Featured Attractions

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Theme Park Thursdays: Carthay Circles

The Fox Carthay Circle Theatre was a glamorous place to watch movies during Hollywood's golden age. Its proximity to Hollywood made it a sought after theater for movie premieres, rivaling even Grauman's Chinese Theater.

The main auditorium was unique because it formed a perfect circle; in fact, the official theater name was "Circle Theatre." The neighborhood it was located in was named "Carthay", therefore it was the Circle Theatre in Carthay, owned by Fox- the Fox Carthay Circle Theater. The misconception arose among the public that the area around the theater was named "Carthay Circle". The importance of the theater to Disney centers around its hosting of the world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. While the real life theater was demolished in 1969, a victim of multiplexes and short-sighted business executives, its spirit lives on at Disney Theme Parks around the world.

The first replica opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the early '90s. This version was relatively small and hosts a gift shop.

A larger, more faithful replica opened just down the freeway from the original one at Disney California Adventure. This more lavish version is the park's icon and hosts a table service restaurant that honors the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The story is that you are Walt Disney's guests at the fancy dinner after Snow White's premiere.

The latest version of the Carthay Circle Theater will open on the other side of the world- at Shanghai Disneyland. Part of Mickey Avenue, it will be on that park's version of Main Street, USA.