Pep Rally and Marching Band Leads off in Pre-Show for Scary Good Fun
This summer’s movie selection for kids is one for the books. For anyone with kids out of school and a summer to burn, it won’t be a matter of which of the three great new animated releases to see but where and when. Disney-Pixar’s 3D Monsters University was the top of my son’s list, and it was a no brainer to see it at El Capitan in Hollywood, where movies are an event.
In this soon-to-be classic pre-quell to Monsters, Inc., monsters Mike Wazowski (Billy Chrystal) and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) are two mismatched Monsters U college roomies who lock horns in their quest to get into the college’s prestigious School of Scaring, headed by the frightening Dean Hardscrabble, voiced by Helen Mirren. The film is great for little ones, save one especially scary scene with a librarian who puts Little Mermaid’s Ursula to shame.
The El Capitan experience makes seeing a movie memorable and special for kids and parents alike. The live pre-show on the theatre’s stage is always an exciting feature with music, singing and dancing, and audience interaction. For Monsters University, a pep rally kicked of the show with a marching band and friendly ghoulish scare leaders who get the audience cheering. Then characters Mike and Sulley joined the fun and the kids went wild with excitement.
Our family enjoys the VIP tickets ($26) because we prefer the no-hassle reserved VIP seats and the ease of picking up a popcorn bucket and drink, ready and waiting at the VIP concession counter. For the budget-conscious, the general admission tickets run $16 for adult and $13 for kids and seniors.
After the show the kids could pose for photos in the lobby with life-size Mike and Sulley figures and step behind a giant cut-out of a college ID for a photo op. Next door, Monsters U fans can browse a huge selection of movie memorabilia from Monsters U and other Disney favorites. The fountain bar also features a special I Scream Sundae made with green ice cream and an edible eyeball.
Besides the stage show and other extras, seeing a movie at the El Capitan is an especially enjoyable experience as history surrounds you when you are inside. The 1000-seat grand theatre recently underwent a museum-grade renovation and was restored to its original 1926 legitimate-theatre dimensions. Old meets new when you enter the El Capitan as you get to see a movie in an elegant movie palace with state-of-the-art projection and sound systems.
The only complaint about the venue is parking. The lot behind the theatre costs $20, and street parking is scarce. Cheaper parking is several blocks away, and with little ones the walk through the busy Hollywood sidewalks can be harrowing. Besides the sometimes scary trek through Hollywood, El Capitan is well worth the price.