BACKSTORY: The El Capitan Theatre opened May 3, 1926, featuring an elaborate $1.2-million East Indian design, created by San Francisco architect G. Albert Lansburgh. From 1926–1936, more than 120 live plays were produced at the El Capitan Theatre, including “No, No, Nanette,” “Anything Goes,” and “Ah, Wilderness.” “Citizen Kane” made its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in 1941. After the successful screening of “Citizen Kane,” the El Capitan Theatre closed for remodeling. A year later, it was reborn as the Hollywood Paramount, an “art moderne” movie house.
In 1989, The Walt Disney Company joined with Pacific Theatres to begin a two-year archeological dig, which led to a museum-quality restoration of the legendary palace. Under the supervision of the National Park Service's Department of the Interior, and with guidance from conservator Martin Weil, architect Ed Fields, and renowned theatre designer Joseph J. Musil, the certified national historic site was restored to its former grandeur and reopened to the public in June, 1991, with the world premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' “The Rocketeer.”
Today, you can enjoy a movie at the El Capitan and be entertained by their amazing Wurlitzer organist, Rob Richards.