Cinema Magic and Soda! A tour of Disney’s #ElCapitan and Soda Fountain #IronMan3Event

May 13, 2013 2 Comments »
Cinema Magic and Soda! A tour of Disney’s #ElCapitan and Soda Fountain #IronMan3Event


Back in the day it was customary for a beau to take his gal to a movie and afterward mosey on over to the local soda fountain shop and share a milkshake and listen to a jam on the jukebox.

While Soda Fountains are pretty much gone, Disney has kept the memory alive and the Disney Soda Fountain still serves up good old-fashioned meals, coupled with milkshakes and the most delicious Mickey Mouse waffles.

I had the chance to tour the Disney Soda Fountain and learn about the rich history of the famous El Capitan Theater during a trip to Los Angeles for the Iron Man 3 premiere.image005


We dined on the famous Mickey Waffles and had our own red carpet experience.


The Soda Fountain is a remarkable Disney staple. If you look at the strip of film that rims the ceiling, it actually reflects the DVDs as they came out starting in 2005. 


We then toured the El Capitan, led by the General Manager Ed Collins, and learned a lifetime of interesting facts about the theater’s evolution.IMG_20130425_093805

What made the theater special, Ed said, was for the first 15 years of its life, the theater only did stage shows.  The movie theater was the Chinese theater, Ed said. And in those 15 years there were about 150 stage shows all of the great names in the early years of the motion picture industry appeared on this stage. 

Do the names Rita Haywood, Clark Gable or Bob Hope ring a bell?  They all appeared on the El Capitan stage. 

How do they know this?  Their names are on the Playbills, Ed said.  “And we speculate why because the movie moguls, directors and producers in the 20’s all came to the stage shows that played here.  And movies were the new business in the 20’s,” He said. “Louie B. Mayer for example and the Warner Brothers — we know they attended shows here because they were also brothers in the Masonic Lodge next door. So they hung out there and watched stage shows here.”

In 1942 the theater reopened as the Paramount. Because it was affiliated with the Paramount Studios, the theater ran another 50 years with premieres and first run movies.  That’s when Disney came to Hollywood, Ed said.  “And our theory was ‘Boy, Hollywood Boulevard’s a pretty famous street.’  But the theaters are kinda tired,” he said. “We put a lot of effort into the making of our movies. 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.”

And the El Capitan is the place where all the lavish fun-filled red carpet Disney premieres are held, like the recent Iron Man 3 premiere I attended along with 24 other bloggers. And coming up, Ed said, is Disney’s Monster University red carpet movie premiere!

As for rumors on whether the famous theater is haunted cinema? Well there was one El Capitan employee who told us the story that she saw a few ghosts – that’s her story and she’s sticking to it. And just like in celebrity form, Ed neither confirmed nor denied the haunted tale!

It was a fun-filled day at the El Capitan and right now IRON MAN 3 is currently playing at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA until June 20th in Disney Digital 3D and Real D 3D.

Also see a Display of Collectibles & Comic Books from the Private Collection of Stan Lee!

· For tickets call 1 (800) DISNEY6 or visit

· 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

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  1. Marybeth Hamilton May 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm -

    I love your picture of the Mickey waffle!

    I had so much fun touring the theater and visiting the Disney Soda Fountain. What a great experience!

  2. cincomom May 13, 2013 at 11:17 pm -

    I wish I had taken the time to eat a Mickey Waffle in Orlando! Thanks for stopping by Marybeth!