Capitol Theater

127 South El Paseo,
Redondo Beach, CA

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RBHS
RBHS on June 26, 2013 at 6:58 pm

The unique structure was built in 1907 at a cost of $30,000 by Frank Dorrington as part of the waterfront attractions commissioned by Henry Huntington. The building was originally called the “Casino”.

ljsspot
ljsspot on September 1, 2008 at 5:48 am

Gore Brothers: To the person that is looking for information on Mike, Abe and Issie Gore .. my grandfather was Sam Gore, your father’s brother. There was also Herman, Jake and Sophie and I think a Charles. My grandfather died in the 30’s but my sister and I know a little bit of the history from our mother. She used to make comments about her 31 first cousins, of which you must be one. Please email me at or let me know how to get in touch through this website.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 27, 2007 at 8:37 pm

If you look at some of the entries for the downtown theaters, including the Main, Banner and others, you will see quite a few references to Gore theaters at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Rhodesma
Rhodesma on December 27, 2007 at 7:58 pm

I am looking for information on Mike, Abe & Issie Gore.
They opened many of the first theaters in CA. My father
Isreal Gore died when i was 4 and my mother died I was 19. All
family records were stolen and I know nothing about
my family history. Would love any help any one can give.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 26, 2007 at 1:10 am

I can’t map out 127 S. El Paseo in Redondo Beach. I get the feeling that the street was obliterated during redevelopment. As many times as I’ve been through the area, I’ve never seen a building resembling the Capitol. Mu hunch is that it has long been replaced by condos.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 15, 2006 at 1:23 am

ken: I’d say that’s definitely the same building. As the Capitol opened in 1912, and the USC archive photo is dated only as ca1910, the “circa” could surely cover 1912, the year the Capitol opened. The Silent Era and L.A. Library photos show that there was some remodeling done to the ground floor, though. Maybe the building was originally built for another purpose, and the theatre was put into it a couple of years later.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 15, 2006 at 12:27 am

This is a photo taken in Redondo Beach in 1910. The building at the far end resembles the Capitol in the above pictures, but 1910 would predate the construction of the theater. The USC photo may be misdated:
http://tinyurl.com/mfr32

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 3, 2005 at 11:47 pm

I had a feeling that it was somewhere here. Thanks.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 30, 2005 at 11:57 pm

ken mc:

The Capitol in Long Beach is listed on Cinema Treasures under its final name, the Tracy.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 30, 2005 at 11:47 pm

There is no entry for the Capitol Theater in Long Beach, as shown in this 1925 picture from the LA Library. Could this theater be listed under another name? The address is 219 E. Seaside Boulevard in Long Beach.

http://jpg2.lapl.org/theater1/00014843.jpg

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 25, 2005 at 11:15 pm

Here is another picture, courtesy of the LA Library:

http://jpg2.lapl.org/theater3/00015684.jpg

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on December 14, 2004 at 7:04 pm

The building could still stand. Everyone thinks the Alpine Theatre in Alpine Village has been demolished, but it’s still there – you just have to know where to look!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 14, 2004 at 1:22 pm

I’ve only seen the plunge and pavillion in old postcards. They were demolished long before I was born, as was (I suspect) the Santa Fe Depot- at least, the railroad quit running passenger trains to the town soon after the Pacific Electric Railway began its regular interurban trolly service to Redondo, which I think was soon after 1900. P.E. may have continued to use the depot itself, but the interurban service was discontinued well before I ever saw the place. I have no clear recollection of a three story building with a steep shingle roof at the pier- but there certainly were plenty of buildings with shingles.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 14, 2004 at 12:34 pm

The description of the location of the Capitol Theater states ‘The large plunge pool building was next door to the Capitol on the south side and the beach band stand and dance pavilion were on the north side. The theater entrance faced east toward the Santa Fe depot and the downtown Redondo Beach business section on a hill above the beach area’.

The steep shingle roof of the Capitol Theater became a landmark on the beach front.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 14, 2004 at 12:13 pm

It will be a minor miracle if this theatre still exists. My memories of Redondo Beach are few, but they go back a long way. There was once a small amusement park just south of the municipal pier, but that must have been demolished at least forty years ago. In the 1960s, the area north of the pier was changed beyond recognition by the construction of the King Harbor Marina. The last time I was in Redondo, sometime in the late 1970s, urban renewal had gotten to the old center of town. The pier was still there, but most of the buildings nearby had been leveled for parking lots.

The pier itself still featured a hodgepodge of ramshackle old buildings, most of them done up in some vaguely “nautical” style, and housing an array of restaurants, fishmongers, and souvenir shops. The theatre might well have been among those buildings, but it was certainly not being used for its original purpose. I wish I’d paid closer attention to the place. John Parkinson was one of my favorite early Los Angeles architects, and I’d be very pleased if this theater survives, even if it only houses a seafood cafe.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 14, 2004 at 11:17 am

MagicLantern;
Thanks for the complement (blushes)! I will be in Southern CA in January 2005 checking out some more theaters.

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on December 14, 2004 at 4:15 am

Ken, you’ve done a great job on detailing these Southern California theatres despite living so far away! Also known as the New Capitol Theatre (1945), it was located at 127 South El Paseo. I can drive by the address next time I’m down in that area.