Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Sep 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm

The April 3, 1940, issue of The Film Daily reported that Warner Brothers had dropped the Majestic Theatre in Hornell when their lease ran out, and operation of the house had reverted to the local owners, Mr. and Mrs. Fred F. Peters. The chain had leased the Steuben and Strand Theatres in Hornell in 1939, according to the April 10 issue of the Daily. The July 7, 1942, issue said that the Majestic had been acquired by Nikitas Dipson.

Scroll down this web page to find a photo of the Majestic, and another of an early storefront theater called the Lyric. Both houses were in operation in 1916.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Sep 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Scroll down this web page to see a 1939 photo of the Strand’s auditorium.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ozark Theater on Sep 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm

The Ozark was probably the unnamed theater in this brief item in the May 29, 1930, issue of The Sedalia Democrat:


J. Thomas Ghosen, of 1022 West Sixteenth street, has contracted to construct a $15,000 theatre at Eldon, Mo., and began work Monday. The plans and specifications were drawn by Leroy H. Parrish, of Jefferson City, Mo.“

Ghosen operated several theaters in central Missouri from the 1920s into the 1950s, some independently and some in partnership with the Commonwealth circuit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Uptown Theatre on Sep 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm

The Uptown Theatre was destroyed by a fire in 1946 and replaced with anew house the following year. The January 10, 1947, issue of the The Film Daily ran this item:

“In Clinton, Mo., Frank Woodruff & Son, general contractors, are pushing construction of the new Uptown theater being erected by J. T. Goshen, of Sedalia, Mo. as a replacement for his theater destroyed by fire July 11… . New house will be a 700-seater.”
(The correct name of the owner was John T. Ghosen, not Goshen.) The May 16, 1947, issue of the Daily had this follow-up item:
“Clinton — F. W. Woodruff & Son, general contractors for the new theater being erected here for J. T. Goshen, who also operates the Uptown Theater in Sedalia, Mo., are receiving bids from sub-contractors for various kinds of work. The house, designed by Robert O. Boller, will cost upwards of $40,000. It will replace a theater destroyed by fire several months ago.”
The July 3 issue of the Daily said that “Aug. 15 has been set as the date for opening of J. T. Ghosen’s new theatre in Clinton, Mo.”

One thing I am wondering is if the Uptown was rebuilt at the same location, or if perhaps the new theater Ghosen had built to replace it was actually the Crest Theatre, which we have listed as the Heartland Community Theatre,opened in 1947? It would have been unusual for a town as small as Clinton to have two new 600+-seat theaters opened in one year as late as 1947, especially since the Lee Theatre was still in operation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Starzz Drive-In on Sep 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

The October 15, 1948, issue of The Sedalia Weekly Democrat said that the contract had been let for grading at the site of the Sedalia Drive-In Theatre, which was expected to open the following spring. Uptown Theatre owner J. T. Ghosen was interested in the project. Ghosen operated a number of theaters in central Missouri on his own, but also operated several in partnership with the Commonwealth circuit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lee Theatre on Sep 5, 2014 at 12:59 pm

The April 18, 1947, issue of The Film Daily reported that improvements were in store at the Lee Theatre:

“The Lee Theater, Clinton, Mo., a unit of the Commonwealth circuit, is being completely renovated and modernized. In addition to a complete repainting job, new carpeting and draperies will be installed, and new upholstered seats and RCA sound system provided. The walls are to be given acoustical treatment. A new refrigerated drinking system is to be part of the improvements. The house has also been provided with all-aluminum frames in the lobby and a Manley popcorn machine and large new lounges. Some $20,000 is being spent on the house.”
The July 11, 1947, issue of the Daily claimed a considerably larger seating capacity for the Lee Theatre than we have listed, but this was probably a typo:
“New Heywood-Wakefield chairs have been installed in the 1,777-seat Lee Theater, Clinton, Mo., of which C. W. Dickgrafe is manager. … It is a unit of the Commonwealth Amusement Corp., Kansas City.”
Being reseated in 1947 means that the house must have been at least twenty years old, and there was indeed a Lee Theatre in Clinton in 1928, when the October 28 issue of The Film Daily said that its owner, Lee Jones, had just purchased the Auditorium Theatre, also located in Clinton.

The Lee Theatre building, without its equipment, was offered for sale by Mrs. Lee Jones in an ad in the September 23, 1962, issue of the Kansas City Star.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clinton Theatre on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:52 am

The July 11, 1947, issue of The Film Daily noted the opening of this house:

“Clinton Dedicated

“Port Clinton, O. — Clinton Theater, 1,200 seats, recently completed at a cost of $225,000, was officially dedicated to Associated Theaters, Inc., of Cleveland.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:24 am

The September 1, 1932, issue of The Sedalia Democrat said that a beauty contest was to be held at the New Royal Theatre in Versailles, sponsored by theater owner J. T. Ghosen, who also owned the Star Theatre in Sedalia.

An earlier Royal Theatre in Versailles was mentioned in the July 1, 1929, issue of The Film Daily. It had just been sold to a Mr. Chosen by Gordon Phillips.

The January 8, 1938, issue of The Film Daily reported that the Royal Theatre in Versailles, Missouri, had been transferred to Glen W. Dickinson.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Uptown Theater on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:18 am

J. T. Ghosen operated an earlier theater in Sedalia called the Star, at 116 W.Second Street. It suffered a fire in 1930, as reported in the October 22 edition of The Sedalia Democrat. The article said that Ghosen operated “…several other small theatres through Central Missouri.” The Star was repaired and reopened, as it was mentioned again in a September 1, 1932, Democrat article about an event at Ghosen’s New Royal Theatre in Versailles, Missouri.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Sep 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm

I, too, suspect that the Rialto’s auditorium was demolished for the highway. In a 1960 image at Historic Aerials it looks like the highway was then under construction. This 1938 aerial is blurry, but it does look as though there is a structure attached to the back of the building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Santa Maria Theatre on Sep 4, 2014 at 8:58 am

As I noted in an earlier comment, architect Lewis A. Smith was commissioned to design the Santa Maria Theatre for Sol Lesser’s recently-founded Principal Theatres circuit in early 1927. However, as completed the house was designed by the architectural firm of Balch & Stanbury for the West Coast circuit, in which William Fox had recently gained a controlling interest. A photo of part of the lobby of the Santa Maria Theatre can be seen at upper right on this page of the December 28, 1929, issue of Motion Picture News, which featured a portfolio of Balch & Stanbury’s theater designs.

The August 12, 1927, issue of Southwest Builder & Contractor noted a project in Santa Maria for West Coast Theatres that was to be designed by architect Carl Jules Weyl. As the Santa Maria opened as a West Coast house, it is likely that the chain had taken over Lesser’s project, which was to have been at S. Broadway and Church Street, the location of this house.

I don’t know if anything survived from Smith’s or Weyl’s designs after Balch & Stanbury took over the project. I also don’t know what ended Lewis Smith’s career. It has previously been erroneously reported that he died in 1926, but his page at the Pacific Coast Architecture Database, which once included the error, has since been corrected to say that he died in 1958. From the late 1910s through 1927 Smith was one of the most prolific theater architects in Los Angeles, but he appears to have left the profession suddenly at that time, and I’ve found no evidence that he practiced architecture after 1927. A number of his commissions from 1927 ended up in the hands of Balch & Stanbury, and the Santa Maria Theatre was one of them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Main Street Theatre on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:40 am

The entire town was submitted as a Multiple Resource Area, with three specific Historical Districts within it. Originally, 479 buildings were included in the MRA, with 460 of them in the three specific districts. 344 of the buildings were residential. Lexington still has a large number of Greek Revival houses dating from its early days (the town was founded in 1822) as well as numerous Victorian houses of various styles. There were also some non-structural elements, such as a park and a cemetary. Unfortunately, the Main Street Theatre and several other buildings were demolished before the Historic Districts were finally established.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eagle Theatre on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:11 am

This PDF has an inventory of historic buildings in Lexington, and includes a paragraph about the Eagle Building. The building dates from around 1915, and had a theater in it from the beginning. The document doesn’t say if the house was called the Eagle Theatre in its early days.

So far I haven’t found any references to the Eagle Theatre in any of the trade publications. I’ve found references to a Grand Opera House (aka Wright’s Grand Opera House, Grand Theatre) in Lexington, but some of them go all the way back to the 1900s, so I don’t think the Grand was the same house as the Eagle. There was also a house called the Princess Theatre.

The Eagle building in Lexington was built for the Fraternal Order of Eagles, which was founded in Seattle in 1898 by six theater owners, including John Cort of the Orpheum circuit and John Considine of the Sullivan and Considine circuit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Main Street Theatre on Sep 3, 2014 at 12:25 am

This rather large PDF has an inventory of Lexington’s historic buildings. At the time it was prepared (I can’t find a date on it, but it most likely dates from the 1980s) the Main Street Theatre was still standing. The inventory says that the Main Street Theatre opened around 1925 as the Winkler Theatre, and was located at 1222-1224 Main Street.

The inventory describes the theater interior as “…nearly intact, with four dressing rooms, a chorus room, a large stage, and an orchestra pit. Seating capacity of 750. Original entry has been altered. Building is in deteriorated condition.”

An appendix notes that sometime after the report was prepared the Main Street Theatre was demolished and replaced by a fast-food restaurant.

The inventory also includes the Eagle Building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Main Street Theatre on Sep 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm

This weblog post has an ad for the Main Street Theatre plus a photo of the front dating from around 1937. The text says that there is a McDonald’s where the theater used to stand, but the McDonald’s in Lexington is in the 1200 block of Main Street.

I tried checking Historic Aerials to see if they had a view that would show where the theater was, but the site isn’t loading anything for me. Nothing in the 1000 block now resembles the theater in the photo, though, so either way the Main Street Theatre must have been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Granada Theatre on Sep 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Although almost completely rebuilt in 1940, as noted in the Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to earlier, the Granada Theatre was a much older house. Originally opened in 1916 as the New Lewis Theatre, it replaced the original Lewis Theatre which had been built by John E. Lewis in 1912 and was destroyed, along with an adjacent airdome, by a fire on January 10, 1916. The new Lewis Theatre was probably on the same site as the original, or perhaps on the site of the airdome, though I haven’t been able to confirm that.

The August 15, 1925, issue of The Reel Journal reported that Glenn Dickinson had acquired the Lewis Theatre at Independence. A month later he also took over the Elliott and Electric Theatres.

I haven’t been able to discover who designed the New Lewis Theatre of 1916, but Boxoffice said that the 1940 rebuilding of the Granada was designed by architect J. E. Kelsey.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eden Cinema on Sep 2, 2014 at 11:04 am

JessLFH must be a descendant of Howard Leighton-Floyd, an American who, with his father, operated the Eden Cinema in Jerusalem sometime after 1930. Howard Leighton-Floyd’s obituary is online here. The Jerusalem Eden Cinema is not yet listed at Cinema Treasures.

The Eden Cinema in Tel Aviv, probably quite a bit earlier than the house in Jerusalem, was built by Mordechai Weiser and Moshe Abarbanel. Weiser was one of the founders of Tel Aviv. Ofer Adaret’s recent article about the Eden Cinema can be read online at this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Sep 2, 2014 at 9:56 am

The Lancaster Eagle Gazette published a two-part article on the Lyric Theatre April 14, 2014 and May 11, 2014 (for some reason I can read part one in its entirety, but most of part two is behind the paper’s pay wall.)

The Lyric Theatre opened on June 15, 1914. It was designed for owner Edward Mithoff by Columbus architect Fred W. Elliott. In 1927, the Lyric installed a Wurlitzer Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra, which premiered on June 13. Lancaster got its first look at talking pictures at the Lyric on June 17, 1929.

The original entrance of the Lyric was long and narrow, the auditorium having been built behind an existing commercial building. It was this commercial building that was demolished when the front of the theatre was rebuilt in the Art Deco style in the late 1930s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Southern Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:35 pm

I forgot to mention there was also a Hippodrome Theatre in Bucyrus, listed in the December 20, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World as a member of the American Motion Picture League. It is again mentioned, along with the Southern, in Motion Picture News of November 6, 1926. Both houses were then being operated by Standard Film Service Co., of Cleveland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Southern Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:21 pm

A Southern Theatre in Bucyrus, Ohio, was mentioned in the September 7, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World. Wid’s Yearbook for 1921 lists the Southern as being operated by the Marion Photoplay Co., also operating the Marion and Orpheus Theatres in Marion.

The 1921 Wid’s also lists a Majestic Theatre in Bucyrus, which I’ve found mentioned as early as 1908. A house called the Wonderland which was located at Sandusky Avenue and West Rensselaer Street and also open by 1908. An Orpheum Theatre in Bucyrus is mentioned as early as 1907 and as late as 1909. Because the names Wonderland and Orpheum both vanish after 1909, there is a possibility that one or the other later became the Southern Theatre.

A comment on this Facebook post mentions a film that was shown at the Southern Theatre during the 150th anniversary of Bucyrus, around 1961.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garden Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm

The Garden Theatre was advertised in the September 2, 1923, issue of the Davenport Democrat. Along with the Capitol and Family Theatres it featured Paramount productions.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:59 pm

The “Better Theatres” section of the July 5, 1930, issue of Exhibitors Herald World featured an article about recent Canadian theaters which included a few paragraphs about the Capitol at Saskatoon:

“Turning to the Canadian West for another example, the new Capitol theatre in Saskatoon, Sask., has a stage no less than 80 feet wide and proportionate in depth. It was built for talking pictures and has thick carpets to deaden the sound of tramping feet, but it has that big stage for come what may.

“The Saskatoon Capitol, designed by Murray Brown of Toronto, an outstanding Canadian theatre architect, is of the average size of 1,600 seats — 1,400 on what was once known as the orchestra floor, and 200 somewhat more luxurious chairs on a narrow balcony just under the glass-covered portholes of the projection room.

“The Capitol at Saskatoon has a Spanish interior with Spanish lounges, Spanish garden walls and blue sky overhead. It was the first atmospheric theatre in the ‘prairie provinces’ of the Dominion and created plenty of talk when Manager Frank Miley, local veteran showman, opened the doors. Miley had his first ‘opening’ at the old Daylight theatre in Saskatoon back in 1911 and this latest theatre creation is rated as a $400,000 enterprise.

“The incidental Spanish furnishings and wrought iron lamps in the new Capitol cost more than the first theatre. And you can walk around in different luxurious places in the Capitol, whereas the old Daylight just had seats, a projection "booth,” a screen and a few other essentials. The new Capitol has spotlights emitting their beams of light through the edge of the balcony when desired and the atmospheric skyline is considered worthy of the price of admission alone. The lofty entrance leads one up over a hidden intervening alley, away from the main street, until one enters the theatre proper beyond. This long lobby helps to absorb the crowds.“

this illustration depicts the Capitol Theatre’s auditorium. The entire article can be read online using this link. It features additional photos of the Capitol.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm

This house was called the Hippodrome at least as late as 1913, when it was mentioned in the February 15 issue of Motography. Its operator, H. A. Wachter, was one of two Lancaster exhibitors who had attended a convention in Columbus. The other was George L. Law, who ran two movie houses called the Exhibit Theatre, one in Lancaster and the other in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tuxedo Theater on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:27 am

The Tuxedo was one of two large Detroit neighborhood houses recently acquired by the Publix chain, according to the July 5, 1930, issue of Exhibitors Herald World. The other was the LaSalle Garden Theatre, which Publix renamed the Century.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Century Theater on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

According to the July 5, 1930, issue of Exhibitors Herald World, Publix had acquired the La Salle Garden Theatre in Detroit and reopened the house as the Publix Century Theatre.