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El Capitan Theatre

It’s heating up in LA, and last week we talked about some great museums to visit where you can beat the heat with your family. If you do have young children, another great way to get indoors for a little bit is a visit to the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. If your kids love the magic of Disney, it will be brought alive for them again at the El Capitan. It may be old but don’t worry, you will only find one mouse in this this theater!

This historic landmark was originally built in the 1920’s as a part of Hollywood’s theatre district and was originally the theatre for “spoken dramas”. The only drama played out there today is in the Disney movies shown on the big screen, always with a happy ending! For 10 years, there were over 120 productions in the theater. Clark Gable even starred in one. And the world premiere of “Citizen Kane” was there. Like most businesses, the El Capitan suffered through the depression and had to close for a year after the screening of “Citizen Kane”. It was renovated and re-opened in 1942.

While the theatre changed hands many times, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that the Walt Disney company purchased it and refurbished the beautiful Spanish Colonial style building. One of the most wonderful things about this theater is the experience you have there. While you are seeing a movie on the big screen like any other theater, it is almost as if you are paying for a live theater experience. The theatre’s East Indian interior boasts decorations from the current movie it is playing. And there is usually some sort of pre-show happening on the stage before the show starts or you can listen to the music being played on the 1920’s Wurlitzer, so be sure to get there early. And like a lot of Disneyland rides, each show exits though a specialized Disney Store – in this case it is a Soda Fountain.

Also like Disneyland, many children will also dress in costume when they go… which is a really fabulous extension from the park that they love so much. And in true Disney fashion, there are even ushers who are dressed in character ready to take you to your seat and the customer service is always a wonderful experience – pure Disney all the way. And you can even have birthday parties and other events here. If you are really looking for something different, try the breakfast with a character there. While it doesn’t happen very often, this breakfast is offered before their 10 o’clock a.m. movies. The breakfast includes a meet n greet with a character (much like meals with the characters at Disneyland itself).

If you are looking for a fun outing for the day, you can’t go wrong here. Experience LA and so much more with LA Insider Tours.