Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 1 - 25 of 735 comments

BobbyS on August 21, 2017 at 11:06 am

Saw them at the Chicago Theater in the 1950’s along with their movie showing. Huge crowds! Doubt they ever played neighborhood palaces for so many dropped the stage show policy here in Chicago. Too bad!

vindanpar on August 12, 2017 at 6:26 pm

As per The Parent Trap ad:

In her autobio O'Hara’s story about the billing is pretty funny.

It was in her contract to have star billing which she does have. But as you can see Uncle Walt pulled a fast one on her. She was not happy. Her lawyer told her not to go near it. Walt would nail her to the wall.

vindanpar on June 29, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Of course if you had real class you had reserved seats to see GWTW at the Astor rather than waiting on line to see it with the mobs at the Capitol.

Bill I so envy you!

MarkDHite on June 29, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Well of course the Capitol was for the middle class. The whole idea of the movie palace was to recreate an ambience of aristocratic refinement for working and middle class audiences. Some theatres may have been nicer than others but every movie theatre on Broadway (and elsewhere) was for the hoi polloi. The only real upper class moviegoing experience was that at a screening room in a private home or estate! The superior feeling that a loge seat at the Roxy or Criterion provided was just one more piece of the marketing genius of the movie moguls.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 29, 2017 at 1:31 pm

The Criterion may have been classier, but nothing compared to the Cinerama screen at the Capitol!

vindanpar on June 29, 2017 at 10:50 am

Divans-how good could they be at $4.25 for a weekend evening? The far classier Criterion loge seats were $5.50 back in ‘64 and were $6 for tickets they were selling in advance for Funny Girl. Clearly the middle class Capitol even on hardticket was for the hoi polloi.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 29, 2017 at 7:12 am

They called the balcony the Upper Mezzanine in this ad. Either way, it was still the cheapest seat.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 29, 2017 at 7:07 am

I don’t recall the curtain, although there must have been one up there. I just remember that the seats seemed to go on forever, up and up. That theater made a huge impression on me. It’s still the most awesome screen I’ve ever seen, after almost 50 years.

vindanpar on June 29, 2017 at 7:04 am

Was there a curtain behind them? As older pictures show on this page the lower balcony was separated by a curtain from the upper balcony.

I wonder how the seating was configured for the roadshow Windjammer at the Roxy. I doubt they were selling the entire house.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 29, 2017 at 6:42 am

The balcony was in use when I saw 2001 at the Capitol on 6/15/1968. I was 13 years old. My dad and I were in the front row of the loge (what they called the divans) and I remember looking up at the balcony, filled with people. Although it was probably just the lower part compared to what it was in the 30’s and ‘40s, it seemed huge to me.

My dad missed seeing the stage. He used to go there all the time for stage show/movie combinations.

vindanpar on June 28, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Found it on ebay:

The Making of Kubrick’s 2001 Edited by Jerome Agel 1970

vindanpar on June 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Found it in Michael Coates article: 37 weeks total.

vindanpar on June 28, 2017 at 5:47 pm

There was a paperback book which I think came out in the 70s on the phenomenon that was 2001 which unfortunately I no longer have. It quoted Kubrick as saying or writing that he expected the film to have a 2 year Broadway run. It seems odd now if they knew already the Capitol was slated for demolition when the film opened and Ice Station Zebra needed NY’s only remaining Cinerama theater.

Anybody know how long 2001’s total Broadway run was between the two theaters? For a roadshow film sensation it seems to have been fairly short.

MarkDHite on June 28, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Notice that the photo of the entrance at the bottom of the page includes a banner promoting the Capitol’s closing night live gala show on 9/16/1968. It was hosted by Johnny Carson and featured Bob Hope and many other personalities from the Capitol’s heyday!

MarkDHite on June 28, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Here we go!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 28, 2017 at 3:27 pm

I found a conflicting 1962 Variety story that says seating went from 5400 to 3662 in 1959 and down to 1552 in 1962. Half the balcony and a third of the loge were eliminated.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 28, 2017 at 3:11 pm

It went from 5230 to 4400 for Cinerama in 1962 (“The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm”)according to Variety. When “2001” opened in April 1968, the theatre was already targeted for demolition that September.

MarkDHite on June 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm

I think in the early 1960s when the theatre was renovated and redecorated (and the escalator installed in the lobby) the rear sections of the balcony were walled off, probably bringing the seating capacity into the 3000s. When the theatre was renovated again a few years later for Cinerama, the seats were removed from the rear orchestra under the balcony and actually replaced with a decorative Japanese-style garden and the front rows were also removed to accommodate the giant screen (never saw this but I remember reading about it and saw photos!). From this time until it closed the Capitol probably had about 1500 seats that were in use. I don’t know if the balcony was used at all at that time, maybe one of the CT members that post here would remember?

vindanpar on June 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm

I think Das Doppelte Lottchen would have been a better June school’s out film at the Hall rather than here.

vindanpar on June 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm

They could have sold it out and not have replenished the Millionaire souvenir book yet so you could have gotten it there. It was definitely not there when I saw the film at the Hall. Only the comic book which as I noted seems kind of strange.

In fact I was impressed when I was able to purchase it a few years later at how large it was. I assumed it was only available for roadshow engagements.

After Cinerama installation the Capacity would be a heckuva lot less than 4,000. You could probably find it was somewhere near 1,500 from old Varietys.

jordanlage on June 22, 2017 at 7:05 am

Trying to account for the discrepancy in seating at the Capitol. Here, capacity is listed as 5,230. Wikipedia entry says 4,000. Did it start out as the higher number and then at some point over a fifth of the seats were removed for… Cinerama installation? Also, to be clear, the entrance to the Capitol (the corner marquee) was on the southwest corner of Broadway and 51st St., judging from the photos. Some of the ads I see in the NY tImes states the address as Broadway & 50th St. (see 6/22/1934 ad for “Operator 13.”

bigjoe59 on June 15, 2017 at 11:25 am


to vindanpar-

I could swear I bought my The Happiest Millionaire souvenir program during its 1st run engagement at Radio City Music Hall. another thought- has anyone ever come across a souvenir program for Cheyenne Autumn which played this theater?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 15, 2017 at 7:57 am

Time for my annual post about seeing “2001” at the Capitol on June 15, 1968. Best moviegoing experience of my life. Next year: the big 5-0!

vindanpar on February 15, 2017 at 6:24 pm

When I saw Nicholas at the Criterion I could swear there was no souvenir book. As soon as I went to a theater back then it was the first I looked for.

However the film does have a souvenir book so I don’t know why it wasn’t being sold. The Criterion had men in tuxes hawking the souvenir books.

Earlier in the year when they had the reissue of MFL they had a soft cover abridged version of the original hard cover which I bought.

When I got to finally meet Jeremy Brett after Aren’t We All(this was right before his sensational portrayal of SH so there was only one other person there. After I’m sure nobody would have been able to get near him)I presented him with the program to sign. Fortunately he did not look for his bio because it had been deleted in the abridgement.

Radio City did not have the souvenir book for Happiest Millionaire though they had a comic book based on the story! Go figure.

bigjoe59 on September 9, 2016 at 2:14 pm


to vindanpar- in answer to your pointed “why does it matter in 2016” question the answer is simple. i have a decent sized movie memorabilia collection a big part of which are movie souvenir programs. to which there are a number of the big roadshow films which played the 7 Times Square theaters i mentioned in my original post that i have never come across a souvenir program for. so though ever roadshow film i went to had a souvenir program i wondered if some for whatever reason didn’t.

to patryan6019- thanks for the info about Patton. that was a big highly promoted roadshow film so i
am quite surprised it did not have a souvenir program. i wonder what Fox’s reasoning was. also for this theater i have never come across a souvenir program for Cheyenne Autumn which opened here Dec. of 1964 on a roadshow engagement.