Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

On this day in 1944, MGM’s “The Heavenly Body,” a B&W comedy that lived up to its title by starring voluptuous Hedy Lamarr opposite William Powell, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Capitol Theatre. Topping the Capitol’s stage show was the beloved “Schnozzola,” Jimmy Durante, returning for the first time since the theatre resumed its “live” presentations. Also on the bill were young Hollywood star Bonita Granville, dancers Mary Raye and Naldi, and Sonny Dunham & His Orchestra.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 22, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Seventy-six years ago today, MGM’s “Naughty Marietta,” the B&W musical that launched the legendary teaming of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Capitol Theatre, simultaneous with Loew’s Metropolitan in downtown Brooklyn. Helene Denizon, billed as “America’s Own Pavlowa,” topped the Capitol’s stage show, which also featured Florence & Alvarez, Bonner & Newman, and 22 Danny Dare Girls. The stage presentation at Loew’s Met included Freddie Martin & His Orchestra, Frances Arms, and the 3 Fonzals.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Interesting story re the Hollywood. What is now the entrance was originally the side entrance. The original entrance (art deco I believe) was on Broadway in the middle of the block. If you walk by you will see what appears to be an entrance to a small office building . That was the original entranceway. They jettisoned it as they had to pay separate rent for it and decided it was not worth it. No idea when this took place however.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Thomas Lamb’s Hollywood Theatre, just across the street from the Capitol, still exists (in marvelous condition close to the original) as the Times Square Church. You can visit the interior free whenever services are held.

AGRoura
AGRoura on March 12, 2011 at 12:27 am

I agree William but also, Cinerama was born here at the Broadway theater and we don’t have a Cinerama Theatre as LA and Seattle do.
Tinseltoes, thanks for all the info you enlighten us with.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 12, 2011 at 12:02 am

When it was remodeled for the 2 3 strip Cineramas, a number of rows were taken out from the rear of the orchestra & replaced with a japanese garden with bridges & ponds. It was really nice, The staircase as soon as you cam in was there but the steps .ere replaced with a gold colored escalator.Once the Roxy went, it was only a matter of time before all of the Times Square Palaces went down. Most cities have 1 or more of palaces left. Only in NY, the entertainment capital of the world do we knock them all down. Lamb theaters really took a hit.

Capitol
State
Mark Strand
Rivoli

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Sixty-eight years ago today, the Capitol resumed the deluxe stage/screen policy that had been dropped in 1935 for single features. The opening film was MGM’s B&W Naval thriller, “Stand By For Action,” starring Robert Taylor, Charles Laughton, and Brian Donlevy. Bob Crosby and his Danceable Dixieland Orchestra topped the stage bill, which also included Borrah Minevitch’s Original Harmonica Rascals with Johnny Puleo, dancers Mary Raye and Naldi, and radio’s “Hit Parade” singer Joan Edwards.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm

On this night in 1965, Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland made a brief stage appearance at Loew’s Capitol as part of their area-wide promotional tour for “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte,” which was currently playing at the Capitol simultaneously with Loew’s Orpheum on East 86th Street. With radio’s Fred Robbins as emcee, Davis and de Havilland also visited the Orpheum that night, and Bronx and Westchester theatres in the afternoon. Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island theatres were covered earlier in the week.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Sixty-three years ago today, the Capitol Theatre opened what was claimed to be “The Biggest Combination Show” in its history. On screen was Mark Hellinger’s “The Naked City,” an eagerly-awaited Universal-International B&W crime thriller that had been filmed entirely on location in NYC. Topping the stage bill was Glenn Miller alumnus Tex Beneke with his own orchestra and singers. Performing as an “Extra!” was the rising comedy team of Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis. Ted Meyn was the Capitol’s resident organist at the time. The first show started at 9:00am, with the last feature screening at 1:15am.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on February 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm

On this day in 1952, John Huston’s “The African Queen,” which teamed Humphrey Bogart amd Katharine Hepburn for the first and only time, opened its exclusive NYC premiere engagement at the Capitol Theatre. The United Artists Technicolor release was the last film produced by S.P. Eagle before resuming his real name of Sam Spiegel with “On the Waterfront.”

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 12, 2011 at 10:26 pm

This photograph of the Capitol Theatre was taken in 1930 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Tuesday (February 1st) will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the NYC premiere engagement of John Huston’s “The Misfits” at Loew’s Capitol Theatre. It also would have been the 60th birthday of top-billed Clark Gable, who had died the previous November from cardiac problems aggravated by his grueling experiences during months of location work in the Nevada desert. The B&W United Artists release co-starred Marilyn Monroe, whose husband Arthur Miller wrote the screenplay, and Montgomery Clift, with Thelma Ritter, Eli Wallach, and James Barton in top supporting roles. Whole books have been published about the ill-fated production, which also turned out to be the last film completed by Marilyn Monroe before her puzzling death in 1962 at age 36.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm

to Michael C. i apologize for the repetitive nature of my
questions. as you suggested i looked at the Grauman’s Chinese
page and the Cinerama Dome Page. i did find my answers. i will
be sure in the future to browse the comments section for each theater before i ask further questions.

Coate
Coate on January 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm

ChrisD…If you are aware that many roadshow films were 35mm, why then are you focusing only on the 70mm era of 1955-1972? (Roadshows began long before ‘55 and went on beyond '72.)

And, Chris, did you even see my response to your comment on the Grauman’s Chinese page?

And regarding your question posed on the Cinerama Dome page, had you bothered to scroll through the existing comments, you would have found the answer to your question (see my comment of Feb. 4, 2008) and thus would not have needed to ask it.

Frankly, at this point, your questions are getting annoying since you’re essentially posting the same question on multiple pages and then not always bothering to check up on subsequent comments.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm

i thank Michael C. for the info. the sites were quite fascinating. but many roadshow films were not in 70MM or Cinerama. so i was
wondering how i could get as complete a list as possible of the
films which played the Loew’s State/Loew’s State 1 & 2 on
a roadshow engagement during the 1955-1972 period.. many thanks in advance.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Seventy years ago today, “Gone With the Wind” returned to the Capitol Theatre for its first NYC engagement at so-called “popular prices.” The Technicolor epic’s original NYC opening in December, 1939, was at “advanced” prices at the Capitol (continuous performances) and at the Astor (reserved-seat roadshow). For the Capitol return, “GWTW” tickets were priced on weekdays at 40 cents from 9am opening to 1pm, 50 cents from 1 to 6pm, and 75 cents after 6pm. On weekends and holidays, the afternoon price increased to 55 cents, and to 85 cents at night. The return booking lasted four weeks, twice as long as many new films that had played the Capitol in recent years. On February 20th, the Capitol switched to the NYC premiere engagement of MGM’s “Go West,” with the Marx Brothers. “GWTW” would move on the Loew’s circuit, also for the first time at “popular” prices after an “advanced” run in 1940.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm

my first visit to the Capitol wasn’t until the end of its
existence. the film was the first run engagement of PLANET OF
THE APES in March? of 1968. i subsequently went to see “2001"
twice during its exclusive roadshow engagement. since "2001”
was the only roadshow film i saw at the Capitol would anyone
have as complete a list as possible of the roadshow films that
played the Capitol prior to “2001”. many thanks in advance.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Many people went to the Capitol primarily for the stage shows. The movies could be seen anywhere after they finished their Capitol run, but the stage shows were unique. At the end of the 1920s, when Loew’s opened its “Wonder Theatres” in New York and New Jersey, many of the Capitol stage shows were routed to them, as well as to Loew’s Metropolitan in downtown Brooklyn. However, that terminated in 1935, when the Capitol switched to films only.

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on January 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

Here’s a program from July 1922 for the Capitol Theatre.

The stage program accompanying the main feature, The Country Flapper, was pretty spectacular. You can see the entire contents at The Silent Film Still Archive.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 13, 2011 at 5:12 pm

On this day in 1944, the Capitol Theatre was celebrating its fourth record-breaking week of MGM’s B&W patriotic fantasy, “A Guy Named Joe,” which teamed Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne and helped to raise featured player Van Johnson to major stardom. The Capitol’s stage show was also noteworthy, a cavalcade of rising MGM contractees headed by Kathryn Grayson, ‘Rags’ Ragland, Nancy Walker, and June Allyson, plus Richard Himber & His Orchestra and comedian Lou Holtz. “A Guy Named Joe” was later remade (disastrously) by Stephen Spielberg as “Always,” with Audrey Hepburn as a Heavenly spirit that was played in the original by Lionel Barrymore. The 1989 release turned out to be Hepburn’s last screen appearance. She died from colon cancer in January, 1993, at age 63.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on December 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm

On this Christmas night in 1959, the New Loew’s Capitol had its gala re-opening with the premiere of Edward Small-UA’s “Solomon and Sheba,” modestly advertised as “The Mightiest Motion Picture Ever Created!”. Tyrone Power had died of a heart attack during production, causing Yul Brynner to replace him in the title role opposite Gina Lollobrigida. Directed by King Vidor, the Super Technirama-70 and Technicolor epic started a continuous performance schedule the next day at 9:00am.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on December 22, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Tonight marks the 45th anniversary of the opening at Loew’s Capitol of the world premiere engagement of David Lean’s film of Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago” with a reserved-seat roadshow policy. Advertising said that the epic was in Panavision and MetroColor, with no mention of 70mm projection. Highest prices were $4.25, $3.75, and $3.00 on weekend nights and holidays. Two performances on New Year’s Eve at 8:00pm and midnight were scaled at $5.50, $4.75, and $3.75.

theatreorganmana
theatreorganmana on December 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Can anyone shed any light on what actually happened to the Capitol's
Estey organ and its later horseshoe console? Did the organ go down with the building?

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on December 6, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Capitol’s opening of the NYC premiere engagement of what’s now considered one of the greatest movie comedies of all time, MGM’s “A Night At The Opera,” which returned the Marx Brothers to the screen after a two-year lull and quickly restored their popularity. The Capitol now had an “Everything on the Screen Policy,” so supporting the B&W feature were a newsreel specially compiled for the theatre from all services available, a B&W short about Abraham Lincoln entitled “A Perfect Tribute,” and an MGM Technicolor cartoon, “Aliias St. Nick.”