Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 226 - 250 of 9,445 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Diana Theatre on Oct 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm

A full page ad for the Diana Theatre in the April 23, 1948, issue of The Tipton Daily Tribune said that the fire the previous year had virtually destroyed the old theater and building, and that the new Diana Theatre was new construction. The project was designed by the architectural and engineering firm of Johnson, McKinney & Schenck.

An article in the Monday, June 24, 1946, issue of The Tipton Daily Tribune said that Wednesday would mark the 20th anniversary of the Diana Theatre. Nick Paikos, the original owner, was still operating the house. The article said that prior to being remodeled and reopened as the Diana the building had housed the Grand Theatre, but that it had been closed for some time.

The Grand Theatre was mentioned in the April 1, 1922, issue of Exhibitors Herald, which said that it had been bought by Clyde Wilson. Previously it had been operated by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Jackson.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Oct 6, 2014 at 6:14 pm

The July 19, 1929, issue of The Film Daily reported that the Dixie Theatre at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, had been gutted by a fire causing an estimated $30,000 of damage.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theater on Oct 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm

This article from Lehigh Valley Business of May 1, 2014, says that the Palace Theatre building is being renovated for use as a brew pub/restaurant, bakery, and coffee shop. Seat from the theater will be used in the waiting area, and movie posters found in the theater will be displayed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Oct 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm

A list of historic theaters in Iowa prepared in 2009 (pdf here) has this ambiguous line for the address of the Capitol: “193 South Central Avenue or 314 South Central Avenue.” It also gives an alternate name for the structure as the P. A. Leese Building. Here is a photo of the P. A. Leese Building, which is at 193 S. Central Avenue. I’m not sure where the address 314 originated, but it seems an unlikely location for a theater, being on the other side of the railroad tracks from Hartley’s small business district and adjacent to a large grain elevator.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Oct 6, 2014 at 12:48 pm

The Capitol was mentioned in the Iowa “Changes in Ownership” column of the July 1, 1929, issue of The Film Daily: “ Hartley — Capitol, sold to C. A. Sartorius by A. M. Inman.” Mr. Sartorius sent in a couple of capsule movie reviews for the “What the Picture Did for Me” column of Motion Picture Herald in 1934.

Someone named H. Midland was operating a theater at Hartley in 1913 according to the December 27 issue of The Moving Picture World, but the name of the theater was not given. The May 6, 1916, issue of the same publication mentioned a Rex Theatre in Hartley, and it might have been the same house that H. Midland was operating in 1913.

The Capitol might have closed for a while in the 1950s, but must have reopened later as it was advertising in the newspaper at least as late as December 30, 1976.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Oct 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm

The August 12, 1978, issue of The Pittsburgh Press said that the Strand Theatre in Oakland, which had recently closed, was being converted into space for three stores. The total space being converted was 8,500 square feet, so the Strand must have been a good-sized theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cranberry Mall 8 on Oct 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm

The obituary of Squirrel Hill architect Edgar A. Kwalwasser in the August 6, 1998, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that he had designed theaters in six states, but only gives the names of three of them, one of which was the Cranberry Mall Cinemas. Kwalwasser established his practice in 1951 and retired only a few months before his death in 1998.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Manor Theatre on Oct 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm

The obituary of Squirrel Hill architect Edgar A. Kwalwasser in the August 6, 1998, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette listed alterations to the Squirrel Hill and Manor Theatres among his works. The remodeling of the Manor he handled might have been the 1965 project for Stanley-Warner I mentioned in my comment of March 6, 2010, or it might have been the 1978 renovations rivest266 mentioned in the comment of last month, or it might have been both, as Kwalwasser established his practice in 1951 and remained active until April, 1998.

The obituary says that he designed theaters in six states, but only mentions three theater projects by name. The third was the Cranberry Mall Cinemas in Cranberry Township.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Squirrel Hill Theater on Oct 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm

The obituary of Squirrel Hill architect Edgar A. Kwalwasser in the August 6, 1998, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette listed alterations to the Squirrel Hill and Manor Theatres among his works. As Kwalwasser established his practice in 1951, the remodeling of the Squirrel Hill Theatre that he handled might have been the one for Stanley-Warner in 1956, or it might have been a later one.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kings Court Theater on Oct 5, 2014 at 12:42 pm

An article in the October 27, 1979, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentioned in passing that the King’s Court Theatre had been designed by architect Edgar A. Kwalwasser.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garrick Theatre on Oct 5, 2014 at 12:19 am

The only mention I can find of the 8th & Broadway Corp. in the trade journals is this item from the California “Changes in Ownership” column of the July 22, 1932, issue of The Film Daily:

“Olympic (formerly Bards 8th St.) sold to Laurence Cohen by 8th & Broadway Corp.”
The Olympic was on 8th Street west of Broadway, and opened as Bard’s 8th Street Theatre in April, 1927. Lou Bard operated the house, but I don’t know if he owned it outright. It’s possible that the house was financed by someone else.

The lease on the Garrick (and the land under it) was taken over by H. L. Gumbiner in 1921, and he operated the house until having it replaced by the Tower in 1927. In the early 1930s the Gumbiners were operating the Cameo and Broadway Theatres as well as the Tower, but so far I haven’t been able to connect them with Lou Bard. There could have been a business relationship of some sort between them, and if so the Garrick’s organ might have gone to Bard’s 8th Street.

Gumbiner is best known for having built the Los Angeles Theatre in 1930, which is how the Tower’s organ ended up there. The Los Angeles was expensive to build, and Gumbiner’s finances were stretched thin, so moving the organ from the Tower was probably an economy move.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about El Rey Theatre on Oct 4, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Andrew: I don’t recall having seen an organ console in the El Rey when I attended movies there at least a dozen times in the late 1950s and early 1960s. But then I don’t think I ever attended the El Rey prior to the installation of the CinemaScope screen in 1954. The screen was quite wide, and if the organ hadn’t been removed earlier it was probably taken out when the screen was installed.

The only old house in the San Gabriel Valley that I know for certain still had an organ in the 1960s was the Rialto in South Pasadena. I believe it’s still there, but it hasn’t been used since being damaged in a fire in the 1970s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Oct 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

A lobby display promoting war bonds is the main feature of this 1945 photo from the Pasadena Digital Archive. Not much of the theater can be seen, but it looks as though some remodeling had been done which left the lobby rather plain. The subsequent photo in the stream shows a military band posed in front of the Strand’s curtain, but the most interesting thing is that there appears to be an organ console in the orchestra pit.

Saving the best for last, Pasadena Digital History now has four vintage photos of the Strand available from the Harold A. Parker collection at the Huntington Library:

A 1924 view of a lounge;

a 1924 view of the entrance lobby;

A 1924 view of the auditorium including what could be the same organ console that appears in the 1945 photo;

A 1929 view of the front, the marquee advertising movies starring Vilma Banky and Charley Chase.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Academy Cinemas on Oct 4, 2014 at 9:46 am

Bard’s Colorado Theatre looms in the background of this 1927 photo from the Pasadena Digital Archive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tower Theatre on Oct 4, 2014 at 9:37 am

Pasadena Digital Archive has uploaded a 1945 photo of a small corner of the Tower’s lobby at Flickr. The interior appears to have been fairly plain at this date, though there’s some fancy trim around a partly-seen doorway. The Roy Rogers display indicates that the Tower was probably then Pasadena’s western theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Family Theatre on Oct 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm

The Family Theatre opened on September 2, 1949, according to the grand opening ad rivest266 uploaded to the photo page. The same issue of the Beaver Valley Times that ran the ad also has a courtesy ad congratulating the theater on its opening that was placed by architect Harry L. Widom of Pittsburgh. He must have designed the Family Theatre.

There is now a curb cut in front of the theater and a pair of garage doors where the entrance used to be, but two poster cases remain and there is some decorative tile work on the floor, as well as a patch of bare concrete which must be where the box office stood.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema Centre on Oct 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm

The May 3, 1928, issue of the Beatrice Daily Sun said that the Ritz Theatre would open the following day. The new house would feature a Hillgreen-Lane pipe organ and Spanish decor. The house had an orchestra pit and a stage, and presented vaudeville acts as well as movies vaudeville. The Ritz was operated by United Theatres for less than two years. In 1930, the February 26 issue of The Film Daily reported that the house had been transferred to Fox Theatres, and by April had been renamed the Fox.

The October 5, 1939, issue of the Daily Sun said that Fox Theatres was giving up the house and would move its first-run movies to its Rivoli Theatre. The Fox was then taken over and renovated by local Exhibitor Frank Hollingsworth of the Rialto Theatre. The October 22 issue of the Daily Sun said that the Pix Theatre would open the following day. One of the features of the opening night would be selections played on the theater’s restored pipe organ.

Hollingsworth had intended to operate the Pix as a first-run house, but had difficulty obtaining product. A June 18, 1941, Daily Sun article said that the house had operated only intermittently since being reopened. I haven’t found it listed in the paper later than February, 1942. Hollingsworth eventually filed a lawsuit against Fox and won.

In 1948, the Fox circuit reacquired the long-vacant theater and had it largely rebuilt. As the rebuilt Fox had the same footprint as the original Ritz, the increase in seating capacity from less than 600 to more than 800 was probably accomplished either by raising the roof and installing a balcony, a feature the house had never had before, or by removing the stage and expanding the seating into that area. The expanded Fox Theatre opened on January 20, 1949. By August, 1971, the house had been twinned and was operating as the Cinema Center.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gilbert Theatre on Oct 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm

The January 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World had an item about Hal Kelly, manager of the Gilbert Theatre. The usual policy of the house at that time was to present five acts of vaudeville and three reels of movies, Kelly said.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Oct 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm

The April 12, 1933, opening date of the Rialto on Fifth Street was a re-opening under new management. The July 31, 1933, Motion Picture Herald published a list of Publix Theatres affiliates and subsidiaries that were in either Federal receivership or in bankruptcy. The Beatrice Theatre & Realty Corp.,operating the Rivoli and Rialto Theatres in Beatrice, was listed as having filed for bankruptcy on January 6, 1933.

The February 3, 1930, issue of The Film Daily said that the Rialto and Rivoli Theatres in Beatrice had been sold to Publix by Hostettler (the Hostettler Amusement Company of Omaha, affiliated with Universal Pictures, had built the Rivoli Theatre in 1926.) But the Rialto goes back to at least 1923. The January 5, 1924, issue of Exhibitors Herald had this item about it:

“The Rialto theatre at Beatrice, Neb., has been re-opened by Blaine Cook. The theatre was damaged by fire a few weeks ago, and laid up for repairs.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rivoli Theater on Oct 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm

An article about the new Fox Theatre in the January 18, 1949, issue of the Beatrice Daily Sun said that the Rivoli Theatre had been closed Sunday (January 16.) The July 18 issue of the paper said that the Rivoli building was then being remodeled as the new location of Hested’s store. It later became the home of Knowles Music.

An April 30, 2003, Daily Sun article about the recent restoration of the Rivoli building’s facade (link) said that the Rivoli Theatre had opened on September 27, 1926. The “opening” in the October 5, 1926 ad OCRon posted in the photo section must refer to the opening of the Red Grange movie, not the opening of the theater itself. The actual opening feature at the Rivoli was the Constance Talmadge movie The Duchess of Buffalo.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rowland Theater on Oct 1, 2014 at 4:40 pm

An article about the lighting in the Rowland Theatre at Wilkinsburg begins on page 199 of the August, 1913, issue of Lighting Journal (Google Books scan. Scroll up one page for the beginning of the article.) There are three photos of the auditorium.

A lawsuit filed against the Rowland Theatre in 1914 reveals that another theater already existed on the property Richard A. Rowland bought for this house, and that Rowland remodeled that theater at the same time the Rowland was being built adjacent to it. I haven’t been able to discover the name of that earlier theater, but it might have been the Colonial.

An article beginning on page 405 of the July 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World (Google Books scan) recounts the career of Richard Rowland, and mentions the Colonial Theatre n Wilkinsburg as one of his early acquisitions.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Oct 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm

A February 24, 1928, Sandusky Star Journal article about the start of construction on the new theater at Water Street and Columbus Avenue for the Seltz Theatre Company said that it had been designed by Lima, Ohio, architect Peter M. Hulsken, who had recently designed a theater for the Schine circuit in Lima. During the planning stage for the project, Schine had entered into an agreement with Seltz to operate the new house.

Schine’s State Theatre opened on October 2, 1928, but in September, 1930, the State and a number of other Schine houses in Ohio were taken over by Warner Brothers. In 1933 the Seltz Theatre Company evicted Warner Brothers from the State for failure to pay the monthly rent. A long lawsuit followed, and from this period until at least as late as 1950, the State was independently operated by the Seltz company itself.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trans-Lux Theatre on Oct 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Could this house have been an older theater operated under a different name prior to being operated by Trans-Lux? This entry in the “Theatres in Construction” column of Variety for December 1, 1926, might be the same house:

“Rye Beach, N. Y.— (Also casino). $1,000,000 Manursing Island. Owner, Westchester Parkway Commission, Bronxville, N. Y. Architects, Walker and Gillette, New York City. Policy not given.”
We have no other theaters listed on Manursing Island. If this project was carried out, and it wasn’t the same theater as the Trans-Lux, then we are missing a theater in Rye, but I haven’t been able to discover its name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Park Cinemas on Oct 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm

As the only theater in Roselle Park, and with an organ having been installed in 1927, the Park Theatre must have been this project noted in the “Theatres in Construction” column of Variety for December 1, 1926:

“Roselle Park, N. J. — (Also stores, offices). $200,000. Westfleld avenue. Owners. D. Bender and N. Goldine, care of architect, Wm. Friedberg, Newark. N. J. Policy not given.”
Architect Willaim Friedberg opened his office in Newark in 1922, but I’ve been unable to find out anything else about him.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Harvard Square Theatre on Oct 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Here is the article about the recently-opened University Theatre that appeared in the November 20, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News:

“Harvard Welcomes the New University Theatre

“Advance of Pictures Overcomes Opposition and a Playhouse Opens on Harvard Square

“WITH the opening of the University Theatre in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass., this week, Harvard University, oldest university in America, for the first time in its 290 years, has a theatre within its shadows. For years attempts have been made to secure permission to erect a theatre in Harvard Square, but opposition from business men and university faculty inevitably defeated the plans.

“Realizing the wonderful advance made in motion pictures and the importance of the position occupied by motion picture theatres, the conservatism which has kept theatres away from Harvard University has given way to a remarkable welcome to the new University Theatre and to its owners, Charles E. Hatfield, treasurer of Middlesex County and president of the University Theatre Co.; Lindsey Hooper, Boston financier, and Stanley Sumner, managing director of the new playhouse through whose efforts the company was organized and the theatre erected. Mr. Sumner’s success as owner of the Community Theatre in Newton, Mass., and other playhouses places him among the leading active theatre owners in New England.

“One of the features of the new University Theatre will be the showing of Harvard football game films the evening of the same day of the game. This has been made possible through arrangements made with the Pathe News.

“Co-operates With University

“The University Theatre aims to co-operate with Harvard officials, with the Harvard Dramatic organizations and other Harvard clubs, giving a type of entertainment which will appeal to Harvard students as well as to the public and providing a means in Cambridge, for the first time, for Harvard students to present dramatics. From its location the theatre Mill draw its audiences not only from Cambridge and Harvard University, but from a dozen towns bordering Harvard Square, which have direct traffic communication to this important transfer center.

“Although the theatre is now open, some of the finishing touches remain to be completed. At the invitation opening of the theatre many officials, Harvard faculty members, and those prominent in the film business were present. The opening was scheduled for eight o'clock. Not until three o'clock was work started removing the stagings inside the theatre; not until six o'clock were the first tests made with the projection equipment. The seating of the theatre was being completed as the first of the audience arrived. Yet so smoothly was the program carried out that the audience, had it not been otherwise informed, would have thought the entire program had been rehearsed until finished. The curtain, reproducing the famous painting of Washington taking command of the Continental Army on Cambridge Common, has not been completed and will be shown later. It is 33 feet long and 17 feet 4 inches high.

“Beauty of Design and Decoration

“The theatre is of the Italian Renaissance period of architecture, inspiration for it coming from the Davangatti Palace in Florence, Italy. Walls of the lobby are of imported traverline and even the ticket booth is suggestive of the windows of some dark-eyed senorita of old. The decorative scheme is a rather free adaptation of blending of the modern with the Italian and Pompeian. Carpetings were specially designed to give harmonious setting to the furnishings.

“In the seating, an advance has been made towards comfort of patrons. The seats, specially designed, are slightly higher than the customary seat and with a little more backward tilt, and heavily upholstered, adding materially to the comfort of the patron, whether short or tall.

“The house seats 1,915. It has a single balcony of cantilever type. The ladies' room is finished in Georgian style, giving a restful effect. Lighting fixtures throughout the house are a combination of wrought iron and brass and there is an emergency current supply from batteries, should the commercial circuit be closed for any purpose for a short time.

“Special attention has been given the projection room, which is patterned after that of the Metropolitan Theatre, Boston, except that it is located above the rear of the balcony.

“The policy calls for complete changes of program Sundays and Wednesdays, with Pathe News, comedy and two feature pictures, one stage presentation, and an orchestra and organ. Performances will be continuous, with three complete performances daily. Seats are reserved only for the evening performance.”