Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rio Theater on Nov 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm

AndreasP is correct. I am not sure that Robert Larson was correct when he said this was the second Rio Theatre, though. SteveSwanson’s information about the Myrtle Theatre is probably from this web page, which says that the Myrtle Theatre was destroyed by a fire, and reopened as the Rio Theatre on January 9, 1953, at the First Avenue location.

The page does not say that the Myrtle was renamed the Rio sometime before the fire, nor is it clear about when the fire took place. One fire happened in 1943, destroying the Post Office which occupied the bay adjacent to the theater (as near as I can tell from the vague wording), but the page does not specifically say that that fire was the one that destroyed the Myrtle Theatre.

Perhaps the FDY editions between 1944 and 1952 list the theater in Myrtle Creek, if any, giving the name it was using at the time. Alas, I no longer have my digital FDY editions (they are trapped on another computer that no longer works.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Analy Theatre on Nov 15, 2017 at 3:08 pm

I see that one of the congratulatory notices in the grand opening ad dallasmovietheaters just uploaded is from William B. David. That strongly suggests that he was indeed the actual (but unlicensed) architect of the house, with William W. Wolf signing the plans. Another of the notices is from Gus (Gale) Santocono, who was probably responsible for the decoration of the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Liberty Theater on Nov 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm

AndreasP’s link doesn’t work for me, but I did find this photo which might be the same one.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theater on Nov 14, 2017 at 5:43 pm

An article about architect Sydney Lovell in the summer, 2003, issue of Marquee, by Barbara Coy Janssens, says that Lovell was working in partnership with James Wood when, in 1888, Wood received a commission to remodel the Grand Opera House. The project was completed in 1890.

As the house was only four years old when Wood was commissioned to remodel it, it seems likely that he, already noted as a theater architect, was brought in to correct shortcomings of the original design by Kysor and Morgan, who were not experienced in theater design.

I would imagine that most of Wood and Lovell’s work on the building had to do with the practical aspects of theater design, and focused on the stage facilities. Photos over the years don’t indicate any significant change in the style of the building, inside or out. It’s likely that the original gas lighting system was either replaced by or augmented with electric lighting as part of this project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Nor Shor Theatre on Nov 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

The official web site says their target for completion of the renovations and reopening is December, 2017.

The project was designed by the St. Paul architectural firm TKDA. There is a slide show with three drawings on the firm’s web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tower Theatre on Nov 13, 2017 at 9:18 pm

The principals of Toltz, King & Day were Maximilian Toltz, Wesley King, and Beaver Wade Day. The firm is still in existence today, operating under the name TKDA.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Las Vegas Cinema on Nov 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Baroose: Cinema Treasures does not yet have a listing for the Cherokee Theatre. It was listed in the finding aid for the papers of the architectural firm of Toltz, King & Day, for whom it was a 1921 project. That is the only place on the Internet I’ve seen it mentioned, until you posted your comment.

Google’s current street view shows a small building on the southwest corner of the intersection, fronting on Robie Street, which is currently in use as some sort of workshop or garage, with no signage indicating its actual use or its exact address. As it has a broad doorway in front, now sporting an overhead door, it does look as though it might have been a theater, though today it is a rather plain box so it might be a newer structure that replaced the original building.

The street view at Bing Maps shows the overhead door open, and it looks like there might be a big truck parked inside, though the light is too poor to be sure. None of the other corners of the intersection has any buildings that look like they could have housed a theater, so if the Cherokee wasn’t in this building it is gone.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sunbeam Theater on Nov 13, 2017 at 12:09 am

This item is from the March 4, 1925, issue of The Film Daily:

“Sunbeam, New L. A. House

(Special to THE FILM DAILY) Los Angeles — The Sunbeam built jointly by C. W. Grubbs and West Coast Theaters, Inc., at Compton Ave. and 69th [sic] St. has opened. It seats 1,400. The owners recently opened another, but smaller house, known as the Kinema, at Manchester and Compton Aves.“

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gem Theater on Nov 12, 2017 at 11:44 pm

The May 1, 1926, issue of Moving Picture World said that Hoffman Enterprises had reopened the Gem Theatre in Willimantic on April 20. The company had bought the house on February 1 and closed it for extensive remodeling, which included the installation of a new ventilation system and an Austin organ. Hoffman retained as manager John R. Pickett, who had been in charge of the house since its opening in 1912.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cameo Theatre on Nov 12, 2017 at 11:36 pm

The May 1, 1926, issue of Moving Picture World said that Saxe Enterprises was engaged in reconstruction of the Burke Theatre in Kenosha. The house had been destroyed the previous October, and the company had been waiting for the $26,000 insurance settlement to come through before rebuilding. The house was expected to reopen in June.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Nov 12, 2017 at 6:29 pm

This item appeared in the September 12, 1925, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Work has begun on a new 650-seat theatre in Longview, Wash. G. W. Swope, formerly of Marysville, Cal., an experienced theatre operator, will own the house, the estimated cost of which has been named as $24,000. The house will be dressed in Chinese colorings and designs and will be called the Peek-In. It will be a popular priced family theatre, and will have five dressing rooms under the stage, equipping it to handle roadshows and vaudeville. The house will occupy a site 100 by 50 feet. It will be ready in ninety days.”
I would imagine that the “…customer who fled without paying….” referred to in Katie Mac’s description of this theater was Mr. Swope. There might be a bit more to the story, though, considering this item from MPW of May 1, 1926:
“Quoidback Buys Peekin In Longview, Wash.

“Moving Picture World Bureau, Seattle, April 17.

“G. M. QUOIDBACK and associates have purchased the recently opened Peekin Theatre, Longview, Wash., from G. W. Swope. As the name would indicate, the Peekin is Oriental in its interpretation. It occupies a site 50x120 feet and is housed in a two-story building of masonry construction. It contains seats for nearly 600. Mr. and Mrs. Quoidback will operate the house.”

Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society has this page about the Roxy, which includes a photo of Commerce Street in the 1920s showing the original Chinese style decoration above the theater entrance. It also cites David L. Junchen’s opus list of organs as saying that a 2/4 Robert Morton theatre organ was installed in the Longview “Peking Theatre” in 1921. I suspect that either Junchen or his source made the mistakes, giving the wrong year and theater name. MPW would not have published those notices four years late.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Nov 12, 2017 at 4:29 pm

This weblog post says that the Palace opened in 1919 as the Wilselman Theatre, its name being a portmanteau of the surnames of its original owners, Floyd Williams and Sam Selman. Jeff Custer bought the house in 1920 and operated it through 1925.

The theater was remodeled and renamed the Palace by a new owner, Oscar Korn, in 1927. Later, the Palace was operated by Walter Buenger.

Here is an early photo of the Wilselma [sic] Theatre, dated 1920.

The page also mentions a house called the Cozy Theatre at the corner of 9th and Garza (very near the Palace, then) which was Slaton’s first movie house, opened sometime between 1911 and 1915.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Slaton Theatre on Nov 12, 2017 at 4:26 pm

This photo depicts the State Theatre in 1955, although it is captioned Slaton Theatre. The name on the theater itself is not visible due to the angle, but the vertical sign does appear to have spaces for six letters. An index for the June 13, 1952 Frontier Celebration Edition of the Slaton Slatonite lists advertisements for the Slaton Theatre and the Caprock Theatre (the drive-in.) I’ve also found a reference to the Slaton Theatre on this web page about the experiences of the Diaz family, who moved to Slaton in 1947.

Two poster cases remain intact on the building, one of them reading “Klemke’s Antiques and Gifts” and the other “Klemke’s Sausage Haus”, and it appears that at least the front section of the former theater houses the antique shop, while the entrance to the butcher shop (Klemke’s does operate a restaurant, but at a different location) is in the building next door at the corner of 10th Street. The company also does its own meat processing, and I think the processing plant is in this complex, possibly including the former auditorium.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Belle Theatre on Nov 11, 2017 at 11:01 pm

A building with a 1930s streamline modern tile front, at 198 E. Dupont Avenue, now home of Pentacostals of Belle Church, was probably a movie theater. Here is a Google street view.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theater on Nov 11, 2017 at 10:28 pm

This photo purports to be the Royal Theatre in Chicago ca. 1904, but the copyright date on the photo itself is 1910. The copyright was held by the Decorators Supply Co., an outfit founded in 1883 and still in business today, with a web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Needham Theater on Nov 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm

jcarroll: The schedules for the Needham Theatre and for the Station Theatre at Point Mugu Naval Base (which follows the same policy) can be accessed from this page at the NavyLifeSW – Ventura web site. Hover your cursor over the word “movies” in the masthead and select the theater you wish to attend.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crown Theatre on Nov 11, 2017 at 12:36 am

Louis Rugani posted part of the 1947 obituary of Steve Dorece earlier. Here is part of the 1996 obituary of his son, Leonard Dorece:

“Mr. Dorece served his country with the United States Army during World War II. While he was stationed in Italy, he was commissioned to operate the Goldoni Theater in Livorno, Italy because of his theater background. Although Mr. Dorece retired from American Motors in 1981, he will most be remembered for his work as the Owner and Operator of the Crown Theater, which was family-owned and operated until it closed in 1955.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Theatre on Nov 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Union Cleaning Company, almost directly across the street from the site of the Hollywood Theatre’s entrance, is at 316 Third Street, so the most likely address for the theater would have been 317 Third.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theatre on Nov 9, 2017 at 3:32 pm

This web page has a few photos of the Paramount, plus what appears to be a pre-1919 photo showing the original Columbia Theatre when it was a ten-cent movie house.

A two-manual, six rank Robert Morton organ, opus 2412, was installed in the Columbia Theatre in 1926. In a later restoration, the console was replaced by one from the Paramount in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The page linked in paragraph one has a link at the bottom leading to a page that links to an audio-only recording of the organ, played by the Paramount’s house organist, Dolton McAlpin. It’s quite impressive. The organ pipes and chestwork were later installed in a private home in Jackson, Mississippi.

This article mentions that the Columbia became the Paramount in 1929.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Louisiana Theatre on Nov 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm

The Louisiana Theatre gets a short paragraph in this article, which says the house closed in 1954.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Scenic Cinema on Nov 9, 2017 at 1:57 pm

This article about Louisiana’s movie theaters is illustrated with a photo of what turns out to have been the second Cook’s Theatre.

The house was opened in the mid-1930s by James C. Cook and his wife, Ruby J. Darensbourg, and was the first movie house in Louisiana owned by an African-American family. The original wooden structure was destroyed by a fire in 1944, and replaced by a cinder block building in 1945. The gabled roof on the building now did not exist when the vintage photo was made.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lot Liberty Station on Nov 8, 2017 at 12:48 pm

The architect of the original Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings at the San Diego Naval Training Center, built from 1921 to 1923, was Frank Walter Stevenson. Among numerous other San Diego area landmarks, Stevenson also designed the Bush Egyptian Theatre, listed at Cinema Treasures as the Park Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alamo Drafthouse Corpus Christi on Nov 7, 2017 at 7:37 pm

The web site of Grand Rapids, Michigan, architectural firm Paradigm Design lists the Alamo Drafthouse in Corpus Christie as one of their projects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Maiden Alley Cinema on Nov 7, 2017 at 7:34 pm

The web site of Grand Rapids architectural firm Paradigm Design lists the Maiden Alley Cinema in Paducah as one of their projects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about MJR Marketplace Cinema 20 on Nov 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm

Architects: Paradigm Design.