Capitol Theatre (#2)

324 W. Capitol Avenue,
Little Rock, AR 72201

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc., Robb & Rowley-United Inc., Rowley United Theatres Inc., United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.

Previous Names: Palace Theatre, Pulaski Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Pulaski Theater 1940 from Arkansas History Commission site

One of many theatres in downtown Little Rock, the Palace Theatre was opened on June 1, 1914. It was located on W. Capitol Street and S. Spring Street. Following a remodel it reopened on December 12, 1931 as the Pulaski Theatre, operated by Robb & Rowley. The reopening movie was “Private Lives” starring Norma Shearer & Robert Montgomery. In the 1940’s it is listed as being operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Ed Rowley. It became the Capitol Theatre in 1954 following the closure of the original Capitol Theatre.

The theatre was closed and demolished in 1974 and a new high rise office building is on the site.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kencmcintyre on August 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Here is an account of a premiere at the Pulaski in July 1936, from the Hope (AR) Star:

LITTLE ROCK -Bob Burns, whose old friends and ex-neighbors at Van Buren call him Robin, stood on the stage at the Pulaski theater Monday night and gabbed cheerfully about ancient times in Van Buren, his fictitious kinfolks there, the wonders of Arkansas and virtually everything else under the sun while his audience hugged its sides in delight.

The occasion was the crowning event of Bob Burns' day in Little Rock, the gala world premiere first night of the motion picture, “Rhythm on the Range,” Paramount production in which Bob is featured with Bing Crosby. The day began with a parade through the business section of Little Rock. The first showing of the “Rhythm” picture was given in the afternoon, with Bob Burns entertaining on the stage. Monday night’s program was put on with all the Hollywood trimmings. A section was roped off in front of the theater and a cordon of police kept the onlookers in check. The crowd filled the street in front of the theater. A radio station had a microphone just outside the ticket booth and as celebrities approached to enter the theater they were inveigled into broadcasting something in honor of the occasion.

Burns and his inseparable companion, that notorious bazooka, arrived with Centennial Chairman Couch after the theater audience had assembled. Bob got a big hand from the watchers outside and stopped to give them a speech. When he started inside they set up such a yell for the bazooka that he halted, unsheathed the instrument and blew them a collection of notes from a song that Bing Crosby made famous a few years agoâ€"“When the Blue of the Night, etc.”.

jamestv on June 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

The Pulaski Theater became the Capitol Theater in the mid-50’s. See the Capitol Theater listing for more details.

DavidZornig on October 11, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I just added another photo from 1958. The Arkansas Capitol Building can be seen at the far end of the street in both photos.

DaddyMac on January 22, 2014 at 8:11 pm

I worked at this theater from 1965-66. It seated about 1,000 and was run by United Artists at that time.

rivest266 on November 5, 2017 at 1:06 pm

This opened as the Pulaski theatre on December 12th, 1931 by Robb & Rowley (Arkansas Amusements). Grand opening ad in the photo section.

dallasmovietheaters on April 25, 2019 at 2:01 pm

The Palace Theatre launched in downtown Little Rock on June 1, 1914. Mayor Charles E. Taylor helped open the theatre as the sold-out crowd was wowed by the $10,000 82-pipe organ recital by Laurent Chevaux followed by Marie Bernard starring in “Love Everlasting”. The theatre had no wood, a nod to fireproof design, built by Thalman & Reid contractors for Saul Gans and L. Storz.

Mayor Taylor and his successor, Mayor Frank B. Gregg, would play a more important role in the years ahead getting private screenings to select films to determine whether films could be played in their entirety, which audiences could screen films and what cuts needed to be made. Gregg had Palace Manager E.D. Brewer fined when he defied the banning of Theda Bara in “Cleopatra” in March of 1918.

The Palace Theatre was given a major remodeling with sound in 1930. It reopened December 12, 1931 with “Private Lives” starring Norma Shearer & Robert Montgomery. RKO held the world premiere of two Lum and Abner films, 1940’s “Dreaming Out Loud” and 1942’s “Bashful Bachelor.”

When the original Capitol Theatre closed, the Pulaski became the Capitol Theatre in 1954 under a new 20-year lease. The theatre was closed and demolished in 1974. It was replaced by the First National Bank Building / Regions Center Tower, a 30-story skyscraper.

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