Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pontiac Theatre on Jul 26, 2016 at 11:42 pm

The October 23, 1915, issue of The American Contractor announced that the Star Theatre in Ogdensburg would undergo a $5,000 remodeling job. Plans for the project had been prepared by local architect George Edward Wilson. Mr. F. W. Gilroy was the owner of the theater.

Wilson, who lived in Ottawa, Canada, from 1901 to 1908, did sufficient work in Canada to rate a brief entry in the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800 – 1950.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Venue Creekside on Jul 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm

AlanCo4 is correct. The Village Theatre building is still standing, and is now occupied by an event center called The Venue Creekside. It’s a nice little Midcentury Modern building of red brick, set back from the street quite a bit and facing its parking lot. The Village was of modest size- I’d guess no more than about 500 seats as a single-screener.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on Jul 26, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Although the three arched windows above the entrance and the massy base bear some resemblance to the Romanesque Revival style, I’d say this somewhat eclectic building is predominantly Colonial Revival in style.

In 1923, architect Frank W. Frewen was a partner in the firm of Mountjoy & Frewen with Frederick E. Mountjoy. The firm was best known for the numerous school buildings it designed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Jul 25, 2016 at 8:53 pm

In its biography of architect Rudolph Tietig, the Biographical Dictionary of Cincinnati Architects, 1788-1940 attributes the design of the Strand Theatre to him and his firm of Tietig & Lee, with Walter H. Lee. (Lee’s own rather brief entry in the dictionary lists him as William H. Lee, and a 1909 city directory lists him as Walter L. Lee, but I’m inclined to go with Walter H. Lee, which appears in several reliable sources.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Jul 24, 2016 at 12:46 am

A Cincinnati city directory published in June, 1910, lists a house called the American Theatre at 531 Walnut Street. As this would be under the Strand’s footprint, I’m wondering if it was an earlier name for the same house or if the American was demolished to make way for the Gaiety. A Gaiety Theatre is also listed in 1910, but at the address 1211 Vine Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alhambra Theatre on Jul 23, 2016 at 11:23 pm

The Alhambra Theatre was listed at 144 W. Fifth Street in the 1910 city directory. I don’t know if the theater later moved or was expanded or if the building was renumbered.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Cinema on Jul 23, 2016 at 10:49 pm

CinemaTour has three photos of the Park Cinema building taken in 2008, and says the house opened on March 21, 1986. Google Maps indicates that the building is now occupied by two television studios.

The building looks much too large to have had only 375 seats, and General Cinema was building multiplexes with well over 1,000 seats during the 1980s. Is it possible the number is missing a 1 at the front?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avon Theatre on Jul 23, 2016 at 8:44 pm

A May, 1939, program from the Avon Theatre can be seen on this web page. The page also has a recipe for Cincinnati chili (it has spaghetti in it, a Cincinnati tradition.)

The program has a line reading “A Jackson Theatre” suggesting that it might have been owned by Jerome M. Jackson, a pioneer Cincinnati exhibitor. His obituary in the April 24, 1943, issue of The Billboard said that at the time of his death he owned the Jackson and Lookout Theatres, and served as manager of the Taft Theatre. Earlier in has career he had operated the Lyric Theatre and the Grand Opera House.

An earlier Avon Theatre was listed in a 1910 city directory as being on the north side of Rockdale Avenue off of Reading Road. Rockdale Avenue is several blocks north of the later Avon Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jackson Theater on Jul 23, 2016 at 8:31 pm

After taking over the Carrol Theatre in 1918, Jerome Jackson had the house enlarged, per this item from the October 25, 1919, issue of The American Contractor:

“Theater (add.): $12,000. 1 sty. 50x 60. Eastern av. Archt. Oscar Schwartz, 311 Provident Bank bldg. Owner Jerome M. Jackson. McGregor & Reading rd. Brk. walls, mill floor & roof constr. Drawing plans. Ready for bids abt. Nov. 1.”
The Biographical Dictionary of Cincinnati Architects has only a brief entry for Oscar Schwartz:
“Listed 1916-1931. Designed a synagogue in Avondale. A considerable number of drawings from his office are preserved in the Cincinnati Historical Society Library collection.”
I wonder if any drawings of this theater are among those preserved?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about RKO Orpheum Theater on Jul 23, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Cheersdan: A city directory published in June, 1910, lists the Century Theater as being on the west side of Gilbert Avenue south of McMillan Avenue. The Peebles Theatre is not listed in the directory, so your surmise that the Peebles and the Century might be one and the same is probably correct.

There is a mention of a Peebles Theatre in the August 1, 1891, issue of The Cincinnati Enquirer, but the mention doesn’t give enough information to determine if it was the house at 2445-2449 Gilbert. If it was, though, the Moving Picture World item I cited previously was mistaken (not at all unusual for such trade journals) about the house having been built in 1909. It would probably have been converted to a movie house that year.

There is also a classified ad in the May 22, 1930, issue of the Enquirer offering for sale “A PROMINENT CORNER McMillan St. Brick building, consisting of 3 large stores and 10 flats; Peebles theater: $10,000 cash, balance good terms or trade.” If that item referred to this Peebles Theatre, then the building still housed a theater in 1930 and the planned conversion to retail noted in MPW item must not have taken place, or was reversed at some point.

I’ve been unable to find the Peebles Theatre listed in any available editions of any of the theatrical guides from the late 19th century, so I don’t know anything about it. The entrance building is too small to have held a significant theater, but the building across the alley behind it and extending up to McMillan Street looks like it could have been converted from an auditorium. The best way to find out is if you can get hold of some old Sanborn Fire Insurance maps from the period. It’s possible that Cincinnati’s public library has some. I’ve never been to Cincinnati myself and live in California, so I won’t be able to unearth anything that isn’t on the Internet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Guild Theatre on Jul 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm

This item about a movie theater at the Guild’s address appeared in the March 1, 1913, issue of Motography:

“The Cincy theater, a moving picture theater on McMillan street, near Peebles corner, Cincinnati, was transferred from John Hagerty to George W. Vaughn on a lease which is written for one year. The theater is at 782 East McMillan street. The lease is at $100 a month.”
While it’s possible that the Cincy Theatre was in an earlier building on the same site, the side walls of the Guild’s building do look sufficiently worn to have been there since the 1910s or earlier (it was listed at this address in the 1910 city directory.)

Also, I doubt that a brand new neighborhood house built in 1939 would have been as narrow as the Eden, which is another indication that it was most likely an older theater remodeled and reopened at that time. However, I’ve been unable to find any references to the house between 1913 and 1939. It might have operated under other names.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Compton Drive-In on Jul 21, 2016 at 1:21 pm

The Fiesta Four Drive-In, opened in 1949 as the Whittier Drive-In, was actually in Pico Rivera, a few miles south of El Monte.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Jul 12, 2016 at 9:53 pm

An article about Gainesville’s movie theaters in the September 26, 2010 issue of the Gainesville Times said that Frank Plaginos, operator of the State and Royal Theatres, opened the Ritz Theatre in 1934. Two years later it was destroyed by a tornado that also damaged the Royal Theatre. The Ritz was rebuilt and reopened, but not until 1940.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jul 12, 2016 at 9:39 pm

Here is news from the November 1, 1924, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Definite information that the new State Theatre, Gainesville, Ga., will open on October 20 has been received. Frank Plaginos is owner and Jack Lewis is manager. ‘The Sea Hawk’ is the opening attraction.”
An article about Gainesville’s movie theaters in the September 26, 2010, issue of the Gainesville Times said that a fire swept the block the State Theatre was in five months after the house opened, but Plaginos quickly rebuilt the theater on the same site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Brock Music Hall on Jul 12, 2016 at 8:13 pm

This photo depicts the first Brock Theatre, originally the Royal Theatre, at 173 Brock Street N.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Brock Music Hall on Jul 12, 2016 at 8:05 pm

According to an item in February 3, 1993, issue of the Whitby Free Press, the Brock Theatre opened on April 7, 1938, and closed in 1985. The building was gutted and the interior rebuilt to accommodate a bar in 1990.

The front of the building has been so drastically altered as to be unrecognizable, and I would imagine that the interior has undergone equal transformation. A few photos of the original streamline modern interior can be found on this page of the Whitby Public Library web site.

This house replaced an earlier theater down the street which had opened in 1910 as the Royal Theatre and had been renamed the Brock Theatre in 1934, according to the May 15, 1991 Free Press.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hairston Village Cinema on Jul 12, 2016 at 6:50 pm

The Hairston 8 was one of eight identical or nearly identical multiplexes designed for GCC by the Port Washington, New York, architect James Thomas Martino.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lefont Sandy Springs on Jul 12, 2016 at 6:46 pm

The Parkside 8 was one of eight multiplexes designed for General Cinema by architect James Thomas Martino.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ohio Theatre on Jul 11, 2016 at 8:41 pm

Center Street is the dividing line for east-west addresses in Springfield, and the New Sun was on the northwest corner of Center and Main, fronting on Main, so its lot was probably numbered 100-102-104. I’m sure the address is correct.

The Ohio Theatre in the photo is still standing. I’ve just discovered that it is the house now called the Renaissance Theatre, located in Mansfield, Ohio.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elite Theater on Jul 11, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Construction of the former Aid Association for Lutherans Building, now called the 222 Building, was indeed completed in 1952. The Elite Theatre was one of the buildings demolished to make way for the project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Retro Theatre on Jul 11, 2016 at 4:28 am

The former Rose Theatre is no longer a movie house, but a live performance venue called the Retro Theatre. This brief item about the conversion, posted on the web site of the Glendive Ranger-Review, is dated July 10, 2014, and says that the theater was built in 1918. The conversion project included uncovering the upper part of the building’s original facade.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Retro Theatre on Jul 11, 2016 at 4:03 am

The partnership of Winkes and Suckstoff had recently sold the Rose Theatre at Glendive, Montana, to Jack Gavan, according to an item in the “Theatre Changes” column of the July 15, 1929, issue of The Film Daily.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kum-C Theatre on Jul 11, 2016 at 3:35 am

Here is Doug Taylor’s weblog post about the Kum-C Theatre. It has numerous photos.

According to Taylor, the Kum-C was in operation during the silent era, perhaps as early as 1919, but a list of theaters listed in Canadian newspapers in 1914 (PDF here) included for Toronto, theaters called the Kum-C, the Kum-Back, and the U-Kum. No addresses were given for any of them, though, so the Kum-C of 1914 might have been in a different location.

Again according to Taylor, plans for a remodeling of the Kum-C in 1930 were done by Kaplan & Sprachman.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ohio Theatre on Jul 10, 2016 at 3:22 am

A book called Springfield, Ohio: A Summary of Two Centuries, by Tom Dunham, says that, in the 1950s, Springfield Civic Theatre “…leased the old vaudeville theatre at Main and Center streets, but it was condemned as unsafe.” In the later 1950s the company purchased a house on Main Street which it converted into a theater.

If the Ohio was condemned in the late 1950s then there’s no chance that it was the theater in our vintage photo, which displays on its marquee the 1963 film To Russia With Love and the 1965 film Thunderball.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ohio Theatre on Jul 10, 2016 at 3:07 am

I’ve found a photo of the New Sun Theatre (this page, center right), and it was in a three story building on the northwest corner of Main and Center Streets. I don’t think the two story Ohio Theatre in the vintage photo we currently display is the one in Springfield.