Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Tinseltoes on August 26, 2012 at 9:41 am

This 1937 trade article details recent renovations, and says that stage shows will never return to the Capitol because the orchestra pit has been covered over by six inches of cement and five rows of seats. Famous last words! Boxoffice

Tinseltoes on August 10, 2012 at 8:52 am

Sepia photo of the original Grand Lobby with white marble staircase to the mezzanine promenade: archive

Tinseltoes on July 16, 2012 at 7:31 am

Modernization described in this multi-page 1960 trade article: boxoffice

BobbyS on July 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm

No wonder the loews men were smiling. All this money without having to pay for a stage show and musicans and all the unions they had to deal with on a weekly basis. Just a few cashiers, ushers, and an organist or two and we are good to go!!! Probably the beginning of the end for the stage show. Radio City continued to the 1970’s.

Tinseltoes on July 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

Featured in this two-page trade ad in 1953: boxoffice

BobbyS on June 30, 2012 at 8:35 am

What a great photo Tinseltoes. That is some magazine you discovered..Even an empty theater such as this Capitol has magic !!

Tinseltoes on June 30, 2012 at 8:05 am

A dramatic photo taken during the $300,000 renovation of the Capitol Theatre in 1937 finally got published in 1946 on the front cover of this trade journal. By that time, exhibitors everywhere were eager to start rejuvenation projects that had been delayed by wartime restrictions: boxofficemagazine

Tinseltoes on June 29, 2012 at 7:10 am

The Capitol was spotlighted in this two-page 1944 trade ad for David O. Selznick’s wartime tearjerker, “Since You Went Away”: boxofficemagazine

Tinseltoes on June 23, 2012 at 7:44 am

Here’s a 1937 trade article about “modernizing” the Capitol Theatre: boxofficemagazine

Tinseltoes on June 17, 2012 at 8:39 am

Here’s a 1938 ad for a new seating project which reduced the Capitol Theatre’s capacity to 4,426: boxofficemagazine

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm

A fair point, bigjoe59. It should read that the theater was demolished after the roadshow engagement of “2001: A Space Oddyssey” was moved over to the Warner in September of 1968.

bigjoe59 on May 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm


a mistake of sorts in the intro needs to be corrected. true the Capitol was running the original roadshow engagement of 2001 in the late spring of 1968 shortly before it closed and was later demolished. but the roadshow run of 2001 did not end at this point as well. said engagement was switched to the Warner Cinerama at Bway & 47 St. where it continued to do good business for several more weeks.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Click here for an exterior view of the Capitol Theatre in 1931.

BobbyS on April 6, 2012 at 8:24 am

DEFG, You are a hoot. Thanks for details about film ratio. I am looking forward to the screening. I did see it around 1990 but don’t remember if it was scoped or not.I did see “Gone With The Wind” about the same time and the ads did say:First time enhanced wide screen. I thought it was breathtaking with no loss of film. Haven’t seen it again like that. Just 35mm on DVD. Oh well, “Tomorrow is another day”

BobbyS on April 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I will be seeing John Derek this Saturday night in a real live movie theater, the Portage Theater in Chicago, showing a pristine 35mm real film of “The Ten Commandments”. Should be quite an experience!!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I still remember the fine performance John Derek gave in “Exodus”, and millions will see him play Joshua when ABC shows DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” this Saturday night.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

John Derek: Then unknown, now unknown.

Tinseltoes on April 5, 2012 at 6:49 am

Sixty-seven years ago today, the B&W “I’ll Be Seeing You,” a wartime romance produced by Dore Schary for Selznick International, opened its NYC premiere engagement as part of the Capitol’s Easter holiday program. The UA release starred Ginger Rogers, Jospeh Cotten, and Shirley Temple, with the then unknown John Derek in a bit part. Headlining the Capitol’s stage show were Sammy Kaye & His Orchestra, with an audience-participation segment, “So You Want to Lead a Band?”. Also on the bill were the great Spanish-flamenco dancers, Rosario and Antonio, and ventriloquist Paul Winchell with “Jerry Mahoney.” During intermissions, patrons were invited to sing along with the Capitol’s resident organist, Ted Meyn.

Tinseltoes on March 25, 2012 at 8:04 am

Eighty-years ago today, MGM’s B&W jungle adventure, “Tarzan the Ape Man,” with “Adonis Swimming Champion” Johnny Weissmuller in the title role, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Capitol Theatre. Broadway musical comedy star Joe Cook topped the stage show, bringing with him some of the cast from his recent hit, “Fine and Dandy.” The legendary Yasha Bunchuk was conductor of the resident Capitol Grand Orchestra.

AlAlvarez on March 14, 2012 at 8:53 am

Eighty two years ago.

IreneTH on November 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm

“In 1952 stage shows ceased to be held.” On Dec 24, 1952 the film “Against All Flags” opened at the Capitol with a stage show featuring Johnnie Ray, Gary Morton, Georgia Gibbs and Ray Anthony and his orchestra. [NY Times, Nov 18, 1952: Column, “Of Local Origin” The column also states that “According to the management, this marks the the first time in a year and a half that the theatre has offered a stage and screen show. Stage and screen shows will be presented at the Capitol whenever the proper stage attractions can be booked, a spokesman for the house said yesterday.” My friends and I, all junior high students and big Johnnie Ray fans saw this stage show about 15 times! The stage show continued into January 1953.

BobbyS on November 13, 2011 at 11:37 am

Wow what a show and a movie too!! Inagine the choice for a New Yorker at that time. One movie palace after another to attend on any given day, Thanks Tinseltoes for the history lession..

Tinseltoes on November 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

Sixty-four years ago today, Columbia’s B&W romantic comedy, “Her Husband’s Affairs,” starring Lucille Ball and Franchot Tone, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Capitol as part of the theatre’s 28th anniversary celebration. But the BIG news was on the Capitol’s stage, with Frank Sinatra in his first Broadway engagement since becoming synonomous with the rival Paramount Theatre. Sinatra was now under movie contract to MGM, whose parent company ran the Capitol Theatre. Supporting Sinatra at the Capitol were comedian Lorraine Rognan and pianist Skitch Henderson & His Orchestra. An extra added stage attraction was the Will Mastin Trio, featuring Sammy Davis,Jr. Hey, who knew?