Capitol Theatre (New York City)
New York City
|Opened||October 24, 1919|
|Closed||September 16, 1968|
|Architect||Thomas W. Lamb|
The Capitol Theatre was a movie palace located at 1645 Broadway, just north of Times Square in New York City, across from the Winter Garden Theatre. Designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb, who also designed other major theaters such as the Fox Theater in San Francisco, the Capitol seated 4,000 and opened October 24, 1919.
The Capitol was one of the first of the large lavish movie theaters that dominated the film exhibition business for the next 40 years. The theater was acquired in 1924 by the entertainment magnate Marcus Loew and became the flagship of his deluxe Loew's Theatres chain.
The Capitol was the frequent site of the world premieres of films made by the Loew's-owned Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio. This was the theatre at which the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz had its first New York run.
After having been converted for the presentation of Cinerama wide screen films in 1964, the theater's last engagement was the New York premiere of MGM's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Capitol closed September 16, 1968 with a live all-star benefit featuring Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. The Times Square landmark was replaced by the Paramount Plaza office tower.
Radio programs were broadcast from the Capitol Theatre as early as 1923. Leo Zeitlin (1884-1930) was a violinist, violist, conductor and impresario who was active in Saint Petersburg's Society for Jewish Folk Music. In 1923, he emigrated to New York, where he became the violist and arranger for the Capitol Theatre. In 1925, he began arranging orchestral and small ensemble pieces for the Capitol's radio program on WEAF, which became the flagship station of the NBC Red Network in 1926.
Beginning in 1926, the series of light classical concerts titled Capitol Theatre was broadcast by the NBC Red Network on Sunday evenings from 7:20pm to 9:15pm. This series continued until 1929, not long before Zeitlin's death.
- Advertisement for the Capitol Theatre, New York Tribune, November 27, 1921, Part IV, p. 2. (Online at the Library of Congress' Chronicling America website.)
- Nugent, Frank S. "Movie Review…The Wizard of Oz", The New York Times, August 18, 1939.
- Crowther, Bosley. "Old-Time Star-Filled Benefit to Close Capitol Theater Tonight". New York Times, September 16, 1968.
- Eisenstein, Paula. "Leo Zeitlin's Musical Works on Jewish Themes for New York's Capitol Theatre, 1927-1930", Shofar, Vol. 20, No. 1, October 31, 2001. (Preview online at Questia website.)
- Baker, Paula Eisenstein and Robert S. Nelson (eds.). "Leo Zeitlin: Chamber Music". A-R Editions, Inc. website, "Recent Researches in the Music of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries".
- Howard, Aaron. "Finding Composer Leo Zeitlin", Jewish Herald-Voice, February 26, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Capitol Theatre (New York City).|
- Capitol Theatre at Cinema Treasures