El Capitan Theatre

6838 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 126 - 150 of 293 comments

Patsy on May 27, 2008 at 9:06 am

The photo shows the name PARAMOUNT though the marquees are different if you compare the photo you posted to the one on this link.

Patsy on May 27, 2008 at 9:04 am

Warren: Fabulous 1956 photo!! Must rent that Hitchcock thriller.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 8, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Patsy and William: I don’t think the reference in Karol’s book could be to the El Capitan on Vine. From the early 1940s until 1949, the El Capitan on Vine Street was the venue of Ken Murray’s Blackouts, an extraordinarily popular stage review which ran for 3,844 performances, so I doubt the theatre would have been available for any other purpose.

Desi Arnaz was the bandleader on Bob Hope’s weekly (Tuesday night) radio show in 1946 and 1947, but I’m pretty sure the show originated from the NBC studios at Sunset and Vine, and the band would probably have been in the studio, as a rule.

It’s possible that the book is correct about the venue, though. Maybe Arnaz and the band did play at the Paramount Theatre at least once during 1947. Paramount’s production and exhibition arms were still united in 1947, and Bob Hope’s movies were released through Paramount. Any or all of his 1947 films (he made three that year) are likely to have had runs at the Hollywood Paramount. If so, then a remote broadcast of the radio show from the theatre (with Arnaz leading the orchestra as usual), to promote a Bob Hope movie, would not have been out of the question.

I’m just speculating about this, of course, but such an event at the Paramount seems more likely than an appearance by the Arnaz orchestra at the El Capitan on Vine in that year.

Patsy on May 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm

William: Thank you and I shall advise the author of this.

William on May 8, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Patsy, I think they have it wrong about the info on your last post. The theatre they must mean is the old Hollywood Playhouse which was a legitmate theatre on North Vine Street. That theatre opened as the Hollywood Playhouse, but around 1942 it was renamed El Capitan Theatre when the original El Capitan Theatre was renamed the Paramount Theatre. The Hollywood Playhouse (new El Capitan) was used as a radio studio for many years for many major stars radio shows. Later that theatre was used as a TV studio and was knew as the Hollywood Palace. But in 1947 the theatre located on Hollywood Blvd. was known as the Paramount Theatre. I posted alittle history on this thread back on Nov. 12th. 2003 Ziegfeld Theatre:37pm.

Patsy on May 8, 2008 at 4:10 pm

I just picked up a copy of the 4th Edition of Lucille Ball: A to Z by Michael Karol and in it on page 114 there is mention of this theatre….“This is the Hollywood Boulevard theater in which Desi Arnaz and his band played for Bob Hope’s radio show in 1947.”

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 28, 2008 at 10:04 am

This is a long string. So forgive me if this has been posted.

I went looking for a photo taken after the 40’s conversion, and found this:

View link

Photo is about halfway down on right.

unihikid on February 27, 2008 at 6:35 am

i remember when they were remodeling it.my mom worked in the office building next door to it and we would go to hamburger habit for lunch.the last movie i saw in the paramount was “the new pippi long stalkings”(i think,i was only 9),after resto i saw a screening of dumbo,we sat in the balcony.now lets hope someone does something like this with the warners/pacific 123!

JohnMessick on January 24, 2008 at 11:33 am

Hollywood90038…great pictures, thanks for posting them.

William on January 24, 2008 at 10:16 am

Kirk, the move-over for “Earthquake” from the Chinese was to the Paramount Cinema as what the ad that Ken MC posted on Nov. 21, 2007 for March 1975.

Bway on January 24, 2008 at 9:37 am

Ironic you should post these photos….I saw 101 Dalmations on the marquee….and that’s the movie I saw in the El Captian, the only time I was ever inside….only difference was it was the “live” version of 101 Dalmations. This has to be almost 10 years ago or so.

KJB2012 on January 14, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Earthquake with Heston did open in Nov 1974 but at the Chinese across the street.

kencmcintyre on December 1, 2007 at 10:51 am

I tried that. After a few minutes, it switches to another page with no photos. This is the only way to do it.

kencmcintyre on November 28, 2007 at 7:01 am

Here is a view of a 1956 premiere at the Paramount:

kencmcintyre on November 21, 2007 at 8:39 am

Lorne Greene played Ava Gardner’s father. I think they were about five years apart. A classic.

kencmcintyre on November 5, 2007 at 7:15 am

Here is a June 1934 ad from the LA Times:

exit on October 22, 2007 at 9:46 pm

It’s a kind of soap bubbles. Very very light, they burst on contact and they’re gone. Disney uses it in the Holiday Fireworks at Disneyland. Just like a rain effect, the stuff shoots upward, then breaks up and scatters as it falls. If you look carefully you can see where it shoots from. This is an easy way to create a goosebump inducing effect, like blasting confetti, sparklers, or streamers. Pretty much every stage show at the El Capitan uses some form of this, except the sparklers and snow don’t require any cleanup.

silver on October 22, 2007 at 9:05 pm

When Chronicles of Narnia was playing, during the pre-show presentation, I remember the El Capitan had “snow” fall from the ceiling over the main floor. And with the theatrical lighting it looked very impressive.

Anyone know did they did the effect? The “snow” never reached the floor (at least nothing fell on me in my seat’s location), so I don’t think it was real man-made snow.
Maybe tiny particles of dry ice that completely evaporate while falling? (I’m assuming some standard theatrical showcraft technique)

terrywade on August 26, 2007 at 10:42 am

Thanks for some history on the CineMiracle system. I am so glad I got to see all the 3 proj Cinerama films in San Francisco at the Orpheum Theatre and some at the Warner Hollywood. At least like the El Captian these theatres are still around. Now lets get someone with a lot of $$$ and buy the Warner Hollywood from the Formans at Pacific Theatres and put back in Cinerama/ Todd AO and show all the 70mm roadshows with new prints for the out of town tourists that go by the chained up Warner. What a place for Cinema history. The tourists have money to spend in Hollywood and are tired of what is out on the streets of Hollywood in 2007. Bring back the 50’s experience for a new generation that is getting bored staying at home watching DVD’S. Bring on the Cinerama Pink curtains and put in the largest curved screen in the world in Hollywood. The out of town tourist crowd walks past the Warner Hollywood most don’t even go down to the Cinerama Dome complex or even know about the Dome Theatre on Sunset Blvd.

veyoung52 on August 25, 2007 at 7:08 pm

sorry about that last snip of this posting…

Terry: “Cinerama Stanley Warner was so upset that someone came along ‘National General’ and made a better Cinerama type system.”

That began way back in history. In brief: originally, the patents for the CineMiracle camera optical system were offered to Cinerama, Inc. which didn’t have the $ to pay (this was before the C'rama Inc, C'rama Prod., & SW-Cinerama trio was formed). On the projection side, R. McCullough of Nat'Gen'l who held the patent for a CineMiracle mirror-type projection had borrowed Act 2 of “This Is Cinerama” to run his projector tests. All was happy and Cinerama wasn’t too concerned about a future rival when, at the LA preem of “Cinerama Holiday,” Louis deRochemont, who had produced “C..Holiday,” got into a shouting match between the C'rama folks and the Nat'l Gen'l people and decided to take his next project over to the CineMiracle camp, claiming that the latter process was superior to what Cinerama could offer. This project is what eventually became “Windjammer.” When Cinerama’s 4th outing “Search for Paradise” tanked at the boxoffice, and “South Seas Adventure” was not yet ready for release, everybody concerned kissed and made up, and petitioned the Dept. of Justice to allow leased Cinerama houses to run non-Cinerama films, namly the CineMiracle “Windjammer” now “presented in Cinerama;” and over the next few years Cinerama incorporated a lot of CineMiracle’s innovations, particuarly on the projection side.
As for your next item, “…people brought the new DVD and didnt know about the preshow music,” in the Ziegfeld Theatre pages there’s a post about one customer at the “Lawrence” showing last year who complained to the
manager during the overture that the sound was on but there was no picture.

veyoung52 on August 25, 2007 at 7:06 pm

to the
manager during the overture that the sound was on but there was no picture.

terrywade on August 25, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Veyoung. I heard the Cinerama people when they bought out the CineMiracle system destroyed most of the photos of the 3 or 4 USA installations. You never see any photos of the CineMiracle curtains or screen anywhere around. You can see some photos of the CM booth setup in old Boxoffice mags. Can you imagine the El Capitan/ Paramount Hollywood from it’s 70mm Roadshow days with a big wrap around curved screen. The El Cap doesn’t seem as wide or deep as the guys across the street at the Graumens Chinese Hollywood. The only way they can do it is start the big curve more on the stage then bring out a little to the sides. I hear from a friend Ted from THS he saw the CineMiracle set up at the Chinese in 1958 and it was so big and curved he said that it took along time just for the curtains to open. Must have looked nice. Someone has photos; one of these days they will turn up. Cinerama Stanley Warner was so upset that someone came along ‘National General’ and made a better Cinerama type system. To bad they ran out of money and had to sell out fast with only one film.‘Windjammer'ended up at most Cinerama Theatres after the CineMiracle limited run. In off Disney times the El Capitan needs to run a 70mm week of films and curve the screen a little. Bring back the Roadshow days for a new generation to see. Gone are the days of 6 Track Mag Sound, Intermissions, Programs, and Pre show music on the film track with Exit music. I can’t believe the people at Sony just released a DVD of Columbia’s 'Funny Girl’ taken from the Roadshow print I guess; and they go and put 3 or 4 minutes of BLACK screen over the new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix open Overture. Why didn’t they put in some curtains at the start of the video and open them like they did when the movie played at the theatres. I know a lot of people bought the new DVD and didn’t know about the pre show music open and tried to return the DVD saying it was bad. No picture but had sound at the top. Wake up Sony! Go out and film some Theatre curtains (If you can still find some) and re do the opening on some of your roadshow Columbia prints to video. At least the new younger crowd that buys a DVD can see what went on in the 50’s and 60’s In the Roadshow Theatres like the El Capitan. I will never forget the time I saw ‘Funny Girl’ on the new big curved D-150 screen down the street at the Egyptian. I think It was a 70mm scope blowup and looked and sounded great.