Loew's Capitol Theatre

1645 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 3, 2018 at 9:13 pm

True, Mike, but Cinerama presentations did not mention film stock in their ads. They were all about screen width. By 1976 there were no Cinerama screens left in NY.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 3, 2018 at 8:24 pm

But isn’t 70mm the size of the film stock and not related to screen size?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 3, 2018 at 12:52 pm

The 1976 Rivoli run was advertised as being in 70mm.

vindanpar on March 3, 2018 at 12:36 pm

That would be wonderful but is anyone around who would remember those presentations well enough?

But even as echt Cinerama and such magnificent visuals I still am interested in 2001’s presentation at various theaters.

I saw it twice at the Rivoli first in ‘76 which was overwhelming for me as I had first seen it many years before as a boy in the suburbs. A kid’s matinee where nobody got the space adventure they were expecting. Very noisy.

The end of the print at the Rivoli said ‘Cinerama.’

Then saw it at the Rivoli two years later on what seemed a smaller screen and was not nearly as impressive. The end where the Cinerama logo had been the first time it said 70MM.

Somebody once wrote here that the road show presentation of Sweet Charity was on a smaller screen because Universal did not want to pay for the Dimension 150 screen. Make of that what you will.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 3, 2018 at 1:12 am

“2001” was not really Cinerama at all, anyway. If you want to compare three-strip “BROTHERS GRIMM” at the Capitol to other older films at the STRAND and the BROADWAY in three-strip Cinerama film presentations, then you may have a case to discuss screen size.

NYer on March 2, 2018 at 6:44 pm

“2001: A Space Odyssey” premiere day and opening ad on page 7 of the photo section here at the Capitol.


Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 1, 2018 at 6:29 pm

I’d have to give the edge to the Capitol, especially since it was my first time seeing the film. I’d also never seen a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall screen before. 5 years earlier, I’d seen How the West Was Won at the Clairidge Cinerama theater in Montclair, NJ, but that screen was positioned off the floor on, I think, a stage. Some mid-1960’s reference book I saw at my local library back then said that the Capitol had the world’s largest screen. I don’t think that can be proven, but it certainly seemed that way.

The screen at the Uptown was pretty overwhelming itself, especially when I sat in the front row. It was worth the trip from New Jersey all the times I went there, including when it played for a week in 1993 to commemorate the 25th anniversary. I’m hoping the Uptown is going to show it again this year.

Sound was excellent in both theaters. I think my favorite showing of 2001 sound-wise was a 35mm screening at the Lafayette Theater in Suffern, NY., with Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood in the audience. I remember thinking, they must be hearing this outside in the street.

RobertEndres on March 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

During the demolition Marlene Dietrich was appearing across the street in her stage show in the Mark Hellinger Theatre (itself a former movie palace). During Dietrich’s Wednesday matinees the demolition crew stopped work so as not to interrupt Miss Dietrich’s performance.

vindanpar on March 1, 2018 at 4:00 pm

So could you compare for us the experience of 2001 at the Uptown versus the Capitol? Where did you enjoy it more? Though I never saw the Capitol(torn down before I knew it ever existed) I would imagine it really was the ultimate Cinerama theater.

Which had the larger screen? The better sound system?

If they show it there again is it worth the trip from Jersey?

bigjoe59 on March 1, 2018 at 3:45 pm


I always associate reserve seat or to use the trade term roadshow engagements with souvenir programs. so can anyone remember a roadshow engagement at the Capitol that did not have a souvenir program?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 1, 2018 at 12:38 pm

I found that picture and I just posted it on the Photos page.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 1, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Vindanpar: The Capitol had a big New York premiere, though. Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke were all in attendance. There’s a photo of it somewhere – I’ll try to find it. Stanley came over from England by ship because he wouldn’t fly on commercial airlines.

The Uptown in Washington, DC still has their Cinerama screen intact, I believe. I saw “2001” there 4 times.

vindanpar on March 1, 2018 at 10:48 am

Getting back to the Times Renata Adler it never had the best critics. At this time it had Clive Barnes who is roundly criticized as one of the worst theater critics ever. Read William Goldman’s The Season. How he continued years after this means only that Barnes knew where the bodies were buried.

You wanted serious theater and film criticism you went to the New Yorker or Village Voice. People still wonder what its reviewers are thinking.

By the way Adler’s put down of Kael in I think The New York Review of Books from years ago is a must read whether you are pro or anti Pauline.

vindanpar on March 1, 2018 at 9:39 am

So the 50th anniversary is coming up.

I always had it in my head the world premiere was here. How disappointed I was to find out after many years it was not.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 28, 2018 at 9:34 am

I just added 5 photos from the Sunday New York Times, 2/25/1968: the first advance ad for “2001”.

I remember showing this ad to my dad on that long-ago Sunday afternoon. I didn’t have to sneak around like Ralphie with his BB gun ad. I just asked him straight out, “Can we go see this?” I think he said maybe, and I didn’t ask him again, but a couple of weeks later he showed me the tickets he bought at our nearest Loew’s theater. We saw it at the Capitol, in Cinerama, on June 15, 1968.

MarkDHite on February 13, 2018 at 8:55 pm

According to an item (about the indoor Japanese garden created underneath the balcony) in The New Yorker, Aug 11, 1962 p.16, the Capitol’s conversion to Cinerama involved reducing its seating capacity from a previous 3,662 to 1,552.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 13, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Successor to the Capitol Theatre described here

moviebuff82 on February 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm

What was the Capitol’s successor?

vindanpar on February 13, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Also it would be interesting to see the number of seats for 2001 or Dr Zhivago compared to Planet or In the Heat of the Night to see if they made more seats available for a continuous run film.

vindanpar on February 13, 2018 at 11:05 am

To see what the Capitol seating was at the time of Planet one would have to look at Variety at the time to see the weekly grosses. They always included # of seats available. And I’m sure the official number of seats were far less than either 4 or 5 thousand .Road show houses were most likely in the 1,400 to 1,600 range. Yes I know Planet was not roadshow but by this point the theater was a roadshow house. The seats in the Capitol curtained off would not have been for sale or included in available seats.

But then Bill Heulbig was there and I was not(alas.)Anybody have access to Variety on microfilm? A major university would have it like NYU.

bigjoe59 on February 12, 2018 at 4:24 pm


at the time of Renata Alder’s hiring by the N Y Times as their head film critic I remember reading an article in another area paper that was interesting. the gist of ‘ the article was simple- the author was rather perplexed by her hiring by the Times considering her aversion to “pop culture”. I remember her review of the Julie Andrews pic “Star”. it wasn’t pretty.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 11, 2018 at 10:31 pm

Here is the ad Al Alvarez mentioned. Thanks, Al, for steering us to it. Renata Adler, who is still alive at age 80, seemed to have an aversion to popular movies which later became classics, but she did like “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 11, 2018 at 10:02 pm

She wasn’t crazy about “2001” either. She complained that its purely visual storytelling should be “verbalized”. But she did include it in her list of the best of 1968 at year’s end (not in the top 10, though). A lot of critics changed their feelings about that movie as time went on.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 11, 2018 at 9:24 pm

Renata Adler was the chief film critic for the NYT in 1968. According to an ad in the March 22, 1968 NYT for “HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH”, she also disliked “THE GRADUATE”, “BONNIE & CLYDE”, and “GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER” along with “PLANET OF THE APES”. She was fired in 1969.

MarkDHite on February 11, 2018 at 8:49 pm

Interesting! Thanks guys