Capitan Theater lighted marquee|
Photo courtesy Lauren
Meyers, June 2006
Several years ago, while traveling through Pasadena,
we passed by the Capitan Theatre and were delightfully surprised to see the marquee
lighted. If such a list were made - it would easily be one of "The top ten surviving
movie marquees in Texas." |
Calling the city the next day we were eventually
routed to the person who was working on the Capitan project. He assured us that
we would be sent a photo or two of the lighted marquee. We didn't notice when
photos didn't arrive and forgot about it until we heard from Miranda Spigener
(whose letter appears below).
On our brief visit to the former downtown
of Pasadena, we also noticed
a shooting gallery / gun store that had to have been a theatre at one time.
unlighted marquee of Pasadena's Capitan Theatre|
TE Photo, May 2003
TE Photo, May 2003
Theatre, another former theatre stripped of its marquee|
TE Photo, May 2003
Hotels > Book Here|
Capitan Theater in Pasadena
I was talking with an office
mate today and we were discussing old theaters. I had no idea the Capitan and
been purchased by the city. I spent many Saturdays there watching the news reels,
cartoons, and movies. We didnít have a lot of money, but my Mama and Daddy would
scrounge up the quarters for my brother and I to go to the movies. I think we
also got a nickel for something at the concession stand. My daughter, having worked
in an old theater in Magnolia, Arkansas, loves old theaters. She didnít have the
pleasure of going to the Capitan when she was a child, but even then she loved
the building. I am really glad the marquee is still in place. Thank you for the
reminder. - Nancy A. Birtman, October 16, 2013
Theaters - Long's
Dear TE, I came across your [magazine] when starting
to reminisce about Jackson Junior High [in Pasadena]. I remember when a child's
ticket to Long's was $.09 (that's NINE CENTS). My dad worked across the street
at Bob Harris's appliance store, and later Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. He would
take me with him when he had to work late at night and I went to Long's. Then
one day, they made a huge price increase to 20 cents. Talk about inflation!
It wasn't as stylish as the Capitan, but, hey, I didn't go much (at 7 or
8 years of age) for the ambiance, just the movies. Double feature and refreshments
for about a quarter. Pretty good deal. Got out of the theater about 8 or 9 o'clock
at night and walked across the street. Kids today probably aren't going to be
allowed to do that alone. - John Webb, Rising Star, TX, November 09, 2006
Capitan Theater-Pasadena, Texas
It was so nice to happen upon your site.
I too have memories of the Capitan Theater (although I seem to recall it being
the El Capitan Theater). It was a wonderful theater in the late 1950's and early
1960's when my younger brother and I used to spend most Saturdays during the school
year there. We would get out about dark and sometimes would be a little sad that
we had spend most of out Saturday there but next Saturday, we'd be back again.
I actually worked behind the concession stand at the theater in my Senior year
at Pasadena High School in 1965. If I remember right we worked 10 hours on Saturday
and 11 hours on Sunday for about a dollar an hour. My family moved from Pasadena
to North Louisiana right after I graduated from high school and I've only been
back a very few times since then. Thanks for the opportunity to share my memories.
- Ron Mason, August 19, 2006
I attended Garden Elementary [so] I remember the Long' s Theater.
I must say that I only attended that theater about five times in my life. They
built the Gardens Theater and had a lot of things for kids to do. On Saturdays
we could get on stage and sing and dance. A lot of fun things like who could finish
a baby bottle full of water first. Yep, the nipple was on there and they had prizes
Then it burned down and along came the Capitan. Now what I remember
were the seats. They would push back to let people get by. When I got married
I was able to bring my son to the crying room... We all lived in the Gardens.
We had a lot of things to grow up with. My children all say they wished that they
were born in the late 30's... - Jimmie Killebrew, Wade School 1944-1956, May
Capitan and Pasadena TheatresI
happened on your mention of the Capitan and was amazed. I assumed it was derelict
or torn down by now. I spent most Saturdays of my youth from 1952 on at the Capitan
Saturday Matinee. Three features, a serial, and 7 cartoons. Started up at 11:30
a.m. and we usually got out about 5:00 or 5:15 p.m. Admission $.25 plus $.25 more
for concessions - I supposed it was a bargain for our parents.
theatre mentioned in the article (the one that is now a gun shop) was Long's Theatre.
We went there occasionally but it was by far the less popular back then.
I have lived in South Carolina for the past 30 years and have only gotten back
to Pasadena once or twice. Definitely enjoyed my childhood there but seeing it
as an adult made it lose a lot of its allure. Sincerely, Mark Little, May 01,
Capitan Theatre and Long's Theatre in Pasadena, TXI
came across your web site as I was seeking info on the El Capitan Theatre in Pasadena.
You asked about the other theatre in Pasadena, that is now a gun store. It was
the Long's Theatre.
I went to the Capitan Theatre many times when I was
a kid growing up in Pasadena in the late 50's and early 60's. My sister and former
brother-in-law met when they both worked at the Capitan. Ronnie was a new usher
and my sister, Lynda was already working there in the concession stand. I remember
Ronnie saying the first time he laid eyes on my sister (at the ) it was love at
first sight. One of my other sisters, Nancy also worked there behind the concession
stand. I have heard many stories of events that happened there.
good memories of Saturdays spent at the Capitan. I always thought it was a grand
place. It cost about a quarter or dime to get in and you could stay all day and
watch the movie over and over. I loved the Junior Mints (for a dime). We lived
in the oldest house in Pasadena on Conrad Street, the first mayor of Pasadena
(Mayor Conrad) lived in our old house. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. -
Patsy Watkins, August 09, 2005
The Capitan of Pasadena
& its sister theatre The Granada I
grew up in Pasadena and have heard stories from my grandparents, parents, former
ushers, managers, original managers, and others that remember attending or working
at the Capitan in Pasadena. The City of Pasadena bought it and registered it in
the history register since it's over 60 years old.
It has sat abandoned
since the early 80s and was not in the best of shape. However, the City has renovated
the facade and marqee, with plans of making it a Performance Hall for Pasadena.
The interior has no date for completion as its not in the budget.
did a story and photo shoot in '96 or '97 on this theatre. I have some original
slides of its grand opening that I purchased from the photographer in the Houston
Heights. The Capitan and The Granada were originally owned by Phil Isley (father
of the great actress of the 40-50s Jennifer Jones). The theatres were later owned
shortly by Interstate Theatres. Jennifer made a non-publicity appearance at the
Capitan according to one of the orginal managers I interviewed.
Granada (at Jensen and Tidwell in Houston) is currently a Hispanic Church. I heard
they are going to restore it. The Granada looks like a theatre inside and out
last time I visited in 97, except that the snack bar had been removed, and one
can't even tell it was ever there!
- Miranda Spigener, Houston, Texas,
July 06, 2005
Hotels > Book Here