Making its debut April 1, 1966 with the Charlton Heston film The Agony and the Ecstasy, the original Cine Capri® was an instant hit with Phoenix moviegoers. From the signature white columns to the majestic gold waterfall curtains surrounding the screen, the Cine Capri was the place to see all of Hollywood's blockbusters and changed the way Arizonans went to the movies.
The original Cine Capri was known not only for its incredible film presentation, but also for its lavish décor. Imported Italian tile adorned the walls of the lobby and plush couches were available in the "Powder Room." The auditorium was enveloped with antique gold fabric covering the proscenium and walls from carpet to ceiling. The curtains opened to unveil the gigantic screen which was typically met with applause from audiences - a reaction which takes place often in today's Cine Capri auditoriums.
The Cine Capri was also the first theater in the southwest specifically designed to project all film aspect ratios of the time, including Cinemascope, Vista-Vision, and Cinerama from its 70/35 mm projectors and stereophonic sound system.
One of the most notable engagements at the Cine Capri was 1977's Star Wars. The Cine Capri held one of the highest grosses for the George Lucas film and played the film for over a year - the longest run in North America.
In 1997, a year-long battle began between Harkins Theatres and the property owner over the decision to demolish the Cine Capri in favor of a high-rise office building. Despite over 260,000 petition signatures and efforts by the Save the Cine Capri Committee, the preservation effort failed. On January 5, 1998 at 2:12 am, the curtain lowered on the original Cine Capri at the conclusion of its final performance of appropriately, James Cameron's Titanic. Six weeks later, the theatre was demolished bringing an end to one of the last great movie-houses in America.
In 2003 the Cine Capri was rebuilt to much fanfare as part of the Scottsdale 101 theatre complex in Phoenix, Arizona. The Scottsdale 101 location is also home to the Cine Capri museum which showcases memorabilia and photos from the original Cine Capri. The Cine Capri auditorium concept has also been reincarnated at some of the company's newest locations, Tempe Marketplace 16 in Arizona, Bricktown 16 in Oklahoma, Southlake Towne Square 14 in Texas, and Northfield 18 in Colorado.
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