Capitol Records Building

The 13 storey tower houses the renowned Capitol Studios and has been featured in various Blockbusters.

TravelCurious Tip

If you are in L.A. on December 8th, check out the candlelit vigil outside Capitol Records Building for the anniversary of John Lennon’s death

The Capitol Records Building is one of Los Angeles’ most instantly recognisable. Designed by Welton Becket and built in 1956, it looks like a stack of records topped by a stylus — something which may or may not have been deliberate. But it is fully appropriate: Capitol Records was the first record company based on the West Coast and helped launch many musicians to international stardom, including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Frank Sinatra and Duran Duran.

60 years on, it is still used as an office building, so unfortunately you cannot go inside. They still have the recording studios in the building, including echo chambers designed by the legendary guitarist Les Paul. These chambers are concrete bunkers 10 metres underground that can provide reverb lasting up to five seconds — an effect most famously heard on the The Beach Boys’ hit, Good Vibrations.

Even if you can’t see the echo chambers with your own eyes, you can admire the building’s unique exterior and the lobby where the walls are covered in gold records from their star musicians. The Hollywood Walk of Fame also passes by outside and you can see some famous stars, including that of John Lennon and country star Garth Brooks.

By night, look up and you will notice a red light flashing atop spire on the Capitol Records Building. Pay close attention, because this flight is actually flashing in Morse Code. Every few seconds it blinks out the word “Hollywood”. In fact, when the building opened in 1956, the granddaughter of Samuel Morse, who invented Morse Code, turned the switch on for the first time.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Los Angeles
Hollywood Boulevard
Instantly recognisable, it is the city's main artery and home to some of the most famous attractions.
The Walk of Fame
The stars on this world famous pavement celebrate the Hollywood greats, both past and present.
Dolby Theatre
The former 'Kodak Theater' is famed for its architectural elegance and is home to the annual Academy Awards.
TCL Chinese Theatre
Formerly known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre, inside you will see the iconic footprints of movie legends.
Hollywood Pantages Theatre
Featuring spectacular art deco architecture, the Pantages was the last vaudeville theater designed by Priteca.
Hollywood & Highland
It's one of the city's famous intersections - recognizable as being the center of Hollywood, and the place to go if you're looking to get to the theaters.

Related Tours

LA's Iconic Movie Locations: Private Full-Day Driving Tour
On your private, driving tour of Los Angeles, delve into entertainment and pop culture history as you take centre stage in the most famous scenes from the silver screen. 

On your private driving tour, you will:

  • Be whisked away by your driver guide to the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Chinese Theatre
  • Sunset Strip
  • See iconic places, including Château Marmont, 
  • the Viper Room, and 
  • the Capitol Records building.
  • Playboy Mansion
  • Venture into Beverly Hills to see the Greystone Mansion and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
  • Visit historic Downtown LA and visit the Bradbury building.
  • Enjoy lunch at one of the city's gastropubs, per your guide's recommendations (price not included).
  • Drive up to the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park and enjoy some of the city's best views. 

Your day begins on Hollywood Boulevard which has been featured in numerous blockbusters including Speed, The Italian Job, Blazing Saddles, and Borat. It is also home to the TCL Chinese Theatre and Walk of Fame, where you can compare your handprints to those of your favourite stars. Take a stroll onto Vine Street to see Capitol Records, famously ‘destroyed’ in The Day After Tomorrow

During your stroll, your guide will show you the best spot to get a shot of the iconic Hollywood Sign. Continuing on to Sunset Strip, you will see famous places such as Johnny Depp’s Viper Room, a classic Hollywood haunt. Other highlights include Château Marmont and the Playboy Mansion.

Then experience the luxury of Beverly Hills, whose highlights include the Beverly Wilshire Hotel from Pretty Woman and the Greystone Mansion, which has been used as a filming location over 75 times, including in the cult classic The Big Lebowski. 

Your tour continues in downtown L.A., where you will get to explore the magnificent Bradbury Building - itself used as the backdrop for countless shows, music videos, and film scenes. After, your private guide will help you find the perfect dining spot to relax and refuel, such as the Cicada restaurant located just a 10-minute walk away.  

Brad and Angelina tangoed here in Mr and Mrs Smith. Queen Latifah and Steve Martin also danced at the restaurant in Bringing Down the House. It looks exactly the same today as it did on screen.

Finish off your day with a drive to the beautiful Griffith Park and see the famous Greek Theatre from Russell Brand’s comedy hit Get Him to the Greek. Enjoy sweeping vistas over Los Angeles before returning to your hotel or a drop-off location of your choosing. 


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