El Capitan Theater
6834 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
West of Highland, East of La Brea built in 1926, this Spanish Baroque Revival style cast-concrete exterior and was designed by the architectural firm of Morgan, Walls, Clements.. The interior auditorium was designed by renowned architect G. Albert Lansburgh in an East Indian Revival style. Real estate developer Charles Toberman, often called the "Father of Hollywood," erected 36 stylish buildings in the heart of Hollywood, including the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and three themed theaters, which he developed with Sid Grauman -- the Egyptian, the Chinese, and the El Capitan. The theatre's first play "Charlot's Revue," starring Jack Buchanan, Gertrude Lawrence, and Beatrice Lillie debuted on May 3, 1926. Between 1926 and 1936, more than 120 live plays were produced at the El Capitan Theatre, including "No, No,
Nanette," "Anything Goes," and "Ah, Wilderness," and stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Henry Fonda, Lon Chaney, Jr., Jason Robards, Will Rogers, Clark Gable and Joan Fontaine performed here. In 1941, Orson Welles' legendary film "Citizen Kane"
made its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre. After the successful screening of "Citizen Kane," the El Capitan Theatre closed for remodeling. A year later, it was reborn as the Hollywood Paramount, a sleek, new "art moderne" movie house. The building was also home to the famous Barker Brothers Company, furniture emporium to Hollywood's elite. The signature neon light tower that was darkened in World War II but years later it was restored.
In 1989, The Walt Disney Company joined forces with Pacific Theatres to begin a two-year archeological dig. On June 12, 1990, the El Capitan was declared an historic structure. Under the supervision of the National Park Service's Department of the Interior, and with guidance from conservator Martin Weil, architect Ed Fields, and renowned theater designer Joseph J. Musil, the site was restored to its former grandeur and reopened to the public in June, 1991, with the world premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "The Rocketeer."
In 1998, it closed for additional restoration, and reopened with the world premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "A Bug's Life," The stage has been restored to its original 1926 dimensions, a high-speed lift center stage was installed, new lights, remodeled dressing rooms, and state-of-the-art special effects. The theater offers 1,000 seats and a Dolby SR-D audio system. The El Capitan claims to be the highest grossing single screen movie theatre in the U.S. Call (818) 295-4259 for further information.