El Capitan Theater

6838 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Paramount Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

In 1991, the former Paramount Theater was reopened by Disney and Pacific Theaters following a glorious restoration of this Hollywoood gem situated across the street from Mann’s Chinese. As the flagship theater of the Disney Studio empire, it is part of the Pacific Theaters circuit of which Disney owns a large stake.

Every major animated release from Walt Disney Pictures Animation premieres here complete with a live stage show and more. The theater was the first in the United States to announce an online movie ticketing and printing system.

Recent comments (view all 310 comments)

Becky Watkins
Becky Watkins on November 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Does anyone know the screen size of El Capitan? Or if exact feet is not known, how it compares to any of the following: Newport Big 6, Graumans, Orange ETX, Cinemark Orange, Gardenwalk Anaheim. Thanks!

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on November 6, 2013 at 7:33 pm

There are screens at run of the mill multiplexes BIGGER than the one at El Capitan. Not joking. For all the lavishness they put into the theatre including the high priced VIP seating and pre-movie shows, that screen is SMALL SMALL SMALL. No wider than 50 feet in my guesstimation.

Cliffs on November 7, 2013 at 3:15 am

I would even say that the biggest screens (not the Dome, but the complex screens) at Arclight Hollywood are as big or maybe bigger than the El Capitan.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on November 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I pity the poor souls who have to watch Episode 7 here in December 2015.

Cliffs on November 29, 2013 at 12:59 am

Well now that Arclight appears to be in a separate booking district, I would assume Ep 7 would also play the Dome, but in their patented “sh!t-D” 3D experience.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on November 30, 2013 at 9:15 am

The Cap has a good sized screen, but if the ONLY thing I cared about was screen size, there are other theatres to go to. I don’t go to The Cap just for the screen size. I go to The Cap for the entire package.

KramSacul on December 22, 2013 at 8:03 am

Never thought the screen size was small at the El Capitan but it depends on what aspect ratio the screen is set up for since they seem to mask it down vertically for scope (common width). 1.85:1 films are pretty tall. Taller than anything at Arclight for sure.

GeorgeC on January 19, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Before the restore, the Paramount had a terrific curved 70mm screen … great for viewing Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

No question that installing these wide screens upset the original proscenium arch… not only at the Paramount, but the Chinese, Egyptian, Warner Hollywood and most every movie palace.

At the same time because of their size, these movie palaces could easily accommodate the largest screens and were the ideal place for an audience to get the full impact of Scope and 70mm. Check out the photo of the D-150 screen at Cinema treasures Egyptian site to get an idea. This was the screen before the AFI renovation.

The proscenium arch was a carry over from live theater, where it helped hide stage craft and kept audiences focused on center stage. It was never needed for projecting movies, no matter what aspect ratio was projected. Most movie palaces were converted vaudeville houses and live stage acts were still occasionally booked along with the feature. Keeping the arch made sense.

But with recent restorations, it doesn’t seem as if anyone was aware that the original proscenium arch and modern screen aspect ratios didn’t fit together well. The big question should have been, do we focus on the best screening experience or an architectural feature that’s part of the experience only when the house lights are up?

DonSolosan on January 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm

@GeorgeC, that “big question” should include “do we preserve the historic elements of these buildings, because we don’t know what the future holds”? The El Cap is a good example — they’re using the stage and proscenium to great effect…

bella_1990 on March 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I disagree on having someone on stage singing, making kids cry because they weren’t choosen to be on stage making me wanna leave and never coming back! Disappointed

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