Travel

A Tour of the El Capitan Theatre and Disney Soda Fountain & Studio Store

Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles. Thoughts are my own. Read Mom Spark’s full disclosure here.

During my visit to Los Angeles for the #IronMan3Event, I had the opportunity to tour the legendary El Capitan Theatre (where Iron Man 3 premiered) and Disney Soda Fountain & Studio Store.

Our day began with a delicious breakfast, complete with Mickey waffles (naturally) and fruit.

Mickey Waffle El Capitan

Fruit El Capitan

After breakfast, it was time to tour the El Capitan!

The El Capitan Theatre

Our tour guide was Ed Collins, the General Manager of the El Capitan Theatre.

“What made this theater special is for the first 15 years of its life, it did only stage shows. The movie theater was the Chinese [Theatre].  So about 150 stage shows in the first 15 years. All of the great names in the early years of the motion picture industry appeared on this stage.  Names that we all recognize.”

El Capitan Wall of Fame

“How about Rita Hayworth, Clark Gable. Bob Hope. They all appeared on this stage. How do we know this?  Their names are on the Playbills. We speculate why because the movie moguls, directors and producers in the 20’s all came to the stage shows that played here, right?  And movies was the new business in the 20’s.”

El Capitan Stage

“So they hung out there and watched stage shows here.  First 15 years stage shows only.”

El Capitan Steps

“The owner, Mr. Toberman, said, ‘Hey, I’ll try a movie.’ So ‘Citizen Kane’ had its world premiere here in 1941. And Mr. Toberman said, ‘Movies are the way to go.’  Closed the theater and modernized it and made it look really sleek and modern. And then the theater reopened in 1942 as the Paramount.”

El Capitan Stage and Balcony

“It was affiliated with the Paramount Studios and ran another 50 years, premieres and first run movies. That’s when Disney came to Hollywood. Our theory was boy, Hollywood Boulevard’s a pretty famous street, but the theaters are kinda tired. We put a lot of effort into the making of our movies, right? We want the experience of watching them to match the quality of the movie itself.  So that’s why Disney came to El Capitan Paramount Theater in 1989 and restored it back to the way it looked when it was new.”

Snack Bar El Capitan

“As you know ‘Iron Man 3’  was last night, right?  Coming up is ‘Monsters University’.  So that’s what this theater’s all about.”

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 Soda Fountain & Studio Store

Ed Collins also took us on a short tour of the Disney Soda Fountain & Studio Store, which is next door to the El Capitan Theatre. The Soda Fountain included a soda fountain, of course, as well as various Disney and Marvel merchandise. See a Display of Collectibles & Comic Books from the Private Collection of Stan Lee!

Iron Man 3 Toys Soda Fountain

Soda Fountain Gumball Machine

Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles. Thoughts are my own. Read Mom Spark’s full disclosure here.