Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinemark Tinseltown 14 on May 31, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Google Street View provides only a back view of this multiplex. Here is a photo of the front.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Valley Theatre on May 31, 2011 at 4:24 am

It appears that El Monte’s old numbering system began at Tyler Avenue, the main north-south street, and as Sanborn’s El Monte Theatre was at the historic address 110 E. Valley, and it was in the first block east of Tyler, that means the addresses must have started with three digit numbers rather than single digit numbers. That would put the Valley Theatre somewhere about three blocks west of Tyler (the cross streets are spaced irregularly.)

Examining that neighborhood with Google Maps' satellite view reveals that there is a building at 10818 Valley Mall, between Palm Court and Lexington Avenue, which has a rear section that is taller than the rest of the building. This section could have been an auditorium. Street View shows that the building has a three-bay facade, with the center bay somewhat taller than the side bays. The center bay was probably the entrance to the theater. The building was modernized sometime after the photo Ken linked to was taken.

Adjacent buildings as seen in Street View have also been remodeled, but their sizes are perfect matches for the nearby buildings seen in the historic photo. I’m 99% certain that the building at 10818 Valley Mall, with its center bay currently occupied by a clothing store called Eden Fashion, is the former Rialto/Valley Theatre.

The property records section of the L.A. County Assessor’s office web site is currently down, so I can’t check the construction date of the building, but when it comes back I’ll check it again. If the original construction date of this building was 1923, I’d consider that sufficient proof that it was the Rialto.

As for the El Monte Theatre at 331 W. Main, it would have been across the street from the Rialto and a bit west. In the absence of any historic photos of it, it would be hard to determine which building it occupied, what its modern address would be, or if the building is still standing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mayan Palace 14 on May 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm

The Mayan Palace 14 began as a two-screen house called the Century South Theatre, built in 1968. Later renovations converted it to a four-screen operation, but the major expansion came in 2003, when it was substantially rebuilt as the Mayan Palace. The project was designed by the Dallas architectural firm Hodges & Associates.

Browning Construction Company, contractors for the project, published an article about the Mayan in the first issue of their house organ, currently available as a pdf file from this page at their web site. The article has several photographs of the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dreamland Theatre on May 30, 2011 at 6:58 am

416 E. Commerce Street is now occupied by part of a massive parking structure. The Dreamland Theatre has been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on May 30, 2011 at 5:28 am

The source for the name of the architect currently listed for this theater, Wayne Schoupke, is apparently David Naylor’s 1987 book “Great American Movie Theaters” (at least I’ve been unable to find any other print sources using that name that are cited on the Internet.)

However, a web page from the Marathon County Historical Society about Wausua architect William Oppenhamer attributes the design of the Grand to his firm of Oppenhamer & Obel (Irving Obel.) Historical societies can be wrong, of course, but so can authors of books. (The historical society web site is weird, so I can’t link the page directly. Search Google with these three words, including the quote marks: “Oppenhamer, William” Marathon …his page should be the first result.)

There is an architect named Wayne Schoepke (note different spelling of the surname) currently practicing in Wausau. Perhaps Schoepke was the architect for a renovation of the Grand, and Naylor just got his notes garbled? I’ve been unable to find any period references to an architect named either Schoupke or Schoepke, but there are many old references to the firm of Oppenhamer & Obel (including one, from 1921, about a theater they were designing, to be located in Rhinelander, Wisconsin,) so I’m inclined to think the historical society got this one right, and Naylor got it wrong.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colorado Theater on May 30, 2011 at 4:49 am

Google Street View is totally screwed up at this location. Their camera truck apparently missed the entire block between Virginia Avenue and Vinedo Avenue. Looking east along the sidewalk from Virginia Avenue, you get a glimpse of the theater’s shadowy marquee.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about One Colorado Pasadena on May 30, 2011 at 4:38 am

The Google Street View shows Miller Alley leading south from Union Street. This Flickr photo shows the pedestrian passage leading to the theater from Colorado Boulevard, with the theater’s sign and attraction board suspended above it (the photo is a bit blurry.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about UA Marketplace 6 on May 30, 2011 at 3:33 am

Current Google Street View shows that the building has been remodeled in a retroish style all too characteristic of Pasadena in the early 21st century. I only ever saw the original building during the early stage of construction, but photos of it show that, as originally completed to Daniel Uesugi’s design, this was a Neo-Vintage/Streamline style theater. I think the original design made a better contribution to the streetscape than does the boxy thing the building has become, Tiffany’s or not.

There are four photos at CinemaTour showing the original look. The lobby wasn’t all that impressive, but the facade was nice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about American Theater on May 30, 2011 at 12:36 am

The February 23, 1921, issue of [em]Engineering News-Record[/em] has an item which must be about the American Theatre. Datelined Bonham, Texas, is says that E. H. Hulsey and H. B. Robb, of Dallas, were having plans prepared by Bonham architect A. B. Scarborough for a two-story brick theater building. The project was expected to cost about $75,000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theater on May 29, 2011 at 8:29 pm

As CSWalczak’s comment of October 25, 2010, says, and the photo Don Lewis linked to on November 1, 2010, shows, the Royal Theatre on Houston Street was on part of the site now occupied by the much larger Majestic Theatre.

The Royal had to have been demolished by 1929. That means that the theater in the current description, still operating in 1943, must have been one of the two other Royals mentioned in Bob Jensen’s comment of October 31, 2010.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Parsons Theater on May 27, 2011 at 12:37 am

According to the caption of a photo in the book “Parsons,” by David Mattox and Mike Brotherton, this multiplex was built shortly before the April, 2000, tornado struck, and had been in operation less than six weeks when it was destroyed. The owners rebuilt on the same site.

According to the same source, the original Parsons Theatre (the one in the 1985 photo Chuck linked to,) which had been rebuilt following one fire in 1943, was destroyed by another fire more than 50 years later, and was subsequently demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Parsons Theatre on May 27, 2011 at 12:34 am

The Parsons Theatre was opened no later than 1928, when an organ was installed. According to the book “Parsons,” by David Mattox and Mike Brotherton, the Parsons Theatre was partly destroyed by a fire on September 3, 1943, and was rebuilt, but was completely destroyed by another fire more than 50 years later.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Belcourt Theatre on May 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Here is an updated link to the 1963 Boxoffice article with pictures of the Belcourt cited in my earlier comment.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on May 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm

This is probably the 1967 photo Chuck’s dead link fetched.

The Ivanhoe Theatre was in operation before 1919. It was included on a list of Toledo movie houses in a book called “Motion Pictures as a Phase of Commercial Amusement in Toledo, Ohio,” by John Joseph Phelan, which was published that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on May 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Michigan Film Review of June 4, 1918, had this to say about the Strand:

“Lester Matt, of the Strand theatre, Flint, is planning to add a balcony that will increase his capacity 600 seats. The Strand is doing a phenomenal business despite the warm weather.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theater on May 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm

The Star Theatre was listed at 1618 N. Saginaw in Polk’s 1915 Flint City Directory. I don’t know if that indicates that the theater was rebuilt or expanded between 1915 and 1922, or if the street numbers were just changed.

The Star was one of the houses mentioned in an item headed “Flint Theatres” in the November 6, 1917, issue of Michigan Film Review:[quote]“There are only thirteen theatres now operating in Flintâ€\"all others being out of business or closed:

“Delia and Strand, operated by Lester Matt; Orpheum, Charles Garfield, manager; Elite, W. DuKarry, manager; L. J. Sumlin, manager; Royal, Rex Minkley, manager; Star, L. Booth, manager; Gem, F. C. Philips, manager: Princess, Reckin and Nickotemus. managers: Fredro, J. Olenski, manager, and Majestic, Palace and Garden theatres, operated by W. S. Butterfield.”[/quote]The item only mentions twelve theaters by name, so one of the thirteen got left out, apparently the one managed by L. J. Sumlin. The August 6 issue of the same journal had said that Sumlin was manager of the Savoy Theatre, so that’s probably the missing name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Penniman-Allen Theatre on May 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm

The October 6, 1917,issue of The American Contractor had an item saying that contracts had been awarded for construction of a motion picture theater, hall, and office building to be built at Plymouth, Michigan, for Kate E. Allen. The projected cost for the two-story, 100x90-foot building was $30,000. The project had been designed by architect C. Howard Crane.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Venice Theater on May 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm

The Venice Motion Picture Theatre Company was organized at Nephi in June, 1914, according to the Report of the Secretary of State of the State of Utah published in 1915. Given the name of the corporation, I don’t know what to make of the claim at Utah Theatres that the house was originally called the Ermo Theatre. They cite the source for the Ermo aka as an email from someone named Jerry Shepherd. The page also gives the Venice the aka Foote Theatre.

Editions of Julius Cahn’s Guide from 1903-1904 and 1904-1905 list an 800-seat, ground floor theater called the Opera House in Nephi, managed by a Mr. G.W. Toote. I think Toote in the Cahn guides was a typo, as there are many references to a Foote family residing in Nephi, but no other references to anybody named Toote. I’ve found a 1982 reference to a Richard and Shirley Foote, of the Venice Theatre Corporation in Nephi. Perhaps the Venice Moving Picture Theatre Company of 1914 was formed not to build a new theater, but to take over operation of G.W. Foote’s Opera House and convert it to movies?

Utah Theatres has a page for the Nephi Opera House, with little information other than a seating capacity of 500 and an operational period of 1903 to after 1912, which would not conflict with the opening of the Venice in 1915, if they were the same theater.

The September 4, 1918, issue of The Music Trades says that a large American Fotoplayer had been sold in Nephi, but doesn’t name the buyer. It’s possible the instrument was installed in the Venice Theatre, although I’ve come across a single reference to an Arlington Theatre operating at Nephi in 1915, so the Fotoplayer might have gone there.

If anybody wonders what a Fotoplayer is, watch this YouTube video for a sample.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Congress Theatre on May 24, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Here is a recent photo of the former Congress Theatre. It looks as though the street has been recently repaved, but the sidewalk still needs some work.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Glen Theatre on May 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Rereading my comment of Jan 4, 2009, I think the opening date of September, 1947, I cited from Boxoffice must have been a typo. The introduction says that The Show was operating during the depression, and the building in the photo A. Ratcliffe linked to is certainly of a style more characteristic of the 1930s than the late 1940s. Most likely the house opened in 1937, not 1947.

I’ve been unable to discover whether or not the building survived the tornado that struck Joplin last Sunday evening. One map of the tornado’s path shows its northern edge crossing Main Street near 13th Street, a short distance north of the Glen’s location. The former Wasson and Electric theater buildings are within a block of the Glen, so they would also have been in danger, as would the former Royal Theatre’s building, assuming it hadn’t already been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Valley Theater on May 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Herman J. Bley must have had a relative in the business. The Moving Picture World of January 15, 1916, mentioned a Theodore V. Bley who operated the Fairmount Theatre in Cincinnati. This list of movie theaters from the March 29, 1915, issue of The Cincinnatian includes both the Valley and the Fairmount, which turns out to have almost directly across the street from the Valley, at 1515 Harrison Avenue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Berwick Theatre on May 13, 2011 at 5:41 am

The Strand/Berwick is located at the same address that was listed for the P.O.S.of A. Opera House in a 1905 city directory. This was a theater built in 1890 by the Patriotic Order Sons of America. The P.O.S. of A. Opera House, according to various editions of Julius Cahn’s guide, was a ground floor theater seating about 650. Unless the original building was destroyed, the Strand/Berwick Theatre must be the same house. The facade of the Berwick in the photos linked above does look fairly old, though it also looks rather plain for a theater built in 1890, so it might have been remodeled at some point.

During the 1910s, Berwick had houses called the Palace Theatre, mentioned in a book published in 1915, and the Lyric Theatre, mentioned in a 1913 magazine article as having been recently remodeled. I haven’t found any references to the Opera House later than 1908, so either the Palace or the Lyric (or both) might have been the Opera House renamed, and thus an aka for the Berwick, but I’ve been unable to connect either name with an address.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Maya Theater on May 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

Looking at the photos of this theater, I think it’s almost certain that this is the theater mentioned in Southwest Builder & Contractor of November 1, 1940: “Theater (Dinuba)— Leo L. Smith, 249 N. K St., Dinuba, has started work on a theater at Dinuba for Hollywood interests…cost $35,000. S. Charles Lee, architect.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Redding Theater on May 11, 2011 at 9:26 am

Now that I know that C.C. Dakin designed this theater, I’m especially sorry I never got to see it. Here is a 1923 picture of Pul Elder’s Book Shop in San Francisco, designed by Dakin a few years after the Redding Theatre. Though his work fell into obscurity in the later 20th century, it has recently been rediscovered, and those of his buildings which have survived are much appreciated by aficionados of California architecture.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Redding Theater on May 11, 2011 at 9:10 am

The claim made on the Cascade Theatre web site that the Redding Theatre was built in 1910 was wrong. This article by Renee McKean, about Redding’s Armory Hall, which was destroyed by fire in 1915, says that after the Armory Hall was destroyed, the Redding Chamber of Commerce arranged with M. Leonardini to build the Redding Theatre.

Here is an item from The Moving Picture World of July 15, 1916:

“REDDING, CAL.â€"M. Leonardini, owner of the Paragon block on California street, is having plans prepared bf C. C. Dakin, First National Bank building, Oakland, Cal., for a theatre building, costing between $20,000 and $25,000.”
Given the fact that the front of the Redding Theatre was designed in a style that was typical of the 19th century, and was out of date by the 1900s, it’s possible that Leonardini’s project was to build an auditorium behind his existing business building, the Paragon Block. It would explain why the theater’s facade was so old fashioned.