Capri Theatre

444 S. Glendora Avenue,
West Covina, CA 91790

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Capri Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

A few miles down from the Wescove Theatre, this was also one of the largest one screen theatres in the San Gabriel Valley. It opened in around 1962.

In 1971 when I was eleven, I saw the movie “Mrs. Pollifax, Spy” with Rosalind Russell and Darren McGavin at the Capri Theatre (as of now this movie has not been commercially released in any format). I barely recall the movie, but there were many cameras flashing a few rows behind us before the movie started. The next day in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune newspaper we saw the photos of Darren McGavin at the Capri! We had no idea he was at that theatre. I can’t recall any big star going to a theatre in West Covina to see their own movie!

The Capri Theatre was probably demolished in the late-1980’s, and where it stood is part of a parking lot of a small shopping center.

Contributed by Brenda Brubaker

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

MarkWalsh
MarkWalsh on July 3, 2008 at 12:34 am

The Capri was a great theater to see second run low budget Sci-fi in the 1970’s. It had a sub-zero temp air conditioning system and was the place to beat LA summer heat for $2 or $3 matinee. You could feel you skin change tension as you left the theater. Saw “Empire of the Ants” and “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger” there and the re-release of the original “War of the Worlds” double feature with “When Worlds Collide”. The theater was cavernous, truly an old movie palace , and sadly, there were never more than a few people inside.

In the 80’s they divided it into a multiplex and would show first run low budget films like John Carpenters “The Thing” 1982. It was demolished/mercilessly bulldozed in the 90’s for a cheesy strip mall which was a very evil thing to do…like building a suburb on an Indian burial ground. It could have become a landmark if it were in a different neighborhood. Very nice 60’s lounge style design. It had a very cool gold star logo with “Capri” in a swank font in the lobby. — Mark of Maplegrove

cambriabiz
cambriabiz on November 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Waited 2 hours in line to see “The Sting” there.

Also saw “Rollercoaster” and Earthquake" there in Sensaround.

Lots of memories there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2009 at 1:51 am

Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of September 11, 1961, published an article about three theaters being planned by Stein Enterprises, the development arm of Statewide Theatres. The Capri was one of them, and the caption of a drawing of it said it was scheduled for a September 18 groundbreaking. I can’t find any later Boxoffice articles about the Capri, but it seems likely that it opened in 1962.

Loew’s Theatres Inc.’s annual report for 1967 said that the company had acquired 30 theaters from Statewide that year, and mentioned the Capri as being among the acquisitions. See my comment of March 8, 2007, above, for later developments at the Capri.

Here’s a link to a PDF of Loew’s 1967 annual report, for anyone who might be interested.

comicdetective
comicdetective on February 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Maybe in listing some of the movies I saw there, i might rekindle some memories for others…

Earliest movie I remember seeing at the Capri was “The Heart is A Lonely Hunter”. On one occasion, c. 1969-70, they had a kid’s day when they ran “The Last Safari” and gave away raffle prizes (I won a toy truck, one the few times I’ve ever won a damned thing).

Other films: “Big Jake”, “Stanley”, “The Doberman Gang”, “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad”, and “Paper Moon”.

I saw many, many more flicks there from the late seventies to the late eighties, part of the reason being that during its later years it became a tri-plex.

Sad to see so many of the San Gabriel Valley’s older theaters closed…

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 27, 2010 at 1:57 am

Here is a larger view of the Capri from the Loew’s report posted by Joe Vogel on 2/12/09:
http://tinyurl.com/yfxw353

steveo
steveo on February 23, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Joe,
The Capri operated for many years as a single screen then toward the end they tried to do the multiple screen thing…If I recall ..IT wasnt too great…but as a single screen theatre it was wonderful!
Remember seeing the cast of Munster GO Home there promoting the movie way back in 65 or 66…

tamster52
tamster52 on August 31, 2011 at 7:08 pm

This is my favorite theater in the world, as it is where I spent a great deal of child/teen years. Almost every weekend my friends and I would walk, yes walk, it was just over 2 miles, hmmm seemed farther back then LOL. It cost about 15cents for a matinee and a quarter would get you snacks too. I saw Billy Jack, The Way We Were, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Sound of Music, The Exorcist (scary), Fiddler on the Roof,etc. etc. etc. Tooooo many to mention : ) Some of my favorite memories with friends involve this theater : )

richjr37
richjr37 on June 24, 2013 at 12:31 am

SRO Theatres took over this and other Loewstheatres that didn’t go to GCC,including The Paramount/El Capitan in Hollywood and The Crest in Westwood,sometime around 1976.

baynard_27
baynard_27 on July 30, 2014 at 9:46 pm

The ‘Capri’ opened in 1963… “Bye Bye Birdie” was the first film screened. I went with my Dad. It was a fabulous theater when it was new! It had the latest amenities, (touchless drinking fountains!) It felt very much like a trip to ‘Tomorrowland’ :) A photo of the ‘Capri’ has become the ‘holy grail’ of our WC FB groups!

baynard_27
baynard_27 on July 30, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Other memorable films that I saw at the ‘Capri’ in its early years… “How the West Was Won”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Music Man” and “Mary Poppins”!!

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