Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about West Bend Cinema Brewhaus on Feb 7, 2010 at 8:18 am

The West Bend Theatre opened November 16, 1929, to be exact (or so said Movie Age of December 7 that year.) Appropriately enough for a theater that ended up selling beer, the president of Community Theatres, Inc., the original owners, was named William Pabst.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Goetz Theatre on Feb 7, 2010 at 8:17 am

The installation of the “Swiss” marquee at the Goetz Theatre was the subject of an item in Boxoffice of September 13, 1965. The item said that the marquee being replaced had been on the theater since its opening in 1931.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sky-Vu Drive-In on Feb 7, 2010 at 5:30 am

Plans for the Goetz Theatre Company’s new drive-in on route 69 were being prepared by architect Myles Belongia as early as June, 1952, as reported in the issue of Boxoffice published the seventh of that month. The start of construction was long delayed, and construction itself took nearly a year. Boxoffice of June 5, 1954, reported that the Sky-Vue Drive-In had finally opened on May 28.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Metro Theater on Feb 7, 2010 at 5:12 am

Boxoffice of May 27, 1950, reported that construction was progressing rapidly. The new house was a replacement for a theatre destroyed by fire the previous year. The architect for the project was Myles Belongia.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Atlas Theatre on Feb 7, 2010 at 5:09 am

Boxoffice of May 28, 1949, said that the Atlas Theatre in Milwaukee was being remodeled, and would have a new floor, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and a new front, among other changes. The architect for the project was Myles Belongia.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Airway Theatre on Feb 7, 2010 at 5:06 am

The architect field at top currently misspells Belongia.

Boxoffice of May 7, 1949, provides a page about the Airway, with photos. The house opened on January 18, 1949.

Myles Belongia had been a pioneer in using quonset huts for theaters, and had designed the Middleton Theatre at Middleton, Wisconsin, the first such theater in the state. It was opened in 1946.

The Poblocki Sign Company erected a number of pre-fabricated quonset hut theaters throughout the region in the late 1940s, and advertised its services as a design-build company in Boxoffice for several years. Architect Belongia’s relationship with the Poblocki company went back at least as far as 1937. In that year he was one of the partners founding a company called Porcelain Fronts, Inc., which specialized in theater modernization. Bernard Poblocki was another of the partners, according to the item about the company in Boxoffice of September 4, 1937.

Here is an ad for Poblocki and Sons in Boxoffice of May 24, 1947. It attributes the design of its prefabricated quonset hut theaters to the firm of Peacock & Belongia. The Peacock in the firm was, of course, Urban F. Peacock. I’m not sure how long the partnership existed, but it’s only ever mentioned in Boxoffice in the year 1947.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Old Town Music Hall on Feb 6, 2010 at 10:28 pm

There’s a typo in the middle paragraph in my comment above. The Boxoffice item cited was in the August 19, 1944, issue.

The name State Theatre was restored to this house in 1951, according to the July 28 issue of Boxoffice that year.

I found a September 16, 1968, Boxoffice item mentioning that the Cinema Showcase in El Segundo had been reopened. This is the only reference to the name in Boxoffice, and a Cinema Showcase in El Segundo isn’t listed in any of my old copies of the L.A. Times from that period. Has anybody else ever heard of it?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Old Town Music Hall on Feb 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm

The L.A. County Assessor’s office says that this building was built in 1921, with an effectively-built date (indicating major alterations) of 1923. Southwest Builder and Contractor had items in its issue of June 11, 1920, saying that Edward L. Mayberry Jr. was designing a brick moving picture theater at El Segundo for E.L. McMurry.

The State Theatre apparently closed in the mid-1930s, and remained dark for almost nine years. Boxoffice of August 19, 194, said that Norman W. Rowell had renovated and reopened the 350-seat house as the El Segundo Theatre.

Both an architect and an engineer, E.L. Mayberry is most closely associated with Long Beach, but worked throughout Southern California. He is credited as the engineer for architect George Washington Smith’s second Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, a legitimate house which later presented movies. The Lobero today is primarily a music venue, though it also serves as a venue for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colony Theatre on Feb 3, 2010 at 7:08 am

Boxoffice of May 3, 1965, said that the Colony Theatre had reopened after a major remodeling. The house was now equipped to show 70mm, Cinerama, and all other film types then available. A November 22, 1977, Boxoffice item said that the Colony had originally opened in 1941.

A photo of the Colony’s auditorium was featured in an ad for the American Seating Company in Boxoffice of October 7, 1950. The text said the installation of American’s Bodiform chairs at the Colony was completed in 1942.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jerry Lewis Cinemas on Feb 3, 2010 at 7:06 am

The September 13, 1971, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Jerry Lewis Cinema at Burnsville was nearing completion and expected to open within a couple of weeks.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about UA Movies at Burnsville 4 on Feb 3, 2010 at 7:04 am

The Movies at Burnsville was slated to open soon, according to Boxoffice of October 10, 1977. The April 11, 1977, issue of Boxoffice had said that The Movies at Burnsville would have 1,304 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trail 4 on Feb 3, 2010 at 6:57 am

An item in Boxoffice of October 10, 1977, indicates that the Trail 4 Theatre didn’t last very long. An item about recent activity in the Twin Cities market said that owner/operator Harry Lind had closed the Trail 4 permanently after performances on September 25, and that the house was being dismantled and its equipment sold.

The same item said that United Artists would soon open a four-screen theater at Burnsville. It was speculated that Lind had closed the Trail 4 in anticipation of the difficulty his operation would face competing with the United Artists circuit’s greater negotiating power in dealing with movie distributors.

A couple of 1972 Boxoffice items had given the seating capacity of the Trail 4 Theatre as 1,100. The 1977 item said it was about 1,200.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Studio 97 Theater on Feb 3, 2010 at 6:54 am

Various issues of Boxoffice place the Studio 97 Theatre in Bloomington, Oxboro, and Anoka. The January 28, 1974, issue has an item saying that the Engler Brothers circuit had gotten approval from the Anoka City Council to show “mild” X-rated movies at the Studio 97 Theatre. To add more confusion, a Boxoffice item of November 28, 1953, gives the location of the Oxboro Theatre as Richfield. Somebody at Boxoffice was geographically challenged.

A brief item in Boxoffice of October 21, 1950, announcing the recent opening of the Oxboro Theatre gave the address as 9711 Lyndale Avenue. Boxoffice spells the original owner’s name as Otto Kobs. A September 23, 1950, Boxoffice item gave the Oxboro’s seating capacity as 424.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Arts Main Street Stage on Feb 3, 2010 at 6:51 am

Boxoffice of March, 1991, has an item about the reopening of the Anoka twin the previous Christmas. It says: “Built in 1949 and twinned in 1982, it now plays first-run films.”

An item from the December 10, 1949, issue of Boxoffice said the Anoka Theatre was nearing completion. The 1,044-seat house was being built by E.J. Bauhr, who ran a small circuit that also operated the State Theatre in Anoka.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Iris Theatre on Feb 3, 2010 at 6:46 am

Well, I guess it’s not a good idea to leave an unposted comment on an open browser tab overnight. The theater across the street must have been the one Lloyd Palmer took over in 1924.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Green Theater on Feb 3, 2010 at 6:42 am

This was another very early theater. Lloyd Palmer, who in 1924 took over the Iris Theatre in Postville, Iowa, had his start in show business as a musician at the Green Theatre in Anoka in 1915, according to a brief item about him in Boxoffice of November 5, 1955.

The Green Theatre was redecorated and got a new front in 1946, as reported in Boxoffice of June 1 that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Iris Theatre on Feb 3, 2010 at 6:38 am

Unless it was rebuilt or the name was moved at some time (I can’t find any indication that either of these took place) this was a very old theater. Lloyd Palmer took over the Iris in 1924, according to a brief article about him (center column, right page) in Boxoffice, November 5, 1955.

Mr.Palmer was not a big fan of musicals or costume dramas, judging from his letter to the editor (upper left) published in Boxoffice of February 11, 1956.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Midway Theater on Feb 3, 2010 at 1:33 am

The Midway was still in operation as late as 1978. With Federal funds for its garage project delayed, the city of Camden decided to let the theater on a monthly lease to Marcos Cotto, who presented Spanish language movies at the house, according to Boxoffice Magazine of July 10, 1978.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Florida Theater on Feb 3, 2010 at 1:31 am

From Google satellite and street views it looks like this theater has been demolished. There is no building on that block with anything that looks like an auditorium or former auditorium. Historic Aerials has nothing before 2007 for the location.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Flower Theatre on Feb 3, 2010 at 1:29 am

A glimpse of the auditorium of the Flower Theatre on the cover of Boxoffice, October 7, 1950.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crest Theater on Feb 3, 2010 at 1:22 am

A view of the auditorium is one of two photos of the Crest featured in an ad for Heywood-Wakefield theater seats in Boxoffice of October 7, 1950.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Yorker Theatre on Feb 2, 2010 at 12:07 am

Thanks for clearing up the confusion.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Yorker Theatre on Feb 1, 2010 at 5:53 am

I don’t think this theater was ever the Victoria. The Victoria (which opened in 1910) and the Embassy were in operation at the same time in the 1930s and 1940s, and the Victoria and the Astor were both in operation during the early 1950s. The Embassy did become the Astor, right around 1950. Also the Victoria was about twice the size of the Embassy or the Astor. I don’t know if the Victoria is listed here under a later name or not. If it is, it’s missing the Victoria aka. I’ve been unable to discover an address for it.

Here is a 1950 Boxoffice article about the reopening of the Victoria that year (lower right corner of page.) The Victoria was a Famous Players house. The Embassy/Astor was operated by Ben Ulster during this period.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jefferson Drive-In on Feb 1, 2010 at 5:50 am

The Jefferson Drive-In was designed by Jack Corgan. The architect’s rendering appeared in Boxoffice of December 2, 1950.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Guyan Theatre on Feb 1, 2010 at 5:46 am

An article abut the Guyan Theatre appeared in the December 2, 1950, issue of Boxoffice. There are several photos. The decoration was by Hanns Teichert Studios. The Art Moderne design was by Alex B. Mahood, a Beaux-Arts-trained architect from Bluefield, West Virginia.