Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Galaxy 10 Cinema on Mar 20, 2016 at 9:07 pm

At some point two more screens were added to this multiplex. It is now called the Galaxy 10. The Galaxy 8 was built in 1998 by the Wagenknecht family. Margie Wagenknecht donated the Uptown Theatre, which had been built in 1936 by her father, J. T. Ghosen, to Sedalia Downtown Development, Inc., in 2006. The Uptown is now undergoing restoration.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Starzz Drive-In on Mar 20, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Tp is correct. The drive-in at 4104 W. Main Street closed as the Sedalia Drive-In. According to, it opened in 1949 as the 50 Hi-Way Drive-In, became simply the 50 Drive-In in 1955, was closed following a destruction tornado in 1976, and was reopened in 1990 as the Sedalia Drive-In. It has since been demolished and its site is now the location of the indoor Galaxy 10 Cinema, which was built as an 8-screen house in 1998.

CinemaTour lists the Starzz Drive-In on Whitfield Road as the Diamond Drive-In, with Starzz as an aka. Adam Martin posted photos of it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lincoln Theatre on Mar 18, 2016 at 4:13 am

The September 17, 1938, issue of Motion Picture Herald said that C. B. King, who had recently opened the Lincoln Theatre in Mobile, was also the operator of the Pike Theatre in that city.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clarion Theatre on Mar 18, 2016 at 4:09 am

The September 17, 1938, issue of Motion Picture Herald said that Central States Theatres had opened their new Clarion Theatre at Clarion. The $50,000 project had been designed by Des Moines architects Wetherell & Harrison.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Howard Theatre on Mar 18, 2016 at 4:05 am

Some way down This web page is some information about this building, and several photos. The building was designed by architect Fred J. James, and was built for the Sicilian Club in 1928-29. The theater was first called the Sicilia, and then became the Cazin, but one vintage photo on the page shows the facade with a small vertical sign reading Cazin Theatre, but the name Cazin Sicilia on the front of the marquee, and the name New Sicilian in portable letters on the end attraction board. Several other photos also show the vertical and marquee front names.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Howard Theatre on Mar 18, 2016 at 3:51 am

The recent opening of the Howard Theatre in West Tampa by operator Butler Gore was noted in the September 17, 1938, issue of Motion Picture Herald.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mexico Theatre on Mar 18, 2016 at 3:42 am

The September 17, 1938, issue of Motion Picture Herald said that Albert Coppell was reopening the Sun Theatre in Denver under the name Mexico Theatre, with the intention of showing Spanish language movies.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Criterion Theatre on Mar 18, 2016 at 3:30 am

The Criterion Theatre in St. Louis was being remodeled, with plans by architect O. W. Stiegemeyer, according to the September 17, 1938, issue of Motion Picture Herald.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Peoples Theatre on Mar 18, 2016 at 2:06 am

The September 17, 1938, issue of Motion Picture Herald said that a new front on the Peoples Theatre (the name on the marquee had no apostrophe) had been designed by Robert Boller.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Warner Theatre on Mar 18, 2016 at 1:49 am

The September 17, 1938, issue of Motion Picture Herald said that David Supowitz had acted as consulting architect for the Warner Theatre, then under construction in Wilmington.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empire Theater on Mar 15, 2016 at 4:51 am

The Empire Theatre in Freeport was listed in the 1906-1907 Cahn guide as a vaudeville house. No details were given. It had not been listed in the 1899-1900 guide. Freeport’s main theater, listed in both editions, was the 862-seat Grand Opera House.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Rio Theatre on Mar 15, 2016 at 1:59 am

The April 3, 1920, issue of Motion Picture News said that the Rio Theatre on upper Broadway had opened “…a few days ago.” It was originally operated by David B. Picker, who I believe was the grandfather of the producer David V. Picker who has, in recent decades, been at various times the head of Paramount, United Artists, and Columbia Pictures.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Mar 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

I’ve found quite a few references to the Apex Theatre, dating as far back as its opening on December 27, 1912, but the sources all give the address as 302 Kansas Avenue. It must have had two different locations, but the second one, on Fourth Street, must have opened sometime between 1928 and 1933, when the photo currently displayed above was taken.

This entry from the 1928 Topeka Colored Directory tells of Mr B. F. Payne, operator of the Apex:

“Apex Theater, 302 Kansas Avenue, has now been in operation for 15 years, and was formerly owned by the late H. E. Sheppard. Mr. B. F. Payne, the present owner, bought over the theater November 1st, 1927. To this date this is the only theater owned and operated by a colored man in the state of Kansas. Mr. Payne has done considerable improving to the equipment, etc., and is hoping that in the near future should business justify, to remodel and expand. He books the very best pictures obtainable for his many customers without any advancement in the price of admission. The theater goers of Topeka should be proud of this enterprise as there is no other Topeka theater that colored people can go to without being segregated. The pictures shown by Mr. Payne are the same as shown by other high class theaters and some are first run, meaning the first picture to be shown in Topeka. Mr. Payne gives employment to 5 the year round and two temporarily and books a Topeka orchestra regularly. Mr. Payne is an accomplished business man, a Spanish-American veteran, a member of the Masonic and all the auxiliaries and is strictly a Topeka product, having been born here.”
The original Apex was also mentioned in an article about Topeka in the June 27, 1914, issue of The African-American newspaper The Freeman, which said: “The Apex Theatre, on the main street, in the very heart of the business district, is a pretty and finely appointed Negro enterprise which Mrs. Wright manages.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 on Mar 8, 2016 at 5:27 pm

According to an article at a site called Comic Book Resources, “…4DX theaters… provide environmental effects synced with the movie, including ‘motion-activated seats, wind, fog, rain, lightning, vibration, snow, and scents.’” To me it sounds like it would be more annoying than engaging, but then not being a big fan of action movies maybe I’m just missing the subtle allure of such gimicks.

Regal opened the first 4DX auditorium in the U.S. (100 seats) at its L.A. Live multiplex in 2014, and another was opened in Chicago last year. The New York City venues will apparently be the third and fourth, so the system hasn’t exactly set the industry alight. At an extra eight bucks a pop (over 3D prices, not regular movie prices) I’m not surprised. I’d be unlikely to spend an extra eight dollars just to get my arse jiggled, my clothes dampened, and my nostrils assailed, and I suspect not many other people will go for it either. Though I do wonder how much Axe Body Spray they will release into the air every time Henry Cavill appears on screen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about City Theatre on Mar 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm

The organ most likely went to this theater, the Palace/Wade/City. The wade family did have a connection to Morehead City theaters, as in 1936 Duffy and Francis Wade built a house called the Royal Theatre (The Beaufort News, January 26, 1936.) the Morehead Theatre, according to NightHawk1’s earlier comment, wasn’t built until 1954.

The February 27, 1941, issue of issue of The Beaufort News features and ad for both Wades Theatre and the Royal Theatre. Stewart-Everett bought both houses from the Royal Operating Company in 1946 (The Film Daily, July 12.) The Royal Theatre and City Theatre are mentioned in the paper in 1948, so they probably renamed the Wades Theatre not long after buying it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm

joe1751: The bartender at the Smokehouse was mistaken. Look at Google’s satellite view of the block and you can see the roof of the auditorium extending toward Crescent Street, to the left of the theater entrance. The Smokehouse is in what appears to be former retail space. Its building’s roof is much lower than the theater’s roof was.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mercedes-Palast on Mar 6, 2016 at 4:02 am

The October 23, 1926, issue of The Universal Weekly said that Michel Strogoff had been the first movie shown at the Mercedes Palast when it opened in September.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Electric Theater on Mar 6, 2016 at 3:46 am

The Thursday, August 31, 1911, issue of The Emporia Weekly Gazette said that P. J. Concannon’s Electric Theatre had opened for the fall and winter season the previous Saturday, and that it had been redecorated over the summer. A thumbnail biography of Concannon published in 1918 said that he had come to Emporia in 1910. It doesn’t say if he began operating the theater that year, or if he was the original owner of the house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Aldine Theatre on Mar 6, 2016 at 2:29 am

An article in the June 26, 1981, issue of The Daily News of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, said that the former Aldine Theatre, which had shown its last movie on September 15, 1978, was being remodeled for use as a dental clinic. The Aldine had opened on Christmas Day, 1935, and was a rebuild of a theater half its size, the Liberty, which had been destroyed by a fire on June 26, 1935. T. J. Hickes was the owner and operator of both the old and the new theaters.

The dental clinic has since moved on, and the Aldine Theatre building is now occupied by a church. The style and construction of the brick building would have been quite old fashioned for 1935, so I suspect that the outer walls of the building survived the fire and were reused. The Liberty, which was in operation at least as early as 1922, most likely began life as a storefront theater taking up half the building, while the Aldine occupied the entire width of the rebuilt structure.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Linda Theatre on Mar 6, 2016 at 1:53 am

The Linda Theatre’s location in a planned shopping center built in 1943 (I believe the theater opened a bit later) made it one of the earliest shopping center theaters in the United States. Linda Vista Plaza was a Federal government project influenced by the ideas of Britain’s New Towns movement, and originally featured a greensward down the middle and a large building that served as a multi-=purpose community activities center.

The activities center appears to be the only original structure remaining in the center, and today has been re-purposed as a skating rink, Great Skate of San Diego, and a couple of ancillary businesses. The Linda Theatre was located a couple hundred feet north of that building, with its back facing Linda Vista Road and its entrance facing the communal green. It had a small stage, but no fly loft, the roof of the stage house actually being lower than that of the auditorium.

This page from the City of San Diego has two aerial views of the Plaza, one of which clearly shows the theater and its relationship to the Community Activities Building. Comparing it to modern Google satellite view it can be seen that the back of the theater was about where the rebuilt shopping center’s entrance sign and an adjacent fast food structure are now located.

Plain though the Linda Theatre was, it still had an architectural style, which was a combination of elements of the Streamline Modern and the emerging Midcentury Modern.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Solana Theatre on Mar 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

“Joe Markowitz, Solana Theatre at Solana Beach, was on Filmrow booking and buying” said an item in the Los Angeles news column of the January 25, 1965, issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about El Rey Theatre on Mar 4, 2016 at 2:13 am

The new theater at Paradise that was noted in this item from the May 24, 1924, issue of The Moving Picture World was probably the El Rey:

“A picture theatre has been opened at Paradise, Cal., by the J. B. Case Company, this being the first in the community. The equipment was furnished by Walter G. Preddey of San Francisco.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Monache Theatre on Mar 4, 2016 at 2:10 am

In 1924 the Monache Theatre was being operated by the National Theatres Syndicate, according to the May 24 issue of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Smalley's Theater on Mar 3, 2016 at 6:08 pm

A 1918 Norwich directory lists the Happy Hour Theatre at 22 S. Broad Street. The only other theater listed is the Colonia, so the Bijou must have been closed by then, and Smalley’s not yet built.

There is a possibility, which I have not yet been able to confirm, that the original Smalley’s Theatre was built in 1919 or 1920, and was originally operated by the operator of the Happy Hour Theatre, possibly under the name Strand Theatre. This is an extract from an item in The Moving Picture World of May 3, 1919:

“Dr. W. E. Hartigan’s residence on East Main street is being razed, and it is understood that C. H. Latham will build a modern photoplay house on the site.

“Mr. Latham, on being questioned as to his plans, said he was not ready to give out any news, but that he would make a public statement later. The rumor has been going for some time that there would be another moving picture theatre in Norwich. The new house will have conveniences for vaudeville.”

The June 23, 1919, issue of The American Contractor also mentions the project:
“Norwich, N. Y. M. P. Theater: $24,000. 2 sty. 107x56. Priv. plans. Owner Mrs. C. H. Latham, Park pl. Lessee A. E. Ford, propr. Happy House Theater. Hollow tile. Plans drawn.”
The name “Happy House Theatre” is most likely a mistake, as the 1918 directory lists A. E. Ford as proprietor of the Happy Hour Theatre. An issue of the Chenango Union, Norwich’s local newspaper, from either 1919 or 1920 (the date is not on the page I have access to) advertises the Strand Theatre, A. E. Ford manager. The only other theater advertised is the Colonia, so it is possible that Mr. Ford closed the Happy Hour when he opened the Strand.

The Strand is listed at 19 E. Main in the 1922 Directory. If the Strand became Smalley’s then the address might have been shifted at the time the original theater was replaced in 1932. Still, the possibility that the Strand became Smalley’s remains moot, considering the fact that the May 3, 1924, issue of The Moving Picture World mentions “[t]he three exhibitors….” in Norwich. It doesn’t name the three theaters, so it remains uncertain if the third theater at that time was Smalley’s, or perhaps the Happy Hour had been reopened. It is possible that the original Smalley’s was next door to the Strand and built sometime between 1922 and 1924.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Easton Theatre on Mar 2, 2016 at 10:15 pm

The August 16, 1913, issue of Exhibitors' Times mentioned the new Third Street Theatre in Easton. The article praised the theater and its operation in general, with only the caveat that the auditorium was “…somewhat too wide for a motion picture theater….” The auditorium had been built behind an existing building on Third Street and the new lobby cut through the old structure. The project had been designed by a local architect, but the article failed to give his name.