Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Sep 8, 2016 at 4:04 am

Here is an item about theaters in Jackson, including the Majestic, from the November 24, 1917, issue of Motography:

“Two of the most interesting spots in Jackson, Michigan, are the Majestic and Colonial theaters. These are owned and operated by the Majestic-Colonial Theater Company, Inc., of which W. S. McClaren is manager. The Majestic, advertised as ‘The Theater Beautiful,’ plays Vitagraph, Selznick, Metro, World and K. E. S. E. pictures and the best road attractions. It was formerly a $30,000 legitimate house but it took to pictures at 10, 15 and 25 cents with Mr. McClaren’s management to start the people that way. Mr. McClaren uses a splendid orchestra of ten pieces and an organ at the Majestic and girl ushers, with girls also on the doors. The Colonial, called ‘The Pride of the East Side,’ was the first suburban house of the city, built three years ago. It seats 300 and is doing good business.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Sep 7, 2016 at 11:00 pm

CStefanic: The most recent thing I can find about the project is on the Ritz Theatre page at Bill Counter’s web site. He has a photo of the new signage, which reads “FilmOn.TV Hologram”. They intended to launch in August, but have apparently missed their target.

We have the name Newsreel Theatre listed as an aka for this house, but it was called the News-View (hyphenated just like that) throughout its history as a newsreel house. The name Newsreel Theatre was on the marquee from the day the house opened, but was not the name of the theater, just an indication of the theater’s programming. In fact the ends of the marquee had the plural “Newsreels” rather than the singular “Newsreel” on them.

There is an aka that is missing from out list, though. When the house converted to feature films the “S” was removed from the name on the facade and the letters adjusted to read “New-View” which is what the house was called until it became the Pussycat. The “Tele-News” (the name of the chain) that had been on the marquee was removed, as was the word Newsreel, replaced by New-View. This page at Bruce Torrence’s Hollywood Photos web site shows the New-View as it looked until it was converted into the Pussycat.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Sep 6, 2016 at 8:15 am

Maria Luisa DiChiera’s thesis The Theater Designs of C. Howard Crane has a list of his theater projects, and includes this entry: “#227 Atheneum, Jackson, MI, (remodeling), Majestic Theatre”

The paper lists four other Crane projects at Jackson: #449, the Capitol Theatre; #456, the Rex Theatre; #993, the Capitol Theatre again; and #1085, the Michigan Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crown Theatre on Sep 6, 2016 at 5:32 am

This web page with information about Jackson’s movie theaters says that the Crown Theatre was opened in 1909 or 1910, was owned by C. A. Kuhlman, and was located on Michigan Avenue across the street from Kuhlman’s Rex Theatre, which was at 172-174 W. Michigan. 159 W. Michigan Avenue is probably the correct address for the Crown Theatre, which closed in 1917.

C. A. Kuhlman’s Crown Theatre was mentioned in the May 15, 1912, issue of The Edison Kinetogram, a semi-monthly publication of the Edison Company.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eynon Theatre on Sep 5, 2016 at 3:59 am

An item in the March 8, 1925, issue of The Film Daily said that ground would be broken April 1 for a new theater and dance hall for George Bushko in Eynon. Although the item gave the seating capacity of the new house as 900, the Dreamland Theatre might have been a scaled-down version of this project. A couple of news items from the 1930s note that George Bushko was the co-owner (with M. E. Comerford) of the Eynon Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Sep 3, 2016 at 9:11 pm

PSTOS provides this web page with a photo of the console of the Kimball organ installed at Salem’s Heilig Theatre in 1925.

Heilig’s lease on the Grand was for only one year, but the lease was Sold to J.C. Guthrie, operator of the Elsinore and Oregon Theatres, even before that year was up, as reported in the June 1, 1926, issue of the Salem Daily Capital Journal. The name Grand Theatre was restored to the house not long after the transfer.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theater on Sep 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm

A South Milwaukee walking tour brochure (PDF here) says of the Garden Theatre “…this popular movie house served the community until 1977. Currently Board Game Barristers.”

This weblog post says that the Garden Theatre building was gutted by a fire in 1979, and was then remodeled and annexed to the adjacent South Milwaukee Carpet and Vinyl store. When the carpet store closed in 2014, the space was taken over by Board Game Barrister, a retail chain headed by the son of the carpet store’s owners. The game shop uses the original carpet store as retail space and the former theater as its warehouse and distribution center.

While it’s possible that this house was renamed Rialto Theatre for a time and then changed back to its original name, I’ve been unable to find any references to a Rialto Theatre at South Milwaukee in the trade publications (but I haven’t checked the FDY.) In any case, Lee_Loveall is correct about the house having been called the Garden Theatre during its final decades.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about North Star Theatre on Aug 29, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Architect H. A. Raapke is listed in the archives of the Nebraska Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers and Architects as Henry A. Raapke. I’ve been unable to find any online source other than Cinema Treasures giving his middle name as Arthur. His drawings are signed H.A. Raapke.

In an article about Raapke on page 17 of the May, 2016, issue of Nebraska Libraries (PDF here) author Angela Kroeger notes that she, too, was unable to find any other source giving Arthur as Raapke’s middle name.

A selection of Raapke’s early drawings (1899 to 1907) can be seen in this online exhibit from the archives of the Criss Library at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Congress Theatre on Aug 27, 2016 at 8:59 pm

The Congress Theatre occupied a building originally erected around 1870 for the Congress Hall Ballroom, an adjunct of the Congress Hall Hotel located across Spring Street. A cast iron bridge connected the two buildings at the second floor. When the hotel was demolished in 1912, the ballroom continued to operate as a dance hall until 1919, when it was converted into the Congress Theatre.

Although equipped for moving pictures, the attraction at the Congress Theatre’s gala opening on August 21, 1919, was the Arthur Hammerstein-produced musical comedy Somebody’s Sweetheart, performed by the original New York cast.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Carthay Circle Theatre on Aug 27, 2016 at 5:51 pm

barryinperth: Bill Counter’s Los Angeles Movie Palaces web site has several interior views of the Carthay Circle, including a few shots of the lounge, on this web page. Counter also provides links to additional views at other collections.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theater on Aug 27, 2016 at 6:36 am

I wonder if the Grand Theatre was the same house earlier called the Grand Opera House, which was mentioned in the June 24, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World. A Mr. Otey, the operator, had lately had the house remodeled and the floor lowered five feet.

A Grand Theatre at Robinson is listed in the 1908-1909 Cahn guide as a ground floor house with 810 seats. I’ve been unable to find an address for the 1916 and 1908 theaters, so I don’t know if they are the same Grand as the one operating in the 1920s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Aug 27, 2016 at 4:55 am

The name Lyric Theatre goes back to at least 1916 in Harbor Springs. This item is from the June 24, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Harbor Springs, Mich.—Manager Lehy [sic], of the Lyric theater, has installed a new operating room and has remodeled his lobby and ticket office.”
The Lyric that S. D. Leahy was operating in 1916 was in a different building than the later Lyric, though. The 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory gives the location of the earlier Lyric as State and Bay Streets. Leahy was still operating the house at least as late as 1920, when he wrote a number of capsule movie reviews for Exhibitors Herald.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Aug 27, 2016 at 4:16 am

Typos were not unusual in the trade journals of that period, though in this case it is rather disappointing that Hippie wasn’t the real name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about CineArts at Hyatt on Aug 22, 2016 at 5:38 am

The Hyatt may not be with us much longer. A May 5 article in the San Mateo Daily Journal this year reported that plans are afoot to redevelop the property with an office complex and restaurant. The nearby Burlingame Drive-In site is expected to be redeveloped as well, with an even larger office project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kramer Theater on Aug 22, 2016 at 5:00 am

A widening of Michigan Avenue undertaken in 1938 made it necessary to demolish a considerable portion of the Kramer Theatre building, including a small corner of the auditorium, and the house was closed for the better part of a year. This event accounts for the drastic change in the theater’s architectural style, from Renaissance Revival to Streamline Modern. The rebuilt house reopened on February 11, 1939.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Aug 21, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Linkrot repair: The PCAD page about the Palace linked in my previous comment is now at this link.

Bonus: The Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society provides this page about the Palace Hippodrome Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empress Theatre on Aug 21, 2016 at 12:15 am

The “Seattle” column of the February 28, 1919, issue of Variety carried a notice that “Johnson and Kastner have sold the Princess Theatre, Ballard, and it has been rechristened the Empress.”

The former Princess must have been the second house in Ballard to be called the Empress, as an item in the January 25, 1919, issue of The Film Daily had said that the Empress Theatre in Ballard had been sold to Martin McClanahan by A. C. Alden. Presumably Mr. McClanahan renamed the earlier Empress, freeing that name up for the new owners of the Princess.

To add a bit more confusion, the district had also had an earlier Princess Theatre, operated in a storefront at 242 Ballard Avenue, but which had been closed by 1910.

The 1920 FDY has Geddes & Geddes operating the College, Majestic and Empress Theatres in Ballard, but the Empress was not listed among their houses in 1921 or 1922. By 1926, the Empress was being operated by Jensen & von Herberg.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about SoBo's Main Theatre on Aug 18, 2016 at 7:09 pm

The photo uploaded by wsasser shows that the Halifax Theatre, then called the New Halifax Twin, is the same house that was later called Sobo’s Main Theater. It had apparently been un-twinned. The Sobo’s sign is still on the marquee in current Google street view. The correct address of the theater is 532 N. Main Street.

I don’t know when Sobo’s Main Theater opened, or how long it operated, but in 2009 the building briefly housed a dance hall which soon lost its license due to rowdy behavior by the patrons. 2008 remains the most likely closing year for Sobo’s Main Theater. Use as a dance hall means at least some of the seats must have been removed, and perhaps the floor at least partly leveled.

I don’t know when it closed as the Halifax, but Dragonlace1’s comment notes a showing of the early ‘70s re-release of Disney’s Song of the South, which the studio re-released in both 1972 and 1973. The Halifax might have been open long after that. The NRHP nomination form for the South Boston Historic District mentions the New Halifax Twin, but doesn’t say if it was open at that time, though the name does indicate that the house was twinned by 1986, the year the form was prepared.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyceum Theatre on Aug 11, 2016 at 3:54 am

The Lyceum Theatre was built in 1878-79 as the Bradford Oil Exchange, and was later known as the Exchange Lyceum or Bradford Lyceum before becoming the Lyceum Theatre. A notice in the October 1, 1892, issue of The New York Clipper said that the Bradford Lyceum was “…being remodeled and fitted up for public entertainments.” The notice said the house would seat 600 and have a stage 23x30 feet.

The Oil Exchange building was designed by a largely self-taught architect named Enoch Arnold Curtis who, despite his lack of formal training, enjoyed a long and successful career. He also designed the 1891 Fredonia Opera House in Fredonia, New York. I’ve been unable to discover who was the architect for the conversion of the Lyceum for theatrical use.

In 1901, the ax-wielding anti-saloon crusader Carrie Nation gave a talk at the Exchange Lyceum on October 2. The Lyceum Theatre was showing movies regularly by 1916, when it was mentioned in the April 15 issue of Motography.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Western Theatre on Aug 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Mike, the 1931 Warner Bros. Western Theatre in your ad was the lavish house at Wilshire and Western which was soon renamed the Wiltern Theatre, not this smaller neighborhood theater a few miles south.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Toho La Brea Theatre on Aug 9, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Throughout the period this house was operated by Toho, I recall it always being advertised as the Toho La Brea, never just the Toho. The La Brea name remained on the marquee as well.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Beverly Cinema on Aug 8, 2016 at 10:34 pm

silver: Let me answer your question by first repairing the linkrot that has afflicted this comment I made a few years ago. The October 19, 1959, issue of Boxoffice ran this article about Robert Lippert’s Capri and Riviera Theatres.

As you’ll see from the floor plan in the article, it was only the building now occupied by the New Beverly Cinema that held both auditoriums. The movies I went to (both side usually featured double bills) were in the larger, right-hand auditorium, the Riviera, which was only 22 feet wide and seated 200. The smaller Capri to the left was only 15 feet wide and seated 100, so both were comparable in size to small, storefront nickelodeons of the early 20th century.

I was mistaken in my recent comment to say that Robert Lippert operated the twin until 1963 (and that it opened in 1959. I see the opening date of October 23, 1958, has been added above.) The Boxoffice article notes that he had sold the operation to Robert Rohauer before the article was published. I don’t know how long Rohauer operated the house. I’m pretty sure my visit to the Riviera was in late 1962 or early 1963. It was un-twinned and reopened as the single-screen New Yorker in 1963.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Beverly Cinema on Aug 8, 2016 at 5:50 am

Mike, your timeline is missing the period from 1959 to 1963 when Robert Lippert operated the house as a twin art cinema called the Riviera & Capri Theatres. I went to the theater once during that period, though I don’t recall which movie I saw.

Also, I’ve never found anything about the New Globe having shown movies. The only references I’ve found to it say that the New Globe was a live house featuring Yiddish productions.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theatre on Aug 8, 2016 at 5:16 am

There are a few errors in our description of the Paramount. First, though the foundations of the Metropolitan were designed to carry a 13-floor, height limit building, only five floors of offices were ever built above the ground floor.

Second, though the theater did open with two entrances, they were the main entrance on Sixth Street and a secondary entrance on Hill Street. The Broadway entrance added later and used only until 1929 was the third. The building the Broadway entrance ran through is still standing.

Third, though the Paramount closed in 1960, it was not demolished until 1962. During its last two years it sported a billboard touting the 35-story office building which had been planned for the site. The office building project fell through, and this was rumored to have been, at least in part, due to the unexpectedly high cost of demolishing what had probably been the most substantial theater building ever erected in Los Angeles.

Fourth, the building now on the site is not a bank, but the International Jewelry Center, a 16-floor tower built in 1981 for the wholesale and retail jewelry trade. The jewelry trade has gradually taken over several blocks along Hill Street, including the former Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre at Seventh and Hill. It’s unfortunate that the jewelers didn’t come along a few years earlier. They might have saved the Paramount’s building as they did the Warner’s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Theatre on Aug 7, 2016 at 3:03 am

The predecessor theater kencmcintyre mentioned could have been the house for which the contracts had just been let according to the September 16, 1922, issue of The American Contractor. The $30,000 project on Main Street had been designed by Hoffman & Henon for The William Pierce Amusement Company.