Capitol Theater

600 Main Street,
Little Rock, AR 72201

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Little Rock - 1950s

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The Capitol Theater was opened by 1920. By the early-1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Ed Rowley. It was still operating as a movie theatre in the 1950’s.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

hhardley on November 10, 2009 at 12:12 pm

The Capitol Theater was not on Main St, but on Capitol St. Look at the picture above. The theater is on the right and the Arkansas State Capitol is in the distance at the end of Capitol St. Robert H. Gibbons

jamestv on June 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm

The Capitol Theatre at the Main Street address was the first Capitol Theater in Little Rock, opened in the late 1920’s. The trifecta of the consent degree, the post-war drop in movie attendance and the advent of television doomed the Capitol as it did many a movie theater in the fifties. But someone at Rowley Theatres must have decided that the state capital Of Arkansas needed a Capitol Theater so they changed the name of the Pulaski Theater at 324 West Capitol to the Capitol Theater in the mid-50’s; that is the theater in the pictured mentioned above. At the same time, they upgraded the theater to 70MM Todd-AO and made it the roadshow theater for Little Rock. In the early-to-mid 70’s, this Capitol Theater bit the dust during the long goodbye to the downtown movie palaces and was replaced by a high-rise bank building.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 13, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Sad only this much is written.

idajohna37 on August 29, 2011 at 11:40 am

I remember going to see Bengi and that Darn cat there in around 1972 or so :) my very first time to the movies ….

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on December 30, 2012 at 8:28 am

Looks like the Capitol had 2 organs during the 1920’s. Lostmemory mentions Wurlitzer opus 371 installed in 1920. In 1926 Wurlitzer installed their opus 1330, a style E X, (2 manuals 7 ranks in 2 chambers). I’ve noticed a couple of other examples of theatres which replaced their organs within just a few years. Of course, being played 8 to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week would wear out the leathers in the organ pretty quickly.

DaddyMac on January 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm

I worked at the Capitol Theater (Capitol & Spring) from 1965-66. We ran 1st run movies like Sound of Music and Dr.Zchivago. The theater originally showcased plays and radio broadcasts. It was converted to show movies in the 1940’s. There were props stored back stage and above the UA offices from years gone by. There were also binders of newspaper ads from shows that dated all the way back to the 20’s. I hope some of the history was saved before they tore it down.

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