Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Doric Theatre on Mar 24, 2012 at 7:16 am

Ground was being cleared for the new theater that was to become the Doric, according to an item in The American Contractor of September 3, 1917. Architects Greenbaum & Hardy had designed the house for owner Mrs. Margaret D. C. Ridge.

An item about the Doric Theatre’s new organ appeared in the November 29, 1919, issue of Music Trades Review:


“Kimball Piano Co. Makes Telling Window Display of Big Organ Manual Board

“KANSAS CITY, MO., Nov. 26.—The Kimball Piano Co. is showing in its display window the manual board of the new Kimball pipe organ, which is now being installed at the Doric Theatre in this city. This instrument is one of the finest of its kind in the United States and is the largest to be installed in any theatre in the west. While it takes up less space than many of the others, it contains many stops which are an innovation in pneumatic construction. In addition to a full tones set of pipes, the instrument by means of double touch kevs possesses the equipment of an orchestra, string, brass or both, a marimba band, brass band, or can manage solos on a variety of instruments against a background of orchestral or organ music. The double touch keys are distinctly new and do away with the organ stops.”

Following the explosion which severely damaged the Doric Theatre in 1922, the December 16 issue of The American Contractor said that architects Greenbaum, Hardy & Schumacher were drawing preliminary plans for a theater on the site, but I’ve found no evidence that the project was ever carried out.

Here are fresh links to the photos of the Doric Theatre at the Kansas City Public Library. All are dated 1918:

View 1

View 2

View 3.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Mar 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm

According to the book Remembering Plant City, by Gilbert Gott, the Capitol was in the Young and Moody Building, which is on the northeast corner of W. Reynolds and N. Evers Streets. Gott says that the theater was on Reynolds Street, and opened in 1924.

Judging from the configuration of the building, the auditorium must have occupied the back half of the square structure, with the screen end along Evers Street where the second-floor wall is still blank brick, while the rest of that facade has fenestration. The theater entrance must have been at the east end of the Reynolds Street side of the building, farthest from the street corner, at about 110 W. Reynolds. Here is a recent photo of the Young and Moody Building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Mar 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Long-lost drawings of the Ritz Theatre by architect M. Leo Elliot were discovered a couple of years ago. Here is one of them.

Elliott labeled the drawing Haya Theater. According to this web page, the theater was built on the site of Ybor City’s first cigar factory, founded by Serafin Sanchez and Ignacio Haya in 1886. It’s possible that members of the Haya family were involved in the development of the Ritz Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Delta Theatre on Mar 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm

The entry for architect Emile Fuhrmann in the 1956 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists the Delta Theatre at New Orleans as one of his projects from the year 1945.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theater on Mar 23, 2012 at 6:52 am

The Capitol Theatre was designed by architect Bertram C. Hill. This item appeared in the July 13, 1922, issue of Manufacturers Record:

“Tex., Dallas—Popular Amusement Co. (Leon Gohlman and associates) will erect $50,000 theater, 1519-21 Elm St.; Bertram C. Hill Co., Archt. (Lately noted.)”
Two photos of the Capitol survive in the collection of Hill’s papers at Southern Methodist University.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Mar 23, 2012 at 6:13 am

David and Noelle’s list of known Boller Brothers theaters says that the remodeling of the Regent Theatre by Robert Boller was a 1947 project.

The original architect of the Regent Theatre in 1916 was H. Alexander Drake, who also designed Frank Newman’s Royal Theatre of 1914 and the Newman Theatre of 1919, which later became the Paramount. According to the March 4, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World, the Regent was then nearing completion:


“Kansas City, Mo.—Work on the new Regent theatre being erected here at 107 East 12th St., by Frank L. Newman, manager of the Royal, is rapidly progressing and the theatre will probably be opened by March 10. One of the problems of Alexander Drake, the architect, was to design a house with a capacity of 700, as the Regent will have, on a lot 38x76 feet. This was accomplished by an unusual balcony, made possible by the fact that the theater is fifty feet high. A grilled celling, above which three 36-inch fans will suck air into ventilating shafts is one of the many interesting features being introduced by Mr. Newman. The entire cost of the structure is to be $60,000.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Webbo Theatre on Mar 23, 2012 at 5:19 am

Here is a larger version of the same photo of the Webbo Theatre that is linked twice in earlier comments. The movie advertised on the banner under the marquee, Western Mail starring Tom Keene was released in 1942.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Derby Theater on Mar 22, 2012 at 4:19 am

Here is a photo of the Delbee Theatre, probably from 1920. There is a poster for director William Desmond Taylor’s 1920 film, The Furnace, at lower left. The brick facade now on the building doesn’t resemble the original theater front at all.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Broadway Theater on Mar 22, 2012 at 4:04 am

Here is a photo of the Broadway Theatre in the 1930s. Note that the old Hippodrome sign is still on the roof above the Broadway marquee.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Mar 22, 2012 at 3:50 am

The web site of the Liberty Theatre’s current owner, the Greater Cincinnati Deaf Club, features this photo gallery which includes a few shots of events taking place in the upstairs hall. It appears that the original auditorium was divided into two floors, with offices, rest rooms, smaller meeting rooms and such on the ground floor and a large hall occupying the upper half.

The ceiling looks like it might be pressed tin, and is probably the Liberty’s original ceiling. The stage in the hall appears to have been built above the original stage, and its proscenium is probably part of the original, though it was most likely raised above its original level, which would not have come so close to the theater’s ceiling.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Blue Mouse Theatre on Mar 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm

The Blue Mouse was on Washington at 11th, not 10th. A parking deck for the office building at 10th and Washington now sits on its site.

PSTOS has a couple of photos on this web page, though it also gives the wrong location of 10th and Washington. In the exterior photo, the ornate facade on 11th next to the three-story theater entrance building was actually the auditorium’s back wall. The doors are the auditorium’s exits.

Gary Lacher and Steve Stone’s book Theatres of Portland gives the correct location of the Blue Mouse, and has several photographs (Google Books preview.) The book gives the original opening date of the Globe as September 12, 1912.

A 1919 issue of a retail clothing industry trade journal called The Boys' Outfitter published a photo of the Globe Theatre’s auditorium with an audience of children attending a movie as guests of a local retail store.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Adams Theatre on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Here is an article about the Adams Theatre from Boxoffice of January 3, 1942. The conclusion of the article is several pages later, so here’s a direct link to it. The architect for the conversion of the skating rink into a theater was Roger G. Rand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Brunswick Theater on Mar 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

An article about the Brunswick Theatre begins on this page of the January 3, 1942, issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theater on Mar 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

All the old links to Boxoffice articles that were posted at are dead, and I’m gradually updating them as I come across them. Archived issues of Boxoffice are now in a section called The Vault at the magazine’s own web site.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the old links have the wrong issue dates or wrong pages. Either I made a lot of mistakes, or the magazines at were different editions than the ones now available at The Vault (Boxoffice published a national edition and multiple regional editions, and the content didn’t always match up.)

The magazine has also set up The Vault in a way that makes it inaccessible to search engines, so I can’t always find the new locations of the articles I cited in earlier comments. The article about the Colonial is one of those I can’t find, but I have found the drawing of the proposed redesign of the theater, at the upper right corner of this page of the April 26, 1941, issue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

The only other mention of the Grand I can recall in Boxoffice was the drawing in the “Just Off the Boards” feature of the April 26, 1941, issue, but it’s the same drawing that appears in the 1942 article.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bard Theatre on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

An article about the Bard Theatre begins on this page of the April 25, 1942, issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Patsy: Boxoffice has removed its archive from and posted most of it on a section of its own web site called The Vault. I’m gradually updating my old links as I run across them.

The 1942 article about the Grand Theatre by Michael DeAngelis begins on this page and continues on the two subsequent pages.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rivoli Theatre on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Here is a 1943 photo of the Rivoli Theatre. It had a handsome facade of brick and terra cotta. It’s hard to tell from the limited view the photo provides, but the style looks to have been predominantly Italian Rennaisance. I haven’t found any interior photos.

The Rivoli opened in 1922, according to the final paragraph of this web page. An announcement that the theater was being planned appeared in the January 28, 1922, issue of The American Contractor:

“Theater. 65x120. Washington St., Two Rivers, Wis. Archt. Rudolph M. Hansen Co., 113 Walnut St., Green Bay. Owner Rivioli Theater Co., care Ed Miquette, Two Rivers. Gen. contr. let to L. M. Hansen Co., 113 Walnut St., Green Bay. Drawing plans.”
A history of the Two Rivers Opera House (7MB PDF here) has a photo of the Rivoli under construction (about halfway through the document.) It says that that the Rivoli opened in December, 1922, with a vaudeville show and the feature film Rich Men’s Wives. The Rivoli was equipped with a Barton organ.

The Rivoli closed for about two years in the late 1950s, but was reopened in 1959 according to an item in the May 2 issue of The Milwaukee Sentinal that year. I’ve been unable to discover how long the theater remained open after that, but I doubt it was very long. When the subsequent occupant, Evans Department Store, closed down a couple of years ago, it had been in operation for 47 years. The building is currently vacant and on the market. The current interior can be seen in this small PDF from the city’s economic development department. The interior has been altered as drastically as the facade, and is unlikely to be suitable for theatrical use. It looks like the auditorium was gutted and converted into two floors of retail space.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Adler Theatre on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm

This PDF of an undated page from the Marshfield Times has an ad for the Adler Opera House, which was presenting a program of “Vivaphone Singing and Talking Motion Pictures” on September 3. The year was most likely 1913, as that’s when the English Vivaphone system premiered, and the ad touts the “New York and London Success” of the movies.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Mar 20, 2012 at 5:24 am

James, your description of the Roxy definitely sounds like the theater in the photo in the 1933 Courier article. The photo is a bit fuzzy, but from the architectural style I’d say it could have been built in the early 20th century. This makes me wonder if it might have originally have been the 600-seat theater opened in 1908 as the Alford Opera House.

I used Google Street View to find the building in Don Lewis’s photo at Flickr, and it turns out to be at 104-106 E. Main Street, and currently has a pool hall in one storefront and the E & Z Clothing company in the other. If there was ever a theater in that building it wasn’t the Roxy, which was at 108 W. Main.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gem Theatre on Mar 20, 2012 at 5:13 am

This theater’s site is now part of a parking lot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theater on Mar 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Dave, at Flickr Don Lewis posted a photo from Billy Holcomb’s collection showing Washington Street in the 1940s, with a side-on view of the Rialto’s vertical sign. I guess Don never got around to putting a link to it on this page, so here it is. I’d still like to see a full view of the front of the theater, but haven’t found one yet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Mar 19, 2012 at 8:40 am

The 1933 Courier article I cited in my previous comment can be seen online here at, which allows visiting non-subscribers to view three newspapers a day at no charge.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Mar 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

James, was the Roxy you remember located in the building in this photo? I’m a bit confused by the photo, as a 1933 article in the Blytheville Courier featured a photo of the house then called the Roxy, and it looks like a different building than the one in Don Lewis’s photo at Flickr. The 1933 Roxy was three floors instead of two, and the second floor had much wider windows than the building in Don’s photo.

The only explanations I can think of are that either Don got the caption wrong, and that building never was the Roxy, or the Roxy name was moved to that two story building sometime after 1933.

Also, the Courier article says that the Roxy of 1933 had been called the Home Theatre prior to being renamed Roxy by new operators sometime in the winter of 1932-1933. If, as you say, the Gem Theatre was once known as the Home Theatre, maybe the name Home was used for two different Blytheville theaters at different times.

If you go to Cinema Treasures page for the Ritz Theatre, you’ll find a comment I made that has a link to a 1951 article in Boxoffice about the recently-rebuilt Ritz. It has a photo of the opening night crowd. Maybe it was the same photo the Courier published.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gem Theatre on Mar 18, 2012 at 5:22 am

This web page with a history of the Ritz Theatre also has a bit about the Gem. The house that became the Ritz was apparently called the Gem from about 1914 until 1924, when it suffered a fire. When it was rebuilt it was called the Ritz, and in the meantime this new Gem Theatre had been built at 125 West Main Street.

The 1930 opening date currently cited in the description must have been a re-opening. The Gem apparently closed and reopened more than once during the depressed early 1930s.