July 6, 2008
Yesterday was my buddy George's birthday, so a few of us got together to see Wall-E at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood. The El Capitan is one of several restored old movie-palace theaters in LA, though this one was actually opened as a theater for live plays, marketing itself as "Hollywood's First Home of Spoken Drama" in 1926. Inside its Spanish Colonial exterior is a lavish East Indian themed interior. In the late 30's, movies started being shown here, including the premiere of Citizen Kane in 1941. It then closed for a year and reopened with a new 'moderne' style interior and a new name - the Hollywood Paramount. Disney bought it in 1989 and restored it to its original grandeur, and it remains one of their flagship theaters. Before the show, songs are still performed on a Wurlitzer organ, followed by an unfortunately terrible stage show of snippets from all of Disney's recent animated films (which only reminded me that they still haven't been able to match The Lion King). Its still a great theater to catch a show in if you can put up with the mess of Hollywood and crush of tourists to get there (the one salvation of the Hollywood and Highland monstrosity across the street is that it does make for easy parking - which the El Capitan validates, by the way). Great sound, big screen and comfortable seats, plus a bit of Hollywood tinsel and history thrown in. Beats a neighborhood megaplex any day.
Posted by Jon Berry at 7:27 PM