Loew's Capitol Theatre

1328 F Street NW,
Washington, DC 20004

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Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments

scotttony on May 18, 2015 at 10:17 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?

DavePrice on March 19, 2015 at 11:44 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.

bobc316 on October 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm

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

bobc316 on September 9, 2014 at 10:20 pm

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

DianneLesliePalmer on July 23, 2014 at 4:06 am

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.

RSM3853 on December 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm

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.

beachy on July 21, 2012 at 9:08 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.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm

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

sconnell1 on March 30, 2012 at 8:33 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.

CharlieCoates on June 28, 2011 at 8:50 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.

Local619 on May 9, 2011 at 6:16 am

If Glenn Miller played at a Loews in Washington in June of 1942 they did not advertize it in the Washington Post.

He did play the Loews Capitol the week of March 9th 1942.. the Movie was Joe Smith, American w/Robert Young

lindab on May 9, 2011 at 2:10 am

How do I find out what movie was playing at Loew’s in D.C. in June of 1942 when Glenn Miller was on the stage bill?

TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Marcus Loew was born on this day in 1870.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Picture about halfway down. The large trusses you see were for the theatre:

View link

lindab on October 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Any suggestions on how to find out the names of films which played at Loews in the years prior to 1957?

TLSLOEWS on October 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Great Story Dave,great that you still have the baton.

DavePrice on October 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm

We lived in Washington in 1947 and my dad used to meet me and my mother every Friday after work to see vaudeville at the Loew’s Capitol. Of course we watched the movie too but it was the vaude we went for. My mother was once picked from the audience to direct Sammy Kaye’s orchestra and I still have the souvenir autographed baton he gave her. They also had “Follow the Bouncing Ball” singing between pictures. It was a great theater and I love to think about those days of my youth.

lindab on July 23, 2010 at 3:21 am

As a senior in high school, my father recalls skipping his final exam in English in order to attend a Glenn Miller concert at Loew’s Capitol. Based on his current age (87), I estimate this would have been in May/June of the late 30’s or early 40’s. He is very interested in finding out what movie was playing on that day when he and a buddy hitchhiked to D.C. to hear Glenn Miller. Does anyone know how I might find that information? Many thanks.

TLSLOEWS on May 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Very Nice,wish there were more photos.

IA on April 13, 2010 at 10:51 pm

In DC with my high school senior class in 1953, we saw “Down Among The Sheltering Palms” with Mitzi Gaynor and William Lundigan. Stage show was The Andrews Sisters.

lpa on June 17, 2009 at 12:22 am

I worked at Loew’s Capitol Theatre in Washington, DC part time while in the Air Force. I was there from the summer of 1960 until May 1963. I began as an usher making 55 cents per hour. We wore uniforms with cardboard dickies and bowties. Later I was one of the assistant managers and we wore a tuxedo every night. There were three assistant managers and one manager. The regional manager also had an office on the ground floor. There were three fulltime cashiers and a fulltime switchboard operator.
There were six floors of dressing rooms backstage. I was the elevator operator while still an usher for a ballet in October 1960. I think it was The Bolshoi Ballet but am not sure. The Bolshoi ballet was attended by President and Mrs. Kennedy November 14, 1962. They sat in the front loge on the right hand side of the theatre.

In his first social outing since the Cuban crisis began, President Kennedy led a wildly cheering audience at the Bolshoi Ballet, then went backstage with Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin to meet the dancers. Mr. Kennedy left early to prepare for talks today with Chancellor Adenauer, who arrived last night. (1:6)
View link

Robert Kennedy and his family would show up periodically to see movies.
The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse premiered February 2, 1962. I remember that Glenn Ford and Yvette Mimieux attended.
Some of the cast came for the opening of Hatari in June 1962.
Some of the dressing rooms still had some of the old props and costumes from the stage shows. At night after the theatre closed I would wander around all the rooms. There were nooks and crannies everywhere. There were catwalks above the whole theatre. I felt like I was part of Phantom of the Opera. The cleaners had to get on the catwalks to lower the three giant chandeliers to clean them.
In late 1962 and early 1963 I helped remove the pipe organ that had been used for stage shows. It was bought by someone in the construction business. He had a special building built for it on the property next to his home. It was built behind and into the walls covering three or four stories of the theatre.
I was too young to really appreciate the beauty and history that I was experiencing.