El Capitan Theatre

6838 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 176 - 200 of 293 comments

exit on December 30, 2006 at 1:01 am

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

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on December 29, 2006 at 8:56 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 4:38 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 9:44 am

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 9:45 am

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 3:06 pm

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

View link

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 10, 2006 at 3:19 pm

I recently posted more LA ads on the following pages:




Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 10, 2006 at 3:15 pm

The LA Times is in the microfilm collection at the New York Public Library – Main Branch. I assumed only New York papers would be there, and they have all of them, but it was a pleasant surprise to see they carried LA as well. And it’s a self-service system, which is a big timesaver if you want to look at a lot of different dates. I’ll be going back for more very soon.

evidonr on September 10, 2006 at 7:40 am

Good question, haineshisway. I’ve been looking for exactly these LA newspaper pages myself, and I suspect many others are too. I haven’t come across any online.

haineshisway on September 10, 2006 at 5:10 am

Bill, where are you finding these LA newspaper movie sections? Online? I have quite a few LA newspaper movie sections from the 50s and 60s (the actual newspapers) but I’m always looking for more.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 10, 2006 at 3:21 am

From the Los Angeles Times, December 1961: a rare, non-Hitchcock instance of a director starring in the ad for his own movie:

View link

William on August 2, 2006 at 10:53 am

The magazine is in my files at home, but it dates from around 1942 from that major remodel.

evidonr on August 2, 2006 at 10:42 am

Could you give me details of the magazine article so I can try to find it?

William on August 2, 2006 at 10:09 am

I have a magazine that has an article that shows pictures of the complete remodel job that they did to the Paramount during that time. That was the best waterfall curtain in the city.

JimRankin on August 2, 2006 at 8:24 am

Photos of virtually every major theatre in America are at the Theatre Historical Society of America, and they can be reached via their web site: www.historictheatres.org where on their front page is the link ARCHIVE; the fee to search for and copy their photos is given there.

evidonr on July 30, 2006 at 4:19 pm

Thanks for the photo of the Paramount exterior. Does anyone know of a photo of the auditorium from the 1950s. It was extremely beautiful, and that magnificent screen curtain raising and lowering was in its way even more dramatic than the El Capitan’s now. The end of “Vertigo” could never be as devastating at any other theatre as it was at the Hollywood Paramount in 1958.

haineshisway on July 30, 2006 at 12:33 pm

That’s what I’M talkin' about. :–)

BhillH20 on July 30, 2006 at 11:30 am

It would be even more interesting if that site was working…

haineshisway on July 30, 2006 at 10:54 am

I don’t know about anyone else here, but the photos I’D like to see would be of the Paramount. The El Capitan exists and we’ve all seen plenty of recent photos. The Paramount, on the other hand, doesn’t exist and those photos would be of interest.

kencmcintyre on July 20, 2006 at 11:31 am

Thanks for the info, gentleman.

William on July 20, 2006 at 11:21 am

When Loew’s ran the house in the late 60’s it was known as the “Loews” on Hollywood Blvd.. And when GCC bought the Loews chain’s West Coast operations the theatre was known as the “Cinema” on Hollywood Blvd. and would stay like that till SRO returned the Paramount name back to the theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 20, 2006 at 11:14 am

Ken: The Hollywood branch of Barker Bros. furniture store may have been an original tenant of the El Capitan building. Barker Bros. was L.A.’s major furniture emporium, founded about 1880 and closed in 1992. Their huge main store on 7th Street downtown was built in the 1920’s, but the company was always one of the city’s most progressive and may have planted a branch in Hollywood in that same period. I know that by the 1940’s, they had branches in many suburban shopping districts considerably less affluent than Hollywood.

William on July 20, 2006 at 11:05 am

Barker Brothers had a store in what is now the Disney store on the ground level of the building.