Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 26 - 50 of 8,989 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Family Theater on Aug 18, 2014 at 11:02 am

The Family Theatre was opened by Charles Murphy on September 1, 1910. It was a storefront theater and originally had only 250 seats. By 1911 it was being operated by L. J. Bedford, who in late 1916 built a new auditorium seating 800 behind the original structure and converted the old theater space into a lobby. The expanded house opened on January 1, 1917.

In 1918, the Family Theatre was taken over by Herb Weil. For about a year, Weil controlled all five of Port Huron’s movie theaters, until the Majestic, which he had been operating under a lease, was bought by W. S. Butterfield in 1920. Weil continued to operate the Family after opening his new Desmond Theatre in August, 1922.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Huron Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

The July 31, 1922, issue of The Film Daily reported that the finishing touches were being put on Herb Weil’s new theater at Port Huron and the house would soon open. Weil had entered the theater business in Port Huron in 1917, and by 1919 controlled all five of the town’s movie houses.

Weil was planning to build the new theater in 1919, but suffered setbacks that delayed its construction until 1922. When the Desmond opened he still controlled the Family Theatre, but the town’s leading theater, the Majestic, had come under the control of W. S. Butterfield in 1920.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:04 am

This item is from the April 10, 1920, issue of Exhibitors Herald:

“LANSING. MICH. — The Bijou theatre is to be remodeled during the Summer season at a cost of $50,000 and reopened under the name of The Regent as soon as the work is finished, according to announcement made by W. S. Butterfield and Harold Bird of the Bird estate, who controls the property.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Venita Theatre on Aug 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm

This item is from the April 7, 1955, issue of Motion Picture Daily, and is one of only two references to the Venita Theatre I’ve been able to find in the trade publications:

“Mo. Exhibitors File Anti-Trust Action

“ST. LOUIS, April 6— Earl E. and Pauline Williams, owners of the Venita Theatre, Herculaneum, Mo., have filed an anti-trust action, seeking $300,000 treble damages, against 10 distributors and Miller Theatres, Inc., operating theatres in Festus and Crystal City and others in St. Louis County.

“The petition charged that the plaintiffs were forced to close their theatre in June, 1952, because of the alleged refusal of the distributors to grant them first-run product.”

The other reference was a capsule review of the movie Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! by A. L. Burke, Jr., of the Venita Theatre, Herculaneum, which was published in the June 24, 1948, issue of Boxoffice. I don’t know if Burke was an employee of the Williamses or was an earlier owner of the house.

There is also an item about the anti-trust suit that appeared in the April 6, 1955, issue of the Moberly Monitor-Index, of Moberly, Missouri, which repeats the information in the Motion Picture Daily article, with the addition of the claims that the Venita was forced to run old movies in order to get later releases, and that the Miller circuit had conspired with distributors to prevent the Venita from showing any movie until fourteen days after it had closed in any Miller house in the area.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Missouri Theatre on Aug 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

The Empress Theatre was in operation at Hayti, Missouri, at least as early as 1920, when the December 9 edition of The Missouri Herald gave this opinion:

“Manager Stewart of the Empress Theatre has been showing some exceptionally good pictures during the past two weeks. He informs us that more and better pictures are coming and that his patrons may expect an extra good headliner each week.”
The March 3, 1922, issue of the same paper reported that Wilbur Stewart had made several improvements to the Empress, including an enlarged stage, repainting, and the installation of a large electric light at the entrance. The improved house would now feature a four-piece orchestra.

This item from the April 11, 1917, issue of The New York Clipper doesn’t mention the Empress, or any other theater, but it indicates that Hayti did have a theater in operation at that time:


“Hayti. Mo.. April 7. — Angell’s Comedians, under the management of Billie O. Angelo have closed a season of forty-five weeks here last Saturday, and the various members have gone to their respective homes for a four-week vacation prior to the opening of the Summer tent season at Leon, la., the first week of May. Mr. Angelo went to Wichita, Kan.: Miss Delzeli, to St. Louis; Joseph Lehmann. to Kansas City; Miss Hebert, to Dallas; Mr. Swadley. to St Louis; Chief Meredith, to Tulsa, Okla. ; Mrs. Swadley, to Ottumwa, Ia.; Mr. Schmer, to Omaha, and The Langueins, to Omaha.”

William L. Slout’s book Theatre in a Tent says that traveling repertory companies such as Angell’s Comedians would spend about twenty weeks each year playing indoor theaters and then switch back to tent shows when the weather improved. It’s possible that the Empress was the theater they played in Hayti to close their 1916-1917 season.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Aug 17, 2014 at 9:38 am

F. O. Litsch was operating the Royal Theatre in Hopkins, Missouri, from at least as early as October, 1922, when he was mentioned in Exhibitors Herald, until at least as late as July, 1925, when he was mentioned in The Reel Journal.

An F. C. Litsch of Hopkins, Missouri, offered a 200-seat theater for sale in a classified ad in the January 15, 1944, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review. The brick theater had Powers projectors and upholstered seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Aug 16, 2014 at 8:33 pm

About halfway down this web page is a photo of Main Street with the Bijou Theatre at the right. The theater was on the north side of Main Street east of, and adjacent to, the Hotel Johnson, which was on the northeast corner of Main and Church Streets. That means the correct address for the Bijou must be 212 East Main Street. Every old building on the north side of that block has been demolished.

212 East Main is the address we list for the Grand Theatre, and a comment from earlier today on the Grand’s page says that the Grand was the Bijou, so one of the pages is redundant (this one is quite a bit older, but both pages have several comments on them.) The Grand was still in operation at least as late as 1963.

But I note that the first comment on this theater from March 26, 2005, by Reuben, indicates that the Bijou was in operation as late as 1952, while the first comment of March 30, 2005, by jbj, mentions a Grand Theatre in operation in 1939. If both are correct then the name Grand, like the name Bijou, must have belonged to two different houses in Visalia at various times.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Embassy Theatre on Aug 16, 2014 at 7:38 pm

rds3000: The ticket stub might have been stuck in someone’s pocket for months before being pulled out and dropped into the unfinished wall. It’s an interesting mystery, and a person might make up any number of stories about how the ticket stub got there.

But I doubt that anyone spending $70,000 to remodel a theater would have been so thrifty as to store for several months a few rolls of tickets with the old name on them just to save a few dollars.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tivoli Theatre on Aug 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm

The location is right for the Tivoli to have been this project noted in the July 22, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News, although there is nothing Gothic about the building the Tivoli was in:

“Toledo — Owner, Frank Rishacck. Architect, C. C. Cornfeldt. Contract awarded to S. S. Wall & Son. Type, Gothic architecture, brick and stone. 60 x 120. Seating capacity, 550. Cost, $60,000. Location, Consaul St., between Caledonia and Woodford Sts.”
The Internet provides no other references to an architect named C. C. Cornfeldt, but there are several references to a Toledo artist of that name, so perhaps he was only the decorator of the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Aug 16, 2014 at 2:12 pm

If the Ritz Theatre was in the Pleasant Ridge section of Cincinnati, then it might have been this project noted in the July 22, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News:

“Cincinnati — Owners, Montgomery Amusement Co. Architect, Howard McClorey. Contracts awarded to Leo J. Brielmeier. Store and theatre bldg. Seating capacity, 750. Location, Montgomery Road and Woodmont St., Pleasant Ridge.”
“Woodmont” would be an easy mistake for Woodburn, and typical of the error-ridden, hastily-assembled trade journals of the period. Howard McClorey designed the Hyde Park Theatre, located about a mile east of the Ritz.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Aug 16, 2014 at 11:50 am

The Grand Theatre was at 1131 Broadway. By 1942 it had been replaced by a Woolworth’s store, according the the caption of a photo in Columbus, Georgia in Vintage Postcards, by Kenneth H. Thomas Jr. (Google Books preview.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bonita Theater on Aug 16, 2014 at 11:34 am

According to an item in the September 4, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World, the Bonita Theatre moved into its 12th Street location that year:

“The Bonita theater, Columbus, Ga., closed this week on account of moving into its new home on Twelfth street. W. H. Tolbert, manager, states that the moving- is due to the fact that there are too many theaters in their present location. The new location is a splendid one, and the Bonita will be the only one on Twelfth street.”
The Bonita Theatre had been in operation by March, 1911, when it was mentioned in that month’s issue of The Typographical Journal.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about American Theatre on Aug 16, 2014 at 11:33 am

A house called the American Theatre was operating in Columbus at least as early as 1915, when it was mentioned in the July 17 issue of Motion Picture News.

Columbus also had a house called the Dixie Theatre located on the south side of 12th Street between Broadway and First Avenue. It can be seen in a ca.1911 view in Columbus, Georgia in Vintage Postcards, by Jr., Kenneth H. Thomas (Google Books preview.) The caption says that the 12th Street Dixie Theatre was in operation by 1908.

The earlier Dixie had to have been closed by 1915, though, when the September 4 issue of The Moving Picture World reported that the Bonita Theatre had moved to a new location on 12th Street, and would be the only movie house on that street.

It’s possible that there was a third Dixie Theatre in Columbus, as I’ve found a reference to a house of that name, apparently catering to African American audiences, in 1945.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theater on Aug 16, 2014 at 10:24 am

The Rialto was mentioned in the Columbus Enquirer at least as early as March, 1919. The Rialto’s building looks as though it would date from the 1910s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Leal Theatre on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

The Leal Theatre might have been built a bit later than we thought, or might have been rebuilt in 1922. This item is from the February 4, 1922, issue of Building and Engineering News:

“Plans Complete — Figures To Be Taken Shortly. THEATRE Cost, $25,000. IRVINGTON, Alameda Co., Cal. Mission St. Two-story reinforced concrete and frame theatre, store and office building. Owner — F. A. Leal, Irvington. Architect — H. A. Minton, Monadnock Bldg., San Francisco.”
Mission Street was later renamed Washington Boulevard to avoid confusion with Mission Boulevard. Architect Henry A. Minton is remembered primarily for the numerous buildings he designed throughout the Bay Area for the Catholic Church and for the Bank of Italy (Bank of America.) The Leal was probably the only theater he designed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:48 am

The September 8, 1931, issue of Building & Engineering News reported that contracts had been let for the remodeling of the T&D Jr. circuit’s Majestic and Granada Theatres in Reno:

“RENO, Nevada. Majestic and Granada Theatres. Remodel interior of two theatres (decorating, painting, etc.) Owner— T.& D. Junior Theatres, 25 Taylor St., San Francisco. Architect — F. J. DeLongchamps, Gazette Bldg., Reno. Contractor— Salih Bros., 2319 Central Ave., Alameda.”
The finding aid for the papers of architect Frederic J. DeLongchamps lists five theater projects, but doesn’t give locations or dates. The houses listed are the Majestic, the Hunter, the Rex, the Quincy, the Roxie, and a “T.D. Theater” (perhaps the Granada, which the aid doesn’t list by name.)

The Roxie was probably the one in Reno, and the Hunter was probably the one in Elko, the only house we have listed by that name in Nevada. We have Rex Theatres listed in Caliente and Fallon, and the one in Fallon, which is near Reno, is more likely to be the one DeLongchamps worked on. The Quincy (a rare name for a theater) was almost certainly the one in Quincy, California, which is closer to Reno than it is to any large city in California.

This weblog post says that the Majestic had also been remodeled in 1925, again with the plans by DeLongchamps.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:46 am

Building and Engineering News of October 17, 1931, reported that the original 1926 plans by Reid Brothers would be used in the rebuilding of the T&D Junior circuit’s State Theatre in Martinez.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Aug 15, 2014 at 7:48 am

Plans to remodel the American Theatre in Oakland were announced in the December 26, 1931, issue of Building and Engineering News:

“OAKLAND, Alameda Co. Cal., 17th and San Pablo Ave. Remodel Class A theatre (remodel ex- terior, re-design lobby and foyer, rebuild marquise, new sound equipment, projectors, etc.) Owner American Theatre. Architect — A. A. Cantin, 544 Market St., San Francisco.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Holly Cinema on Aug 15, 2014 at 7:34 am

The Studio Theatre was to have been the first of ten houses of its type for Hughes-Franklin Theatres according to this item from Building and Engineering News of December 5, 1931:

“CALIFORNIA— Harold B. Franklin, president of the Hughes-Franklin theatres. 7051 Hollywoood Blvd., announces that plans are under way for nine new theatres, similar in size and type to the recently completed Studio Theatre at Hollywood Boulevard and Hudson Avenue, to be built in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, San Diego, Oakland, Stockton and San Jose. Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Dallas, Texas. They will have seating capacities ranging from 300 to 500 and will have the automatic features provided in the Hollywood Theatre. S. Charles Lee, 2404 W. Seventh St., Los Angeles, will be the architect.”
I don’t know if any of the other theaters were built.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Aug 14, 2014 at 11:04 pm

The Livermore Theatre was remodeled in 1931. This item is from the September 19 issue of Building and Engineering News (and it appears that Livermore’s lots have been renumbered since then):

“REMODEL, THEATRE Cost, $20,000

“LIVERMORE, Alameda Co., Cal. 1075 W First Street. Alterations and additions to theatre (new steel roof trusses, roofing, interior decorating & plaster work). Owner — Livermore Theatre (Louis Schenoni, premises. Architect — Miller & Warnecke, Financial Center Bldg., Oakland. Contractor— S. Bothwell, 748 Palm Avenue, Livermore.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theater on Aug 14, 2014 at 6:16 pm

The Liberty Theatre in Dayton was remodeled in 1938 with plans by architect Bjarne H. Moe.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lorin Theatre on Aug 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm

The Lorin Theatre was remodeled again in 1931. This item is from the August 29 issue of Building and Engineering News:

“BERKELEY. Alameda Co., Cal. 3332 Adeline Street. Remodeling reinforced concrete theatre. Owner— Kaliski-Harband Theatre Co., 3332 Adeline St., Berkeley. Architect — A. A. Cantin, 544 Market St., San Francisco. Work involves new concrete stairway, pine flooring, re-arranging stage, ornamental plaster, revising electrical work, revising heating plant, general interior decoration. General Contract — Alfred Hopper, 1769 Pleasant Valley Ave., Oakland, $11,462. Electrical Work — Matson & Seabrook, 4115 Broadway, Oakland, $2500. Heating— Chas. R. Watts, 1166 Spruce St., Berkeley.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jewell Theatre on Aug 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm

The Jefferson Theatre was built for Harry Sanford Jewell, publisher of the The Springfield Leader, and opened on September 28, 1911. In its early years it was strictly a vaudeville house, but by the late 1910s it was struggling and remained dark for about two years except for a few road shows. In 1921, the January 28 issue of the Springfield Republican reported that the Jefferson Theatre had reopened the previous night as a movie house.

In 1930, the house was extensively remodeled for the Fox circuit and reopened on September 14 as the Fox Plaza Theatre, according to the September 15 edition of the Leader. The remodeling was overseen by architect Lee DeCamp. In 1936 it was renamed the Jewell Theatre and operated as a movie house until becoming the home of Ozark Jubilee, a live music show broadcast first on radio and, from 1955, on ABC television.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Happy Hour Theatre on Aug 13, 2014 at 9:58 am

A history of Springfield published in 1915 had a brief biography of Robert Franklin Barrett. He entered the theater business at Hugo, Oklahoma, in 1907, and three years later moved to Springfield where he opened the Happy Hour Theatre. The Happy Hour was a storefront operation and ran Universal pictures, presenting four reels with daily changes.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about El Centro Theatre on Aug 13, 2014 at 8:52 am

Mason: Cinema Treasures is not affiliated with the El Centro Theatre. It is a web site for documenting existing and former movie theaters. I see that the Official Web Site link on our page now fetches a site with Chinese characters. As I don’t read Chinese I don’t know if the page has anything to do with the theater or not, but Yelpis listing the El Centro Theatre as closed. The Internet provides no indications of any activity at this theater for the last two years, so unless it is presenting Chinese language productions the El Centro must have closed.