The Famous El Capitan Theater + the Real Disney Vault at the Disney Soda Fountain in Los Angeles

el capitan theater at nightLate last month I took part in the Iron Man 3 event, which included the excitement of walking the red carpet at the El Capitan Theater for the premiere of Iron Man 3. I had never been in that Theater before, and I was in awe of the beauty inside the theater, as well as the spectacular lights of the theater’s exterior!

disney soda fountain at el capitan theaterThe day after the Iron Man 3 premiere, our group was invited for a private tour of the El Capitan Theater and breakfast at the Disney Soda Fountain.

I had been so star struck and centered around the Iron Man 3 premiere the previous night that I really didn’t appreciate everything that makes the El Capitan Theater special, so I was especially glad to have some time to view the finer details of the theater and appreciate the history within its walls.

Ed Collins, the Executive Director of Operations for the El Capitan Theater, was kind enough to give us the tour, and it was clear that he has a deep-seated love and appreciation for the theater itself. I got the definite impression that he took his job very seriously and he considered it a privilege to be able to share so much interesting information about the El Capitan with us.

IMG_4829The El Capitan Theater has been around since 1926, but only stage shows were performed there for the first 15 years of its existence. The people who restored the theater starting in 1989 uncovered plenty of Playbills and newspaper ads detailing famous names who had appeared in shows on the stage of the El Capitan. Rita Haworth, Clark Gable and Bob Hope are just a handful of people who shared the El Capitan stage.

The El Capitan took on its first movie premiere with Citizen Kane. Isn’t that amazing? One of the best movies of all time premiered at a theater that wasn’t even a movie theater! The reason for that it was because the movie wasn’t a favorable impression of William Randolph Hearst. Then, when it was time to find a theater to premiere it, no theater wanted to show Citizen Kane because Hearst’s newspapers reviewed the movies showing at those theaters, and they didn’t want to be on his bad side.

Mr. Toberman, the owner of the El Capitan, decided to try a movie showing, and the first premiere was Citizen Kane in 1941. After the success of that premiere, the owner decided to close the theater, modernize it and reopen as The Paramount movie theater in 1942.

When Disney acquired the El Capitan Paramount Theater in 1989, the executives chose to restore the location back to the original El Capitan Theater that opened in 1926.

el capitan wall of fameThere’s such a unique blend of past and present decorating the theater–it’s practically a show business muesum!

The El Capitan Wall of Fame holds an enormous collection of programs, photos and artifacts of key times from the theater’s history. These are just a few of my favorite parts of the wall of fame:

photos from premiere of citizen kaneThese are photos from the premiere of Citizen Kane in 1941.

IMG_4826There were lots of interesting photos from a variety of Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremonies that took place in front of the El Capitan Theater over the years.

oz the great and powerful wicked witch costumeI also loved seeing all the actual props and costumes from Oz The Great and Powerful that were on display in glass cases around the theater. While there were several displays, my favorite was the one with the Wicked Witch costume pictured above. I was in love with the fact that it was perfectly formed onto a green mannequin. Seriously, Disney just thinks of everything!

That morning also included breakfast at the Disney Soda Fountain (located adjacent to the El Capitan Theater) and we got to experience their brand new party room.

IMG_4803Their party room is now available for private parties to rent and have a party with a red carpet theme. We even had one member of our group, Jennifer from Makobi Scribe, who was celebrating her birthday on our trip.


To everyone’s surprise, the El Capitan had made our breakfast into a little birthday party for her! It was really fun to experience a real birthday party in the party space!

IMG_4812The theater will decorate the party room with the movie that’s showing on the big screen of the El Capitan at the time, so we, of course, had an Iron Man 3 party!

There were fun Iron Man 3 centerpieces on every table and coordinating balloons tied to each custom Mickey Mouse chair. The room also had framed Iron Man 3 movie posters placed around the room.

Since Iron Man 3 is currently playing at the El Capitan Theater the parties held at the Disney Soda Fountain will also have an Iron Man theme!

The private party rental at the Disney Soda Fountain with the El Capitan Theater tie-in is such a fun idea, it makes me wish I could have one of my litte ones’ birthday parties there this summer–especially when the theme changes to Monsters University or Planes!

After breakfast in the party room, we visited the Disney Soda Fountain, which includes a fun old-fashioned ice cream parlor menu. There’s also the Disney Studio Store that sells exclusive Disney merchandise.

the real disney vaultFor me, the most fun part of the Disney Soda Fountain is a real representation of the Disney Vault (aka “Walt’s Vault”) that’s depicted in a lot of promotional clips for Disney DVDs and Blu-Ray sets. This is the video vault where the movies are “kept” when they’re not sold.

According to Mr. Collins: So it was a marketing campaign, right? [The vault] was digital, virtual. When we opened the store we teamed up with Disney Home Entertainment to have the real vault at our location in Hollywood. 

If you look at the strip of film that rims the ceiling, that actually relects the DVDs in the order they came out starting in 2005. 

The theater director said that it’s really fun for Disney Soda Fountain guests to see how many of the movies on the film strip they can identify. It was true! There was a little kid in there doing exactly that as I exited the store.

disney soda fountain store merchandiseAs a lover of all things Disney, I was happy I had a few minutes to shop and pick up a little gift for both Haiden and Piper. The store had a great selection of Iron Man merchandise, and there were also plenty of traditional Disney character merchandise to choose from.

Overall, the Disney Soda Fountain and El Capitan Theater together offer a fantastically unique experience for both kids and adults. If you’re ever in Hollywood you should definitely check it out!

Interested in what’s going on at the El Capitan Theater this summer?

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. You’ll also be able to see a Display of Collectibles & Comic Books from the Private Collection of Stan Lee!

June 21st – August 8th: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY. You’ll even see Mike & Sulley in the MU Pep Rally with the Sprit Squad Live on Stage!

August 9th – September 19th: Disney’s PLANES.

For tickets to these or future events call 1 (800) DISNEY6 or visit You can also like The El Capitan Theater on Facebook and follow @ElCapitanThtre on Twitter to interact with the theater and find out about current and future theater events.

Disclosure: Thanks to Disney for covering my travel expenses for my participation in the Iron Man 3 #IronMan3Event press trip, which included this tour and event. 

The Star-Studded Red Carpet: The Iron Man 3 Hollywood Premiere at The El Capitan Theater

Iron Man 3 Cast Hollywood Premiere

I think everyone looks back on a particular time and wonders, Did that really just happen? I’ve been asking myself exactly that since just before I went to sleep at 1am last Thursday.

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Wednesday, April 25th was one surreal experience after another. I, a little mom blogger, had arrived in Los Angeles the previous day to meet up with 24 other influential mom bloggers and cover the Iron Man 3 Hollywood premiere.

After an amazing day filled with surprises and celebrities, I thought I was prepared to attend the red carpet premiere of Iron Man 3.

Looking back, nothing could have prepared me for the actual experience of the red carpet premiere for iron Man 3. It was quite possibly one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

After getting dressed up and taking advantage of photo ops with friends, we waited on side street around the corner from the theater until our Disney leader got the go-ahead that we were ready to walk.

robert downey junior in audi at iron man 3

That go-ahead came immediately after the above image flashed alongside us–engine revving, sporting a license plate reading Stark16 and surrounded by LAPD officers on bicycles.

It didn’t take long to realize that the star of Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. was driving the car to make his own grand entrance onto the red carpet. He was gone in a flash, but the screaming fans right around the corner indicated that he wasn’t too far ahead of us.

robert downey jr signing autographs

As it turns out, I ended up being behind him for a moment before he stepped onto the red carpet for a moment. Granted, there was a crowd, security guards and barricades between us, but I’m pretty sure That’s the closest I’ll ever get to Robert Downey Jr.!
The star of the movie was quickly whisked away from the crowds and I started my own walk down the red carpet.

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The red carpet for Iron Man 3 was thrilling in its intensity. All the screaming fans, police offers, security guards, camera, film crews, celebrity reporters and genuine ceremony definitely made for an unforgettable moment.

My good friend Chrysa from ThriftyJinxy and I paired up so we could take a few pictures of each other as we made our way to the movie entrance, (she took that photo of us together) but I swear I was so shaky and star-struck I’m lucky I even remembered to take photos on my own!

iron man 3 premiereAfter all the celebrity-spotting (and feeling a bit famous myself!) we were ushered into the El Capitan Theater to watch Iron Man 3. I’ll have a review of the movie posted a little later this week, but if you’re wondering if it’s really that good, the answer is YES, it’s that good!

Like IRON MAN 3 on Facebook:, follow IRON MAN 3 on Twitter: @Iron_Man, visit the website:

Marvel’s Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible.

This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of Tales of Suspense (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with The Invincible Iron Man (#1) in May of 1968.

“Iron by “Iron Man 3” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Disclosure: Thanks to Disney for covering my travel expenses for my participation in this press trip. 


Follow Along as I attend the Hollywood Premiere of Iron Man 3!

iron man 3 hollywood premiereLate last week I was shopping at Target, juggling my mobile coupons, the Ibotta app and Shopkick trying to save as much as possible when an email notification flashed across my phone screen: Disney and Marvel Invite You to Los Angeles…

I think I stopped breathing for the time it took to open the message and verify that it was, indeed, a real invitation to go to Los Angeles in late April to take part in not only the Hollywood premiere of Iron Man 3, but a handful of other amazing experiences! While in California, 24 other influential bloggers and I will:

* Attend the Hollywood premiere of Iron Man 3
* Interview Iron Man 3 cast members
* Tour the world famous El Capitan Theater and El Capitan Soda Fountain
* Visit Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and see the Tony Stark wax figure

I’m exhilarated at the very idea of being invited to such an event, and I’m beyond thrilled that I’m able to go! Both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 opened #1 at the box office and spent weeks in the top 3 box office films. Iron Man 3 is going to be huge, and I have no idea what to expect! Some of the many questions that are floating around in my head include, What am I going to wear? What celebrities will I see? What celebrities will I get to interview?

I would love to connect with you as I share more about the trip, the movie premiere and all the other experiences on various social media channels! Follow me at the links below:

@BabySavers on Twitter
BabySavers on Facebook
BabySavers on Instagram
BabySavers on Pinterest

You should also follow the hashtag #IronMan3Event on Twitter to see updates from everyone attending the event!