Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 26 - 50 of 8,878 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

dickneeds111: The Palace is the oldest surviving theater built for the Orpheum Vaudeville circuit. The description could use clarification on that point as there had been quite a few theaters called the Orpheum before the circuit was launched from the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, which was opened by Gustav Walter in 1886. Most of those other Orpheums, like the one in Boston, were never part of the Orpheum circuit or its successors, KAO (Keith-Albee-Orpheum) and RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Main Street Cinemas 1 & 2 on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

I believe I’ve also solved the puzzle of the dueling addresses for the Grand Theatre. 312 Main Street is the correct address of the Snyder Theatre (it’s across the street from Joan’s Hallmark at 311 Main) but 312 is also the address of T & J Agnes Theatres Inc., owners of the Grand Theatre. The Agneses obviously must own both the Snyder and the Grand, and their offices are in the Snyder building.

There are multiple references on the Internet to the Main Street Cinema 1 & 2 at 312 Main Street, and most Internet listings for the Grand Theatre give its address as 211 Main Street. A few listings have the Grand at 312 (Fandango and Moviefone, for example) but I’ve found only one web site listing the Main Street Cinema at 211 Main, and it’s Cinema Treasures.

Apparently both theaters have been operating within recent years, the Grand under its original name and the Snyder as the Main Street Cinema 1 & 2. Movie web sites currently have listings only for the Grand, so we can list this theater as Main Street Cinema 1 & 2, 312 Main Street, Closed, with the aka Snyder Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Main Street Cinemas 1 & 2 on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:14 am

This photo of the Snyder Theatre with “Watch For Our Grand Opening Coming Soon” on its marquee is dated November 11, 1949. It surely must have opened before the end of that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pollock Theatre on Jul 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm

It should work the same for everybody, but what I get is this, which is the same spot in North Dakota that we’re getting on the map on this page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jul 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm

We have the wrong address for the Grand Theatre. An article in the April 28, 2009 issue of The Journal, the local newspaper, says that the former Grand Theatre is now Union Hall. Bob Walls Memorial Union Hall is at 509 Third Street, and the building is quite large enough to have accommodated 780 seats.

That means that the faded sign reading Orpheum Theatre on the side of the building at 414 Third Street is not an aka for the Grand, but a different theater altogether, not yet listed at Cinema Treasures. I haven’t found when the Orpheum opened or closed, but Silent Era says that it was operating in 1925, and had 144 seats (much more convincing than 780 for a building of this size.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:29 pm

The Orpheum Theatre in Williston was mentioned in the May 22, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News:

“John C. Snyder, Grand theatre, Williston, N. D., has taken over the Orpheum there recently damaged by fire and will reopen it after repairs. Robert Stico was the former owner.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Main Street Cinemas 1 & 2 on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm

John C. and Jack W. Snyder were operators of the Snyder Theatre in Williston, according to the April 23, 1952, issue of Motion Picture Daily. John C. Snyder had been the operator the Grand Theatre at least as early as 1926, in which year he also took over the Orpheum Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Border Theatre on Jul 23, 2014 at 6:34 pm

An April 28, 2009, article in The Journal, the local newspaper, indicates that the auditorium the the Border Theatre was demolished some time before the three-story building in front, but doesn’t give the year. Google’s current out-of-date Street View shows the front building still standing, while the view from the side street (5th Avenue) shows a parking lot where the auditorium would have been, so I guess that’s what happened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jul 23, 2014 at 5:04 pm

The owners of this theater have been planning to build a new 14-screen multiplex in the Sand Creek Center, a new, 200-acre commercial development on the outskirts of town, since early 2012, but I see nothing recent about it on the Internet. They might be having a hard time getting the project financed. This item from the winter-spring 2012 issue of the North Central NATO newsletter said that ground was to be broken for the theater later that year:

“Tom and Jane Agnes announced they will build a new 14 screen theatre in Williston, ND. The new complex will replace their current five screens located downtown and their drive-in. The new theatre will be called the Sand Creek Cinema 14. Williston is located in the middle of the North Dakota oil boom and is experiencing rapid growth. The new complex will include two large format screens. All auditoriums will have stadium seating and digital projection, Dolby Digital 7.1 stereo sound. A spacious lobby will feature new concession amenities. The theatre will be built on the west side of town in the same shopping center that will also house a new Menards. Ground will be broken later this year.”
the only recent news I can find about Williston concerns a huge fire that has been burning for the last couple of days at an oil supply company. With such live spectacles, who needs a movie theater? In any case, Williston’s estimated population is about 20,000, and I doubt it is big enough yet to support 14 screens. The banks are probably reluctant to finance such a project for a small operator, which could account for the two year (so far) delay. If the developers of Sand Creek Center are anxious to get a theater into their project, they might have a better chance of success by dealing with a big chain like Cinemark, which would have better access to financing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Jul 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

This house had yet another name before becoming the Empress. The August 14, 1912, issue of the Wichita Daily Eagle said that the locally-controlled Peerless Entertainment Company had taken control of the Pastime Theatre and would convert it into a vaudeville house called the Empress after extensive rebuilding to add a balcony and enlarge the stage. The enlarged theater would present Sullivan & Considine vaudeville acts.

The December 29 issue of the same paper said that the new Empress Theatre would open the following day. The company operating it was now called the Interstate Amusement Company.

I’ve found the Pastime Theatre mentioned in the newspapers as early as 1910, but it might have been opened earlier.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Jul 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

The October 27, 1917 issue of the Wichita Beacon reported that “[t]he old Empress Theater, on South Topeka, now called the New Liberty Theater, will be reopened Saturday, November 3. The entire interior is being rebuilt.”

The December 8, 1917, issue of The Music Trade Review reported on the New Liberty Theatre, saying that it was on the corner of Topeka and Williams Street. Our Street View should be moved to the south end of the block, about where Google Maps' estimated address is 178 S. Topeka.

The latest mention I’ve found of the Liberty Theatre in the Wichita Daily Eagle is from October 5, 1919. It gives no indication that the theater was to be closed at that time, but as it is not mentioned in 1910 the house was most likely dismantled in late 1919.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Jul 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm

This house had been renamed the Regent Theatre by 1919, when the November 2 issue of the Wichita Eagle reported that “[t]he Regent theater building, 117 North Market street, was badly damaged by fire yesterday.”

The Regent had only reopened on September 1, 1919, after an extensive remodeling and redecorating job which had kept the house closed for the entire month of August.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pollock Theatre on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:54 am

118 Main Street (or Main Avenue, as some listings call it) is now the address of a restaurant called The Sandbar. The building looks pretty old and has a small marquee on it, so I’m pretty sure it is the theater.

Pollock is another place where Google Maps is a mess. The map on our page puts the pin icon on a totally different Main Avenue located in North Dakota, several miles northwest of Pollock. An actual Google map of Pollock doesn’t give Main Street a name, but only the highway number 10, but using highway 10 in a Google Maps search doesn’t get you near the town, let alone theater. (/rant)

Anyway, here is a correct street view of the theater building. It’s on the north side of Highway 10 just east of B Avenue. I suspect that the theater occupied no more than half of the building, as the whole thing, which in satellite view looks to be about 50x120, could have accommodated way more than 200 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lund Theatre on Jul 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm

The August 28, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World reported that the new Dream Theatre in Viborg, South Dakota, would open about September 1. The Glud Theatre was mentioned in the October 6, 1928, issue of Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World.

The July 19, 2007, issue of The New Era has an article about the Lund Theatre, published shortly after it became the first building in Viborg to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places (here is the last page of the article as Google News will not make a link to the front page. Put 1 in the “Page” box just above the article to see the first page.) The article says that the house was renamed the Lund Theatre in 1928.

The Lund Theatre web site has a small photo captioned “Dream/Glud Theatre shortly after construction in 1915” but above the marquee is a poster for All Quiet on the Western Front, which was released in 1930, so the photo is considerably later than they think. In 1930 the building had probably changed little since 1915, though. The modern front dates from the 1950s, according to the official web site and the New Era article.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riviera Theatre on Jul 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm

A 1919 photo of the New Astor Theatre from the archives of the American Terra Cotta Company can be seen on this web page. The text identifies Buechner & Orth as the architects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riviera Theatre on Jul 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Dave Kenney’s Twin Cities Picture Show gives three additional aka’s for the Riviera Theatre (from 1911 to 1916 it was listed the Gaiety Theatre; in 1916 and 1917 it was the Cort Theatre; in 1918 and 1919 it was the OK Theatre. The Gaiety was open in 1910, though, and might have opened in late 1909.)

While there was a theater at this address for a decade before the Astor opened, I don’t know if any of the original building was incorporated into the Astor. Records from a 1913 court case reveal that the Gaiety Theatre had 700 seats, so it was only half the size of the Astor.

The contract for remodeling the store building at 447-9 Wabasha Street for the Gaiety Theatre Co. had recently been awarded to Fred Stanley, according to the November 20, 1909, issue of Construction and Contract News. The project involved complete interior remodeling and a new front with a marquee, at a cost of $4,009 and with a target date of December 6 for completion. Plans for the conversion had been drawn by architect A. C. Pear.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Jul 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

The Dohany Opera House became the Strand Theatre in 1916, as noted in the November 4 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Council Bluffs. Ia. — The Strand theater, which is the name of the remodeled Dohany opera house, opened with ‘The Common Law.’”
Dohany’s Opera House was built in 1883 to replace an earlier house of the same name that had opened on the second floor of a livery stable in 1868. The new Dohany’s original seating capacity was 1,400, which probably included a gallery.

In 1927 the Strand was completely remodeled inside and out, the original Victorian Italianate front being replaced by the eclectic, polychrome terra cotta, Gothic-Moorish-Art Deco fantasy that remained for the rest of the theater’s history. The interior was redone in a more restrained Classical style.

Three photos of the Strand’s surprisingly elegant auditorium can be seen starting on page 52 of Council Bluffs: Broadway, by Richard Warner and Ryan Roenfeld (Google Books preview.) There are photos of the original 1883 exterior on page 28. Photos of the Strand’s front before and after the fire of December 11, 1974, are on page 54.

Warner and Roenfeld attribute the design of the 1927 remodeling to Council Bluffs architect Henry J. Schneider.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Coyote Twin on Jul 22, 2014 at 2:19 am

I believe Chris is right. The building next door to the theater in both photos has a distinctive Romanesque triple arch on the upper floor.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Harris-Warren Theater on Jul 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Harris-Warren Theatre was originally the Warren Opera House. The Cleveland Architects Database of the Cleveland City Planning Commission says that the Warren Opera House was designed in 1886 by Oscar Cobb, with the Cleveland firm of Coburn & Barnum acting as supervising architects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theater on Jul 21, 2014 at 9:16 pm

The January 1, 1916, issue of Motography has an item about this theater:

“The new White Way theater in Mansfield was opened by Manager Roberts. The decorations are white and green and are tastily carried out in all the furnishings. Feature films will be shown.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hartford Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm

The Palace Theatre dates back to at least as early as 1921. It was on a list of public buildings for which license fees had been collected by the state during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1921.

Chris, you might find the list useful as you’ve been adding theaters in South Dakota. It starts here and continues through page 246 of the Google Books scan. About half the list appears to be theaters. Unfortunately, the list isn’t alphabetical either by theater name or by place, so you have to use the Google Books' search box in the left frame of the page to quickly find if a particular theater was licensed in 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm

The Legion post building has a plaque with the year 1915 above the entrance, so the building is quite old. It looks as though it might have been built as a lodge hall, though if built in 1915 it wouldn’t have been for the American Legion, which wasn’t founded until 1919. I don’t know how long Hartford’s Legion post has been in this building, but if it was there in 1948 then the State Theatre might have another aka. An item in the October 16, 1948, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review says that “[t]he Legion, Hartford, S. D., is closed for remodeling.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Florida Theater on Jul 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm

This is from the August 1, 1941, issue of The Film Daily:

“Floyd Opens Sebring House

“Sebring, Fla. — Floyd Theaters has opened their new $25,000 theater, the Florida. Gene Stone is manager of the 609-seat house. Interior is finished in white-brown Celotex and cypress in natural tones with a two-tone light green trim. Foyer is finished in natural wood, with a bright red carpet. Exterior is concrete with strips of bright orange carra glass.”

I suspect that “carra glass” was meant to read “Carrara Glass,” a competitor of the better-known Vitrolite brand of pigmented glass tiles.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kiva Theater on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm

There is a photo of the auditorium of the Kiva Theatre on this page of the April 29, 1939, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review The caption says that the recent renovation of the house was designed by the Kiva’s owner, Frank Maloff, but I believe the correct spelling of his name was Maloof.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colony Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Boxoffice is behaving badly again and Tinseltoes' link is not working (whether temporarily or permanently I don’t know.) Fortunately, the remodeling of the Colony Theatre was the subject of an article in the April 29, 1939, issue of Showmen’s Trade Journal, as well, and here is a scan of it at the ever-reliable Internet Archive. The 1939 remodeling was designed by John Eberson.