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El Capitan Theatre: the ticket lobby


The boxoffice windows in 1926. One wonders what was in that display case. The Mott Studios photo is in the the California State Library collection. It also appeared in a ten page article by G. Albert Lansburgh in the February 1927 issue of Architect and Engineer, available on Internet Archive. The Los Angeles Public Library also has a version of the photo.

Lansburgh did the theatre design with Morgan, Walls & Clements doing the ticket lobby space and the adjoining department store building. The two firms would work together again several years later on the Wiltern. In the Architect and Engineer article Lansburgh praised the ticket lobby design as "most attractive." Unlike his "East Indian" theatre interior, the building facade is Spanish and, as Lansburgh noted, reflects the "clever imaginative mind" of its design team at Morgan, Walls and Clements.  

The island boxoffice didn't arrive until 1942. It went away in 1964 and returned in a Disney version in 1991.



A glorious 1926 view of the ticket windows and the marquee soffit -- the front part later got chopped off for new marquee treatments. It's a Mott Studios photo in the California State Library collection.



A list of ticket prices once posted near a boxoffice window. The undated photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



The ticket lobby and its new island boxoffice in 1942 after the remodel that turned it into the Paramount. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



Big changes again in 1964. The remodel done by Statewide Theatres was profiled in a Boxoffice article on February 18, 1965 headlined "Dramatic Effects in Remodeled Theatre." The island boxoffice is gone and a new one was built over to the side. The display cases and marquee were also redone. And disco balls!

Regarding the disco balls, Boxoffice noted they are: "six two-foot and three-foot diameter spheres which revolve, picking up surrounding light and reflecting it to the constantly busy, moving traffic on the boulevard."



A Boxoffice magazine photo of the new display case on the east side of the ticket lobby. They say: "Extraordinary is the word for the front lobby display cases in the Hollywood Paramount. This one, on the side opposite the boxoffice, is 27 feet wide by nine feet high, and the back wall is recessed 16 inches from the seven sliding glass panel doors which enables three dimensional displays to be installed."



Another photo from the 1965 Boxoffice article about the remodel. They say that the boxoffice is "Perhaps one of the most elegant boxoffices in the world..." It had two motor-driven revolving chandeliers that reflected in mirrors nearby. And red telephones to match the color of the boxoffice ceiling. 



A magical resurrection of the ticket lobby occurred with the Disney restoration in 1991. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



A view of one of the faces on the of the entrance arch with the ceiling of the ticket lobby beyond. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



A look into the ticket lobby. Photo: Cap Equity Locations - 2010

Cap Equity Locations brokers deals between property owners and companies looking for locations for filming or special events. See their page on the El Capitan Theatre for 213 fine photos of all areas of the building. 



Another detail of a bit of the ornate cast stone work above the boxoffice. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



Some of the cast stone work at the west side of the entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



The ticket lobby ceiling. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



The center medallion of the ticket lobby's ceiling. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



Several of the entrance doors. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012 



Looking west behind the boxoffice. Photo: Cap Equity Locations - 2010. Thanks to Rebecca at Cap Equity for all her photos!

Pages about the El Capitan: El Capitan overview | street views 1925 to 1954 | street views 1955 to present | back to top - ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | auditorium | backstage |

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