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El Capitan Theater--

Hollywood's favorite family entertainment destination!

In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of Disney's El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California! If you're visiting Hollywood with kids, what could be more fun than catching the latest Disney movie at Disney's own theater! And, after your show, you can browse in the Disney gift shop and catch a bite to eat ay the Disney Soda Shop!

What movies are coming to the El Capitan Theater this year?

Picture of Jungle Book Marquee at El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California What specific movies does the El Capitan Theater show?

The movie roster at this theater reads exactly like the list of Disney film releases itself. Whatever Disney movie you'd like to see at your local cineplex, you may also see at the El Capitan Theater. It will open at the El Capitan on exactly the same date as everywhere else (with ocassionally an early midnight showing on the opening date, as well.)

Why should you see Disney movies at the El Capitan Theater instead of your local cinema? Either way, the show's going to be the same. But, you'll get more "flare" at the El Capitan. You'll hear an organ concert before the show. You'll enjoy the luxury of this historic movie palace. There's even lots of fanfare when the movie begins...with multiple curtains opening with grand fanfare.

Most shows also have some kind of special added attractions in addition to the movie itself. It can be as simple as a display of movie props and costumes. Or it might be something flashier. There may be a stage show before the film...or live visits by characters from the movie. Or sometimes there are even activities related to the movie that kids can play and special photo ops! Extra-fee events are sometimes held...that only movie patrons are allowed to join in. Usually this is an optional character meal or afternoon tea at the Disney Soda Fountain next door. (When this is the case, you may still attend the movie without opting-in for the extra-fee activity.)

When there's no Disney feature film debuting, the El Capitan Theater celebrates new video releases. For example, when an older Disney film is updated (like when a BluRay or 3D version is released,) then that movie plays at the El Capitan for several weeks so that fans can have a chance to view it on the "big screen." (That's because these updated films aren't usually sent into wide release, and you won't find them at your local cinema.) It's a rare chance to view a movie that you'd normally only see on your home television screen!

Tickets to El Capitan movies (for all shows) may be purchased at Disney's El Capitan Theater official website.

El Capitan Theater -- Home of Disney Movie Premieres

El Capitan Theater's marquee for Hannah Montana concert film, February 2008. The El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Boulevard is the hottest family entertainment attraction in Hollywood. Why? Its classic movie palace ambiance combined with terrific modern film and sound quality make it a superior place to view the latest must-see Disney films. Also, because the El Capitan Theater is where Disney holds many of its movie premieres!

What is a film premiere like at the El Capitan Theater? Movie stars arrive, strolling in on red carpets past metal street baracades holding back crowds of on-lookers. When an animated movie opens, this may even include the costumed Disney characters making their "celebrity" appearances at the premiere, as well! And sometimes the fanfare doesn't just start at the El Capitan's property line, either---sometimes all of the surrounding area of Hollywood Blvd is decorated for the big event! For example, the "Tron: Legacy" movie premiere was recently held at the El Capitan (December 11, 2010) and eerie blue lighting took over not just the El Capitan entrance, but all of the surrounding area of Hollywood Blvd (along with smoke effects and pulsing audio, as well!)

Disney's animated movie "Tangled" recently held its World Premiere at The El Capitan Theater! Many voice-actors from behind the scenes were present to walk the red carpet...including Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, who voiced the parts of the lead characters (Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.)

Toy Story 3 also held its movie premiere recently at the El Capitan Theater! On Sunday, June 13, 2010, Toy Story 3 stars Tom Hanks (who voices Woody's part) joined Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear) and Joan Cusack (Cowgirl Jessie) on the red carpet outside of the El Capitan. Other Hollywood actors & actresses attended, along with Disney Company brass...and even some celebrities outside the field of filmmaking (such as astronaut Buzz Aldrin.) Adding to the fun were larger-than-life costumed characters from the movie.

The El Capitan Theater is a great place for YOU to view Disney movies, too! Don't think that just because the El Capitan Theater hosts movie premieres it's "off limits" to other guests. You may view Disney movies at this ornate and classic movie palace, too. You can...and should! The El Capitan boasts of having a superior DLP Digital Projection system. And, of course, the sound system is state-of-the-art, as well. The theater's lovely restored interior imparts an aura of glamour from the Golden Age of Hollywood (which is when it was built.) And, you just might catch a stage show, exhibit of movie props, an organ concert...or one of the other extra perks that make viewing your favorite Disney movies at the El Capitan uniquely special in comparison to your local mall's cineplex.

Recent Premieres at the El Capitan Theater

Picture: Wild Hogs Marquee during the movie's run at Disney's El Capitan Theater So, what other recent Disney movie premiers have taken place at Hollywood's El Capitan?

A recent movie premiere held at the El Capitan Theater was for Disney's "The Game Plan," on Sunday, September 23, 2007. The Rock, star of "The Game Plan," attended...along with most of the cast. If you'd like to see photos of The Game Plan's premiere, use the following link to see the Yahoo Movies website's Game Plan Premiere page. You can also learn about the plot of this movie (if you haven't yet seen it) and read reviews, if you like, while you're on the Yahoo Movies website.

Another recent premiere held at Disney's El Capitan Theater was for the opening of Touchstone Pictures' "Wild Hogs," on February 27, 2007. A number of stars from the show, along with other film industry notables attended the premiere. The theater was all decked out Harley style for the event.

In June, 2007 the Ratatatouille movie premiere came CLOSE to being at the El Capitan Theater. The Ratatouille premiere was held just across the street at Hollywood's famous Kodak Theater! This whimsical animated film went on to become one of the hit movies of 2007.

Recent Premiere: Disney Pictures presents Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" in Digital 3D!

Picture: Nightmare Before Christmas 3D movie poster at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, CA What other recent premieres have taken place at the El Capitan?

At the end of 2006, Walt Disney Picture's release of Tim Burton's "3D Nightmare Before Christmas," an amazing film which turns this popular 2D classic into a pop-out-of-the-screen viewing event.

The premiere for the 3D Nightmare Before Christmas movie was held at the El Capitan theater on October 16, 2006. Both Tim Burton and Danny Elfman (who composed the musical score AND sang for the Jack Skellington character) attended, along with many others involved with the film's production.

Just days later, on October 19, 2006, the film opened to the public at the El Capitan sold-out performances, naturally! Opening day events included a panel discussion by members of the team who brought the film to life!

Some other humorous shenanigans went on...and a member of the audience made a video of one particularly fun moment. If you'd like, you may use the following link to see a YouTube video of "Boogie Man" Ken Page singing his famous song live at the El Capitan Theater!

What fun! I know that all of us wish we could have been there in person to enjoy the festivities!

Then the next day, on October 20th, the 3D Nightmare Before Christmas film opened on screens across the world. Talk about a madhouse! This film "made history" by being the FIRST FILM EVER to be released ONLY in Digital 3D! That's right---it's ONLY capable of being shown in theaters equipped with digital projectors...and, as you know there aren't very many of those projectors out there! (Southern Californians are lucky because there are many more theaters here that DO have the equipment to show this film; other cities aren't so lucky.) On the other hand, there are also many more PEOPLE in Southern California...and trying to get into a showing during the film's opening weekend was simply ONLY for those persistent movie-goers with the patience of Job!

El Capitan Theater -- History of A Restored Beauty from Hollywood's Golden Era

El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California The El Capitan Theater began did the Grauman's Chinese Theater...during the era when downtown Los Angeles was the big movie-going center. Lavish theaters were being built in the new Hollywood area, partially in an attempt to draw viewers away from the established down town Los Angeles theater district. No expense was spared in building the El Capitan Theater, which opened in May, 1926. Its $1.2 million construction/decor budget was HUGE for its day!

Actually, Hollywood's El Capitan began life as a theater for live stage productions. It wasn't converted into a movie theater until 1941.

The El Capitan theater---both as a venue for stage plays and also as a movie palace---enjoyed several decades of being one of the hottest tickets in town. After that, its glory slowly faded and, along much of the rest of Hollywood Boulevard; its heyday had past. A succession of owners took over the El Capitan. Its majestic interior features were covered over with layers of plaster in subsequent "modernizing" renovations (because the original decor and ornamentation were then considered to be passe.)

Photo of the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California...home of the Disney movie premieres In 1989, the Disney folks began a thorough restoration of the theater. The first step of the project was stripping away the layers of "improvements" that covered the beautiful original walls and vaulted ceiling. Care had to be taken not to further damage the structures underneath during the process.

After the original walls and fixtures were uncovered, then the restorative work on the theater began. There were damages to repair in the walls and ceilings, and missing pieces to be molded anew (and painted to exactly match the original fixtures.) And, there was still another surprise---the theater thrived in a day and time when smoking was "the thing" to do. Even once the original surfaces were uncovered, built up layers of smoke and nicotine from thousands of theater-goers from days long past had to be removed!

In the end, a museum-quality restoration emerged and was presented to the public. Preservationists raved. Movie-goers loved being treated like royalty again. And Hollywood Boulevard itself made one more giant leap towards becoming, once again, the vital, vibrant entertainment center of Los Angeles.

El Capitan Theater -- Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store

Photo of the Disney Soda Shop on Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood, California There's still more Disney fun on Hollywood Boulevard that you may enjoy while you're visiting the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. It's the recently-opened "Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store."

Located right next door to the El Capitan itself, the Disney's Soda Fountain aims to give visiting families an "old-fashioned ice cream parlor experience." You can eat your sundae or drink you ice cream float at a table inside of the cute shop, or you can grab a cone or malt to-go at the Disney Soda Fountain's take-out window.

Disney's Soda Fountain features ice cream that's custom-prepared for it by Dewar's of Bakersfield, California, which is a 4th generation family business. In other words, the ice cream you eat here at Disney's Soda Fountain on Hollywood Boulevard, is one-of-a-kind premium ice cream that you won't get anywhere else!

You can look at the Soda Fountain's entire menu and learn about the Studio Store at their web pages. Click on the following link to reach the... Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store Hollywood website.

PS: don't forget to save time after your meal to browse around in the Disney store at this location. You'll discover some souvenirs that are difficult to find elsewhere! To see photos of the store (and some of its famous ice cream treats!) plus to learn more about the unique Disney merchandise that you'll find there, please head to the "Disney Soda Fountain" of this blog!

El Capitan Theater -- Address, Map, Directions, Phone

Photo of the Disney Soda Shop sign on Hollywood Blvd

The El Capitan Theater address is---
6838 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028

The El Capitan Theater phone number is---
(323) 467-7674

Directions to the El Capitan Theater---The El Capitan Theater and Disney's Soda Fountain & Studio Store are almost directly across the street from the Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Kodak Theater, and the Hollywood & Highland Center. (In fact, the El Capitan's website suggests that you park your car in the Hollywood and Highland Center's parking garage.)

If you'll be traveling to the area on the US 101 Freeway, you may take the Highland Ave. exit and head south.

You may use the following link to see a Google map to the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California.

The El Capitan Theater's website offers you a chance to buy tickets online and further information about the history of this great theater. You may follow the upcoming link to see the El Capitan Theater's official website.

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