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The August 27, 1919, issue of The American Architect published an early announcement about the plans for the Victory Theatre, though it placed the site at Suffolk and Chestnut Streets rather than Suffolk and Walnut:
“HOLYOKE, MASS.—An up-to-date theater, seating 2420 people, which can stage vaudeville, moving pictures, a stock company or legitimate plays, is to be erected by the Victory Theater Co., of which Nathan Goldstein of Springfield, Mass., is president. This company has purchased the lot at the corner of Suffolk and Chestnut Sts. and will erect a $350,000 playhouse from the plans of Mowll & Rand, Unity Bldg., Boston. Mass. The building will also include a number of stores.”
The current restoration of the Victory Theatre is designed by the Providence, Rhode Island, firm DBVW Architects (Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels.) Their web site currently features a rendering of how the completed project will look, plus four current photos of the theater.
The Palm Theatre opened even earlier than the 1920s. One modern source says that it opened in December, 1913. The earliest reference I’ve found in trade publications of the period appears in the July 12, 1913 issue of The Moving Picture World:
“A new company will be formed In Rockford to operate a moving picture show at 105 West State Street. Charles Lamb, manager of the Grand Opera House, will be at the head of the company. The building will be remodeled and an arcade front will be placed. The construction is to be such that the theater can be reached in the summer time from the river front as well as from the State Street entrance.”
“Plans for the new Palm Theater in Rockford, which are now being prepared by Architect Frank A. Carpenter, calls for a departure from moving picture theaters in that city. The Arcade will have a soda fountain, a cigar stand and a candy booth. The operator and machine will be outside of the building, [in a] hut opening into the auditorium. It is also expected to have a roof garden 20x95 feet over the auditorium. The building, which is now occupied by an electric company, will be vacated about the middle of July. The theater will be financed by an organization known as the Palm Amusement Company, and will have a capital stock of $25,000.”
“The Palm Amusement Company, of Bockford, has been incorporated, with a capital stock of $25,000, to do a general amusement business and to conduct a vaudeville show and music hall. The incorporators are: Charles Lamb, Fred B. Sterling and Fred E. Carpenter.”
“Rockford, Ill.—Theater (rear add.): 35x50. Rockford. Archts. C. W. & Geo. L. Rapp, 69 W. Washington St., Chicago. Owner Palm Theater Co., care archts. Plans drawn.”
Memory can be tricky. For years, I had a vivid memory of a particular theater in Los Angeles that turned out never to have existed. After discovering that my memory was false, I’ve realized that I’d rather forget the details of something real than remember something that never was real.
I’ve been searching the Internet for more information about theaters in Carthage, but have found very little. I found a reference to a Royal Theatre in Carthage in 1924, but no details about it.
The Delphus Theatre had a near neighbor, the Burlingame and Chaffee Opera House, spotlighted in this Carthage Press post, but that house closed in the 1890s and probably never ran movies.
The same post mentions a Grand Opera House, which opened in the 1890s at 4th and Lincoln. The Google Street View of that intersection doesn’t show anything resembling a theater standing there today. I’ve found references to it being in operation as late as 1908, so it’s possible that it lasted long enough to become a movie house for a while.
Given the slim pickings on the Internet, more information about the theaters in Carthage will probably have to wait until somebody with access to local sources turns up here. We’re always glad to have more contributors adding to the database.
All that’s left of the State Theatre is the lower part of one side wall. The front end of the wall, as seen at the left side of the photo lostmemory linked to, can still be picked out in Google Street View.
The Roanoke Theatre at 39th and Summit Streets was mentioned in the February 16, 1924, issue of The Reel Journal. The house had just been purchased by L. J. Lenhart, formerly of the Gladstone Theatre. Mr.Lenhart planned to expand the Roanoke by about 200 seats, remodel the front, and redecorate throughout.
In 1923-24, this house was operating as the Pershing Theatre, managed by Fred Meyn. Mr. Meyn wrote a letter to distributor Film Classics praising the Warner Brothers movies they distributed, which had been very popular at his theater. The letter was published in an ad for Film Classics in the January 19, 1924, issue of The Reel Journal.
The Royal Theatre was mentioned in the January 26, 1924, issue of The Reel Journal, which said that it was the only theater still operating in Hoisington following the closure of the Crystal Theatre, which was being dismantled for other uses.
It’s possible that the Royal was the proposed $40,000 theater mentioned in the June 1, 1916, issue of American Stone Trade: “Hoisington, Kan.—W. E. Hulse & Co., architects, Hutchinson Kan., preparing plans for theater building; $40,000: brick and stone.”
The Benton Theatre, at Independence and Benton Boulevards, was in operation at least as early as 1923. The Pathe Exchange in Kansas City received a letter from the theater’s operator, J. W. Watson, dated January 21, 1923, praising the Pathe serial “The Way of a Man.” The letter was published in the exchange’s advertisement in the February 2, 1924, issue of The Reel Journal.
The Casino was apparently a different theater from the Beyer. An NRHP form has a paragraph about an Excelsior Springs businessman named R. B. Christian, who was “…the owner/operator of the Casino and the Beyer Theaters.”
Here’s a web page with ads for the Casino Theatre.
The “Orpheum” mentioned in the 1924 Reel Journal item was probably the Orpheus Theatre in this ad.
An Excelsior Springs house called the Beyer Theatre was mentioned in the February 2, 1924, issue of The Reel Journal. Its new manager, John Judd, had previously been associated with the Orpheum Theatre, also in Excelsior Springs.
This web page has three ads from the theater’s early days, and says that in 1924 it was called Byer’s Casino Theater.
Also, it’s obvious from Street View that the Vogue has been demolished. The midcentury modern building now on the site looks to date from the 1950s.
3444 Broadway was the address given for a house called the Broadmour Theatre, mentioned in the February 2, 1924, issue of The Reel Journal. The item said that operator A. M. Eisner had closed the Broadmour Theatre for a few days to install a new heating plant.
The Broadmour Theatre was also mentioned in the November 19, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World.
The address 126 E. Lincoln must have been on the south side of the street just west of 5th Street. There’s a parking lot taking up the whole half block from 5th Street to the alley now. The Lincoln Theatre is gone.
The Taproot Theatre is open, but does not appear to be showing movies. Their web site lists only stage productions. In October, 2009, a fire destroyed an adjacent building owned by the theater company, and partly burned the roof of the theater itself, leading to extensive smoke and water damage. The theater reopened within a few months. The site of the destroyed building is now being developed with an annex that will include a cafe, an expanded lobby for the theater, and a small black box theater, among other facilities.
I should have said that the conversion of the building to a theater in 1940 was designed by Bjarne Moe. The expansion of the building took place much later, when the two additional screens were added.
The Varsity got an updating in the mid-1950s, which was handled by the B. F. Shearer Company. Boxoffice of October 22, 1955, featured a two-page article about the project, starting here.
The Meister Building was built in 1921, according to this historical site summary from the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods. The original architect of the building was William White. The expansion and conversion of the building into the Varsity Theatre took place in 1940, and was designed by theater architect Bjarne Moe.
Photos showing the Community Theatre as it was remodeled in 1953 can be seen on this page of Boxoffice, October 22, 1955.
When Ted Mann had the World Theatre remodeled in 1955, the project was designed by Liebenberg & Kaplan. Boxoffice of October 22, 1955, published a four-page article about the project, which begins here.
A four-page article about the remodeling of the Roxy Theatre, formerly the Pantages, appeared in Boxoffice of October 22, 1955. The remodeling project was designed by the architectural firm of Carlson, Eley, Grevstad.
I’m sure the photos of 4th Street in Hansford’s book are correctly captioned. The building that, in the 1914 photo, has “MILNES FRIEND GRO.CO” painted on the side of it is still there. It has a very distinctive parapet that can still be picked out in the Google view. The two-storey building just beyond it is still there, too, occupied by a business called Front Page.
The building the Delphus Theatre was in had to have been on the site of the one-storey building that now has a loan company and the Abbey Title Company in it. The Delphus was definitely on 4th Street, and is definitely gone. If the Roxy was actually on Main Street, then the Delphus Theatre is definitely not yet listed at Cinema Treasures.
The Theatre on Main Street that Hansford’s book calls the Electric (with a question mark) might have actually been called the Elite. There was a house of that name in Carthage, according to the book “Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life, 1876-1915,” by Thomas J. Schlereth (Google preview.)
The Parsons Theatre might have opened as early as 1921, when the February issue of The Bridgemen’s Magazine carried the following item: “Parsons—Theater and Office—Parsons Amusement Company having plans prepared by H. R. Primmer, architect, Nevada, Mo., for 3-story, 100 x 120-ft., reinforced concrete, steel and brick, reinforced concrete flooring, concrete foundation. About $250,000.” The building in the 1985 photo lostmemory linked to was certainly not 100 feet wide, but part of the building destroyed in the 1943 fire might not have been rebuilt.
I should add that the name Delphus Theatre was in use in Carthage at least as late as 1946, when it was mentioned in an issue of The Billboard.
The Reel Deal Theatre was designed by Santa Fe architect Karen Marsh. The theater was built using ICFs (insulated concrete forms,) and a few photos of it can be seen on this page of the web site of Reward Wall Systems, the company that provided the forms.
The Cinemagic Atlantis 15 was designed by TK Architects. The Cinemagic is not featured on TK’s web site, but a few photos of it, mostly during construction, are featured on this page at the web site of Reward Wall Systems, the company which provided the ICF blocks that were used in the construction of the project.
The page at FFKR Architects' web site is gone, but there is a photo here, at the web site of Yesco, the company that built the signage for the project.
There are a few photos, including some construction photos, on this page at the web site of Reward Wall Systems, the company that provided the ICF blocks that were used in the construction of the theater.