Loew's Capitol Theatre

1328 F Street NW,
Washington, DC 20004

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Fox Theatre, Washington, DC - 1929

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as the Fox Theatre on September 19, 1927. It is often cited as the most beautiful and grand of Washington’s lost movie palaces. Designed by noted theatre architectural firm Rapp & Rapp, it was the last theatre to be designed by Cornelius Ward Rapp who died of a heart attack on June 28, 1926. In August 1936 it was renamed Loew’s Capitol Theatre.

It was closed in 1963, and demolished in 1964. All that remains today is its famous archway on the building’s still extant facade, which forms the entrance to the National Press Building.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 41 comments)

CharlieCoates on June 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm

My first visit to the Capitol was in 1952. The feature was “Son of Ali Baba” with Tony Curtis. (“Yondah lies da castle of my fadduh”). There was also a stage show featuring Patti Page, who sat atop the charts with “Doggie in the Window.”

I later saw the 1961 release of “Gone With the Wind” there for the princely sum of a buck. My last visit was in July, 1962 for “Hatari.” About a year later, it was gone.

sconnell1 on March 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

The list of the films posted in these comments that played at the Capitol theater omitted the film “Key Witness” which opened on Saturday, October 20, 1960 and played until Wednesday, October 19th. “Ruby” opened the next day. Back in those days not all movies opened in on Wednesday, some opened on Thursday, or Friday, or even Saturday. At the Dupont and the MacArthur some films opened on Tuesdays, but not always. There are no listing for the films that played at those two theaters posted in the comments under those theaters.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 5, 2012 at 11:58 am

Click here for an exterior view of the Fox Theatre in 1929.

beachy on July 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Now if you want to here the real story why the Capitol was demolished, here it is. When the Kennedy center was being planed, it was known that it could not compete with the Capitol. The Capitol was with out a doubt the most beautiful theatre in Washington DC seating almost 4000. The stage was able to handle anything including the Metropolitan Opera witch was booked about once a year. The only thing the Kennedy center had in its favor was parking. Other wise, it was and is and will always be a poor theatrical experience.

RSM3853 on December 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

Thanks to sconnell1 for correcting my entry – “Key Witness” indeed played at the Loew’s Capitol. My research has it during the week of 10/12/60 which also had a stage show. The reason I use Wednesday dates is because MOST movies did open that day of the week back then (although not all) and when going through old microfilms it would take forever to look at every single day. In addition, VARIETY came out on Wednesdays and is an invaluable source for finding out first-run movie openings in its box-office pages. I do plan at some point to put in the films of the Dupont, MacArthur, and other great DC theaters. Stay posted.

DianneLesliePalmer on July 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm

My grandfather Dick Leslie was a comedian that would introduce acts at the theater. I was wondering if anyone has information on him. He would open as a warm up act for Jackie Gleason sometimes to.

bobc316 on September 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm

i have a ticket from this theatre when it was known as the fox, price was 60 cents lol

bobc316 on October 12, 2014 at 5:42 am

tineseltoes, if the fox theatre renamed as loews capitol in 1936 as of 2011 an that was 75 years ago that means my ticket was between 1927-1936 ? because it says fox lol

DavePrice on March 19, 2015 at 4:44 pm

In 1947 my family lived in Washington for a time. Every Friday evening we would meet my father in town and go to the Capitol, the reason being that my dad loved vaudeville. In fact he lived with the hope that someday Vaude would come back to Nashville, our home town.

One time when Sammy Kaye was playing the Capitol my mother was selected to go on stage and lead the band. I still have the signed baton that Mr Kaye gave her.

Another act I recall was Drapo, a man who would wrap lengths of cloth around models and create dresses right before you eyes. My dad had seen Drapo on stage a number of years earlier.

I wish I could remember more of the acts but at 76 my memory is failing.

scotttony on May 18, 2015 at 2:17 pm

In the late 1940s my mother used to take me on Saturday mornings to the Capitol to see a stage show, news reel, cartoon and movie. On one of my visits the headliner was a very young female vocalist named Rosemary Clooney. We went backstage to meet her and she gave me a headshot photo and a kiss on the cheek. I fell in love with her and showbiz. In 1997 I again met her at Walt Disney World where I was an Entertainment Manager. Small World?

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