Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 226 - 250 of 10,657 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ava Family Theatre on Jan 5, 2016 at 3:54 am

This house was never called the Wilson Theatre. The Wilson was located on the east side of the town square, opened in 1925, and was renamed the Avalon Theatre in 1939, after being rebuilt following a 1938 fire. I haven’t found the year of opening for the new Avalon Theatre, but it was probably when the old house on the square closed, which was 1954.

The Avalon Theatre closed in 1972, though it was reopened for a few months in 1986. In 1995 the Pettits sold the Avalon, and it reopened on March 31 as the Ava Live Theatre. By 1999 it was apparently showing movies again, though live music was also presented sometimes. I haven’t found in which year it was renamed the Ava Family Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on Jan 5, 2016 at 3:52 am

A timeline of Ava’s history that was published in the 2009 Chamber of Commerce Community Guide (large PDF here) gives additional information about this theater. It suffered a major fire in 1938, and was rebuilt and reopened the following year and renamed the Avalon. It closed in 1954.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Jan 5, 2016 at 3:41 am

A timeline of Ava’s history that was published in the 2009 Chamber of Commerce Community Guide (large PDF here) says that the Star Theatre opened in 1943, but also says that it was located one half block north of the northeast corner of the town square. If that’s correct then it must have been on NE 2nd Street, not Washington Avenue. It was operated by the Pettits, who also had the Avalon Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on Jan 4, 2016 at 3:01 pm

An article in the May, 1997, issue of the Douglas County Historical Society Journal (PDF here) says that the Wilson Theatre, located on the east side of the square, opened in 1925 and was originally operated by Henry S. Wilson and L. H. Pettit. A 1935 Sanborn map shows the theater in the second building south of Washington Street, which is currently occupied by a furniture store on the ground floor and the Ava Martial Arts Academy upstairs. The theater had a balcony.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Music Hall Theater on Jan 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Here’s an item from the November 7, 1939, issue of The Portsmouth Herald:

“Blaze At Farmington, Me. Farmington, Me.. Nov. 17 (AP)-Despite a strong wind, firemen prevented the spread of a fire early today that left the Music Hall block in the center of Farmington virtually a brick shell. Loss was estimated by Fire Chief Victor Huart at $25,000. The slate-roofed building on Broadway contained a vacant theater over a chain grocery and Mrs. Erland Hardy’s restaurant.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about University Theatre on Jan 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Also, here’s some link rot re-repair:

Main floor lounge of the University Theatre as depicted on the cover of the July 2, 1949, issue of Boxoffice.

The illustrated article about the University in the “Modern Theatre” section of the same issue:

first page

second page

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about University Theatre on Jan 4, 2016 at 12:56 pm

The History Press is part of the Arcadia Publishing Company, which publishes mostly books of vintage photos with a little bit of text to pad them out. In my experience, most of their books do have at least a few inaccuracies, and some of them have many, and there are probably many more errors that I didn’t even notice.

Between them the two divisions of the company publish about 900 books a year, and their primary focus is not history but nostalgia, for which there is huge market. I don’t think their books will ever provide the degree of historical accuracy that one would expect from, say, a University press, though some are clearly better researched than others. Still, the pictures are nice to have, so I’m glad the company is publishing them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lisbon Theatre on Jan 1, 2016 at 7:55 pm

The Cinema Data Project lists three theaters for Lisbon, Maine, the Lisbon, the Empress, operating around 1922-1923, and the Nordica Central, open by 1921 and operated by Famous Players in 1928 and 1929. It’s possible that the Lisbon was one or the other of the two earlier houses remodeled and renamed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theater on Jan 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Various sources indicate that an 800-seat house called the Pecos Theatre opened at Fort Stockton in 1941. Small photos of the Pecos in high school yearbook ads show a two-story building with a streamline modern front. An article in the January 22, 1942, issue of the El Paso Herald-Post said that the Pecos Theatre had been the most expensive building project in Fort Stockton in 1941, with a construction cost of $13,500. As that seems a bit small for an entirely new building of that size in 1941, I suspect that the 800-seat Pecos was in fact a rebuild of the 800-seat Grand in the old theater’s shell. The Pecos operated until it, too, was destroyed by a fire in early January, 1976.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Queen Theatre on Jan 1, 2016 at 6:51 pm

This early notice which was probably about the project that became the Grand Theatre appeared in The Moving Picture World of March 11, 1916:

“Fort Stockton, Tex.—Edwin and Arthur Hoefs of Pecos have closed a deal with H. H. Butz and James Rooney for a 40-foot front lot in Fort Stockton, on which they will erect at once an up-to-date opera house.”
The project was also noted in the April 22 issue of Music Trade Review, though that publication described it more modestly (and more accurately) as a motion picture theater costing $6,000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Uptown Theatre on Dec 31, 2015 at 3:51 pm

The Cincinnati architectural firm of Rapp, Zettel & Rapp operated from 1903 through 1912. The principals were George W. Rapp (not to be confused with Chicago architect George W. L. Rapp), his son Walter L. Rapp, and partner John Zettel. Among the firm’s projects was a 1909 factory for the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company at Tonawanda, New York. From 1913 to 1930, the firm became Rapp & Zettel, and from 1931 until Walter Rapp’s retirement in 1958, Rapp & Meacham.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Dec 31, 2015 at 3:22 am

An early notice about plans for the house that became the Ritz appeared in the May 1, 1926, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Valdosta, Ga. to Have Fine Theatre in Venetian Motif

“THEY don’t call it ‘the sleepy South’ A any more, and Valdosta, Georgia, is right up where the wide-awakes belong when it comes to progressiveness — and so is the E. J. Sparks Enterprises with offices in Jacksonville, Florida.

“The two got together this way : E. J. Sparks knows theatre opportunities, Valdosta likes entertainment backed up by a perfectly equipped entertainment place.

“So E. J. Sparks had plans drawn by Roy A. Benjamin, architect, of Jacksonville, Florida, for a Venetian style theatre to seat 1,200 people on the main floor, without balcony.

“The theatre will be located at the corner of Paterson and South Jackson Avenues, Valdosta, and will be one of the finest theatres on the Atlantic seaboard.”

There does not appear to be a Jackson Avenue in Valdosta today. Perhaps it was an earlier name for Valley Street. The architecture of the facade of the Ritz definitely drew its inspiration from Venice, though, as can be seen by the row of windows on the second floor, and the ornate cornice and parapet.

Three photos of the Ritz, including one interior shot and one taken at the time of its demolition can be seen on this page at Facebook.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Imperial Theatre on Dec 31, 2015 at 2:34 am

A house called the Imperial Theatre was expected to open in Jacksonville on May 20, 1911, according to an article on this page of the issue of The Moving Picture World dated June 3 that year. As no address was given for the theater I don’t know that it was the same Imperial. It was smaller, seating only 700, and was designed by local architect James R. Walsh.

It’s possible that it was the same Imperial Theatre, and it was later expanded. The description of the front in the 1911 article doesn’t match the vintage photo of the facade we have, though, so any remodeling would have been quite extensive. The May 27, 1916, issue of Motography said that improvements would be made to the Imperial Theatre, but gave no details about the project. At least some alterations were carried out at that time, as the January 1, 1917, issue of American Gas Engineering Journal said that the Jacksonville Gas Company had installed a modern heating system in the new Imperial Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Unique Theatre on Dec 31, 2015 at 1:28 am

The May 20, 1911, issue of Moving Picture World said that the Majestic Theatre, 329 Brady Street, Davenport, had recently opened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wigton Theatre on Dec 25, 2015 at 6:45 pm

An article in the March 15, 1907, issue of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette said that the LaGrange Opera House had been closed and put up for sale. The article describes the house as “…a fairly good brick structure, at corner of Detroit and Michigan Streets….” which had been built about eighteen years earlier. The auditorium was on the ground floor and there was also a gallery, the total seating capacity being about 1,000. Another article later that year said the house was being renovated and that boxes would be added.

The other two buildings at that intersection, both quite old, don’t fit the theater’s description, and the fourth corner is part of the Courthouse square, so the Opera House was on the same site, and probably in the same building, that later became the Wigton Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wigton Theatre on Dec 25, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Comparing the vintage photo of the theater with the current Google street view, it’s clear that the Wigton Theatre was at the northeast corner of N. Detroit Street (IN-9) and E. Michigan Street. The building there now houses the store of a charitable organization called the Clothes & Food Basket of LaGrange County. It’s at 201 N. Detroit Street. The building is clad in a modern skin (probably aluminum and probably dating from the 1960s) even on its back wall, but I suspect that it is the old theater building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Harford Theatre on Dec 25, 2015 at 4:09 am

An architect field needs to be created on this page listing A. Lowther Forrest, Ewald Blanke, and John Zink. Forrest’s involvement in the project was noted in the April 22, 1916, issue of Motography. The owner of the project was Vincent A. Valentine, and the size of the building was originally 32 x 90 feet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Dec 25, 2015 at 3:27 am

This web page has a photo of this theater. It is undated and no theater name is visible.

This article about the Palace Theatre says that the Lomison Opera House was built circa 1879 and became the Keaggy Theatre in 1895. It also says that Michael Manos took over the house in 1917, but the January 22, 1916, article cited in my previous comment indicates that the Manos brothers had taken a lease on the Keaggy by then. The March 4, 1916, issue of Motography also noted the Manos project, saying that architect Nelson would be taking bids for it about April 1. It’s possible that the name was not changed to Strand Theatre until 1917, though.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Carnegie Theater on Dec 25, 2015 at 2:14 am

This house was called the New Carnegie Theatre before being renamed the Louisa Theatre. The “Images of America” series book Carnegie, by Sandy Henry (Google Books preview) has a photo of the New Carnegie from the 1940s, and another showing the Louisa Theatre in flames. An article in the February 21, 1953, issue of Boxoffice mentioned that the Louisa Theatre had been 80% destroyed by a fire on the previous December 21.

The “Louisa Theatre Building” was mentioned in the May 30, 1953, issue of The Billboard. A new operator had taken over the Grand Theatre and also planned to renovate the Louisa building and install 3-D equipment. I’ve been unable to discover if the project was carried out. If it was, perhaps the name New Carnegie Theatre was restored to it.

I’ve found the New Carnegie Theatre mentioned in high school yearbooks from the area as early as 1930, but the building looked as though it probably dated from the 1920s. It was operated by Dr. Charles E. Herman. His wife (or perhaps widow) Louise B. Herman incorporated the New Carnegie Theatre Company on July 8, 1948, and the name must have been changed to Louisa Theatre some time after that.

What remains of the building today (I’m not sure how much that is, but the current structure is considerably shorter than it originally was) is occupied by Freedom Fellowship Church of Pittsburgh, so I would presume that the auditorium is still there, at least in part, and is used for religious services.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theater on Dec 25, 2015 at 12:40 am

The March 3, 1932, issue of the Pittston Gazette reported that the Grand Theatre in Carnegie had been gutted by fire early that morning, with damage estimated at more than $25,000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dixie Theatre on Dec 25, 2015 at 12:25 am

An ad in the January 1, 1941, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offered New Year’s greetings to the community from the New Carnegie Theatre, the New Grand Theatre, the Liberty Theatre, and the Dixie Family Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wigton Theatre on Dec 24, 2015 at 11:59 pm

This item appeared in the January, 1916, issue of The Classical Journal, an academic journal which is still being published:

“LaGrange.—Professor Miller’s Dido, the Phoenician Queen was presented with great success at the Wigton Theater by Latin students of the LaGrange High School, on November 12. Miss Marion Nelson appeared in the title r61e. Dale LeCount took the part of Aeneas.”
A James M. Wigton was listed as the manager of the La Grange Opera House in the 1912-1913 edition of the Cahn-Leighton guide. The Wigton Opera House in La Grange was soon to open, according to an item in the September 18, 1915, issue of The Music Trade Review. It’s possible that the theater was new in 1915, or it might be that Mr. Wigton had taken over the Opera House he had been managing in 1912 and renamed it for himself. Either way, it’s probable that the Wigton Opera House of 1915 was the same house as the later Wigton Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bainbridge Theatre on Dec 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm

This item is from the March 13, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News:

“Arthur Hirsch and Louis Geller opened their new Mosholu Theatre in uptown New York on Monday evening of this week and practically the entire T. O. C. C. and local exchange representatives were on hand to offer congratulations to the owners on the realization of this attractive neighborhood house which is of single floor design and has a seating capacity of about 1000.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Coronet 1 & 2 on Dec 21, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Samuel Goldwyn Co. acquired the rights to Oklahoma and re-released it in both Todd-AO and 35mm formats in 1982.

Tri-Star ran nationwide sneak previews of Manhattan Murder Mystery the weekend prior to its release on Wednesday, August 18, 1993. A weekend ad for the theater running the preview might have an announcement about the event.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theater on Dec 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm

This item under the heading “Washington” from the August 18, 1917, issue of Motography notes a name change for this house:

“The Palace Theater at Vancouver will change its name to the American. The manager’s name will be John P. Kiggins. Some improvements and decorations will be made.”