Loew's Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Loew's Capitol Theatre

The Capitol Theatre was located where the Paramount Plaza stands today, directly across Broadway from the Winter Garden Theatre.

Opened October 24, 1919 with Douglas Fairbanks in “His Majesty, the American” (United Artists first production) plus on stage Ned Wayburn’s “Demi Tasse Revue” which featured Mae West early in her career. It was equipped with an Estey pipe organ which had a 4 manual console and 45 ranks opened by organist Dr. Mauro-Cottone Melchiorre. The Capitol Theatre was initially not a great success and closed on June 1, 1920. It was taken over days later by Samuel Goldwyn who installed S.L. ‘Roxy’ Rothafel to program the theatre and it reopened with a Goldwyn picture “Scratch My Back”. In July 1923 the Estey organ console was replaced by one with illuminated stops and a horseshoe design and 12 more ranks of pipes were added to the existing 45 ranks. It was advertised as ‘Broadway’s Finest Organ’.

It was taken over by Loew’s Inc. in 1924 and became the flagship movie palace for MGM Films. The Loew’s Capitol Theatre hosted world premiere’s of many now classic films. The theatre presented movies and stage shows except from 1935 to 1943 when no stage shows were included in the program. The shows were too expensive to produce during the Great Depression and were only revived when World War II brought an economic boom. In 1952 stage shows ceased to be held. A larger, 25ft x 60ft wide screen was installed for the June 1953 engagement of “Never Let Me Go” starring Clark Gable.

In 1959 the Loew’s Capitol Theatre was modernized to the plans of architect John J. McNamara and re-opened on December 25, 1959 with Yul Brynner in “Solomon and Sheba”. The movie palace became a Cinerama showplace in 1962 with a huge 33ft x 93ft wide screen.

World Premieres of 70mm films included “Cheyenne Autumn”(December 23, 1964), “Doctor Zhivago”(December 22nd, 1965), “The Dirty Dozen”(June 15, 1967) and “Far From the Madding Crowd”(October 18, 1967).

The Loew’s Capitol Theatre auditorium was never twinned or divided into more than one auditorium. In 1968 the Capitol Theatre was playing the Roadshow engagement of “2001:A Space Odyssey”. The movie was transferred to the Warner Cinerama Theatre, and the Loew’s Capitol Theatre closed, and was demolished.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 974 comments)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 12, 2019 at 4:36 pm

According to this 2001 timetable, the long version was shown at the Capitol for only three days.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 12, 2019 at 4:38 pm

The timetable is from Jerome Agel’s 1970 book “The Making of Kubrick’s 2001”.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on September 13, 2019 at 2:35 pm

Hello-

to Bill H.– its highly possible I saw the original cut. I bought my ticket when the box office first opened.

vindanpar
vindanpar on September 13, 2019 at 3:07 pm

As per CC’s new photo I wonder if The Hallelujah Trail negative still exists in the UA Archive or at least a Super Panavision print. I understand the bluray was taken from a 35mm print and is supposedly very poor and a big disappointment. One wonders why they waste such an opportunity and anger fans and lessen the possibility of a better release in the future.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on September 13, 2019 at 3:46 pm

Hello-

to vindanpar- I am one of those fans that was rather disappointed by Kino Lorber’s recent blu-ray of The Hallelujah Trail. aside form the fact the perfect image was a bit off its was in the 2.35.2 aspect ratio not 2.75.1 since it was as you stated shot in Ultra-Panavison 70. if a blu-ray disc of The Fall of the Roman Empire ever comes out it had better be in the 2.75.1 aspect ratio.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 14, 2019 at 6:23 am

bigjoe59: “The Fall of the Roman Empire” was released on Blu-Ray in the UK in 2.35.1 aspect ratio. Anchor Bay Entertainment/The Weinstein Company Home Entertainmet.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on September 15, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Hello-

to Ken Roe thanks for the info. I got the Blu-ray you made note of and was rather disappointed by the incorrect aspect ration. a botched job just like The Hallelujah Trail. all the other Blu-ray discs I have of films shot in Ultra Panavision 70 are in the correct 2.75.1 aspect ratio.

vindanpar
vindanpar on September 20, 2019 at 12:52 pm

I got that TFOTRE bluray. Haven’t seen it yet.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 20, 2019 at 1:17 pm

WTF. PLSWATGI. TAU-FWTAS…

(What the f-ck. Please let’s stop with all the goddamn initials. There are user-friendlier ways to abbreviate something…)

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on September 22, 2019 at 2:38 pm

Hello-

to vindanpar- if you got the same Blu-ray of The Fall of the Roman Empire that I did you’re bound to ne disappointed since its not in the correct aspect ratio.

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