The Capitol Records Building has been one of the most recognizable features of the Hollywood skyline since its construction in 1956. Distinguished by its cylindrical shape, the 13-story skyscraper hosts the Capitol Studios, where the likes of Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, and Nat King Cole have all recorded music.
Designed by architect Louis Naidorf to resemble a stack of records, the Capitol Records Building is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. Today, the busy studios still host a range of A-list artists and performers. Though the interior is closed to the public, the Capitol Records Building still features on numerous Hollywood itineraries, including walking, bike, driving, and even helicopter tours. It’s also possible to view the landmark during a customized private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Capitol Records Building is a pop-culture staple, and has appeared in numerous movies, TV shows, and music videos.
- One of the building’s quirkiest features is the blinking light on its spire, which sends out messages including “Hollywood” in Morse code.
- Look for the Hollywood Jazz: 1945-1972 mural adorning the building’s south wall: it features 11 jazz greats, from Billie Holliday to Miles Davis.
- Among the building’s most revolutionary features are its echo chamber recording studios, designed by guitarist Les Paul.
How to Get There
The Capitol Records Building is located near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, in the heart of Hollywood. To reach the landmark via public transportation, take the Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Vine Station or take one of the many bus lines that serve the area, including the Hollywood DASH. The building can also be reached by taxi or rideshare service.
When to Get There
The Capitol Records Building is a popular, year-round photo location. If you visit during the winter holidays, look out for its light-up, rooftop Christmas tree, which is installed every year.
Hollywood Highlights Tour
The Capitol Records Building is just one worthy stop on a tour of Hollywood’s top attractions. Nearby historic venues include the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, the Egyptian Theatre Hollywood, and the Hollywood Palladium, while the Hollywood Walk of Fame is just steps away. For an alternative Hollywood attraction, the nearby Museum of Death is popular among visitors with more macabre tastes.