"The Little Mermaid" at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood - September 9, 2006

In conjunction with the release of the 2-disc DVD of the film "The Little Mermaid", the digitally restored version of the film is being shown at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood from September 7 - 17, 2006. Opening night included a special panel discussion.


The marquee with the film's logo.


We went to the film on the Saturday night after the beginning of the film's run. We parked at the Hollywood and Highland complex and then made our way across the street. We had previously purchased our VIP tickets and had printed out the tickets at home, so we showed them to the door attendant and then made our way to pick up our drink and popcorn before heading to our normal seats in the balcony. For first-run movies, the popcorn buckets are imprinted with the logo of the film, but for limited run engagements, they just use the regular El Capitan popcorn buckets. There was also a display window in the lobby to let people know that the 3D version of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" would be arriving at the El Capitan soon. (Yes, we already have our tickets.)


"The Nightmare Before Christmas" as you've never seen it before.


We sat down and had a chance to listen to the organist play for a while. When he was done, an announcer came out to introduce the film but said that someone was coming out for a visit first. Ariel, perched on a rock, then rose out of the stage. She welcomed everyone to the theater and hoped that everyone would enjoy seeing her film.


Ariel bubbling to the surface.


I really enjoyed seeing the film again. The print was absolutely clear and gorgeous, and you could really see what a wonderful job they did in creating Ariel. A surprise visitor came out during the film's credits.


Sebastian dances to the end credit music.


A young child clad in Ariel's clothing was thoroughly delighted by Sebastian.


When the film was over, we made our way next door to do some shopping and to have dinner at the Soda Fountain.


The doorway between the theatre and the store.


There is quite a bit of merchandise for the film in the store, including a number of beautiful pins. They seemed to be doing very brisk business. We ended up pre-ordering the DVD of the film there, which included a beautiful pin with your purchase. You can choose to have the DVD mailed to you when it is available or you can arrange to pick it up from the store.


The free pin that comes with the DVD pre-order.


My husband and one of our friends was still in line when our name was called because our table was ready, so another friend and I were seated at the table. And what a terrific and appropriate surprise to see what picture was right above our table!


Who could have asked for better than to be seated at Jodi's table?


After enjoying our dinner, we decided that we had to try the dessert. For each film shown at the El Capitan, the soda fountain usually has some food item that is themed to the film. Sometimes, it is an entree (like spaghetti which was introduced on the menu during the run of "Lady and The Tramp") and sometimes it is a dessert (like for "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"). In this case, it was also a themed dessert.


We were glad it wasn't fish-flavored ice cream.


I wasn't sure how the cotton candy ice cream would taste, but it wasn't bad. It didn't really taste like cotton candy, but that was ok. The whipped cream "foam" on top made for a very sweet dessert, so having water on hand was helpful. The fish sprinkles on top were a nice touch. The dessert also comes with a souvenir pin.


The Dinglehopper Sundae.
Note the sign on the left which lists some of the other new dessert options available.


No scales on these fishies.


Leave the dinglehopper when you're done with it, but you can take this pin home.


Seeing a film at the El Capitan followed by shopping, dinner and dessert at the Studio Store and Soda Fountain has become a tradition for my husband and me and some of our friends. It's definitely something worth doing.


Someone on a Disney-related discussion board posted this full review of the opening night panel discussion which included many people involved with the making of the film itself. The review includes extensive pictures and several videos, all of which are well worth seeing.


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Last updated September 12, 2006.