Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Capitol Theatre

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

Opened October 24, 1919 with Douglas Fairbanks in “His Majesty, the American” plus on stage Ned Wayburn’s ‘Demi Tasse Revue’. The Capitol Theatre was taken over by Loew’s Inc. in 1924 and became the flagship movie palace for MGM Films. The 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, 25 foot x 60 foot wide screen was installed for the June 1953 engagement of “Never Let Me Go” starring Clark Gable.

In 1959 the Capitol Theatre was ‘modernized’ and re-opened as Loew’s Capitol Theatre with “Solomon and Sheba”. The movie palace became a Cinerama showplace.

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 was never twinned or divided into more than one theatre. 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 647 comments)

William
William on June 30, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Bob , Congrats on your fathers 100th birthday. But the Capitol Theatre did not make it into the 1970’s. It closed in 1968 with the film “2001” (24 week run at the Capitol). “2001” moved over to the Warner Cinerama to finish the run that started at the Capitol.

Bobb
Bobb on June 30, 2014 at 12:49 pm

You are correct. It was 1959-1966. He then became a district manager. Thanks for the correction.

Bob

Bobb
Bobb on June 30, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I saw comments on the Screen at the Capitol. It was also perforated and I was in the theater when they installed it. It was strips of material so it could hung from top to bottom and be able to have a curve. Before the Cinerama was installed. David Selznick visited the Capitol. He wanted to do a stage production of “Gone with the Wind” and discussed with my Dad his plan for placing equipment in do be able to show the burning of Atlanta. Mr. Selznick produced the original Gone with the Wind for the Screen.

The Capitol had a great stage.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 30, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Hello-

a further question about Cheyenne Autumn. was the engagement of the film which opened Dec. 1964 a traditional 2 shows during the week and 3 on the weekend roadshow engagement?

William
William on June 30, 2014 at 5:32 pm

The film previewed at 179 minutes, but audience reaction was poor and the studio recut the film to 158 minutes for the roadshow engagements. The general release version runs 148 minute. On the west coast it roadshowed at the RKO Pantages Theatre, but that run was just 8 weeks. Their next roadshow was not till July just like the Capitol. I don’t have a number for the roadshow run at the Capitol. It may have a low number of weeks too.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 30, 2014 at 7:26 pm

to William-

thanks for the info. as you state the 179min. cut was just used in previews and was cut to 158mins. for the premiere roadshow runs like the one at the Capitol. so however long the film’s roadshow run was at the Capitol the Dodge City sequence was intact the entire run and was only cut for the general release prints which went to neighborhood theaters around NYC.

William
William on July 1, 2014 at 11:01 am

The NYC roadshow run of “Cheyenne Autumn” was also about 8 weeks too at the Capitol theatre.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Hello-

this past Tues. Paramount Home Video released a blu-ray disc of War and Peace from 1956. to which i have two questions.

*the blu-ray disc has a running time of 3hrs.
28mins but there’s no intermission. i can’t
believe the film didn’t have an intermission
during its roadshow run.

*i have a rather large collection of souvenir programs. now in all the years i’ve been collecting them and in all the memorabilia shops i’ve been in i have never come across a souvenir program for War and Peace. did it not have one?

patryan6019
patryan6019 on January 26, 2015 at 12:49 am

bigjoe59…Simple—it doesn’t have an intermission because it wasn’t a roadshow. You always ask questions but never answer any. Your “rather large collection of souvenir programs"should answer my questions of Sep 14 on the Embassy 1,2,3 page. Can’t you help me with this?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Hello-

thanks for your reply. according to “Movie Roadshows” by Kim Holston is was a roadshow run. 3hrs. 28mins. seems awfully long certainly in 1956 for a continuous performance film without an intermission.

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