Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Keith's Theatre on Jul 24, 2011 at 3:55 am

Several sources indicate that the view above does depict the Prospect Avenue side of the Colonial Hotel. The Euclid Avenue side featured a central cupola, as seen here, that the Prospect Avenue side lacked.

The book “Cleveland: The Making of a City,” by William Ganson Rose, has a brief paragraph about this theater. It says that the house opened in April, 1904, as the Prospect Theatre. Originally the home of the Baldwin-Melville Stock Company, it was taken over by B. F. Keith in 1905, renamed Keith’s Prospect Theatre, and was operated as a vaudeville house.

Some time later, Keith took over the much larger Hippodrome Theatre (in 1908 or 1909, as near as I can find,) and the circuit dropped this house and it reverted to its original name. It operated as a lower-priced independent vaudeville theater for several years, but the building was eventually rebuilt and converted to retail use. A history of Cleveland published in 1910 tells pretty much the same early story about the theater, but gives its opening year as 1903. Another source says that the building was demolished in 1965.

A 1908 issue of Insurance Engineering reported on a fire in Keith’s Theatre which produced “…clouds of smoke so dense that they shut out the sun and drove the crowds, choking and coughing, from Prospect Avenue….” The fire, the report said, had started in a motion picture machine, so the house was showing movies as part of its program at least as early as 1908.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Howard Hodge Theater on Jul 23, 2011 at 5:23 am

The comment by chadhauris says that the Howard Hodge Theatre is now used by the Midland Downtown Lions Club. The Internet gives the address of the Downtown Lions Activity Center as 200 Plaza Street. It’s a Midcentury Modern building built of that nice buff-colored brick they make in Texas.

Although Cinema Treasures currently attributes the design of this theater to Jack Corgan, the biographical entry for Midland architect Joe Bill Pierce in the 1962 AIA Architects Directory lists the Hodge Theatre among his works. Of course, Pierce could have been only Corgan’s local associate overseeing construction of this project, but I’ve been unable to find any source on the Internet other than Cinema Treasures attributing the design of the Hodge to Corgan.

To complicate things a bit more, CinemaTour has an architectural rendering that is claimed to depict the Hodge Theatre, and it appears to be signed by someone named Fred Carlton. I’ve been unable to discover anything about him.

The Pierce entry in the AUA directory also says that the Hodge Theatre was a 1960 project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Florida Theatre on Jul 23, 2011 at 4:14 am

I’ve been unable to identify the original architect of the Florida Theatre, but the architect for the rebuilding after the 1960 fire was Theodore C. Poulos. It is listed among his works in his biographical entry in the 1962 AIA Architects Directory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mirror Theatre on Jul 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm

The Mirror Theatre was in operation at least as early as April, 1923, which is the date given byt the Putnam Museum for this photo showing several buildings in the 100 block of Third Street, with the Mirror at far left.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Theatre on Jul 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm

There is a simplified floor plan of the New Theatre on this page from the Kalamazoo Public Library. The caption says that the New Theatre operated from March 2, 1912, to September 6, 1947.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Uptown Theatre on Jul 22, 2011 at 5:11 pm

There is a photo of the Uptown Theatre on this web page, along with a simplified floor plan. The caption says that the Uptown was in operation from August 24, 1938, to June 6, 1959.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theater on Jul 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm

This web page from the Kalamazoo Public Library features a small photo of the Orpheum Theatre ca.1915. The caption says the theater operated from August 5, 1911, to May, 1949.

The Orpheum must have been a storefront conversion. Judging from the architectural style of the facade, the building must date from sometime between the early 1850s and the late 1870s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fuller Theatre on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I finally found some unambiguous information about the Fuller Theatre. Here is a photo of the Fuller from the Kalamazoo Public Library. It appears to be from the late 1940s. The caption says that the Fuller operated from September 3, 1909, until March 29, 1953.

The page also has a lot plan of part of the block, showing the Fuller and an earlier theater it replaced, the Wonderland, with the address 143 Burdick (Kalamazoo renumbered its blocks sometime between 1915 and 1926, with the 100 block becoming the 200 block.)

This photo gallery, which is also from the Kalamazoo Public Library, shows the block of Burdick Street on which the Fuller was located at various dates from c1875 until 2005.

The theater’s bay-windowed entrance building, seen in the earliest photo of the theater at Water Winter Wonderland (linked in an earlier comment by lostmemory,) was there in the c1875 photo. The Water Winter Wonderland photo probably dates from 1924, the year “Desert Outlaw” with Buck Jones was released.

The Fuller’s entrance building was remodeled (or perhaps completely rebuilt) sometime between 1935 and the 1940s, and is still standing, but Google Satellite view shows that the auditorium has been replaced by a parking lot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fuller Theatre on Jul 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Street View has been updated to show the State Theatre, which is two blocks south of the Fuller’s site, and on the opposite side of the street. The Google Maps pin icon is in the wrong location, too, but it’s only one block too far south. The Fuller Theatre was just north of South Street.

There’s a lot of ambiguous and contradictory information about this theater on the Internet. I’ll post more about it if I can puzzle out its history from the fragments.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Goodwill Theatre on Jul 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Binghamton is the largest city in Broome County, and the county seat. The office of Sanford O. Lacey, architect of the Goodwill Theatre, was in Binghamton. Johnson City, despite its name, is classified under New York law as an incorporated village, and is part of the Binghamton Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orange Theatre on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:27 am

Google Maps has no street view for the old Orange Theatre/Town Hall, but Bing Maps has a very good bird’s eye view for 6 Prospect Street (select “Bird’s eye” and zoom in.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orange Theatre on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:12 am

Street View has been “updated” to the north side of the street. That building must be the town library jacobschen mentions. Even numbers are on the south side of Main Street. The final Orange Theatre must have been in the building that now has the shingled fake mansard on it. If you move a bit east or west in street view, you can see the former auditorium, which has had windows punched through the walls.

The April, 1914, issue of New England Magazine has an ad for the Eastern Theaters Company, a movie house circuit which had just taken over operation of a house in Orange called the Art Theater. The company was also operating the Premier Theatre at Newburyport, Majestic Theater at Easthampton, and the Majestic Theater at Keene, New Hampshire. The Art Theatre was also mentioned in the August 2, 1913, issue of Moving Picture World. I’m wondering if Art Theater was an aka for the Town Hall?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Islip Cinemas on Jul 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Wally: What you hit to make it big and red was the # key. Cinema Treasures is now supporting Markdown code as well as standard HTML in its comment forms. In Markdown code, the # (hash sign) placed at the beginning of a paragraph will turn the block of text following it large. I don’t see the HTML command for changing font color in the page’s source code, though, so I don’t know why it’s turning red.

If you avoid starting paragraphs with a hash sign, this won’t happen again. Hash signs are OK anywhere else in your text. Even placing a single dash in front of the hash sign when you want to use it at the beginning of a paragraph will prevent the auto-formatting program from reading the sign as Markdown code:

–# No large red type here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about ACT Theatre on Jul 18, 2011 at 12:47 am

The architectural rendering Ed Solero linked in the previous comment to shows that the Rivoli was designed by the firm Reilly & Hall.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Warner Theatre on Jul 17, 2011 at 7:55 pm

The September 9, 1919, issue of Brick and Clay Record has an item about the start of construction on the Pantages project:

“Work has started at Memphis on the Pantages Theatre being erected by a syndicate on S. Main St. near the corner of Monroe in the building formerly occupied by Van Vleet Mansfield Drug Co. The Hoist Bldg. will be removed in part and a very modern structure will take its place. It was erected in 1891. Sando and Gilbertson, of Seattle, Wash, took out the permit.”
It sounds like at least part of the Pantages incorporated a pre-existing building. That building might be the source of the 1916 construction date.

There appear to have been some serious delays on this project. There is a report in the May, 1920, issue of American Stone Trade saying that the Pantages Theatre in Memphis was then under construction, but that’s several months after the report in Brick and Clay Recored. The July issue of the same publication said that the project was “…nearing the finishing and decorative stage.” But then the magazine item I cited in my previous comment about the project nearing completion was from February, 1921. That’s a total construction time of almost a year and half. Big theater projects were typically completed in a few months during that era.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Iowa Theatre on Jul 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm

JudithK: Did your mom ever mention anything about the location of this theater? The Avenue A address Cinema Treasures currently gives is in a low density residential district out on the edge of town, which seems to me an unlikely location for a theater built in the 1880s.

I’m wondering if maybe the original source was an old book with muddy printing, and maybe the theater was on Avenue H but the printed H looked like an A. The 700 block of Avenue H is downtown, and still has several old buildings dating from the late 19th century, including the old Elks Lodge at 719.

Unfortunately, it looks like 735 Avenue H is now a parking lot, so if the Iowa Theatre was there it desn’t exist anymore. But wherever the theater was (or is,) it seems very unlikely that it was ever on Avenue A.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rio Theater on Jul 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I’ve just realized that if you use the pavement arrow in Street View to move two clicks left, a thumbnail photo will appear, and if you click that thumbnail it will display the photo, plus thumbnails for more than a dozen additional photos of Monte Rio, including several more depicting the theater. The photos include links to their sources, which look better and can often be further enlarged.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rio Theater on Jul 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Google Maps is way off on this theater’s location. Searching at Google Maps' own web site, the address 20396 Church Street fetches the correct location. That’s the address Google will have to be sent, even though the theater itself lists Bohemian Highway as the name of its street. I managed to find the Street View of the theater and update it, but it was a really long drive, at the corner of D Street a mile or more north of the location of the pin on the map.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jul 17, 2011 at 2:43 am

An article about Muskogee’s movie theaters in the summer, 2000, issue of 3 Rivers Historian, published by the Three Rivers Museum, has a small photo of the Grand Theatre with the caption reading “The Grand, built in 1904, served Muskogee’s black community.”

Here is a Google Documents Quick View of the issue with the article.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Broadway Theatre on Jul 17, 2011 at 2:34 am

Street View was updated too far east. The address 211 is displayed on the lower building that is just past the end of the building with the concrete canopy over the sidewalk.

An article on Muskogee’s theaters in the summer, 2000, edition of 3 Rivers Historian, published by the Three Rivers Museum, says that the Broadway Theatre was built in 1912 by Fred Turner, who hired George Procter to act as manager and Hugh Marsh to operate the projector. Procter and Marsh took a lease on the theater in 1923.

The article doesn’t mention the Broadway ever having been called the Muskogee Opera House, in addition to saying that it was built in 1912. Neither can I find any references to the Muskogee Opera House on the Internet, other than those at Cinema Treasures. Perhaps the 1904 Opera House project was only a proposal that was never carried out.

Google Documents Quick View of the issue with the article.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Yale Theatre on Jul 17, 2011 at 2:01 am

L.W. Brophy opened his first Yale Theatre in Muskogee in 1908, according to this source (scroll down to section headed “pgs 118-120”) which goes on to say that he built a new Yale in 1910. It says that the second Yale seated 1000, though, and the building at 208 W. Broadway today, though it looks to date from the 1910s, doesn’t look big enough to have housed a theater that large, so I don’t know if it’s the same one or not.

Google Maps puts the pin icon for this theater about three blocks south of the actual location, on a different street. I’ve moved Street View to the correct location, the north side of Broadway a few doors west of 2nd Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Chief Theatre on Jul 17, 2011 at 12:55 am

The list of known Boller Brothers theaters includes the Chief (with the aka Royal) in Hiawatha, as a 1929 remodeling project, and says it was operated by Dickinson Theatres. It also says the theater has been demolished.

I suspect that the Chief was on the lot next door east from the old brick building on the northeast corner of Oregon and 6th Street. The single-storey, modern building now on that lot looks to have been built in the 1970s or so. It’s also possible that the Chief’s auditorium was added behind the older brick building to the east, but that seems less likely to me.

I’ve been unable to find any vintage photos of this block of Oregon Street. I did find a single reference to a theater called the Victoria that was showing movies in Hiawatha in 1918. Possibly an earlier aka of the Royal/Chief?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Downtown Theatre on Jul 15, 2011 at 4:27 am

The Casino Theatre was designed by architect Benjamin G. McDougall, according to the November, 1917, issue of The Architect & Engineer of California.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about California Theatre on Jul 15, 2011 at 3:30 am

There is now a web site for the California Theatre. Not all of its internal links work, but the photo and restoration links do.

The announcement in the October, 1918, issue of The Architect and Engineer that architect A. W. Cornelius had been engaged to design a new theater at Pittsburg for the Enea Brothers noted that the Eneas were already operating a theater in Pittsburg called the Palace.

The only other place on the Internet that I’ve found the Palace mentioned is this page at Silent Era. Does anyone have any additional information about it?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Edwards Atlantic Palace 10 on Jul 15, 2011 at 1:26 am

If it closed on the 12th, they didn’t lose any time bringing out the bulldozers. Demolition photos uploaded to Flickr are dated July 13th.

Here is a link to Boxoffice Magazine, August, 1991, which featured an article on the Atlantic Palace, with several photos, including one on the cover. The article begins on page 20. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pages.

Ground was broken for the Edwards Atlantic Palace on September 7, 1990, and the house opened eight months later. This costly multiplex lasted barely twenty years. The original Alhambra Theatre, which the Atlantic Palace replaced, had operated for about fifty three years.