Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sugg Theatre on Mar 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I noticed that windowless building across 4th Street. It does look like it could have been a theater, though it might also have been a large bank. They were often windowless, too.

While trying to dig up more information about the Sugg, I came across references to a Wagner (or Wagoner) Opera House in Chickasha. It was listed in early 20th century editions of Julius Cahn’s Theatrical Guide, and it’s apparently still standing at 328 W. Chickasha Avenue. The first entry on this page of The Steel Guitar Forum says that a Barry Thomas was renovating the Wagner for use as a guitar shop. The entry is dated 2003.

I can’t find anything else about Barry Thomas, and there’s no guitar shop at this location listed on the Internet, so maybe his plans didn’t work out. I don’t know if the Wagner/Wagoner ever operated as a movie house, but it’s quite possible that it did. It’s possible that it operated under a different name, and was the location of one of the several theaters listed for Chickasha without addresses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sugg Theatre on Mar 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Thanks, Ray, and thanks to Google Books for making all those old magazines available. I actually found the Sugg Theatre photo while looking for something else.

But after comparing the various photos, and the bird’s eye view at Bing Maps, and the Google Street View, I’m sure the Sugg/first Washita and the second Washita were at different locations. The first of the pre-fire photos at Oklahoma History, and the 1913 postcard I linked to above, show a tall building next door to the Sugg, and there’s no trace of it in this circa 1950 photo of the second Washita, even though the buildings next door to it and down the block look quite old. The Sugg was free-standing, too, while the second Washita butted against other buildings on both sides.

The only five story building in Chickasha today that could be the one in the old photos of the Sugg is the one at the southwest corner of Chickasha and 4th. The lot just south of it on 4th has a one-story building that occupies a footprint that matches up with the old photos of the Sugg Theatre (see the bird’s eye view at Bing Maps.) In Google Street View, it’s clear that the building at the corner of Chickasha and 4th is the same one you can see a corner of in the 1913 postcard I linked to. The detailing around the street floor windows is identical. The Sugg/first Washita had to have been on that lot just south of it, on South 4th Street.

In Google Street View, the building on the Sugg’s site is only one story, but is faced with the same type of brick as the Sugg. Street View shows a bit of the northern side wall, and it looks like it drops down from the street, as a theater building would. Bing’s birds eye shows part of the back wall, and there appears to be a theater-type exit door on it. I think there’s a good chance that this building could be the remains of the Sugg Theatre, chopped down to one floor.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gym Theatre on Mar 25, 2011 at 5:33 am

Could this be the Gem Theatre? A Gem Theatre at Sherman was the subject of a brief item in The Moving Picture World, December 6, 1913 (scroll down a bit.) There is a small photo of the 350-seat house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ideal Theatre on Mar 25, 2011 at 5:18 am

The original Ideal Theatre was pictured in The Moving Picture World, December 6, 1913. The brief text said that the theater had opened three years earlier and seated 250.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jewel Theatre on Mar 25, 2011 at 5:07 am

A Jewell Theater (with double “l”) in Okemah is listed in the 1912-1913 edition of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide. The seating capacity was listed as only 460, though.

An October 9, 1954, Boxoffice item said that operator Bill Slepka had installed CinemaScope in both of his Okemah theaters, the Jewel and the Crystal.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sugg Theatre on Mar 25, 2011 at 4:43 am

The name currently given for this house might be wrong. There is a photograph of a Sugg Theatre in Chickasha, published in The Moving Picture World, issue of December 6, 1913. The recently opened house seated 923, and included two balconies, the upper one a segregated section for black patrons. It was named for one of its original owners, a cattle rancher.

I found two other mentions of the Sugg Theatre on the Internet, including this postcard, postmarked 1913.

This 2003 memoriam for Lois Ruth Badgley says that her first job was playing piano to accompany silent movies at the Sugg Theatre. As she was born in 1913, the time period must have been the 1920s (unless young Lois was uncommonly precocious.)

The name Soggs Theatre is on the Internet only here and at Roadside Oklahoma, which I have not found to be the most reliable source of information. CinemaTour doesn’t have the house listed under either name. I’ve not found the theater mentioned under either name in the Boxoffice archive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Mar 25, 2011 at 4:40 am

Though Chickasha has many theaters listed at Cinema Treasures, the only one I can find mentioned in the Boxoffice archive is the Rialto, which is either not listed here or is listed under another name and missing its aka. A Rialto is listed for Chickasha at both CinemaTour and Roadside Oklahoma, but without an address.

The brief Boxoffice item, from October 9, 1954, says that Rialto manager Horace Clark had re-roofed the building, and had installed CinemaScope and 300 reconditioned seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mariposa Theatre on Mar 25, 2011 at 3:41 am

The Mariposa might have opened in 1935. The California Index has a card citing a July 13, 1935, item in Motion Picture Herald saying that Frank Boeck and Ray Harper had opened a theater in Mariposa. I can’t find Mariposa mentioned in Boxoffice at all.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sixth Street Cinema on Mar 25, 2011 at 3:40 am

A careful reading of the newspaper article at the Rural Media Arts web site reveals that F.W. Schlageter was not the architect of the Masonic Lodge, but one of the trustees who was awaiting the architect’s plans. Because the scan of the article is small, and a bit fuzzy, the period could be mistaken for a comma at first glance.

I wonder if the theater that once operated on the ground floor of the Masonic Lodge could have been the Mariposa Theatre? We have no address for the Mariposa, so it could have been anywhere in town, including this building. Here is the Media Arts page that mentions the ground floor theater. The Sixth Street Cinema being on the second floor, the earlier house would not have been the same theater despite it having been in the same building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lincoln Theatre on Mar 25, 2011 at 3:16 am

Glinda: I’ve never been able to find any photos of the building or of the theater. I’d like to see some myself. The article from which I quoted in my earlier comment is in this book at Google Books. The brief biographies of both Louis Smilansky and Harold Smilansky both mention the Lincoln Square project, but the biography of Harold is the one with the description from which I quoted.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Mar 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

In case you haven’t seen it, follow the “About this book” link at the upper left of the Cincinnatian page, then scroll down to the “Other Editions” section. Google Books provides full views of two more volumes of the Cincinnatian, from 1916 and 1917.

Also, you might be interested in the several editions of Ohio Architect, Engineer and Builder available at Google Books.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crystal Theatre on Mar 23, 2011 at 4:54 am

Motion Picture Times, to which I linked in my earlier comment, is no longer available on the Internet. Eventually, it will probably be reposted at Boxoffice Magazine’s own web site. So far they have posted only issues as far back as 1935.

I wonder if the Crystal Theatre opened by G.K. Jorgensen in 1911 was in an existing building. It seems likely in light of this article from the April 9, 1913, issue of trade journal American Architect and Architecture:

“Dallas.â€"G. K. Jorgensen will erect a new $100,000 moving picture theater on the site now occupied by the Crystal Theater on Elm St., between Stone and Ervay. Plans are now being prepared by Architect I. A. Walker, and will be ready for bidders about June 1.”
If Jorgensen was even considering demolishing the theater and replacing it, the building must have been more than two years old. I’ve found no later information about the project, so I don’t know if it was carried out or not, but if the building at 1608 Elm is still standing, as matt54 said it was a few months ago, it should be possible to get its year of construction from the city’s building department, or perhaps the local tax agency.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Mar 23, 2011 at 4:15 am

The Grand’s official web site says the theater was designed by Boston architects Krokyn & Browne. Most sources, including Cinema Treasures, call the firm Krokyn, Browne & Rosenstein, but Rosenstein isn’t mentioned on the Grand’s web site. Rosenstein appears to have been the youngest of the three, and perhaps he had not yet become a partner at the time the Grand was designed.

I’ve found a bit about J. Frederick Krokyn, less about Arthur Rosenstein, but W. Chester Browne joined the advisory board of Boxoffice Magazine’s Modern Theatre Planning Institute in 1948. He had been associated with Krokyn from 1936 to 1941, thereafter establishing his own practice. The January 31, 1948, Boxoffice item about Browne said that Krokyn & Browne (Boxoffice doesn’t mention Rosenstein either) had during that period done all the work for M&P Theatres and Graphic Theatres, as well as designs for many independent operators.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Art Cinema on Mar 23, 2011 at 4:14 am

Three small photos of the Black Rock Theatre can be seen on this page of Boxoffice, January 31, 1948. The house had been fitted with a new marquee by the Wagner Sign Service.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fairview Theatre on Mar 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Here are links to the pictures of the Fairview in Boxoffice of January 31, 1948, that I cited in my previous comment:

The cover of the Modern Theatre section, featuring a picture of the marquee and entrance.

The first page of Elsie Loeb’s article, with two photos; a close-up of the entrance showing the marquee soffit, and a shot of the lobby and concession stand.

Additional photos showing the auditorium and other interior areas of the house are on the next page but one (click the “next page” links at top or bottom) and additional text is on the page after that.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Mar 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm

hank.sykes: The directory, being an annual publication, probably went to press before the name was changed (in fact, most city directories were published late in the year previous to that which they were dated.) The magazine was a monthly, and would have had the latest information. That would give a probable date of early 1915 for the theater’s first name change.

Here’s a link to The Cincinnatian, Volume 1, issue 32. The list of theaters is search result 5 (Google’s page number 41, in case Google Books doesn’t bring the page up automatically.) Some of these theaters might not yet be listed at Cinema Treasures, and others are probably listed under later names. I’m not familiar enough with the Cincinnati portion of the database to figure out which might be which. Maybe you can recognize some of them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Mar 22, 2011 at 4:21 am

A list of Cincinnati movie houses was published in the March 29, 1915, issue of The Cincinnatian, the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. The only house listed for Ludlow Road was the Clifton Theatre, at Clifton and Ludlow. In a comment above hank.sykes says the theater had originally been called the Clifton Opera House, but it was definitely showing movies as the Clifton Theatre by 1915.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crescent Theatre on Mar 22, 2011 at 4:07 am

The Crescent Theatre, at the above address, was on a list of Cincinnati movie houses published in the March 29, 1915, issue of “The Cincinnatian,” the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avenue Theatre on Mar 22, 2011 at 3:51 am

The Avenue Theatre, at the above address, was on a list of Cincinnati movie houses published in the March 29, 1915, issue of The Cincinnatian, the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. In that year it shared the 100 block of Fifth Street with three other movie houses; the Alhambra, the Colonial, and the Lubin.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alhambra Theatre on Mar 22, 2011 at 3:45 am

Actually, the 1915 book had four theaters listed on West Fifth Street. In addition to the three noted in my comment above there was the Colonial at 128 West Fifth. That block must have been lively then, with four movie houses on it, and all on the same side of the street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bogarts on Mar 22, 2011 at 2:33 am

The theater’s name is missing a “d” in the middle. All the sources that I’ve seen, period and modern, call it the Nordland Plaza or Nordland. It was probably located in one of Cincinnati’s old German neighborhoods.

The Nordland Plaza is mentioned in a few publications from the 1910s that are available at Google Books. The most useful is this, from the trade journal Domestic Engineering, issue of November 16, 1912, which indicates a probable early 1913 opening for the Nordland Plaza Theatre, and names the architects:

“One of the latest propositions is the Nordland Plaza, which will be built on Vine Street, near Charlton, several squares from the Columbia, as per plans by Architects Stewart & Stewart. The general contract has just been awarded to Oscar Schroeder and the plumbing to Henry Niemes, of 4112 Hamilton Avenue.”
A slightly earlier issue of another trade journal, The American Architect, also names Stewart & Stewart as the architects, and gives the address of the parcel where the theater was to be built as 2623 Vine Street.

As Bob Jensen noted above, the Nordland Plaza Theatre had a Wurlitzer installed in 1913. The stage end of the auditorium was pictured in an advertisement for the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company in The Moving Picture World, October 25, 1913. The ad says the Nordland’s unit was a Wurlitzer Motion Picture Orchestra.

Although the web site for Bogart’s, the club now occupying the theater, says that the house opened as the Nordland Plaza Nickelodeon, I can’t find any evidence elsewhere on the Internet that Nickelodeon was ever part of the name, or that the house even operated on a five-cent policy. I note that Bogart’s site also gives the year the theater opened as 1890, so I’m inclined to consider it an unreliable source.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alhambra Theatre on Mar 22, 2011 at 2:25 am

“The Cincinnatian,” a magazine published by the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, listed in its issue of March 29, 1915, theaters then showing movies. The Alhambra was listed at 146 W. Fifth Street. As that’s the same address listed in the 1923 city directory, I suspect that 146 is the correct address.

The 1915 magazine listed three moving picture houses on Fifth Street: The Alhambra at 146, the Avenue at 122, and the Lubin at 140. Cinema Treasures has the Avenue and Lubin listed at those historic addresses, so it’s unlikely the Alhambra’s parcel was renumbered.

Moving Picture World of April 17, 1909, reported that the McMahon & Jackson Motion Picture Company had been incorporated at Cincinnati, with a capital stock of $10,000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Forest Theater on Mar 22, 2011 at 2:21 am

The Forest Theatre, at the above address, was on a list of Cincinnati movie houses published in the March 29, 1915, issue of “The Cincinnatian,” the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Glenway Theater on Mar 22, 2011 at 2:20 am

The Glenway Theatre, at the above address, was on a list of Cincinnati movie houses published in the March 29, 1915, issue of “The Cincinnatian,” the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Chief Theater on Mar 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm

J Street: Yes, the photos ken mc linked to are gone. Boxoffice Magazine no longer has its archive online at issuu.com, which is where the link to the pictures went. Boxoffice has moved the archive to their own web site. I looked there for the article with the photos and couldn’t find it. Boxoffice published nine different regional editions of each its issues, as well as a national edition, and the edition now on their web site is apparently one of the regional editions, while the one that used to be at issuu.com and had the photos in it was probably the national edition.