El Capitan Theatre

6838 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 151 - 175 of 287 comments

William on August 25, 2007 at 9:30 am

I’ve been back there, when I worked for Mann Theatres and also down under the stage areas.

KramSacul on August 24, 2007 at 11:59 pm

The sound at the El Capitan is indeed good even if it’s a little low (probably not to scare the kids). I’m curious how big the screen speakers are as they have to be hung behind the screen to accomadate the various stage shows.

I think the stage at the Chinese was taken out or reduced decades ago sometime in the 50s. Anyone been back there?

William on August 24, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Disney/Pacific knowns how to run a good show and the sound is good in that house. Disney has Dolby in for a sound call on all openings of films and their studio tech staff is outstanding, having worked with them on many film openings. The theatre projectionist does not change the levels of the surrounds as Terry thinks. Having worked the theatre in the booth, the only control the projectionist has is the main fader in the booth. The SPL on the main channels should be 85dB and like 82dB for the surrounds. Some people like to run their surrounds above the normal level and think its the right way.

Well the Chinese can’t have a stage show because they have no stage left there, it’s the THX speaker wall and storage.

kencmcintyre on August 24, 2007 at 8:31 pm

This ad for Citizen Kane, playing at the El Capitan, was dated June 1, 1941. If you’re familiar with the film, you will recall that RKO was under a lot of pressure from the other studios to destroy the negative and in fact was offered a sizable amount of money to do so:

terrywade on August 15, 2007 at 7:34 pm

The stereo surrounds are never up. They are on so low you won’t hear them. Turn down the stage speakers and turn up the surrounds. As you know surround sound speakers are never to up to hi, they are just a effect channel. But on many Disney movies the whole surround experience is lost, is the theatre to wide for you to hear the surrounds if your in the middle? Please Pacific/Disney bring in some Dolby THX guys and do a sound balance. Don’t let the surrounds not be heard. I can’t believe at a a big opening some of the Disney sound guys must be in the house, they worked hard on the stereo soundtrack, don’t they notice things are off at this Disney showcase. Probably some old lady complained the surrounds were to loud and some projection guy turned them way down. This is a class showmanship Theatre. Look across the street and the poor Chinese can’t compare. No stage show at the Chinese, sometimes they don’t even close the Chinese main curtain, Mann theatres is to busy running boring adds up to feature time. Long live the El Capitain, turn up the surrounds!, and don’t forget the balcony surrounds!

exit on August 4, 2007 at 7:10 am

William, if you find those pictures, I know where they can find a proper showcase…

Lost Memory, Nice picture… has anyone posted yet about where the Marquee is programmed? I’m told It’s run from the studio in Burbank. The theatre itself has no control over the sign except maybe turning it on and off.

William on July 24, 2007 at 1:37 pm

I have some from the earlier eras of the Paramount before the Disney remodel. I just have to find time to scan them. There from before the 40’s and the 60’s timeline.

arclight on July 15, 2007 at 11:11 pm

Found this brief video that shows the interior of the theatre.


evidonr on April 21, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Does anyone know of photos of the Hollywood Paramount auditorium in the 50s and early 60s (I’ve asked this before), the era of Sayonara, Vertigo and Gigi, before the unfortunate gold-glitz job that was finally (fortunately) obliterated in the theatre’s El Capitanization? For those of us who spent many happy hours during those years in that elegantly draped venue, which complimented and enhanced any film (only the Chinese during the same period, before its “refurbishment” and the late, lamented Carthay Circle were comparable), the memories are indelible.

evidonr on April 21, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Does anyone know of photos of the Hollywood Paramount auditorium in the 50s and early 60s (I’ve asked this before), the era of Sayonara, Vertigo and Gigi, before the unfortunate gold-glitz job that was finally (fortunately) obliterated in the theatre’s El Capitanization? For those of us who spent many happy hours during those years in that elegantly draped venue, which complimented and enhanced any film (only the Chinese during the same period, before its “refurbishment” and the late, lamented Carthay Circle were comparable), the memories are indelible.

exit on April 21, 2007 at 10:32 am

Pacific is not known for stellar maintenance. Has anyone got photos of the Paramount’s interior from the sixties (after the wide screen was installed)? I’d love to see what the lobby and auditorium looked like in the DOCTOR DOLITTLE era. MAybe post them on CinemaTour.com where there are already plenty of nice photos of the El Cap today, but only one from the Paramount days.

William on April 21, 2007 at 8:13 am

The Paramount’s old auditorium still looked good in the 80’s before the Disney make-over. Pacific/SRO put little money into the house before Disney transformed it. The only problem I did not like about the Paramount’s look was those large mirror balls under the marquee.

exit on April 20, 2007 at 8:45 pm

I saw MEET THE ROBINSONS here. They have replaced the gold satin countour curtain with one that’s a bit redder and looks like it’s made of parachute fabric. The pre-show organ music was fun as always.

Though the silver screen is now behind the silver curtain, there wasn’t the usual nifty opening curtain/light show. Contour curtain rises on a blank screen, two trailers, contour comes down, and… this had to be the lamest pre-show I’ve ever seen here – two rubber head “characters” from the movie walk up the aisle, stand on the stage and gesture a song, then came the inevitable confetti blast, and they just walked offstage.

The picture was quite nice, but no, not bright enough to be run on two projectors. They should try doing that at the Dome, which needs all the light it can get.

Musik222 on April 15, 2007 at 9:42 am

First of all let me say that I take offense to the statements that the 60’s renovations to the theater were gaudy & in bad taste,that was the style for those times.My father Sully Altieri was the managing director at that time for Statewide theaters.and let me tell you they dumped a ton of money into that place.It was a wreck when they took it over.From what I remember and I have the pictures and letters to prove it,all the studios wanted their premiers at the Paramount.While the latest restoration is beautiful,that is a sign of our times “Retro”.

Coate on April 8, 2007 at 1:16 am

El Capitan is one of the few large, single-screen venues showing “Meet The Robinsons” in digital 3-D. Has anyone seen it there? Has anyone been able to determine if they are showing it using two projectors to improve the light output on the screen? (There were some reports that Disney screened “Chicken Little” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” there and in some other large-screen, major-market theatres using the dual-projection technique.)

Oh, and if any readers missed it in the news report posted last week, here is a link to the theatres throughout the U.S. and Canada showing “Meet The Robinsons” in 3-D:

View link

gunrob on April 7, 2007 at 11:08 pm

We just returned from a trip to Los Angeles. Caught the opening of the latest Disney 3-D feature, Meet the Robinsons, at the El Capitan theatre. We had not been inside before and we were totally awed with what we experienced. The El Capitan is not a huge movie palace but impressive nonetheless. The movie wasn’t that great but the pre-film organ concert was a wonderful treat.

Bway on February 18, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Here’s an aerial view of the Theater, “Stich” is on the marquee….

View link

BhillH20 on January 1, 2007 at 12:30 am

Now that’s more like it…

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on December 30, 2006 at 12:21 pm

Based on the context of Simon’s post, I figure he meant to type “terrific” instead of “horrific”.

exit on December 30, 2006 at 4:01 am

Simon, why do you call the El Cap’s restoration “horrific?”

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on December 29, 2006 at 11:56 pm

As a new “cast member” of the El Capitan, I’m truly proud to work in a real movie palace and enjoy the hubub of guests excitedly listening to a magnificent pipe organ and oohing and ahhing as the grand curtain rises for a live stage show and movie.
My Santa Ana next door neighbor and dear friend is JOSEPH MUSIL, who was one of the instrumental key figures behind the El Capitan’s horrific restoration (also the CREST and FINE ARTS) of which is on display at his American Museum of Theatrical Design, downtown.
One of the best seats is DD107 in the balcony which has a brass plaque which aptly reads: “Joe, your dream came true."
What a tallented man… What an awesome theater… Long may they reign as giants in the world of showbusiness!

Bway on December 28, 2006 at 7:38 am

Bruce, you are so correct. I had the pleasure of seeing a movie in the El Capitan some years back, just after Disney renovated it, and it is truly a sight to behold.
As you said, there are so many abandoned, or unused theaters on Hollywood Blvd. A shame some of the other studios didn’t think like Disney did.
Thank goodness we still have the Chinese Tehater (which I also had the pleasure of seeing a movie in), and the Pantages (which I was never in, but I think it’s in pretty good shape too). I don’t know if they still show movies at the Pantages, or if it’s just for live shows now.

bruceanthony on December 27, 2006 at 12:44 pm

The store front is the same as it has always been in the many different bussiness’s that were there trough the years. The back part of the theatre was turned into bathrooms for the handicapped as well as seats for the handicapped which removed some rows of seating in the back of the auditorium. I saw many movies here through the years of being the Paramount,Loew’s,Cinema and El Capitan. Disney has done a great job of making the El Capitan there flagship theatre for Disney product through the years. Its to bad the other major studios didn’t due the same with the other theatres on the Boulevard. The El Capitan is run like the deluxe houses of yesteryear.brucec

exit on October 27, 2006 at 12:45 pm

Can someone please talk about this theatre’s lobby and the changes it went through? One previous post refers to it as “spacious” though it is now very small, and it has obviously been enlarged in the renovation – the back wall of the theatre is clearly not original. I’ve often wondered if the store space in front was always as big as it is now. I remember seeing a televised premiere for DOCTOR FAUSTUS with Elizabeth Taylor at this theatre and from what I recall seeing I imagine that the current lobby was outside another set of doors right where the Concession stand ends. That would mean that the theatre interior went to the back wall and there was a cross aisle where the back wall is now. The seats may have gone back a couple more rows with a partial wall divider behind them… Anyone have specific info on this?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 28, 2006 at 6:06 pm

Pictures from this December 1965 premiere are on display in the upper floor gallery of the El Capitan:

View link