Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Savoy Theatre on Dec 31, 2017 at 9:53 pm

A permit had been applied for to build a one-story brick theater, 140x50 feet, at 4346 W.Madison Street, according to the October 12, 1912, issue of Construction News. Owner of the project was Leopold Semon, the architect was C. W. Christiansen (or perhaps Christianson— I’ve seen both spellings, but can’t confirm either as correct.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Advance Theater on Dec 31, 2017 at 9:22 pm

Damen Avenue was called Robey Street until 1927, so this item from the September 21, 1912, issue of Construction News must be about the Advance Theatre:

“Stores Offices & Theater— $30.000. Robey, Lincoln Av. and Irving Park Blvd. Archt. H.I. Dalsey 1123 Throop St. Owners Kusel & Harris, 30 N. La Salle St., taking bids to close at once. Brk., and re. conc., 2 stys.”
Architect Harry Dalsey was quite active during this period. If bids on the project were being taken in September, it’s possible that the project was completed before the end of 1912, but even if not the theater was surely open by early 1913.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Baker Theatre on Dec 31, 2017 at 4:55 pm

The “Picture Theatres” section of Gus Hill’s National Theatrical Directory for 1914-1915 lists two movie houses in Baker City: The 600-seat Orpheum, a fifteen-cent house, and the 350-seat Grand, a ten-cent house. Both theater were managed by A. B. Hager. The guide also lists a 951-seat Baker Theatre, presenting music and drama, which was probably the Baker Opera House.

Oddly, the 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Piture Directoy lists only the Grand at Baker City.

The September 17, 1917, issue of Motion Picture News had this item about the theaters in Baker City:

“THE Orpheum, Grand and Empire theatres at Baker City. Ore., have all been completely remodeled under the direction of J. P. Cotter, owner and manager. New equipment throughout has been installed, with a new pipe organ in the Orpheum. Contracts for the entire Artcraft. Paramount and Fox output have been made. The three houses have a combined seating capacity of 1,275, in a population of 8,000.”
The October 2, 1943, issue of Showmens Trade Review filed this brief report on a fire at the Orpheum:
“A spectacular fire at Orpheum Theatre block in Baker, Ore., caused a loss of $75,000. The cause was undetermined. Frank Buckmiller, owner, was insured.”
Myrtle Buckmiller’s entry into the theater business at Baker City was noted in the January 5, 1929, issue of Motion Picture News:
“Mrs. Myrtle Buckmiller has purchased the interests of the Haselton Theatres, Inc., of Baker, Ore., consisting of the Clarick, Orpheum and Empire Theatres. She will be president of the company and also assume active management of the houses.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clarick Theatre on Dec 31, 2017 at 3:09 pm

The 1909-1910 Cahn guide lists the Baker Opera House as a ground-floor theater with a stage 30 feet deep from footlights to back wall and 59 ½ feet between side walls. There were 400 seats on the orchestra floor, 302 in the balcony, and 375 in the gallery.

The September 13, 1900, issue of Engineering News reported that the contract had been let to Grant & Haines for construction of the new opera house at Baker City, but no details were provided. A late 1900 opening is possible, but early 1901 is as likely.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Odeon Theatre on Dec 28, 2017 at 8:08 pm

The Local History Collections of the Saskatoon Public Library gives this sequence of the names for this theater:

Original Theatre built in 1913 and opened as Victoria Theatre. 1930-1965 it became the Tivoli Theatre. In 1965 it was modernized and opened as the Odeon Theatre. In 1992 the name changed to the Paradise Theatre and by 2009 the theatre was extensively renovated and became part of O'Brien’s Event Centre.
The library has several photos of the theater, but I’ve been unable to make any functional links to them. Start with this page and scroll down to the link that says “At the Movies: a Photographic Exhibition”. This gallery has links to additional galleries with multiple photos of many of Saskatoon’s theaters, including the Victoria and Tivoli.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Victory Theatre on Dec 28, 2017 at 7:24 pm

The Empire Theatre was designed by the Regina architectural firm of Storey & Van Egmond (Edgar M. Storey and William Gysbert Van Egmond.) The house opened on December 29, 1910, with a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta “H.M.S. Pinafore” featuring members of the Saskatoon Amateur Operatic Society. Renovations in 1918 made it possible to show moving pictures more frequently, but occasional stage production were still mounted after the Empire became a full-time movie house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about LaBelle Thetare on Dec 27, 2017 at 7:46 pm

W. B. Urling, one of the original partners in the Alpine Theater Circuit, was still active in operating the LaBelle and another South Charleston house called the Victory Theatre at least as late as 1960, when The February 1 issue of Boxoffice, mentioning both houses, said that he had recently visited West Palm Beach, Florida.

This page about the LaBelle says that the theater was renamed Cinema South in the late 1960s, and operated as a movie theater into the 1980s. It was used as a church through the 1990s, until being bought in 2003 by the City of South Charleston, who restored both the theater and its original name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kenova Theatre on Dec 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm

This photo from the Historic Wayne County Facebook page shows the Kenova Theatre on Chestnut Street, across the street from the Post Office. The Post office is still standing, but the theater building has been demolished and replaced by a senior citizens housing project called Roxanna Booth Manor, located at 1315 Chestnut Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Martin Theater on Dec 27, 2017 at 5:10 pm

This web page from the office of West Virginia’s Secretary of State says that the Martin Theater Company of South Charleston filed for incorporation on July 31, 1948. It was dissolved by court order on May 13, 1957.

As the company was incorporated in 1948 and the Martin first shows up in the FDY in the 1950 edition, the theater was probably opened in 1949, but not in time to notify the FDY’s publishers before that edition went to press. I don’t know when the yearbook went to press, but if the final date for making changes or additions to the 1949 edition was before the end of 1948, the Martin might even have opened in the latter part of that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Dec 26, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Although the Film Daily Yearbooks list the Star with 550 seats, the building at 810 Hewitt (currently occupied by C & G’s Antiques) is far too small to have held a theater that size. I’m guessing it had 330 or 350, and somebody wrote at least one of their threes in a way that made it look like a five.

The lot the building is on also slopes up toward the rear, and as the roof is quite low at the back I am wondering if the Star might have been one of the rare breed called reverse theaters, with the screen at the entrance end of the auditorium. Of course the building might once have been taller and got cut down at some point.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Dec 26, 2017 at 6:17 pm

On our Kearse Theatre page I found this comment about the Rialto, posted by kencmcintyre on November 16, 2006. Perhaps the Rialto had not yet been added to the CT database at that time, but the comment has a long quote from some publication (Ken didn’t cite a source, but it was probably one of Charleston’s local newspapers) which belongs here, and since Ken isn’t around anymore I’ll post it:

“THEATER WON’T DIE – ‘Closed’ Rialto Reopens Friday

“The last film at the Rialto was ‘13 Ghosts.’ But the 43-year-old theater in the Morrison Building on Quarrier Street is not one of them. After a shutdown of four days, the Rialto will reopen tomorrow with ‘The Apartment,’ the picture being shifted from the Virginian, also a unit of Stanley Warner Corp.

“Newspaper ads last week announced that the Rialto would be closed last Sunday night, ending the four-decade life of the theater. John Cox, the Rialto’s manager, was transferred to the Warner Fairmont theater. William Wyatt, manager of the Virginian, was ordered by the Pittsburgh region office to take over the closing of the Rialto.

“Last Monday, Wyatt moved dozens of large cartons into the theater for packing of the seats. A filing case was removed from the Rialto office to the Virginian. ‘All I can say now is that the lease for the Rialto has been renewed with the Stanley Warner Corp.’ said John Morrison, an owner of the Morrison building. He declined to discuss prospective remodeling of the building, which at its birth in 1917 was the pride of Charleston for its elegance.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Dec 26, 2017 at 6:06 pm

This web page devoted to Quarrier Street starts with a photo of the block the Rialto was on. The theater’s vertical sign is prominent, but I see no marquee. I am having a hard time figuring how the theater fit into this rather dense block.

The caption under the photo says that the Rialto was built in 1917, and says that the auditorium was entered from the side, with the orchestra floor and screen to the left and a stadium style “balcony” to the right. Given the location of the theater entrance and the configuration of the building the entrance was in, I just can’t see how a 783-seat theater was shoehorned into the space.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Center on Dec 26, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Here is another early view of the Plaza Theatre, circa 1915.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Granada Theatre on Dec 25, 2017 at 6:06 pm

This item is from the Tuesday, January 3, 1928, issue of The Film Daily:

“Everett Opening Thursday

“Everett, Wash. — The new Granada, erected on the site of the old Rose, opens Thursday. It will have both Movietone and Vitaphone as features. R. F. Charles is general manager.”

R. F. Charles had previously been operator of the Star Theatre, a small house on Hewitt Avenue.

Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society’s Granada Theatre page says that a Wurlitzer Style B “Special” theater organ, opus #1769, was installed as part of the 1927 renovation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Balboa Theatre on Dec 25, 2017 at 4:31 pm

I believe that most of the Balboa Theatre building is still standing, though little, if any, of the theater remains intact inside the shell. The Balboa was built in conjunction with the adjacent Rumbaugh’s Department Store, on the corner of Wetmore Avenue and California Street. Rumbaugh’s was sold and re-branded as a Bon Marche store, a regional chain, in the 1940s. The Balboa closed in 1953 [May 3] and the department store expanded into the former theater space.

In 1994, three years after the Bon Marche closed, the building, under renovation and renamed the Port Gardner Building, was nominated for inclusion on Everett’s local historic registry. A document prepared at that time (PDF here) had a bit about the theater:

“During work on the building, remnants of the Balboa Theater were uncovered. On the south side of the building, these remnants had to be removed for seismic strengthening, but on the north wall the remnants have been preserved and could be restored.

“The Historical Commission recommended that there be administrative review for minor changes. Major changes would require Historical Commission review. The Commission also noted that they would like to see the remaining decoration from the Balboa Theater maintained. Any change to the interior that would remove or destroy the last remnants of the Balboa would have to be reviewed by the Commission.”

I don’t know if the surviving decorative elements of the Balboa have been preserved though the two decades plus since this report was written, but that the building itself is still standing, except perhaps for a small section at the southwest corner, as can be seen in Google’s satellite view, is pretty obvious.

For a number of years the entire complex was occupied by Trinity Lutheran College, but more recently (August, 2017, according to this article on their web site) an outfit called Funko (“Purveyors of Pop Culture”) has installed its headquarters and a retail store in the complex. Perhaps someone living in, or near, or visiting Everett can check the place out and see if those remnants of the Balboa’s decor that were still intact in 1994 have survived.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Victory Theatre on Dec 25, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Since Google Maps has chosen to do something weird and limiting with the street view image it fetches for this page, here is a quick link to a street view that can actually be moved around normally.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Victory Theatre on Dec 24, 2017 at 5:13 pm

A document prepared for the City of Benicia (very large PDF here) and containing a survey of historic resources says that the building at 918 First Street, currently occupied by the Benicia Antique Mall, was built as a theater in the late 1930s. The document doesn’t give the theaters name, but I think that’s the most likely location to have been the Victory Theatre.

If you look at the corner building from the side street, it actually has a pretty low roof, disguised on the First Street side by a false parapet, and would have been ill suited for a theater. The building at 918 has a higher roof, and extends back farther.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Dec 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm

The Majestic was built by former Benicia mayor William Crooks, probably as an investment, and it is likely that a deal was made, possibly even before the project was underway, for a theater operator to lease it. The lessee might have been the operator of the Orpheum, or someone else, but either way it’s unlikely that Crooks would have been concerned about the fate of the Orpheum.

I’ve done some searches on the Peoples Theatre in Martinez but have found nothing. Many small nickelodeons came and went quickly in those days, so it might have been one of those.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Dec 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

A pair of small photos of the Majestic’s entrance and box office can be seen on this web page. The Majestic was built by former Benicia mayor William Crooks.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Novelty Theatre on Dec 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Advertisements for Typhoon brand ventilation systems published in issues of The Moving Picture World in early 1921 list the Novelty Theatre in Martinez as one of the houses in which the company’s equipment had been installed. A notice about the installation of the new ventilation system by contractor A. Gattuan had appeared in the July 31, 1920, issue of Domestic Engineering.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Dec 24, 2017 at 2:53 pm

I found a reference to the Curry Theatre in the May 26, 1914, issue of Coast Banker (scan at Google Books.)

I also found this item in the January 5, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“MARTINEZ, CAL. — New moving picture house in Curry street has been opened under the management of H. E. Case.”
As I can’t find a Curry Street anywhere in Martinez today, I’m wondering if Ferry Street was once called Curry Street, or if this item simply mistook the name of the theater for the name of the street. I also don’t know why they said it was a new moving picture house, unless this was a different theater, which seems unlikely. Given the MPW’s propensity for errors I think it’s possible that this is when the Curry, under new ownership, was renamed the Royal, and the magazine just got the story garbled. I’ve been unable to find any other references to H. E. Case.

The Royal was in operation at least as late as June 17, 1926, when it was mentioned, along with the Novelty Theatre, in that day’s issue of the Oakland Tribune.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Dec 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm

AndrewBarrett: You will probably be interested in this item I ran across in the February 9, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“The new Florence theater, soon to be opened in Pasadena under the management of D. B. Schumann, is installing a two-manual and piano-manual pipe organ built by the Seeburg-Smith factories at Chicago. This firm is practically a newcomer on the coast and especially in the South, although it is very well known in the East and throughout the Middle West. C. R. Dibble Company of Los Angeles made the sale, and is superintending the construction.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Dec 23, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Ah, now that the historic photo has been posted it looks like the building was extended upward to add a second floor sometime after the Orpheum closed, so it’s possible that it was erected specifically as a theater in 1913.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Dec 23, 2017 at 1:51 pm

714 is the old, bay-windowed building adjacent to the Majestic Theatre. The building looks to have been built earlier than 1913, and so the National/Orpheum was probably a storefront conversion, closed and reconverted to retail space when the Majestic opened in 1920.

The building is currently occupied by Training Loft 714, a weight loss and “body transformation studio” (outside California aka, a gym.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Chief Theatre on Dec 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Comparing aerial views from 1965 and more recently at Historic Aerials, it is apparent that the Chief Theatre has been converted into the United Methodist Fellowship Hall, at 102 I Street. The old stone building of the original church as seen in the vintage photo is still standing at the corner of I and Elm. A new building, built sometime between 1999 and 2003, connects the old church with the fellowship hall, forming a courtyard on the I Street side of the complex.