Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Smalley's Theatre on Feb 8, 2018 at 7:27 pm

The building in which Smalley’s Theatre was located was built in 1885 as Klinkhart Hall, with retail space and the local post office on the ground floor and an opera house upstairs. Today it is under restoration as Klinkhart Hall Arts Center, and is located at 191 Main Street. A movie theater was first established on the ground floor in 1925. The auditorium, though in rough shape, still has its seats in place today. There is a photo at the link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Smalley's Theatre on Feb 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm

William Smalley called this house the Cameo Theatre or Smalley’s Cameo Theatre until sometime in 1933. The October 18, 1939, issue of the St. Johnsville Enterprise and News says that the former Rex reopened as the Cameo on October 15, 1924.

The earliest ad calling it simply Smalley’s Theatre that I’ve seen in the Enterprise and News is in the November 22, 1933 edition, though it might have been renamed anytime after the previous ad I’ve seen for Smalley’s Cameo, which appeared in February.

The Rex Theatre was in operation by 1917, the year the October 24 issue of the Enterprise said that the price of an adult admission was being raised to fifteen cents. Smalley’s Theatre was extensively rebuilt in 1939.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about AMC Classic Mount Vernon 8 on Feb 7, 2018 at 11:28 pm

The Kerasotes ShowPlace 8 in Mount Vernon was built in 1995.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Granada Theatre on Feb 7, 2018 at 11:25 pm

A 1995 article about the history of Mount Vernon’s theaters can be found on this web page. It says that the groundbreaking ceremony for the Granada was held on June 7, 1937, and the theater had its grand opening on December 16.

In 1971, the Granada and the Stadium were taken over by Kerasotes Theatres, which had for some time already operated the Mount Vernon Drive-In. The Granada was twinned in 1981. In 1995, Kerasotes built an 8-screen multiplex in an outlet mall on the outskirts of Mount Vernon, still open now as the AMC Classic Mount Vernon 8, and the Granada was closed after a run of almost sixty years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza Theatre on Feb 7, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Broan’s comment above, saying that the correct address of the Plaza is 118 S. Ninth Street, is indeed correct. However, a Plaza Theatre is listed at Mount Vernon in the 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory, and its address was 116 S. Ninth.

The December 25, 1919, opening of the Plaza must have been for a new Plaza Theatre replacing the old house— which had undoubtedly been a storefront conversion, given the age of the building still standing on that lot— next door.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Feb 7, 2018 at 10:23 pm

A “40 years ago” feature in the January 8, 1960, issue of the Mt. Vernon Register-News noted that the owners of the Plaza Theatre had purchased the Star Theatre and would operate both houses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stadium Theatre on Feb 7, 2018 at 10:23 pm

This web page has an article about the history of Mount Vernon’s theaters which says that the Majestic/Royal building survived the 1945 fire and was rebuilt as the Stadium Theatre, which opened on May 15, 1947.

The article says that the Stadium was twinned in 1985. It also gives the impression, though does not explicitly say, that both the Granada and Stadium were still in operation at the time the article was written in 1995, though a new eight-screen house which would replace them was under construction on the outskirts of Mount Vernon at that time.

Interestingly, the article does not mention a single-screen house opened by Kerasotes Theatres in the Times Square Shopping Mall in 1975, which suggests that the Times Square Cinema did not last very long and had been forgotten by 1995. CinemaTour has the mall house listed as the Times Square Cinema Four, aka Cinema Times Square, in operation from 1975 to 1987.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Feb 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

The Royal burned on Armistice Day (November 11), 1945, with a loss estimated at $30,000, according to an article in the January 6, 1956, issue of the Mt. Vernon Register-News.

The following paragraph from an article about the history of Mt. Vernon’s theaters on this web page conveys the impression that the Majestic/Royal building actually survived the 1945 fire, at least in part, and that the Stadium Theatre was built inside the shell of the original building:

“On Thanksgiving Day 1911, what was to become the first permanent theater, the Majestic, opened. This theater was known for showing many epic movies, such as, The Birth of a Nation. Many vaudeville acts were performed on the Majestic stage. During the remodeling, the theater was gutted by fire, and a new movie theater was built and named the Royal. The Royal was also destroyed by fire. But it was redesigned and reopened on May 15, 1947, as the Stadium Theater.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza Theatre on Feb 7, 2018 at 9:41 pm

The Plaza Theatre opened on Christmas Day, 1919, according to an article in the July 29, 1972, issue of the Mt. Vernon Register-News.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Monticello Theatre on Feb 7, 2018 at 5:13 am

Here is an item about the Monticello Theatre from the August 13, 1910, issue of The American Contractor:

“Theater & Office Building: 2 sty. 100x80. $55,000. Monticello av., Jersey City, N. J. Architects Hill & Stout, 1123 Broadway, New York city. Owner Ansbach Amusement Co., Jersey City. General Contractors Isaac A. Hopper & Son, 231 W. 125th St., New York city. Slag roofing let to the National Sheet Metal Roofing Co., 339 Grand St., Jersey City. Steam heat to Blake & Williams, 24 Barrow St., New York city. Plastering to Geo. A. Amos, 1123 Broadway, New York city.”
Architects Frederick P. Hill and Edmund C. Stout designed a number of significant buildings, though some of their best have not survived. Among the best knows survivors in Manhattan is a 1913 Gothic Revival style office block on Madison Avenue at 41st Street which has since been converted into the Library Hotel. As far as I’ve been able to discover, the Monticello was the only theater they designed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Monticello Theatre on Feb 7, 2018 at 12:10 am

Definitely looks like the same place, so a 1910 opening, then. Robinson and Burns must have merely taken over operation of the house in 1914.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jones Theatre on Feb 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Google finally has a decent street view of the Jones Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Smalley's Theater on Feb 5, 2018 at 5:10 pm

The November 10, 1932, issue of The New York State Exhibitor said that Smalley’s Theatre in Norwich was scheduled to open that day. The subsequent issue of the semi-monthly journal, November 25, said that Smalley’s had been opened, though it didn’t confirm that the event had taken place on schedule.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mt. Upton Theatre on Feb 5, 2018 at 3:34 pm

An article in the St. Johnsville Enterprise and News of October 18, 1939 (PDF), says that William Smalley operated his 1913 movie theater at Mt. Upton in the Town Hall. I don’t know if that was the same building as the Opera house. Small settlements of that era frequently had only one public building other than their schoolhouse, and it would be used for all manner of public functions, and sometimes subleased to private individuals for other uses, such as showing movies.

I’ve been unable to find any other references to a Mount Upton Town Hall on the Internet. The writer of the 1939 article probably drew on Mr. Smalley’s own memories of his early career, and it’s possible that in 1913 the building was called the Town Hall and only later came to be known exclusively as the Opera House.

Here is a link to the photo of the former Opera house after it had been converted to a firehouse, to which adamghost made reference. The photo is followed by a comment from a member of the Hinman family claiming that the building is now her parents' garage, but that the upper floor has been removed due to damage.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about La Moda Theatre on Feb 2, 2018 at 12:06 am

This 2011 article from the San Luis Obispo Tribune has some information I know to be inaccurate (the Playhouse/ La Mode was not Atascadero’s first movie theater), and awkward writing makes it difficult to puzzle out in places, but it indicates that the Atascadero Playhouse on El Camino Real was the second theater of that name, and another article I came across suggests that the first, out on the east edge of town on Traffic Place, might also have shown movies for a while.

The linked article gives the location of the Playhouse that became La Mode Theatre as being “…next door to the Keetch Building and Ward’s garage….” both of which are still standing (though the garage is now a print shop) at 5660 and 5680 El Camino, respectively. That would put the theater’s site at 5670 El Camino Real. The parking lot at that location has, in the current Google street view, a sign offering it for sale through Peabody Commercial Real Estate.

The second Playhouse was built in 1924, and the first movie it ran was Roy del Ruth’s The Man Upstairs, released in 1926, which coincides with the installation of the organ noted in the previous comment by AndrewBarrett. I know of at least two earlier movie theaters in Atascadero, one of which might or might not have been the first Playhouse on Traffic Place. I’m still trying to track down more information.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Circle Theater on Feb 1, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Google has loads of photos (and some videos) from Stereo Live Dallas, many of them quite recent, and many apparently posted by DJs who have presented shows there. The original auditorium interior has been stripped and black-boxed, but the lobby has many original features intact. Judging from the size of the crowds in many photos it looks like business is thriving.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Matt Lambros Lecture in Chicago on Jan 31, 2018 at 3:24 am

I believe that all four of the previous comments on this page are spam.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sunshine Mall 5 on Jan 30, 2018 at 5:24 pm

akow: Is the eyeglasses place you refer to the Visionworks at 912 S. Missouri, and the strip mall the building next door with an insurance office at 918 and three currently (in Google street view) vacant storefronts south of it?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pastime Theater on Jan 29, 2018 at 11:36 pm

Other Tribune articles indicate that the 1924-25 project was an expansion of the existing Pastime Theatre, with the addition of the three-story office and store building in front. this article notes that the Pastime’s original lobby was to be partly torn down, so it seems likely the rebuilding was not actually occasioned by a fire.

It is possible, though, that the original Pastime was completely rebuilt earlier in its history, or perhaps moved from another location. A February 20, 1938 Tribune article said that the Pastime would be celebrating its 26th anniversary on February 22, which would correspond to a 1912 opening. However, a February 17, 1929, ad for the Pastime said that the house would be celebrating its 21st anniversary on the 22nd. That would give the theater an opening date of February 22, 1908.

I see that the 1911 clipping Rivest links to notes that Chris Chacos had recently taken over management of the house (perhaps from one of his brothers?) and had “…made a number of improvements on the interior….” which indicates that the theater had indeed been in operation prior to the 1911 event. The item also notes that a subsequent closure for further improvements was planned. It’s possible that the 26th anniversary in 1938 indicated that the building was completely rebuilt in 1912, though that would leave the question of why this had not been noted in the 1929 21st anniversary ad.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Embassy Theatre on Jan 29, 2018 at 12:06 am

The Embassy was built on the site of a silent era house called the Empire Theatre, which appeared at 739 Penn Street on a list of Readings movie theaters that was published in the January 1, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Jan 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm

The September 13, 1925, issue of The San Berardino County Sun reported that control of the Wyatt, Liberty, and Majestic Theatres in Redlands would be transfered from local operator Inland Theatres to Junior Theatres, an affiliate of West Coast Theatres. The Majestic would for a short time continue to be run by an independent local operator who had a lease that was soon to run out.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Jan 27, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Address should be 108 E. Oley Street. Google has no street view, but Bing maps has one. There are still two overhead doors on the front, so perhaps it’s still a garage, though if so it isn’t listed on the Internet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jan 25, 2018 at 11:30 pm

The February 5, 1911, issue of the Los Angeles Herald had an item about this theater in a page six article about current construction projects:

“Frank L. Stiff, plans for a moving picture theater to be built at 340 South Spring street for Quinn & McLean. It will have tile entrance, ornamental plaster front, composition roof, metal lath, plumbing and electric wiring. The cost will be about $3OOO.”
Although the item didn’t say so,this must have been a remodeling of the house that had opened in 1903 as Waldeck’s Casino. Not even in 1911 could $3,000 build an entirely new theater in downtown Los Angeles.

The promoters, Quinn & McLean, must have been John A. Quinn and G. H. McLean (or McLain, as his name sometimes appears) who had already operated or were still operating the Ideal, the Bijou, and the Banner Theatre.

A. M. Edelman was the original architect for the Casino Theatre, as noted in the August 9, 1903, issue of the Sunday Herald:

“Casino Theater company, 346 and 348 South Spring street, two-story brick theater and museum, $25,000; A. M. Edelman, architect; Earl T. Low, contractor.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Arlin Theatre on Jan 25, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Google street view now has a view of the back of this building. Some of the brick looks quite old, and there have obviously been a lot of alterations done over the decades. Despite the L.A. County Assessor’s site saying that the building was built in 1930, I now think there was probably just an extensive rebuild of the original theater building at that time.

Bill Counter has researched the Arlin Theatre, saying it opened around 1911, when it was listed only under the name of a Mr. T. A. Russell. Then it was listed as the Columbia Theatre from 1912 until 1918, was the Jefferson Theatre in 1919 (I also found it listed under that name in the 1921 city directory) and was the Palace Theatre from 1922 to 1927. A 1928 directory has now become available, and it lists the house as the Home Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Franklin Theatre on Jan 25, 2018 at 8:14 pm

This house probably opened as the Franklin Theatre, whether it was listed or advertised by name or not. This item is from the July 9, 1910, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Brooklyn, N. Y. — Plans have been filed for the erection of a first-class moving picture theater on the east side of Franklin avenue north of DeKalb, for the Abels-Gold Realty Company. This theater will be known as the Franklin.”