Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 126 - 150 of 857 comments

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?

BobbyS on October 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Wow!! I bet nobody forget that experience.. Thanks Tinseltoes for your updates. Just imagine, all that for a couple of dollars…..

Tinseltoes on October 14, 2011 at 7:36 am

Sixty-eight years ago today, Universal’s Technicolor remake of its silent Lon Chaney classic, “Phantom of the Opera,” opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Capitol Theatre. Claude Rains played the title role this time around, with Nelson Eddy and Susanna Foster as the singing romantic leads. Advertising described it as “The Picture That Has Everything,” but the Capitol’s stage show was even more outstanding, with Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, the Deep River Boys, Peg Leg Bates, Patterson & Jackson, and Ellington soloists Betty Roche, Johnny Hodges, and Ray Nance on the bill. A special added stage attraction was Lena Horne, “loaned” by MGM, which now had the rising star under exclusive contract.

AGRoura on September 6, 2011 at 6:42 am

You are right Tinseltoes.

Tinseltoes on September 6, 2011 at 6:39 am

The B&W photo displayed in the introduction could be of any theatre, and hardly does justice to one of the largest and most influential buildings of its type in the world. Many consider it the masterwork of Thomas W. Lamb, but I can’t find even a trace of that in the picture.

paula_eisenstein_baker on September 4, 2011 at 9:10 am

Hi Tinseltoes, thanks for the suggestions. I’ve been through the material at Lincoln Center, including the scrapbooks that the Capitol (NOT the Roxy!) kept, and I have read Variety, Billboard, many of the NY newspapers AND the papers devoted to the movies in the 1920s (as well as The Metronome, Musical Courier, Musical America, Musical Digest, etc.). Zeitlin was mentioned in a Capitol press release in 1927 (the text of which appeared in a number of papers), and his death, in 1930, was reported almost everywhere (from the NYTimes on down). So you certainly could have come across his name.

Zeitlin receives credit for a couple of his overtures in theatre programs that I have seen, but Yasha Bunchuk (the conductor at the Capitol, beginning in 1929) is credited with several others that (I think) may have been composed by Zeitlin. Hence my interest in finding programs.

Tinseltoes on September 4, 2011 at 7:47 am

Thanks, Paula! Over the years, I’ve seen mentions of Leo Zeitlin’s name, but I can’t recall in what context. Have you gone to the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center in NYC? You should begin by looking in the card catalogs for the music, theatre, and dance divisions. Also, the theatre division has a substantial collection of bound volumes of Roxy Theatre programmes from the start into the 1930s. Programmes for later years can often be found in the clipping files for the movie playing at the Roxy at the time. Also, from the time the Roxy opened, its stage shows were always reviewed at some length in the vaudeville section of weekly Variety. Lincoln Center & the Business Library at Madison & 42nd both have Variety on microfilm.

paula_eisenstein_baker on September 3, 2011 at 7:25 am

Thank you for writing, Tinseltoes. Sorry! The man’s name was Leo Zeitlin (1884-1930), and I’ve been able to document that he composed many arrangements for the Capitol from the playlists kept by WEAF in the 1920s. Most of his arrs were played on the Sun evening Capitol Theatre radio program (the playlists are in the Lib of Congress Music Section, Dept of Recorded Sound), but by 1929-30 he was also writing overtures for the theatre, and those MAY have been credited to him in the theatre programs, which is why I’m eager to find any that I can.

A colleague and I have published Zeitlin’s chamber music (I can provide information about that volume, if anyone is interested), and we are working on an edition of one of his overtures (from Sept 1929).

Tinseltoes on September 3, 2011 at 6:53 am

It would help if you actually named the man who wrote the musical arrangements. Or is that part of the question— to learn his name?

paula_eisenstein_baker on September 2, 2011 at 11:03 am

I’m writing about a man who composed musical arrangements for the Capitol Theatre between 1925 and 1930. Does anyone know of collections of programs from the Capitol for that period other than those at the Theatre Historical Society? I’ve found only one posted on the web. (This query is addressed especially to Tinseltoes and Warren G. Harris, if they are still reading this list.) If private replies are appropriate, use

BobbyS on August 6, 2011 at 8:11 am

It is so wonderful to read all of these dates and I enjoy them so. In many ways you keep the Loew’s Capitol stll “alive”. Thank you.

Tinseltoes on August 5, 2011 at 6:38 am

Fifty-eight years ago today, Columbia’s “From Here to Eternity” opened its world premiere engagement at the Capitol Theatre, where the B&W drama was presented on the panoramic wide screen with stereophonic sound. Two of the film’s stars made guest appearances in the Capitol’s lobby to greet their fans and to hand out autographed photos—Donna Reed from 10 to 11am, and Deborah Kerr from 8:30 to 9:30pm. Co-stars Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra could not attend, and cabled regrets.

Tinseltoes on July 21, 2011 at 7:20 am

Seventy-eight years ago today, the Capitol made history by presenting the incomparable Ethel Barrymore in her very first engagement on the stage of a motion picture theatre. With a hand-picked supporting cast, Miss Barrymore performed James Barrie’s famous one-act play, “The Twelve Pound Look.” Preceding the playlet was a variety bill with dancers Harrison & Fisher, singer-composer Harold Arlen, and Phil Spitalny & His Orchestra. On screen in its NYC premiere engagement was MGM’s B&W melodrama, “Storm at Daybreak,” starring Kay Francis, Nils Asther, and Walter Huston.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 18, 2011 at 7:11 am

BobbyS: It was the most incredible movie theater experience I’ve ever had, before or since. The size and shape of the Capitol screen, combined with the greatest science-fiction movie ever made – nothing else will ever come close!

BobbyS on June 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Thanks Bill. It must have been something to see at the Capitol. Going to see a major motion picture in a one screen palace really made the whole experience something special!!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 15, 2011 at 7:48 am

43 years ago today – a life-changing event. I saw “2001” at the Capitol. I try to commemorate it every year here on this page.

Tinseltoes on June 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Status needs to be changed from “Closed” to “Demolished.”

Coate on May 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

AGR, there’s nothing wrong with thanking someone for a comment you appreciate, but in this case you look like a fool for having stormed off in a huff only to reappear a day later. And where’s the apology for your nutty YELLING claim of my ignorance? (Don’t you feel like an ass now that you realize I was correct all along?)

AGRoura on May 4, 2011 at 9:29 am

Michael, I was not commenting or giving an opinion, just wanted to thank REndres. Anything wrong with that? He deserves my thanks for the detailed explanation, period.

Coate on May 4, 2011 at 9:02 am

AGR, you’re back. What happened to “OVER AND OUT”?

AGRoura on May 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

REndres, thanks for the detailed explanation.