Loew's Capitol Theatre

1328 F Street NW,
Washington, DC 20004

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Circuit, Loew's Inc.

Architects: Cornelius Ward Rapp, George W. Leslie Rapp

Firms: Rapp & Rapp

Styles: French Renaissance

Previous Names: Fox Theatre, Loew's Fox Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Lowe's Capitol Booth

Opened as the Fox Theatre on September 19, 1927 with George O'Brien in “Paid to Love”. The opening was under the personal supervision of Simon Lionel ‘Roxy’ Rothafel, who had opened his own stupendous Roxy Theatre in New York on March 11, 1927. The Fox Theatre is often cited as the most beautiful and grand of Washington’s lost movie palaces. Designed by noted theatre architectural firm Rapp & Rapp, it was the last theatre to be designed by Cornelius Ward Rapp who died of a heart attack on June 28, 1926. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual, 15 ranks theatre pipe organ. It was later enlarged to a 4 manual 28 ranks instrument and later another 3 ranks were added. On August 14, 1936 it was renamed Loew’s Capitol Theatre.

It was closed in 1963 and the Wurlitzer organ was removed from the theatre prior to its demolition in 1964, and was installed in a private residence in Thurmont, MD. In 2023 it was being installed in a private residence in southwest United States. All that remains today is its famous archway on the building’s still extant fa├žade, which forms the entrance to the National Press Building.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 52 comments)

rivest266 on June 21, 2015 at 8:12 am

Monday, July 27, 1936 newspaper article announcing the contest of the new name of this theatre. Capitol, Congressional, Diplomat, Embassy, Federal, Marcus Loew, Nation, President, Union

Capitol won

rivest266 on June 21, 2015 at 8:16 am

August 14th, 1936 grand opening ad in photo section

DavidZornig on October 20, 2015 at 7:17 am

1929 photo added. Fox Roller Skating Girls 1929 by Schutz Photo, Capitol Photo Service Collection. Courtesy Panoramic Images. Fox marquee just visible on the far right. It was the largest version of the image I could find. It was in an e-mail from the Historical Society of Washington D.C.regarding an upcoming event called the Bootlegger’s Ball.

musiclover on July 15, 2016 at 1:43 pm

If anyone has recollections about or photos of Sam Jack Kaufman, Conductor and Musical Director of Loews Capitol Theatre 1940-54, would like to see them. He was the Conductor at the Truman Inaugural Gala in 1949.

ChattTraveler on December 31, 2016 at 7:52 am

My mother, Lynn Allison, sang with SJK at the Lowe’s for 7 years. When they tore it down, he sent her one of the tassels from the curtain, which I still have. They were great friends. (Can’t remember if I posted this before; don’t mean to be redundant.)

musiclover on January 4, 2017 at 10:08 am

ChattTraveler, glad to see your comment. What years did your mother sing at Loew’s Capitol? I’m doing research on USO camp shows and trying to find out if SJK & his orchestra performed in them at Westover Field in Massachusetts in late 1944/early 1945.

ChattTraveler on September 17, 2017 at 7:28 pm

musiclover…I think 1939 to 1946. She did sing for many military functions, raising money for war bonds, singing at Walter Reed, the Navy Sail Loft, and for many military brass (when Hap Arnold got his 4th star in 1943.) She even sang at the White House for FDR, and then again at his last birthday party before he died. She also sang at a memorial service for him at the Department of Ag.

Sterli on September 18, 2017 at 10:20 am

I worked at the Capital theater . From 1958 to 1960 as the secretary to the Manager .I ,Also ran the switch board and cashiered . I too like Ipa, loved to explore backstage . The Capital theater was truly a magical place to work,in. All of the Management that were in place at the time Ipa and I worked there are no longer living. There is an exception. The man who managed the Loews Palace.is still,living,

MarkA on July 6, 2023 at 4:20 am

The Wurlitzer organ at the Capitol was a three manual, fifteen rank instrument, not a 4m/31r. Known as a Style (model) 260, the organ chambers were installed on one side of the auditorium. When moved to Thurmont, it was combined with with another Wurlitzer from the Manos Theatre in Greensburg PA using the console from the Capitol. This console was rebuilt with manuals and eventually controlled thirty-one ranks of pipes. Its owner passed away in February 2023. The organ is now being installed in a private residence in southwest United States.

MarkA on August 8, 2023 at 7:20 pm

A CORRECTION TO MY COMMENT ABOVE: The rebuilt console featured four manuals, controlling 28 ranks of pipes. It was rebuilt again and controlled 31 ranks.

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