Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 26 - 50 of 9,198 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about American Theater on Sep 26, 2014 at 2:07 am

The American Picture Playhouse, 510 w. 18th St., is on a 1918 list that can be found on this page of Old Time Erie.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Sep 25, 2014 at 11:00 pm

A Twentieth Century History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, by John Miller, didn’t cover much of the twentieth century, as it was published in 1909, but it was able to note the origin of the Colonial Theatre, which opened that year:

“Early in 1909 A. P. Weschler, a prominent real estate dealer, bought of the Church of Christ the building that for years had been known as the Tabernacle. Although it was built for church purposes, in appearance, both inside and out, it was as unlike the traditional church as possible. The floor was of the amphitheatre form or style; the rostrum or platform was in reality a stage, and it was provided with a gallery. There was therefore but little reconstruction necessary, and before the spring was over the Colonial Theatre had been dedicated as an addition to Erie’s playhouses, to be devoted to the vaudeville line.”
Although it was mentioned in The Moving Picture World at least as early as July 31, 1915, the Colonial sometimes offered two-a-day vaudeville shows for many years. Variety of September 20, 1918, reported:
“The Colonial, Erie, Pa., booked by the United Booking Offices, is the only house now there playing regular vaudeville. The Majestic, last season booked through the Loew Circuit, has taken up another policy.”
There were listings in Variety for vaudeville shows at the Colonial at least as late as 1923.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shea's Theatre on Sep 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm

This post at Old Time Erie says that Shea’s was also known as the Perry Theatre. The December 3, 1921, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review had an announcement that Rowland & Clark had recently opened their Perry Theatre in Erie. I haven’t yet discovered when it became Shea’s.

I’ve been doing a Google image search for theaters designed by J. B. McElfatrick to see if there are others resembling the Majestic, but I’ve found none that are very close. It’s remarkable how varied his designs were.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Columbia Theatre on Sep 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm

The Columbia Theatre opened in 1909 as the Alpha House (a 1910 issue of Variety calls it the Alpha Theatre) at 812 State Street, according to a 1962 book, Erie, a History, by Herbert Reynolds Spencer, which also said that the entrance was moved to the 8th Street side of the building when the house was renamed.

The 1913-1914 Cahn guide lists the Columbia Theatre in Erie as a ground-floor house with 1,354 seats. It was being operated by Colonial Enterprises Co., also operating the smaller Colonial Theatre in Erie. The Columbia was playing Gus Sun vaudeville. By 1917, the Columbia was a movie house, and was mentioned a few times in the trade publications.

The August, 1918, issue of Safety Engineering reported that a fire on May 18 had severely damaged the Columbia Theatre. The fire was of electrical origin and started in the basement under the organ. The building and contents were valued at $75,000, and property loss was $30,000. The theater was described as being “…back from street, and surrounded by other buildings,” so it sounds as though the auditorium had been shoehorned into the middle of a block of existing structures.

I haven’t found anything about the rebuilding of the Columbia after the fire, but the house was mentioned fairly often in the trade publications from 1919 on, and in the 1940s the house hosted a number of live music acts, mentioned in various issues of The Billboard.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shea's Theatre on Sep 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm

A twentieth century history of Erie County, Pennsylvania, by J. Miller, says that the Majestic Theatre was dedicated on January 28, 1904. It was designed by architect J. B. McElfatrick.

In 1907 the house was sold to Moses Reis, who continued the original policy of legitimate stage productions. By 1912, the theater had been transferred to the Shuberts.

The earliest mention of movies at the Majestic I’ve found is from the September 16, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World, which said the house had been reopened by O. A. Potter with a policy of vaudeville and moving pictures.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shea's Theatre on Sep 25, 2014 at 7:52 pm

DesR: to add a photo to Cinema Treasures click on the “Photos” button (between “Overview” and “Comments”) above; on the photo page, scroll down and click the “Add New Photo” button; on the next page, click the “choose” button and select from the menu that appears the file of your photo wherever you have it stored on your computer. The file’s name should automatically appear in the adjacent box when you click on it. Adding a title and description are optional. Then click the “Upload Photo” button. License will default to “Creative Commons (Attribution)” but if you want a different one select it from the drop-down menu.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Tower Theater on Sep 25, 2014 at 9:09 am

I just stumbled across a very interesting map prepared by Fox Midwest Theatres in 1950. It shows all the theaters in the greater Kansas City area, and the legend lists all the theaters by their clearance zones. It can be seen online at this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Sep 25, 2014 at 8:58 am

There are towns called Rushville in Ohio and New York, too, but I’ve been unable to discover if either of them ever had a movie theater. If either did, I’m hoping it was called the Princess.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plains Theatre on Sep 25, 2014 at 8:12 am

The July 2, 1938, issue of The Film Daily had this item about the modernization of the Essaness Theatre:

“Rushville Publisher-Exhib. Will Modernize Theater

“Denver — William Barnes, who also publishes the newspaper at Rushville, Neb., has bought the Essaness Theater there, and as a part of his remodeling job has ordered from the National Theater Supply Co. two new Simplex Acme sound projectors, a Walker White sound screen, new carpet and padding as well as new Ezy rug mats.”

Another item in the same issue noted the name change to Plains Theatre:
“The Esseness Theater at Rush- ville, Neb., has been changed to the Plains, and has been taken over by William Barnes from John C. Gates.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Sep 25, 2014 at 7:13 am

I’m a bit puzzled by this item from the July 16, 1926, issue of The Film Daily:

“Martinez House Opens Martinez, Cal — The Martinez, a West Coast Theaters, Inc., house, has opened.”
Was this the State? I know that West Coast took over the original Turner & Dahnken circuit sometime in the 1920s, and that the later T&D Jr. circuit later took over a number of West Coast houses in northern and central California, but I’ve never found the exact dates of these events.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theater on Sep 25, 2014 at 6:46 am

The “Theater Changes” column of the October 4, 1937, issue of The Film Daily reported the change of name of the movie theater at Rushville, Illinois, from Princess to Lloyd.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theater on Sep 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm

The contents of the building, including the theater’s old seats and other equipment, were auctioned off by the Masons on September 21. The lodge sold the building to the City of Rushville in August. The city plans to put a new roof on the building and perform other maintenance immediately, but the long term plan includes the restoration of the theater as a multi-use venue. Grants are bing sought for the project, according to this article in the the August 25, 2014, issue of the Rushville Republican.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Sep 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm

How odd that three small towns called Rushville all have or had movie theaters called the Princess:

Rushville, Illinois

Rushville, Indiana

Now if we could get Rushville, Nebraska, to renamed the Plains Theatre, then all four Rushvilles listed at Cinema Treasures could have Princess Theatres.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Sep 23, 2014 at 1:23 am

The September 2, 1927, issue of The Escanaba Daily Press said that the Community Theatre in Gladstone had been purchased by Fischer-Paramount Theatres of Milwaukee, the company that had been operating it under a lease. The house would be renamed the Rialto Theatre, and extensive improvements were planned, including the installation of a Barton Organ.

The building had been built several years earlier by the Northwestern Cooperage and Lumber Company as a community center for its workers.

July 14, 1929, issue of the paper featured several pages of ads placed by various businesses offering congratulations to the Rialto Theatre on its opening.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Co-Ed Theatre on Sep 23, 2014 at 12:53 am

The May 8, 1938 issue of the Daily Illini reported that Alger Brothers, operators of the Princess and Park Theatres, and the A. J. Balaban Co., would remodel and expand a building at 614-616 Green Street, Champaign, for a movie theater to be called the Co-Ed. The project was designed by the architectural firm of Monberg & Wagner, who the article referred to as “Chicago theater specialists.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jerry Lewis Cinema on Sep 22, 2014 at 11:15 pm

The September 12, 1972, issue of The Escanaba Daily Press carried an ad placed by the Network Cinema Corporation soliciting an investor/operator for the new Jerry Lewis Cinema then nearing completion in Escanaba. $17,500 dollars would get you into the theater business with this 350-seat house (additional working capital required.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema One on Sep 22, 2014 at 11:04 pm

The February 22, 1972, issue of The Escanaba Daily Press said that plans to build a new, 408-seat indoor movie theater in Manistique had been announced. Construction was to begin in April, and the operators hoped to have the house open by September. The town had been without an indoor theater since the closing of the Oak Theatre in November, 1970.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oak Theatre on Sep 22, 2014 at 10:58 pm

The July 24, 1956, issue of The Escanaba Daily Press had an article about Manistique’s theaters, and is says that the Oak Theatre was located on Maple Street. The Cedar Theatre, somewhat more reasonably, was located on Cedar Street. I don’t have an address, but I suspect that the Oak Theatre was located at or very near the corner of Oak Street, which is the only way the name would make sense.

The article also says that, until 1942, when it was bought by Mr. and Mrs. J. L. LeDuc, who had bought the Cedar Theatre in 1937, the Oak Theatre had been called the Gero Theatre.

The November 1, 1934, issue of the same paper said that Benjamin Gero had bought the Manistique Opera House in 1908, and had converted it into a full-time movie house in 1916, renaming it the Gero Theatre that year.

This page has a photo of the auditorium of the opera house and a photo of the exterior after it became the Gero Theatre.

An article in the February 22, 1972, issue of the Daily Press said that the town had been without an indoor theater since the Oak had closed in November, 1970. I haven’t been able to discover what became of the Oak Theatre’s building, but I suspect that it has been demolished. There’s nothing resembling it on Maple Street in Google street view.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capri Theatre on Sep 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm

The building has been remodeled again, now with a bland front, and it houses an animal hospital and a State Farm insurance agency. I would expect that the floor has been leveled, so there probably won’t be a theater here again. At least that appalling diagonal wood front from the 1970s is gone.

Among dozens of vintage photos on this web page are two shots of the Midcentury Modern Capri Theatre front of 1960, which the diagonal wood covered up later. I like Midcentury design, and the Capri was nicely done, but my personal preference would have been to see the original 1935 Streamline Modern facade preserved and restored. Hardly anybody valued Streamline Modern in 1960, though.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Packer Theatre on Sep 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm

The five theaters listed at Green Bay in the 1939 Film Daily Yearbook included a 700-seat Grand Theatre. In 1940, the Grand vanishes and the 700-seat Packer appears. I suspect a name change.

The August 28, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World said that August 10 had been set as the tentative opening date of the New Grand Theatre in Green Bay. The “New Theaters” column of the September 25, 1915, issue of The Billboard says: “The Grand Theater, Green Bay, Wis., a new $75,000 moving picture house, has been opened.”

I haven’t been able to find any specific source saying that the Grand Theatre became the Packer, but neither have I found anything saying that a new theater was built in Green Bay in 1939 or 1940. A renovation and name change seems the most likely event.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Sep 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm

The picturesque, cottage-like front the Majestic Theatre has in the old photo has been removed from the building, but I believe that part of the theater is still standing. It now has the address 121 over the door of the totally modernized front, but there is a setback above the entrance, beyond which you can see what was probably the end wall of the auditorium.

In the vintage photo, the end wall, which then had a checkerboard pattern, was taller than it is in modern street view. This makes me suspect that the change in seating capacity from 300 in the late 1920s to 450 by the mid-1930s might have been accomplished by extending the auditorium upward and installing a balcony. The upper part of the auditorium must have been removed, along with the picturesque front, when the building was converted to retail use.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about DePere Cinema on Sep 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm

This page at Facebook has four photos, including one showing the theater building when it still housed a livery stable.

Here is the exact text of the March 5, 1938, item from Motion Picture Herald I cited in my earlier comment:

“W. R. Vincent opened his new 499-seat De Pere theatre at De Pere, Wis., constructed in a building formerly a storage garage. Geniesse and Connell, Green Bay, Wis., were the architects. The new theatre gives Mr. Vincent six houses in Wisconsin. Incidentally, there are six theatres in De Pere, a town of 5,000, while Green Bay, just adjoining and a city of 28,000, also has six theatres.”
I now suspect that the item was mistaken. The 1938 Film Daily Yearbook lists six theaters at Green Bay, but only the 450-seat Majestic and the 370-seat Pearl at De Pere. The FDY, not always too accurate itself, didn’t get around to listing the De Pere Theatre until 1941, but the Pearl and Majestic were still both listed then, too, so De Pere had three theaters during that period (if the FDY is to be believed.) Green Bay dropped to five in 1939.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Sep 21, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Well, duh. I forgot that this comment and this comment by CT member Pens on the Wayne Cinema page both say that the State Theatre was on Third Street. It replaced the Trainor Opera House, which was destroyed by fire in 1926, so it probably opened that year or in 1927. The State’s entrance building in the photo at Facebook looks 19th century, and might have been the Opera House entry as well. The Opera House was built by the IOOF in 1873.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Sep 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm

I’ve come across two sources that say the State Theatre was on Third Street. This obituary of former manager Stockton Shafer says that it was on West Third, and the caption of this photo at Facebook just says Third Street. A commenter remembers seeing The Shining at the State, so it must have been in operation at least as late as 1975.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Sep 21, 2014 at 8:42 pm

The 300-seat Majestic and the 400-seat Pearl were the only theaters listed for De Pere in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook. By 1935, the Majestic was being listed with 450 seats.