Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theater on Oct 23, 2014 at 10:27 am

Some original architectural details remain intact in the Capitol Theatre’s auditorium, mostly on the ceiling. The floor has been leveled. Three photos can be seen in this Facebook album by local firm Vavrek Architects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hoosier Theatre on Oct 23, 2014 at 10:05 am

The Hoosier’s web site indicates that they show quite a few first-run features, so pat of our description is out of date. The current movie is The Book of Life, which was released on October 17.

Long term plans for the Hoosier include adding a second screen in adjacent store space and another screen in a new building to be erected on the vacant lot next door. Eventually, plays will sometimes be mounted on the stage of the original theater.

The “Theatre History” page of the Hoosier’s web site also says this: “A fully installed six-rank pipe organ, collected from various theater venues in the Chicago area, offers another opportunity for live music. Katris is looking for someone to play it.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hoosier Theatre on Oct 22, 2014 at 1:53 pm

The link with the Hoosier Theatre’s history that kencmcintyre linked to is dead, but I think it might be the same document that is available in a pdf file here. There’s no date on it, but it was published after the house had been refurbished and reopened by John Katris.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hoosier Theatre on Oct 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm

This house was advertising as the Hoosier Auditorium Theatre in the March 2, 1969, issue of The Hammond Times. It was open Friday through Sunday evenings with a double feature of Thunderball and From Russia With Love, plus a separate kids' matinée on Saturday featuring Tammy and the Millionaire.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regal Theatre on Oct 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm

I’ve now found the Regal Theatre at Wellsville mentioned by name in a February, 1920, medical journal (the Montgomery County Medical Society had held a meeting in the theater on December 17, 1919.)

John F. Rees ran the Regal Theatre for a long time. I’ve found him mentioned as the manager of the house in an item in the October 26, 1950, issue of the Mexico Ledger.

An article in the November 22, 1974, Ledger said that the late John Rees had “.. .willed a downtown building in Lot 12, Block 2 of Wellsville to the Martha Washington Chapter, Eastern Star, and the Wellsville Lodge 194 of Masons.” I wonder if that could have been the Regal Theatre’s building?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regal Theatre on Oct 22, 2014 at 11:21 am

One J. F. Rees was operating a theater called the Regal in Wellsville, Missouri, in 1922. He had a few capsule movie reviews published in issues of Exhibitors Herald in April and July. J. F. Rees of Wellsville was mentioned in the Herald in 1920, though the name of his theater wasn’t given at that time. Then in March, 1924, the magazine published several reviews by John F. Rees of the Regal in Wellsville. John Rees of Wellsville is mentioned in The Reel Journal in 1926, but again without the name of his theater.

J. C. Hewitt probably took over the Regal from Rees in 1927, though I haven’t found anything about it in the trades. However, there’s an interesting connection between Hewitt and Rees indicating that they knew each other. The July 4, 1931, issue of Motion Picture Herald has a letter from the Motion Picture Theatre Owners of St. Louis, Eastern Missouri, and Southern Illinois, and the letterhead lists both J. C. Hewitt of Robinson, Illinois, and John F. Rees of Wellsville, Missouri as Vice Presidents of the organization. Apparently Rees was back in control at Wellsville by that time.

Wellsville is a bit tedious to research because there were towns called Wellsville in New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Kansas as well as Missouri. I suppose I should just be grateful that Wellsvilles are not as common as Springfields, but I wish the founders of American cities had shown a bit more originality in naming them (thank you, George Willis Pack, for Bad Axe, Michigan.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palladium Teatren on Oct 21, 2014 at 11:31 pm

A two-page article about a theater in Malmo called the Palladium begins on this page of the February 28, 1925, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review, but the article says that this Palladium Theatre was built in 1918-1919, so it must have been an earlier Palladium that we don’t have a page for yet. There are three interior photos.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ambassador Theatre on Oct 21, 2014 at 7:12 pm

The location of this proposed house listed in Exhibitors Trade Review of February 28, 1925, is exactly that of the Ambassador Theatre:

“Louis Abrams Co., 525 Engineers Bldg., building theatre and apt. bldg. $150,000, 90x 150, at S.E. cor. Superior Ave. and E. 124th St. Archt. John Stegens, 601 Fidelity Mortgage Bldg., Cleveland, O.”
I can’t find any other references to an architect named John Stegens, and suspect that it was an error. The architect was most likely John F. Steffens, who practiced in Cleveland from around 1912 until 1943.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Oct 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm

The Jay County Visitor and Tourism Bureau says that the Ritz Theatre opened in 1989 in a commercial building that had previously housed a furniture store and a dime store.

Historically, Portland had theaters called the Beacon, the Theatorium, the Palace, the Crystal, the Princess, the Hines, the Majestic, and the Sky-Hi Drive-In.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyceum Theatre on Oct 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm

The original architect of the Minneapolis Auditorium was Arthur B. Chamberlin of the firm of Bertrand & Chamberlin. I haven’t been able to discover the architect of the 1924 conversion of the house into the Lyceum Theatre, but according to this article in the December 27, 1924, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review, the $500,000 renovation was quite extensive, and involved replacing the old tiered galleries in the auditorium with a modern cantilevered balcony.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Osage Theatre on Oct 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

The December 6, 1924 issue of Exhibitors Trade Review mentions a house called the Victory Theatre in Stover. That’s the only mention of a theater in Stover that I’ve found in the trade publications.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Norwood Theatre on Oct 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

The Norwood Theatre was featured in the December 27, 1924, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review. There is a photo. The article says that the Norwood had a $5,000 pipe organ. That must have been the Reproduco that Will Dunklin mentioned.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Egyptian Theater on Oct 21, 2014 at 11:40 am

The December 6, 1924 issue of Exhibitors Trade Review has this brief article about the opening of the Egyptian Theatre:

“New Theatre for Portland, Ore.

“W. E. Graeper’s new Egyptian theatre at Union Avenue and Russell, Portland, Ore., was opened to the public on September 27. It is a beautiful house, Egyptian to the smallest detail, and beautiful in the extreme. There were exhibitors and film men present from all over the Northwest, to congratulate Mr. Graeper. Although the house is in a suburban district, it seats 1,200 people and no expense was spared to make it the finest house this side of Los Angeles. Mr. Graeper arranged an attractive prologue for ‘Wanderers of the Wasteland’, his opening attraction. A short program, including an address by Alayor Baker, a soprano solo and a welcome by the management, were given. Following the public showings a trade screening of ‘Barbara Frietchie’ was given for the film men present. Complete contracts for carpets, drapes, furnishings, lighting effects, and Heywood- Wakefield opera chairs were handled by B. F. Shearer, Inc., of Seattle. Mr. Graeper is a Shriner, and his temple honored him during the evening performance by marching to the house in full regalia. The Egyptian is one of the group known as the Multnomah Theatres, consisting of: the Alhambra, Bob White, Gay, Multnomah, Tivoli and Graeper’s Egyptian.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about King Theatre on Oct 21, 2014 at 10:47 am

The wall on the north side of the building looks like it was once a common wall between two buildings. Part of the top at the back has been taken down, and in Google’s street view photo it looks like some exposed bricks have broken off of it. I think the building the King Theatre was in might have been a bit taller than the building the dance studio is in.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mozark Theatre on Oct 21, 2014 at 12:58 am

Kirby’s Arcade was demolished ages ago and Google Maps will never find it. It is placing both the Mozark and the nearby Grand Theatre in the countryside near Fair Grove, miles outside Springfield. The nearest we’ll get to a correct address for these two theaters will probably be to place them on Park Central Square. The arcade started at the southwest corner of the square and, as near as I can determine, ran west to South Patton Street.

Judging from the style of the front, I suspect that the Newberry’s store hhardley mentions was probably in the building that now houses the Park Central Branch Library, so the theater was probably in or adjacent to that, tucked into the corner of the square. The Grand, at 127 Kirby Arcade, was probably near the Patton Avenue end of the Arcade.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Berwan Theatre on Oct 20, 2014 at 11:30 pm

This is from a DVD review by Sam Moffitt on a movie web site:

“I got to see Lady In Cement in a theater, the Berwan in Sullivan, Missouri in 1968, with Frank Sinatra playing private eye Tony Rome.”
If Mr. Moffitt’s memory is correct, the Berwan was reopened at some point.

An article about the theater department at Eastern Central College in Union, Missouri, says that the seats in the school’s first theater, opened in 1978, came from the old Berwan Theatre in Sullivan. I don’t know if the Berwan had simply been reseated or had been dismantled by that time, but the latter seems the more likely event.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Berwan Theatre on Oct 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm

The August 10, 1950, issue of The Sullivan News (top of page, second column from right) said that the new Berwan Theatre was located on Euclid Street. I suspect that it was on the triangular block formed by Euclid, Maple, and Clark Streets. That block is now a parking lot, and I don’t see any quonset huts anywhere in Sullivan in Google’s satellite view. The Berwan Theatre has probably been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about King Theatre on Oct 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm

As the building has three bays, it probably had three addresses assigned to it- it definitely had 6119 and 6121, and maybe 6117 or 6123 as well.

The University of Missouri has some old Sanborn fire insurance maps of St. Joseph online, but none of those that would show this block in detail have been digitized yet. It would be on map 237 of Volume 2 of the 1911 edition. Only the index map of that volume has been digitized and put online. The fact that they’ve digitized the index map suggests that they might get around to doing the rest of the volume eventually.

There is a possibility that this building did exist by 1911, even if the theater wasn’t located in it yet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Meramec Theatre on Oct 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm

This item is from the October 13, 1932, issue of The Sullivan News:

“A. B. Crowe has built a new theatre on Clark avenue. It is 118 feet long and 40 feet wide. It is occupied by the Meramec Theatre and a room used for other business purposes at one side on the front. The second floor contains a balcony, an office for the theatre manager and two waiting rooms, one for men and one for women. Cost approximately $15,000.”
I don’t see a Clark Avenue on the maps of Sullivan, but there is a Clark Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about King Theatre on Oct 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Tp: I’d be very surprised if the building the dance studio is in was built any later than 1920, and the style of the brickwork in the facade would have been way out of date by 1939. It’s the sort of commercial building I’d expect to have been built in the period from around 1900 to 1920.

I haven’t been able to find either the Valley Theatre or the King Theatre mentioned in any of the theater industry trade publications available online, but I think the Valley Theatre might have been a very early theater from the silent era. Most of the houses in the surrounding area look to have been built in the late 19th and early 20th century, so I’d imagine the neighborhood was built up enough to support a local movie theater by the early 1910s, and maybe even earlier.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theater on Oct 19, 2014 at 9:20 am

That would make a total of 796 seats for the whole complex. That’s quite a drop from 2,202.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Malone Theater on Oct 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm

This web page has an early (and very small) photo of the Malone Theatre from the 1910s. It had the arched front characteristic of so many movie theaters opened in the 1900s and 1910s. The photo is a bit over halfway down the page on the right side.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gem Theatre on Oct 18, 2014 at 10:14 pm

The September 12, 1942, issue of the Blytheville Courier News said that the Gem Theatre had been reopened that day, after having been dark for several years:

“Although closed for an extended time, the Gem has been kept in readiness for imediate [sic] opening if such an emergency had arisen. The building, however, has been redecorated both inside and on the exterior with the marquee repainted, and new equipment has been installed in the projection booth. It seats 400 persons.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trio Cinemas on Oct 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

The Malco Trio has probably been updated, as it is open again after having been closed down by the City of Sikeston in October, 2011. The city cited numerous deficiencies in the building, owned by a St. Louis Realty company and rented to Malco. Even an executive vice president of Malco had referred to the Trio as “a dump” and an “embarrassment,” according to this article from the Southeast Missourian.

I haven’t found when the deficiencies were corrected and the house reopened, but I can’t help thinking about O. W. McCutchen, who operated the theaters in Sikeston from the mid-1920s until his death in 1954. He probably would have been appalled at the condition of the Trio.

The local paper ran frequent articles about upgrades and redecorating at the Malone and Rex Theatres during the years McCutchen was operating them. One fall, 1938 article said that the eggshell-white, silk summer drapes in the Malone Theatre had been taken down and the black and silver velour drapes used the rest of the year had been reinstalled. Two sets of drapes! I’ll bet McCutchen had each set cleaned every year before they were put back up, too. Modern theater chains could learn something from old-time showmen like O. W. McCutchen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rex Theatre on Oct 18, 2014 at 2:49 pm

O. W. McCutchen remodeled a former Ford automobile dealership on East Center Street into the Rex Theatre in early 1935. The house was built to operate during McCutchen’s planned rebuilding of the Malone Theatre, which took place later that year. After the Malone reopened in October, 1935, the Rex continued to operate seasonally, being closed part of the year, open on weekends at other periods, and open daily during holiday seasons such as Christmas. Later it became a full-time house

McCutchen continued to improve the Rex, installing a new marquee and sound system in 1937, later installing air conditioning, and frequently redecorating. In its later years, the Rex ran a lot of westerns, and a lot of “drive-in” movies. In November, 1958, for example, you could see a double feature of The Blob and I Married a Monster From Outer Space. The Rex was advertised in the local newspaper at least as late as January, 1969.