<< Go Back up to Region ‘Los Angeles: Hollywood’

Follow Mike Hume’s Historic Theatre Photography: Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Instagram Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Facebook Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Twitter
El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood

El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood

Former Names: Hollywood Paramount, Loew’s, the Cinema on Hollywood Boulevard, the Hollywood Cinema

Website: https://elcapitantheatre.com/ Open website in new window

Telephone: (818) 845-3110 Call (818) 845-3110

Address: 6838 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028 Show address in Google Maps (new window)

 Featured Photos

 Overview

The El Capitan opened in mid-1926, dubbed as “Hollywood’s First Home of Spoken Drama”, and was the brainchild of producer and entertainer Charles Toberman. Toberman envisaged Hollywood as a new theatrical and entertainment district for Los Angeles and played an integral part in key developments including the Roosevelt Hotel, Grauman’s Egyptian and Chinese theatres, and the Masonic Temple (now the El Capitan Entertainment Center hosting “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”).

The El Capitan was a collaboration between noted architects Stiles Clements (exterior) and Albert Lansburgh (interior). They later teamed-up on The Wiltern; previously Clements had designed the Belasco and Mayan theatres; Lansburgh the Palace, the Orpheum, and Shrine Auditorium.

Although initially successful, Toberman found running the theatre hard work and turned it over to manager and producer Henry Duffy within a few years. Duffy ran legitimate productions for over a decade with stars including Clark Gable, Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford, Joan Fontaine and Will Rogers.

1941 saw the theatre close for conversion to a movie theatre, opening in 1942 as the “Hollywood Paramount” showing Citizen Kane (1941) Link opens in new window. Over the next 40-50 years multiple companies managed the variously-named theatre, which underwent several modernizations altering the historic fabric of the building.

In 1989 the Walt Disney Company joined forces with Pacific Theatres to restore the theatre to its original configuration. Corrugated iron was peeled-back to reveal the original 1920’s architecture, and missing features – such as the theatre boxes and parts of the lobbies – were painstakingly recreated from historic photographs.

Today the El Capitan showcases first-run Disney movies and hosts innumerable movie premieres. The continued tradition of pre-show entertainment and organ preformances helps preserve the early 20th Century movie experience for generations to come.

The theatre houses a 4/37 Wurlitzer pipe organ, the last of five magnificent “Fox Specials” built in the 1920’s, and was designed with all the “bells and whistles” for movie palaces. The largest pipe is over 32 feet long. The organ was originally installed in 1929 at the San Francisco Fox Theatre.

 Movie, TV & Music Video Appearances

Movies

Television

Documentary

 How do I visit the El Capitan Theatre?

As of mid-2018 the theatre runs 45-minute tours daily, usually at 8:30am, for $12 per person, subject to availability and/or change without notice. The tour includes the auditorium, backstage, dressing rooms, lower lounge, lobbies and the organ – all subject to availability and current theatre operations.

“Express” tours ($9 and lasting 15 minutes) are generally available throughout the day, dependent on current programming, and cover Front-of-House and lobby areas.

Tickets for all tours are available for purchase in-person at the theatre Box Office; advance reservations are not required. For further information check out the El Capitan Theatre Tour Flyer Link opens in new window or refer to the El Capitan Theatre ticketing website Link opens in new window. For more information or questions call 1-800-DISNEY6 or visit the theatre Box Office.

Note: movie screenings at the El Capitan often feature specially tailored pre-shows, often featuring the Wurlitzer organ and various entertainment features inside the auditorium, so differing requirements of these programs may restrict tour access to certain areas.

Upcoming Special Events
Theatre Tour

Theatre Tour (Daily, usually 8:30am)

Discover the history and magic of Disney’s premiere movie theatre with a behind-the-scenes tour!

45-minute docent guided tour, $12 per person inlcudes: El Capitan Theatre and Hollywood history; behind-the-scenes “fun facts” and special event highlights; Wall of Fame and lobbies; Lower Lounge and exclusive displays; Theatre Auditorium; Backstage areas, including Sherman Brothers Star Dressing Room; photo opportunity with the mighty Wurlitzer Organ.

Tour tickets are available at the theatre, and walk-ups are welcome. Advance reservations by calling 1-800-347-6396 but are not required.

Note that each tour is unique. Tour locations may vary based on the theatre production schedule and showtimes. Tours are subject to availability and may change without prior notice.

For more info see: https://elcapitantheatre.com/media/1794/tourprogrambuckslipflier_web.jpg Link opens in new window

 Further Reading

Online

Books

 Technical Information

General Information
Seating Capacity 998 (originally 1,550; reported as 1,520 in 1942; then 1,498 in 1964)
Stage Dimensions
Proscenium Width 49ft
Stage Depth 33ft
Stage Width 81ft
Historic Photos & Documents

Historic files shown here may be subject to copyright; review our “Fair Use” statement here.

 Photos of the El Capitan Theatre

Auditorium

Backstage

Exterior and Public Areas

All photographs copyright © 2002-2018 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com. For licensing and/or re-use contact me here.



Follow Mike Hume’s Historic Theatre Photography: Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Instagram Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Facebook Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Twitter