The El Capitan Theatre has a history that is heavily entrenched in Hollywood mystique. It’s a relic located on Hollywood Boulevard that has the seen the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Rita Hayworth. When I was in Los Angeles, for the Iron Man 3 premiere we had a chance to tour El Capitan Theatre behind the scenes and check out the new Disney’s Soda Fountain located right next door. Tales of history, mystery, and ghosts? Yep, that’s what El Capitan Theatre is all about.
El Capitan theater was built in 1926. For the first 15 years of its history, the theater only showed stage shows. Over 150 stage shows were shown during these first 15 years, until silent films came into play. Silent films were shown for many years with the musical stylings of the famous El Capitan Wurlitzer pipe organ, which Disney reintroduced with the 1998 restoration.
Ed, General Manager of the theater, gave us some great insight into the history to the museum, and a little bit about it’s first, 1989, restoration. Disney purchased the theater and wanted to restore it to it’s future glory. This included restoring some of the amazing architecture. Some of the designs had fallen and the crew had to make casts from the originals that were left. They used these casts to bring the theater back to life, and bring it back to life they did!
The inside of the theater is absolutely breath taking with it’s high arched, gold enlayed ceilings and it’s beautiful Werlitzer pipe organ. We had the privilege to listen to the pipe organ during the Iron Man 3 premiere. The stage is still graced with four curtains like in the old Hollywood days when the amount of curtains used to signify the “class” of the theater.
Now the El Capitan is home to all the great Disney movies as only Disney films are played in this theater. Most recently it saw the premiere of Iron Man 3, and will also host the premiere of Monster University coming up June 17th.
El Capitan is also home to some friendly resident ghosts! Even though we didn’t see a friendly spector ourselves, we did have a chance to speak to an employee that shared they encountered an El Capitan ghost when during her rounds down in the employee corridors. So, El Capitan is even a great travel spot for ghost hunters too!
Disney Soda Fountain
After watching a movie at the El Capitan, make sure to stop by the Disney Soda Fountain! It’s quickly becoming a fixture on Hollywood Boulevard as well. It’s located directly next door to the theater, and can actually be reached from inside the theater.
The soda fountain is a throw back to the old 1950s soda fountains including a genuine fountain. You can get your favorite floats, malts, and other yummy treats while shopping around for some great Disney gear!
During our visit, I grabbed some Soda Fountain exclusive Disney pins for my kids. They collect the pins sold at each one of the Disney venues, and each venue has it’s own exclusive pin to collect. I also picked up some great Oz nail polish for myself. (Momma deserves a treat too, right?)
The walls are covered in autographed photos of stars that come to grab a bite, or drink, after Hollywood Premieres at the El Capitan. It was really neat to take a look around see some of our favorite stars enjoying the Soda Fountain.
Both are Must See Stops When Visiting Los Angeles
If you are traveling to LA, I really recommend seeing a movie at the historical El Capitan theater and then heading over to the Soda Fountain to grab some yummy treats. It makes for a great date night or family night out!
Go See the Movies at El Capitan Theatre
IRON MAN 3 is currently playing at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA until June 20th in Disney Digital 3D and Real D 3D
See a Display of Collectibles & Comic Books from the Private Collection of Stan Lee!
For tickets call 1 (800) DISNEY6 or visit www.elcapitantickets.com
Coming this summer at the El Capitan Theatre:
- June 21st – August 8th: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (Plus, see Mike & Sulley in the MU Pep Rally with the Sprit Squad Live on Stage!)
- August 9th – September 19th: Disney’s PLANES