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Preservation Award to Go to El Capitan

The revitalized El Capitan Theatre, a landmark movie palace since the days of Garbo and Gable, will receive a 1992 National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The awards ceremony will be held Oct. 8 at the 46th National Preservation Conference in Miami.

Chosen from hundreds of contenders and representative of the best historic preservation projects nationwide, the award goes to the team behind the El Capitan’s spectacular restoration: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution; Pacific Theatres; Joseph J. Musil, Joseph Musil Design; Edwin L. Fields, Fields & Devereaux Architects; Martin Eli Weil, Glenn B. May, Glenn B. May Corp., and Restoration Studio.

Built in 1926, the El Capitan dubbed “Hollywood’s New Temple of Spoken Drama,” was the setting for stage productions that starred such celebrities as Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Buster Keaton and Will Rogers.

In 1941, when the Hollywood Boulevard theater was converted to a movie house, its opera boxes were ripped out and its intricate plaster ceilings covered. Following a two-year restoration completed last year, the theater reopened in its original appearance.

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