William
William on September 14, 2006 at 3:04 pm

Those figures shows that the two First Run theatres in NYC, how they did during the first, second and third weeks of release. So to say that those figures are meaningless, You have to read up on those Variety trade ads. The studios put ads in the trades to show the industry and talent how the feature is out grossing the other pictures and still holding over. And those numbers are very good for a single screen during that time.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on September 14, 2006 at 3:02 pm

Warren— Thanks for the notes on MGM’s Realllife Process in “Billy the Kid,” which opened on 17 Oct ‘30. Within two weeks (30 Oct), Warner Bros. debuted its own VitaScope process (unadvertised in the NYT ads) in “Kismet” (with Otis Skinner and Loretta Young!) at the Hollywood on a two-a-day/reserved-seats basis. While the Roxy abbreviated its live acts when it showed “The Big Trail,” at least the Capitol gave you a complete stage show at standard prices. What swell class!

williamburge
williamburge on September 14, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Here is an movie ad dated feb 12,1968 from the loews capitol theater when planet of the apes played there to view go to View link

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 1, 2006 at 9:00 pm

Archer Winsten’s New York Post review (4/4/68):

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Goodheart
Goodheart on September 1, 2006 at 7:54 am

Most of these critics that panned “2001” didn’t want to look like dummies, and tried quickly to redeem themselves at year end, for making a dreadful mistake on their parts.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 1, 2006 at 7:49 am

Ed: Strange thing about the 1969 Almanac’s Movies page – all the 1968 releases were listed with their star ratings EXCEPT “2001”!

Tonight I’ll post the New York Post’s negative “2001” review. Critic Archer Winsten was baffled and annoyed by it, and called it the first time Stanley Kubrick lost touch with his audience. At the end of the year, he included it in his list of the Top 10 films of 1968!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 1, 2006 at 7:39 am

Man, Bill Huelbig… You just reminded me of the old World Almanac’s that used to come out yearly. I remember having the 1976 edition as a kid. I loved that movie section! There was a recap of all the movies issued in the previous year (so all of 1975 in my case) and the star ratings as per the Daily News reviews. Plus I remember in the back of the book a listing of nearly every celebrity you could imagine with dates of birth, birthplaces and – if appropriate – dates of death! I wonder if I held onto that almanac anywhere. I have to dig around my Mom’s house and see!

Anyway… lots of critics missed the boat on “2001”… only to offer reappraisals in the months and years following its initial release. Most famous of these is probably the venerated Pauline Kael of the New Yorker.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 31, 2006 at 7:13 pm

Wanda did like it! She wrote about it in the 1969 World Almanac’s Movies section and called it a “grand spectacle”. There was also a Daily News editorial written soon after the premiere which praised the movie. I looked for it today at the New York Public Library, but I didn’t know the exact date and was unable to find it.

Goodheart
Goodheart on August 31, 2006 at 7:06 pm

No doubt, we needed Wanda Hale of the New York Daily News to review “2001”.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 31, 2006 at 6:56 pm

The day after Carroll’s review appeared, this ad made me feel a little better. MGM even managed to include some of the good things Carroll said about the picture:

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BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on August 31, 2006 at 6:42 pm

Our dear, sweet Kathleen Carroll sounds like Miss Manners in that woefully begotten review, no?