Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Almo Theatre on Nov 24, 2014 at 8:02 pm

The Almo Theatre was operated by Aronson & Brown in 1919, according to the April 5 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Aronson & Brown also have two theatres in Raleigh, the Alamo,[sic] seating 400, admission 10 and 20 cents, running Paramount and Select; the Grand with Tabloid comedies and serials, seats 1,000, admission 15 and 25 cents. These men are two of the oldest showmen in the South. They say the public wants clean pictures; nothing suggestive goes here.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Superba Theatre on Nov 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm

The unusual cohabitation of a bank and a theater at Raleigh was described in the April 5, 1919, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Runs Bank and Theatre.

“Raleigh, N. C., has the distinction of having the only theatre in the United States that has a combination movie house and bank doing business on the same premises. In an interview with R. G. Allen, the proprietor, he said the reason for this is the saving of valuable space. Under the old plans of the theatre ten feet of the most valuable land in North Carolina was practically wasted. Five feet on the north side of the lobby was being used for a women’s room, five feet was also used for janitor’s room. With the change the women’s room was eliminated and used for an entrance.

“The five feet used for the janitor’s room was changed to an exit. The space under the lobby has been changed into a directors' room for the bank, which also contains a vault. The bank is right on the inside of the lobby. The sign on the outside of the theatre reads ‘Allen’s Superba Theatre, and the City Bank.’ This house has a five-piece orchestra; also a pipe organ which cost $5,500. The service used is Fox, Goldwyn, First National and Metro. Business is great. Mr. Allen is a tireless worker, and is a courteous man. He told me hard work is his middle name.”

An inventory of historic buildings in Raleigh’s downtown says that the Superba Theatre was converted into the Eckerd Drug Store in 1930.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Granby Theater on Nov 24, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Numerous web sites say that Jake Wells built the Granby Theatre in 1901. An ad for Jake Wells Enterprises in the August 2, 1912, issue of Variety gave the Granby Theatre Building, Norfolk, as the location of the company’s headquarters, though they also maintained a booking office in New York City. The Granby Theatre was one of three theaters in Norfolk that was listed in the 1909-1910 Cahn guide.

The opening of the Granby Theatre as a movie house was noted in the March 18, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Norfolk, Va.—The Granby theater, opened recently in Norfolk by George Karanicholas, is one of the handsomest theaters in the State. It is reported that at the initial showing of pictures there were 6,121 paid admissions and so great was the crowd that it was necessary to secure the aid of the police to keep things in order. The theater has a seating capacity of 1,500.

“The foyer is richly carpeted in red, bordered by shadow box portraits of moving picture stars, and potted plants. The interior color scheme is carried out in old rose and subdued smoke. The chairs are dark green. The screen is 18 feet by 22 feet, is in the center of an attractive proscenium made and painted by a New York firm of scenic artists, and is said to be the largest in the section.

“An indirect system of lighting is used and the ventilating system Is one of the best. A seven-piece orchestra is employed and the music is excellent. Every convenience for patrons is furnished. There is a very attractively furnished retiring room for the ladies and a handsome fountain has been installed in the lobby. A more complete description of this theater will appear in a succeeding issue of the Moving Picture World.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theater on Nov 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm

The Roxy Theatre is on this map of Norfolk’s business district from circa 1950.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cataract Theatre on Nov 23, 2014 at 8:33 pm

The original Cataract Theatre opened as a 600-seat house called the Arcade Theatre on December 8, 1909, and was expanded to 1,600 seats in 1912. The March 21, 1921, issue of the Niagara Falls Gazette had a bit of the theater’s history:

“The Cataract Theatre was purchased by Mr. A. C. Hayman and Mr. Joseph A. Schuchert in 1910 from the Crick Realty Company, the Crick interest retaining part ownership until a later date, at which time they disposed of their holdings for many times more, than their original investment. At the time of purchase it was known as the Arcade Theatre having a seating capacity of 600.

“This theatre was remodeled in 1912 and the accomodation increased to 1,600 seats at an expense of $95,000. The Cataract Theatre is now catering to 20,000 theatregoers weekly, and during the summer of 1920 this theatre catered to capacity houses daily.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Nov 23, 2014 at 8:19 pm

The March 21, 1921, issue of the Niagara Falls Gazette had an article about the plans of the Cataract Theatre Company to build a large new house to be called the Strand adjacent to their Cataract Theatre. The new Strand would operate as a moving picture theater while the Cataract would become a vaudeville house. (The page with the story can be seen in this PDF file.)

The July 9, 1921, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the new house being built at Niagara Falls by the Cataract Amusement Company had been designed by Buffalo architect Henry L. Spann.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about 96th Street Theatre on Nov 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm

This house might have been rebuilt, or perhaps the business moved to this address from another location, in 1921. This item is from the July 9 issue of The Moving Picture World that year:

“NEW YORK.-William Harowitz has plans by Nathan Langer, 81 East 125th street, for two-story brick moving picture theatre, 43 by 100 feet, to be erected at 1703-5 Third avenue, to cost $30,000.”
A column headed “Incorporations” in the May 6, 1921, issue of Variety had this item:
“New Third Avenue Theatre Corp., Manhattan, $16,000; W. and F. Harwitz, T. Cumiskey; attorney, H. B. Davis, 522 Fifth avenue.”
The Manhattan New Building Database lists a permit issued for a theater at this address in 1921, and designed by Nathan Langer, but records it as a one-story building rather than two-story.

A house called the New Third Avenue Theatre was in operation in 1873, when it was advertised in the March 3 issue of The New York Clipper. No address was given, but it was probably not at this location.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Senate Theater on Nov 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Two photos of the Senate Theatre from the Illinois Digital Archives:

Front view, January, 1949

Marquee and entrance by night, 1946

This 2009 article about the centennial of Kerasotes Theatres indicates that Gus Kerasotes bought the Gaiety Theatre and renamed it the Senate in 1929. The Senate was the last theater operating in downtown Springfield when it closed in 1983.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Town Theatre on Nov 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm

The Town Theatre apparently reopened last night. I opened their Facebook page and the top entry, posted 21 hours ago, said “Don’t miss out on opening night.” They ran a double feature of American Graffiti and Dirty Dancing, so it probably isn’t going to be a first-run house. I don’t see any other movies scheduled, either, so they might be open only part time for now. Earlier posts include some photos of the theater being fixed up for the reopening.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Florine Theatre on Nov 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm

The history of the Florine Theatre and other houses in Flora is recounted in a comment by Konrad Schiecke on this page (which also has a couple of photos) of the Cinematour Forum.

The Florine Theatre was on the site of the Opera House, opened in 1911. In 1921 the Opera House became the Orpheum, and the name was changed to Florine Theatre in 1935. The house burned in 1936 and was rebuilt on a larger scale. It was in operation until 1957, and in the late 1970s the building was destroyed by another fire. It had to have been on the vacant lot next door to Etchison’s Appliance shop, which is at 128 W. North Avenue.

The May 5, 1921, issue of The Flora Journal-Record had a front page story about the plans of the new owners of the Opera House which can be read here at the Illinois Digital Archives.

On August 18, the paper published this shorter article about the progress of the project:


“Work on the new Orpheum Theatre is rapidly nearing completion and the management hopes to have the grand opening about September 1st. The building when completed will rank with any of the largest theatres in architecture features and will have everything that is needed to put it in Class A.

“Two features of the new theatre —the ladies' rest room and steam heat, will be appreciated. The stage will have new and beautiful scenery and also the latest lighting effects and stage equipment to accommodate any vaudeville or road show. The projection booth will have the latest and best equipment, with two new machines, which will show a complete picture without a stop. Watch the Journal-Record for the opening date.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theater on Nov 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Here is a photo of the auditorium of the Orpheum Theatre.

This advertisement says that the Orpheum would open on Thursday, December 24, 1914.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Theatre on Nov 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm

The New Theatre burned in 1941 and was rebuilt. This is the news from the October 10 issue of The Film Daily:

“England, Ark. — This community’s New Theater, recently destroyed by fire, will be rebuilt, according to an announcement by Terry Axley, owner. The building which housed the theater was owned by the G. W. Morris estate. Axley estimated that loss of building, theater equipment and impairment of business amounted to some $50,000. Approximately $2,500 had been spent on the theater recently.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lee Theatre on Nov 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm

The October 10, 1941, issue of The Film Daily had this item:

“Lee Theater In Debut

“Roanoke, Va. — Dan Weinberg has opened his new Lee Theater here. House, seating 800, will use first-run pictures. Ashton Rudd is manager.”

There are no buildings at the street in the 1900 block of Williamson Road in Google’s street view. It looks as though an automobile agency has taken over the entire block on both sides of the street for car lots and the Lee Theatre has been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cattaraugus County Center For the Performing Arts on Nov 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm

The October 10, 1941, issue of The Film Daily says that John and Drew Eberson designed the new theater being built at Salamanca for the Schine circuit:

“Schine Realty Corp. has awarded contract for erection of new fireproof theater, seating 1,142 persons, in Salamanca, N. Y., to the Benz Engineering Corp. of that city. Work has already been started. John and Drew Eberson are the architects for the house.”
I still don’t know why this project is missing from the Wolfsonian’s Eberson Archive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Nov 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm

The NRHP registration form for the Blue Fox Theatre says that it was built on the lot west of the Lyric Theatre. With only 300 seats, the Lyric probably didn’t occupy the entire lot to the east of the Blue Fox, so it was probably the second door from the corner, which would make its address about 106 W. Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on Nov 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm

A list of recently chartered companies that was published in the January 13, 1948, issue of The Film Daily included two theaters in Easley:

“COLONY THEATER, Easley, S. C; to operate motion picture theater; capital stock $25,000; Nena Pearl Armistead, president.

“AVALON THEATER, Easley, S. C; to operate motion picture theater; capital stock $10,000; Harold E. Armistead, president.”

The Colony was nearing completion in November, 1947, so the charters were apparently issued around the time the theaters opened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pastime Theatre on Nov 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm

The “Theater Changes” section of the January 30, 1933, issue of The Film Daily listed the Pastime Theatre in Easley, South Carolina, as a new theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theatre on Nov 21, 2014 at 1:32 am

The November 15, 1947, issue of Motion Picture Herald said that the Gloria Theatre was being enlarged:

“The owners of the Gloria theatre at Myrtle Beach, S. C, have started work on alterations and improvement. A balcony will be added to increase the capacity to 800, and new sound and projection equipment will be installed.”
This web page has a photo of the Gloria Theatre, and also says that the house was listed in city directories as the Gloria Theatre from 1959 to 1972, but was listed as the Fox Theatre in 1974-1978.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Osoyoos Theater on Nov 21, 2014 at 1:04 am

This web page says that the Osoyoos Theatre in Oroville opened in 1936, and cites a contemporary source as saying that the house was “…said to be the largest and finest theatre building and best equipment between Wenatchee and Penticton, B.C.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orada Theater on Nov 21, 2014 at 12:14 am

The Orada Theatre was in operation prior to 1947, in which year it suffered a fire. The July 16 issue of Motion Picture Daily said: “Seattle, July 15. — L. A. Gillespie of Okanogan, whose Orada Theatre in Oroville was destroyed by fire last week, said today that he will rebuild the theatre.”

The rebuilding took a long time, probably due to lingering shortages of materials and restrictions on construction in the postwar period. The November 15, 1948, issue of Motion Picture Herald had this item about the reopening: “The Orada theatre in Oroville, Wash., which was destroyed by fire several months ago, has reopened. The rebuilt house has 700 seats and a ‘cry-room.’”

The December 27, 2012, issue of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune said that the site of the Orada Theatre had become the parking lot of the 76 Quick Mart. The Quick Mart is at 1501 Main Street, and the address of the parking lot would be a bit higher, probably 1505 Main Street. The current building is certainly more than two years old so must be the same one mentioned in the newspaper in 2012.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colony Theatre on Nov 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm

This item about the Colony Theatre is from the November 15, 1947, issue of Motion Picture Herald:

“Construction work is nearing completion on the new Colony theatre in Easley, S. C, according to Harold Armistead, manager of the Lyric theatre who will also manage the new house. The Colony will have a capacity of 707 on two levels, and facilities will include a soda shop. Eventually a coffee shop will be added to the second floor. The Lyric and Colony are owned by Mrs. E. A. Armistead.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Nov 20, 2014 at 10:47 pm

The September 1, 1923, issue of Exhibitors Herald said “E. A. Armistead has purchased the Lyric theatre at Easley, S. C, which he has opened.” Mr. Armistead contributed a number of capsule movie reviews to the magazine that year and in 1924.

Additional information about the Armistead family’s involvement in the theater business in Easley can be found in this comment on the Colony Theatre page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Nov 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

The Mason Opera House on Broadway had a separate entrance on Hill Street to a gallery seating people of color. I believe the Morosco (Globe) Theatre also had a segregated gallery with an entrance from the alley.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Masonic Theatre on Nov 20, 2014 at 1:16 pm

DocSouth’s Going to the Show lists the Star Theatre at 59 Broad Street from around 1913 to around 1920. This was the same address as the earlier Amuses or Amusea Theatre, 1907 to 1910, and the generically-named Moving Picture Show, 1912-1913.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Nov 20, 2014 at 1:00 am

The “Name Changes” April 20, 1948, issue of The Film Daily said that the Bern Theatre in New Bern had been renamed the Ritz. I’ve been unable to discover how long the Bern Theatre had been in operation at that time.