Breakfast at the Soda Fountain and a Tour of El Capitan Theatre #IronMan3Event
In Salt Lake City we have some pretty fancy movie theaters, but they can’t hold a candle to the historical relevance of the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. The El Capitan, whose doors have been open since 1926, has had legendary stars like Clark Gable perform on its stage. I get a little chill every time I step into the lobby of El Capitan, just knowing that decades before me some of the most beloved performers of all time perhaps once stood in the same place as me.
The El Capitan Theatre is located right next door to the Soda Fountain and Studio Store, which is where we began our last morning in Los Angeles. I’ve peeked inside the Soda Fountain and Studio Store before when attending previous events at the El Capitan, but have never stepped inside.
Anyone can rent space in one of the party salons at the Soda Fountain for a true red carpet experience. There a few different packages to choose from, and they are perfect for birthdays, bridal showers, work parties, or even just because. We were treated to a beautifully arranged breakfast of fruits and Mickey waffles and had the opportunity to take photos of ourselves on a red carpet. I felt like I’d attended two red carpet parties in the span of three days!
Left to Right: Sarah from East 9th Street and Jen from Simply Stacie
After breakfast, we were taken on a tour of the El Capitan Theatre by Ed Collins, who is the Executive Director of Operations for the El Capitan Theatre and the Soda Fountain and Studio Store. Our tour began in the lobby, then upstairs through a pictorial history of key events for the theatre, and finally into the empty and dim theatre itself. I’ve always loved all sorts of history, but I’m especially drawn to Disney history and Hollywood.
5 Fun Facts About the El Capitan Theatre
1. The El Capitan Theatre was built in 1926, and for the first fifteen years it only offered stage shows.
2. Rita Hayworth, Bob Hope, and Clark Gable are just a few names you might recognize who performed on the stage at during those early years.
3. No movie theatre dared take on showing Citizen Kane, a movie that was based on William Randolph Hearst, because it showed him in a negative light. Hearst was a newspaper giant, and newspapers reviewed films. Toberman, the owner of the El Capitan, decided to take a chance and so Citizen Kane’s premiere took place there in 1941. Afterwards, the El Capitan was shut down for a year to be remodeled. It reopened in 1942 to show films.
4. For 50 years after the 1942 remodel, the El Capitan (renamed Paramount) showed premieres and first run films. In 1989, Disney acquired the theatre and restored it back to its original look.
5. In June of 1991, the El Capitan showed the premiere of The Rocketeer. Before they showed the film, they opened with a stage show. Today, the El Capitan hosts 10-12 premieres per year.
We ended the morning by a little bit of shopping in the Studio Store. It’s like stepping back in time a few decades; there is an ice cream parlor built inside that offers sundaes, cones, and shakes. You can sit right at the counter or even order something street side. The ice cream is made by Dewar’s, which has been around since 1909. I was too full from breakfast to even be tempted by ice cream, but I couldn’t help smiling thinking that the recipe of the ice cream at the Soda Fountain is almost identical to how it was when my grandparents were my same age and living in Los Angeles.
I absolutely loved the interior of the Soda Fountain and Studio Store. Above the cash register there is the familiar “Disney Vault” that we always see in commercials just as the Blu-rays and DVDs are either coming out again or being put away for another generation. The Studio Store is said to have the largest selection of Disney films, including ones that are hard to find!
I saw plenty Disney memorabilia that I would have loved to take home with me, including several figurine. Instead, I treated myself to a comfy gray hoodie with Mickey Mouse on the back!
Check out what’s happening right now and this summer at the 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
*Disney provided me with an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to attend the red carpet premiere of Iron Man 3 and to tour the El Capitan Theatre and Soda Fountain. Any thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.*