Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

Unfavorite 42 people favorited this theater

Showing 201 - 225 of 715 comments

Mark_L on May 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

The unique Vistavision Framing Guide appeared at the start of the reel after the changeover.

View link

Coate on May 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm

VistaVision was not 65mm!!!

BobbyS on May 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Thanks so much for the link. Enjoyed reading. I lived around the corner from the B&K Paradise in Chicago. The theater installed a taller screen, not cinemascope size to present VistaVision films I believe in the 1950’s. The Marbro theater around the corner got a huge Cinemascope treatment with “The Robe” and was the talk of the neighborhood. It didn’t make much difference for the Paradise was closed and razed in 1956, much to my distain!

AGRoura on May 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Bobby, as I said on the March 30 post above, all VistaVision films were shot in 65mm, and only 1 or 2 theaters in NY and LA could show the 65mm horizontal prints, all other showings were in reduced 35mm prints and theaters did no have to use a different projector. The “changeover” signal at the right top of the screen indicated to projectionists the width of the projected film they could use depending on the size of the screen since main action was usually centered when shooting the film. Recommend you take a look at the VistaVision page on the American WideScreen Museum website. Here is the link:
View link

BobbyS on May 2, 2011 at 8:01 am

Thanks for the information about VistaVision. I often wonder why in some theaters I would watch “White Christmas” in wide screen and other theaters it seemed smaller. Did it depend if the theater had the right projector? Could it be the same movie was filmed in different formats at the same time?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm

43 years ago today at the Capitol: the press screening of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, with Stanley Kubrick in the projection booth.

Paul Noble, who was there, posted the following 3 years ago:

Three nights in advance of the NY premiere, I attended the first press screening of 2001 at the Capitol at its full-length. I believe it clocked in at 161 minutes. The place was packed, but after intermission several hundred people were missing. During the closing credits, there were just two of us left, the other being Gene Shalit who was “conducting” “The Blue Danube”. I turned around at the end and waved to Kubrick in the booth and gave him a thumbs up. In the lobby, I joined a heated conversation with Judith Crist, Bruce Bahrenberg and other critics, who were loudly putting the picture down. I told them about “The Sentinel,” the landmark Clarke short story, and what the possible meaning of the picture was. They laughed me out of the lobby! The director cut the film, supposedly on the print, over the next few days, and the shortened version was the one which opened at the premiere. I’m still a great fan of 2001 with its enormous impact on future motion pictures, and the Capitol Cinerama as it was on that night with that gigantic curved screen, even in sharp focus from my third row seat!
posted by PaulNoble on Apr 3, 2008 at 1:54pm

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 31, 2011 at 3:38 am

Sorry for the intrusion, just want to re-link to notifications on this page. The Widescreen Museum site is endlessly fascinating, by the way. I could (and have) lost myself for hours within its pages.

AGRoura on March 31, 2011 at 12:24 am

Mike: In the VistaVision section of the American WideScren Mujseum look at the ad for Strategic Air Command’s LA opening which will give you an idea of the screen Paramount Pictures' VistaVision used for the proper horizontal showing of this process. Here is the link:

View link

AGRoura on March 30, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Mike: VistaVision was a 65mm process in which the film was filmed and projected horizontally and the image projected was taller than CinemaScope. Only a few theaters had 65mm horizontal projectors, I think in NYC only the Paramount and Radio City had it. The general releases were 35mm prints projected vertically in regular wide screens, if it was a scope screen it only covered the center part of the screen like any other 35mm wide screen film. However, the fact that VistaVision films were shot in 65mm, the reduced 35mm print was very sharp. The “change” signal at the right top of the screen indicated to projectionists that the projected film could be bigger or wider, since main action was usually centered when shooting the film. Recommend you take a look at the VistaVision page on the American WideScreen Museum website.

Mikeoaklandpark on March 30, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I have a question. What was Vista vision? Was that another name used instead of cinemascope?

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.

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 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.

Mark Strand

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on November 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Thanks Tinseltoes. I always wondered why I Married a Witch was released by UA, but its credits were filled with the top names at Paramount like Gordon Jennings, whose photographic effects for that film were excellent (as always).

cinemascope on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm

In the summer of 1968, I was an usher at the Westhampton Theatre in Richmond (VA) and we were scheduled to open 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in 70mm reserved seats that July. I went to New York with my dad in June so I made a point of going to see it at the CAPITOL on their curved Cinerama screen. The marquee, as pictured on the site, was incredible. It looked like the theatre was dedicated to this film forever. When we opened in Richmond, MGM actually gave us large plastic signs to replace to marquee but nothing as elaborate as the Capitol. The curved screen was great. It was a phenomonenal experience.

RJT70mm on September 16, 2010 at 3:43 pm

To Steve Goldschmidt:
Your grandfather was something of a legend in the annals of projection. It’s said that he conferred with Francis B. Cannock and Edwin S. Porter on the design of the first Simplex projector

Ewing on September 15, 2010 at 1:40 am

Next to next to last, AlA!