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 693 comments)

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 3, 2016 at 7:15 am

All six of MGM’s legendary “Thin Man” features with William Powell and Myrna Loy had their NYC premiere engagements at the Capitol Theatre. Ads have been posted in the Photos Section.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 17, 2016 at 1:39 pm

July 20th 1944 photo & copy added courtesy of The Flickers Facebook page.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 15, 2016 at 10:29 am

Time for my annual post remembering the one and only time I saw a movie at the Capitol. 48 years ago today: “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

vindanpar
vindanpar on August 18, 2016 at 11:49 am

Bill you only post this to make us jealous.

Well I saw it at the Rivoli in ‘76 and it was pretty fabulous there!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 29, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Hello- the heyday of the reserved seat or roadshow engagement was the Sept. 1952 opening of This Cinerama to the Dec. 1972 opening of Man of La Mancha. there were seven theaters used by the studios in the Times Square area for their roadshow engagements this theater plus the Criterion, Loews State, RKO Palace, Demille, Warner, and the Rivoli. which is where my question comes in. while I didn’t go to every roadshow engagement in the approx. 20 year period every one i did attend had a souvenir program. so does anyone remember attending a roadshow engagement in that 20 year period at one of the seven theaters that did not have a souvenir program?

robboehm
robboehm on August 29, 2016 at 7:07 pm

I would think that Gigi would have had one two particularly since it was screened at a Broadway Theater.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 29, 2016 at 7:19 pm

Let’s not forget that “LAST TANGO IN PARIS” was a roadshow AFTER “MAN OF LA MANCHA”. We have a legacy of ignoring movies, and theatres we find morally offensive in hindsight. But not here on Cinema Treasures.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 29, 2016 at 7:33 pm

I kind of remember a hard ticket for Caligula. (Something was hard, anyway…)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 29, 2016 at 8:04 pm

I will give “CALIGULA” a pass since it was eight years after the Roadshow era and quite an anomaly. But “LAST TANGO” was very much a part of the trend to move Roadshows out of Broadway and into the prestigious upper east side, before the whole concept died out with spontaneous youth audiences controlling all ticket sales in the mid-seventies. I do think “CALIGULA” uncut had a souvenir program, though.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 29, 2016 at 9:57 pm

If I recall correctly, some were cut and some were uncut…

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