***Disclosure: I received an all-expense paid trip from Disney/Marvel to cover the Hollywood premiere of Iron Man 3. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
You might recall that my Iron Man 3 red carpet experience was held at the El Capitan Theater, located on fabulous Hollywood Blvd. This venue was the perfect location for this star-studded event, since it features so many larger than life details...Bright lights, grandiose architecture, rich colors, and even a vintage looking theater room that is fit for royalty.
The El Capitan Theater is one of the things that makes Hollywood, well....Hollywood! This iconic theater has been around for quite some time, and has been lovingly restored to its original splendor. This building screams 1920's glamour, so when you go inside, it's almost as if you've been transported to a bygone era. Old school Hollywood...When names like Rita Hayworth, Clark Gable, and Bob Hope were household names that made fans swoon.
To add to the excitement of Hollywood, the El Capitan is located right on the Walk of Fame. Here I am outside of the theater. Can you tell whose star I am standing near?
Breakfast, Hollywood Style....
We were completely blown away by the beauty of the El Capitan during the Iron Man 3 Premiere, but seeing it the next day was no less impressive. When we arrived, we were told that we were very special guests and were treated to an amazing breakfast, Hollywood style, of course. They offer a great party room, which has movie posters, ample room for guests, and of course, a red carpet. Talk about star treatment! This room can be reserved for birthday parties, or any other notable occasion.
The party room was beautifully decorated, with tons of balloons, fancy table linens, and of course, Iron Man 3 centerpieces. We all "ooh-ed" and "ahh-ed" as we found our seats. Many of us posed on the red carpet, too, which just added to the whole Hollywood experience.
Our meal was prepared by the El Capitan staff, and consisted of a bright, beautiful fruit salad and these HUGE Mickey Mouse waffles. They use the same recipe as the Disney theme parks, which I thought was really neat. Sadly, I have never been to Disney, so this was just a tease for me...And added incentive to really start saving up for a Disney vacation!
Step Into A Bygone Era At the El Capitan....
After our tummies were full, we received a personal tour of the El Capitan, conducted by none other than Ed Collins, the theater's general manager. He had such a wealth of information to share with us, and it was really interesting learning about the colorful history of this Hollywood fixture.
When the El Capitan first opened its doors in 1926, it was a place for stage shows. For 15 years, the world's biggest stars performed on the stage at this beautiful theater. There were dance shows, singing, and of course acting...Think of the variety shows that old-school Hollywood is so known for. This was where all of that happened.
Then something exciting began to happen in Hollywood. People wanted to see motion pictures in these grand old theaters. Of course, the El Capitan couldn't ignore this new trend, so in 1941, the award winning film, "Citizen Caine" was shown at this popular venue. The funny thing is, other theaters wouldn't touch this movie because it was too "dark" or not cheery enough. Their loss was the El Capitan's gain, so they closed for remodeling and then rebranded themselves as the "Hollywood Paramount" a sleek, "art moderne" movie house.
Then in 1989, the Walt Disney Company partnered with Pacific Theaters to restore the El Capitan to it's original splendor. This was no small feat, and it took years of painstaking work. They paid very close attention to even the smallest, most trivial seeming details, like which exact shades were on the ceilings or what color curtains should be used. This was a true labor of love, and bit by bit, the El Capitan took a step back in time and became the epitome of Hollywood glamour once again.
Take a look at how gorgeous the theater room is. Yes, those are swanky balconies you see. There are also 2 levels of seating, one large area on the lower level and more balcony seating. The seats are all arranged in a way to make sure that each and every guest has a perfect view of the stage! In case you were curious, the El Capitan can welcome up to 1,000 guests at a time.
Nowadays, the El Capitan is not only a movie house, it also hosts stage shows in conjunction with films. And of course, plenty of red carpet premieres happen here as well. There are plenty of neat photos displayed in the hallways that show highlights from such events, and I have to admit, the Monsters, Inc event looked amazing. Life sized Mike and Sully?! Count me in!
Another very fun thing about the El Capitan is the fact that movie memorabilia is on display. See the outfits below? They were used during the production of "Oz the Great and Powerful". How cool is that?!
And of course, we learned something rather spooky about this majestic theater. There are some patrons that have never checked out. That's right...The El Capitan Theater is haunted by a few presumably friendly spirits. This was confirmed by the general manager, and we even heard an employee's stories about seeing a full-bodied apparition in the employee break room. Rumor has it that the restless spirits are those of an old manager, a projectionist, and even an unhappy guest who committed suicide in the balcony. Whoever these spirits may be, just know that if you ever feel a chill in the El Capitan Theater, it's more than likely not a result of a draft.
Disney's Soda Fountain & Studio Store....
After our tour of the theater, we went next door to the Disney's Soda Fountain & Studio Store. This, my friends, is a magical place, and a must-see for any Disney fanatic. Here they have not only amazing shakes, sundaes and food, 1950's diner style, they also have tons and tons of Disney merchandise.
There is literally something for everyone here. If you're looking for Disney DVD's, they have a huge selection of them. There are also countless toys from just about any movie you could think of, some very cute apparel, and of course lots and lots of candy.
Here are just some of the awesome things I found in this shop. I love the Oz merchandise. I have yet to see this movie, but have heard amazing things about it. Seeing all of the great dolls from the movie really got me geared up to see this hit!
Of course there was also a HUGE Iron Man 3 display, complete with apparel, action figures, books, and even key chains and Lego sets. If I had any room left in my jam-packed luggage, I would have bought some to bring home to the kids. Sadly, that just wasn't possible!
Oh, and you've heard about the fabled "Disney Vault", right? Where they hide all of the unsold movies to be released at a much later date? Well, I thought that was merely a Disney legend of sorts. But here, at Disney's Soda Fountain & Studio Store, there is a great big Mickey Mouse shaped vault. Yep. It's here! The Disney Vault is here! How stinking cool is that?!
By the end of the day, I was exhausted. My Iron Man 3 trip was incredibly busy, and it went by so very quickly. So after checking out the Soda Fountain, I went out front and sat down with my homeboy, Hollywood Mickey. Cute couple, aren't we?!
Overall, I had an absolute blast during my trip to Hollywood. Not only did I get to hob-nob with celebs and walk the red carpet, I also got to learn so much about Hollywood history. It was very, very cool. Next time, I will have to bring my teen with me, since he desperately wants to go ghost hunting at the El Capitan now!
How to Connect :
For tickets call 1 (800) DISNEY6 or visit www.elcapitantickets.com
You can check out all the El Capitan events by visiting their website, facebook, and on twitter (#ElCapitan)
SUMMER HAPPENINGS YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS:
From now through June 19 you can catch Iron Man 3 in 3D at the El Capitan. (Make sure to use the Real 3D glasses!)
You can also see a display of collectibles & comic books from the private collection of the legendary Stan Lee! (How cool is that?!)
Then on June 21-August 8, head back to enjoy college days with the lovable characters of Monsters University.
Also, from August 9th – September 19th: Disney’s PLANES will be soaring into the El Capitan! I don't know about you, but I am SO excited about this movie! What better place to experience it than the El Capitan Theater?! If you're in Hollywood, definitely check it out!
DISNEY'S SODA FOUNTAIN & STUDIO STORE:
Disney’s Soda Fountain & Studio Store can be found on their website, facebook, and on twitter
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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