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The Hyatt may not be with us much longer. A May 5 article in the San Mateo Daily Journal this year reported that plans are afoot to redevelop the property with an office complex and restaurant. The nearby Burlingame Drive-In site is expected to be redeveloped as well, with an even larger office project.
A widening of Michigan Avenue undertaken in 1938 made it necessary to demolish a considerable portion of the Kramer Theatre building, including a small corner of the auditorium, and the house was closed for the better part of a year. This event accounts for the drastic change in the theater’s architectural style, from Renaissance Revival to Streamline Modern. The rebuilt house reopened on February 11, 1939.
Linkrot repair: The PCAD page about the Palace linked in my previous comment is now at this link.
Bonus: The Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society provides this page about the Palace Hippodrome Theatre.
The “Seattle” column of the February 28, 1919, issue of Variety carried a notice that “Johnson and Kastner have sold the Princess Theatre, Ballard, and it has been rechristened the Empress.”
The former Princess must have been the second house in Ballard to be called the Empress, as an item in the January 25, 1919, issue of The Film Daily had said that the Empress Theatre in Ballard had been sold to Martin McClanahan by A. C. Alden. Presumably Mr. McClanahan renamed the earlier Empress, freeing that name up for the new owners of the Princess.
To add a bit more confusion, the district had also had an earlier Princess Theatre, operated in a storefront at 242 Ballard Avenue, but which had been closed by 1910.
The 1920 FDY has Geddes & Geddes operating the College, Majestic and Empress Theatres in Ballard, but the Empress was not listed among their houses in 1921 or 1922. By 1926, the Empress was being operated by Jensen & von Herberg.
The photo uploaded by wsasser shows that the Halifax Theatre, then called the New Halifax Twin, is the same house that was later called Sobo’s Main Theater. It had apparently been un-twinned. The Sobo’s sign is still on the marquee in current Google street view. The correct address of the theater is 532 N. Main Street.
I don’t know when Sobo’s Main Theater opened, or how long it operated, but in 2009 the building briefly housed a dance hall which soon lost its license due to rowdy behavior by the patrons. 2008 remains the most likely closing year for Sobo’s Main Theater. Use as a dance hall means at least some of the seats must have been removed, and perhaps the floor at least partly leveled.
I don’t know when it closed as the Halifax, but Dragonlace1’s comment notes a showing of the early ‘70s re-release of Disney’s Song of the South, which the studio re-released in both 1972 and 1973. The Halifax might have been open long after that. The NRHP nomination form for the South Boston Historic District mentions the New Halifax Twin, but doesn’t say if it was open at that time, though the name does indicate that the house was twinned by 1986, the year the form was prepared.
The Lyceum Theatre was built in 1878-79 as the Bradford Oil Exchange, and was later known as the Exchange Lyceum or Bradford Lyceum before becoming the Lyceum Theatre. A notice in the October 1, 1892, issue of The New York Clipper said that the Bradford Lyceum was “…being remodeled and fitted up for public entertainments.” The notice said the house would seat 600 and have a stage 23x30 feet.
The Oil Exchange building was designed by a largely self-taught architect named Enoch Arnold Curtis who, despite his lack of formal training, enjoyed a long and successful career. He also designed the 1891 Fredonia Opera House in Fredonia, New York. I’ve been unable to discover who was the architect for the conversion of the Lyceum for theatrical use.
In 1901, the ax-wielding anti-saloon crusader Carrie Nation gave a talk at the Exchange Lyceum on October 2. The Lyceum Theatre was showing movies regularly by 1916, when it was mentioned in the April 15 issue of Motography.
Mike, the 1931 Warner Bros. Western Theatre in your ad was the lavish house at Wilshire and Western which was soon renamed the Wiltern Theatre, not this smaller neighborhood theater a few miles south.
Throughout the period this house was operated by Toho, I recall it always being advertised as the Toho La Brea, never just the Toho. The La Brea name remained on the marquee as well.
silver: Let me answer your question by first repairing the linkrot that has afflicted this comment I made a few years ago. The October 19, 1959, issue of Boxoffice ran this article about Robert Lippert’s Capri and Riviera Theatres.
As you’ll see from the floor plan in the article, it was only the building now occupied by the New Beverly Cinema that held both auditoriums. The movies I went to (both side usually featured double bills) were in the larger, right-hand auditorium, the Riviera, which was only 22 feet wide and seated 200. The smaller Capri to the left was only 15 feet wide and seated 100, so both were comparable in size to small, storefront nickelodeons of the early 20th century.
I was mistaken in my recent comment to say that Robert Lippert operated the twin until 1963 (and that it opened in 1959. I see the opening date of October 23, 1958, has been added above.) The Boxoffice article notes that he had sold the operation to Robert Rohauer before the article was published. I don’t know how long Rohauer operated the house. I’m pretty sure my visit to the Riviera was in late 1962 or early 1963. It was un-twinned and reopened as the single-screen New Yorker in 1963.
Mike, your timeline is missing the period from 1959 to 1963 when Robert Lippert operated the house as a twin art cinema called the Riviera & Capri Theatres. I went to the theater once during that period, though I don’t recall which movie I saw.
Also, I’ve never found anything about the New Globe having shown movies. The only references I’ve found to it say that the New Globe was a live house featuring Yiddish productions.
There are a few errors in our description of the Paramount. First, though the foundations of the Metropolitan were designed to carry a 13-floor, height limit building, only five floors of offices were ever built above the ground floor.
Second, though the theater did open with two entrances, they were the main entrance on Sixth Street and a secondary entrance on Hill Street. The Broadway entrance added later and used only until 1929 was the third. The building the Broadway entrance ran through is still standing.
Third, though the Paramount closed in 1960, it was not demolished until 1962. During its last two years it sported a billboard touting the 35-story office building which had been planned for the site. The office building project fell through, and this was rumored to have been, at least in part, due to the unexpectedly high cost of demolishing what had probably been the most substantial theater building ever erected in Los Angeles.
Fourth, the building now on the site is not a bank, but the International Jewelry Center, a 16-floor tower built in 1981 for the wholesale and retail jewelry trade. The jewelry trade has gradually taken over several blocks along Hill Street, including the former Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre at Seventh and Hill. It’s unfortunate that the jewelers didn’t come along a few years earlier. They might have saved the Paramount’s building as they did the Warner’s.
The predecessor theater kencmcintyre mentioned could have been the house for which the contracts had just been let according to the September 16, 1922, issue of The American Contractor. The $30,000 project on Main Street had been designed by Hoffman & Henon for The William Pierce Amusement Company.
Items about the Southern States Theater Company’s proposed house at 33rd and Eoff Streets in Wheeling appeared in various construction trade journals during the latter half of 1912. The October 17 issue of Engineering News listed the contracts that had been let for the project. One later item noted that 1,000 opera chairs had been ordered for the theater. George H. Dieringer, the architect, was also one of the owners of the project.
This house replaced an earlier Lyric Theatre that had been destroyed by a fire. A notice that work had commenced on the new theater and IOOF lodge hall appeared in the June 23, 1915, issue of Western Contractor. Oscar R. Kirschke of Grand Island was the architect.
I’ve been unable to discover if Pacific Theatres brought in another architectural firm to design the theater interiors, but the non-residential portion of the Paseo Colorado project was designed in the Los Angeles office of the New York architectural firm Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects. The residential buildings were by RTKL Associates, Inc. Interestingly, RTKL has considerable experience designing theaters, but I don’t know if they had a hand in this multiplex.
Although it gives the location of the proposed theater as Washington Street, the mention of Charles J. Gorman as the owner, and the approximate size of the building being correct, suggests that this item from The American Contractor of November 13, 1915, could be about the Roslindale/Rialto Theatre:
“Moving Picture Theater: $30,000. 1 sty. & bas. 50x110. Washington st., Roslindale dist., Boston. Archt. Jos. D. McGinniss, 16 Arlington st. Owner Chas. J. Gorman, 17 Ardale st., Roslindale dist., will build by day labor. Work abt. to start. Face brk., artificial stone, struct. & orn. iron, gravel rfg., marble, mosaic.”
“On the application of Charles J. Gorman, President, Leslie A. Woollard was appointed a Special Police Officer for duty in and about the premises of Gorman’s Theatre located at 4199 Washington street for the year ending March 31. 1919.”
“C. J. Gorman’s Amusement Enterprises, Incorporated, by Charles J. Gorman, President, – to have exhibitions of moving pictures and vaudeville entertainments in Gorman’s Theatre located at 709 South street.”
From the photo of the Rialto, it looks as though an adjacent, triangular lot on South Street was added at some point to create a new entrance building for the theater. That building does not appear to be part of the theater as it was shown in the 1924 map that was linked in an earlier comment.
dkarslake: The Grand Theatre on this page was built in 1941 and was very modern in style and, like Patsy, I’m doubtful that your lighting fixture would have belonged to it. However, there was an earlier Grand Theatre at Westfield, mentioned in this comment, and it’s quite possible that your fixture came from that house.
The earlier Grand doesn’t have a page at Cinema Treasures, and I’ve been unable to find out anything about it, having seen it mentioned only once in the trade publications, that being in the March 7, 1925, issue of The Moving Picture World. Your light does look like it would date from the 1920s or earlier, though, so it could have come from the old Grand.
The Sabine Theatre is most likely the 1947 project at Many for the Southern Amusement Company that is found in this list of drawings by Lake Charles, Louisiana, architect John M. Gabriel.
Earlier that year Gabriel had designed a theater in the town of Welsh, Louisiana, for a Mr. J.V. O'Quinn, but I haven’t been able to discover its name. The theater at Welsh is not yet listed at Cinema Treasures.
The Polk Theatre was one of a number of movie houses in the region that were altered in 1954 with plans by Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel. These projects were most likely related to the installation of CinemaScope in these houses.
Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel drew the plans for the alteration of the Strand Theatre in 1954.
Alterations to the Rice Theatre in 1954, most likely related to the installation of CinemaScope, were designed by Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel.
Alterations were made to the Cane Theatre in 1954, with plans by Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel. Given the timing, it’s likely the alterations were related to the installation of CinmaScope in the house.
Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel drew the plans for alterations to the Rex Theatre in Opelousas in 1951. The house was then being operated by the Southern Amusement Company.
The Archives and Special Collections Department of Frazar Memorial Library at McNeese State University contains a collection of drawings by architect John Milton Gabriel. Among them are drawings relating to alterations made to the Bailey Theatre in Ville Platte in 1953. The house was at that time being operated by the Southern Amusement Company. It had earlier been operated by regional exhibitor Robert Lee Bailey, who also had theaters at Bunkie and Tallulah.
According to this list, architect John M. Gabriel designed alterations of the Paramount Theatre at Lake Charles for the Southern Amusement Company in 1950 and 1951.