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Historic El Capitan Goes Up For Sale

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Wanna buy a historic Hollywood theatre? Well, the El Capitan is rumored to have been put on the market today, with a price tag of $31 million. The purchaser will have a ready-made tenant, namely Walt Disney Co., and can boast they own a key piece of the entertainment industry, old and new.

The El Capitan began as a venue for live theatre, and showed plays between 1926-1936, until it began to show movies. It is known for being the theatre that premiered Orson Welles' 1941 classic, Citizen Kane. The theatre underwent renovation shorty after that and reemerged as the Hollywood Paramount, the flagship movie house in Los Angeles for Paramount Studios. The Mouse bought it in 1989, restored it, and reopened it, once again as the El Capitan, in 1991.

CUNA Mutual Group, based in Wisconsin, "came into possession of the property after the 1994 Northridge earthquake," according to They brought the aging movie palace up to code after "public safety inspectors deemed it uninhabitable." Although CUNA stepped up to the plate in the mid-90s, it is unclear why they are looking for a buyer now, particularly when Hollywood Boulevard and the area around the El Capitan seem to be enjoying a renaissance and influx of gentrification and the cash that follows. They are, however, hoping to find a purchaser who can uphold the legacy of the building as a part of entertainment history.

Photo by KingoftheHill via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr