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Thanks for the correction, NYozoner. Boxoffice did sometimes leave out important details. I think the layout editors, working under tight deadlines, sometimes clipped sections out of articles to make them fit the space available on the page. That still happens a lot with weekly and daily publications.
From the aerial images on the page you linked to, it looks as though Blatt Brothers expansion of the operation amounted to almost a complete rebuilding of the original theater.
The Star Drive-In opened June 12, 1957, and was the subject of this single-page article in Boxoffice of May 5, 1958. It was the eighth drive-in for the Blatt Brothers circuit, a regional circuit operating in New York and Pennsylvania. Among its features was an outdoor dance floor.
Boxoffice gave the car capacity as 1,250. The projector required an enormous throw of 610 feet to reach the 152-foot wide screen, advertised by the theater as the world’s largest.
The description says that the auditorium of this theater has been demolished. If that’s so, the status field should be changed to match.
The St Louis Park Theatre was featured in an article in Boxoffice of May 5, 1958. There are several photos of the house on this page and the two subsequent pages.
The theater had reopened on November 8, 1957, after a remodeling and redecoration, which had included some structural changes. The architect for the project was John Field, of the San Francisco firm Knorr, Elliot & Associates. Field was the son of the theater’s owner, Harold D. Field. The caption of one photo gives the seating capacity of the remodeled house as 960.
A two-page article about the Vic Theatre begins on this page of the June 2, 1958, issue of Boxoffice. It features before and after photos of the facade, as well as a few photos of the remodeled interior.
One of the photos, depicting the foyer, had appeared on the cover of Boxoffice for May 5, 1958.
The article also says that the Green Bay Theatre was renamed the Jay-Are Theatre in 1912, after being purchased by J.R. Minahan, and was renamed the Orpheum after Minahan leased the house to Harry K. Timm the following year. Fox Wisconsin took over the lease of the Orpheum in 1933, and in 1943 the theater was bought by Victor L. McCormick. Marcus Theatres began leasing the Orpheum in 1956. When the subsequent remodeling was done the house was presumably renamed the Vic for Victor McCormick, then still the owner of the building.
Here is an early photo of the California Theatre featured on the cover of the May, 1919, issue of the Los Angeles-based investment magazine American Globe.
The Newspaper article wolfgirl500 linked to says that W.H. Cook of Bates & Cook was the architect of the State Theatre. A 1946 AIA questionnaire signed by William H. Cook also claims the State Theatre as his work.
The questionnaire (PDF here) doesn’t mention the firm of Bates & Cook. I’m not sure what the relationship was. There was definitely a partnership between Wheeling, West Virgina, architect Charles W. Bates and an engineer named William H. Cook, but (assuming it was the same Cook, which it probably was) both men were licensed architects and had their own independent practices during the same period they were collaborating on some projects. The sources I’ve been able to find on the Internet don’t pin down any details, though. Maybe somebody else will have better luck.
Architects Edgar A. Stanley and Morris W. Scheibel formed their partnership in 1911, according to Stanley’s entry in “The Semi-centennial Alumni Record of the University of Illinois,” published in 1918.
Here is a direct link to the photo I linked to above.
Here is an early photo of the Liberty Theatre featured in an ad for the South Amboy Terra Cotta Co., in the June, 1918, issue of The Architectural Forum.
The NYCLPC’s Landmark Designation Report for the Paramount Hotel mentions the Washington Theatre among Thomas Lamb’s works, but says that the project was designed in association with theater architect Victor Hugo Koehler.
According to James Trager’s book “The New York Chronology” the Lafayette Theater opened in November, 1912. It was designed by architect Victor Hugo Koehler. Only white patrons were admitted to the orchestra floor until August of 1913, when the Lafayette became the first New York City theater to integrate.
Incidentally, the Office for Metropolitan History’s Manhattan Database lists three theaters designed by Koehler that I’ve been unable to track down. They are: a 1902 project for a four story theater and loft building, 100x100, at the southeast corner of Grand and Chrystie; a 1913 two story movie theater, 41x90, at 11-13 W. 116th Street; and a one story movie theater, also 41x90, at 385-387 Third Avenue. Maybe somebody familiar with Manhattan will be able to identify these theaters.
Here are fresh links for the July 2, 1949, Boxoffice items posted above by ken mc and Gerald A. DeLuca:
Cover photo of the main floor lounge.
Page one of the two-page article about the University Theatre in the Modern Theatre section of the same issue.
Ridley & Glazier were the architects of the original 1925 Masonic Temple building, but according to the Medina Masonic Temple Company web site, the theater project of 1937 was the work of architect George Howard Burrows.
More than half the theater’s footprint is in this annex, including the stage house, but the rear portion of the theater is in the original 1925 building. The entrance is in a structure also added onto the south side of the Temple as part of the 1937 project.
The modifications converting the house to a two-screen theater were done in 1972.
East Providence’s Town Hall was a Romanesque Revival style building designed by William R. Walker & Son, the firm that designed the Toy (Avon) and Majestic theaters in Providence proper.
The entry for architect A.O. Budina in the 1956 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists the Westhampton Theatre in Richmond as one of his projects from the year 1938.
The entry for architect A.O. Budina in the 1956 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists a Halifax Theatre in South Boston among his works for the year 1938. I found a single 1945 newspaper reference to the Halifax Theatre being located on North Main Street. The house is also mentioned in Boxoffice of October 9, 1954, the year CinemaScope equipment was installed.
As the AIA Directory doesn’t specify if the project was for a new theater or a remodeling, is it possible that the Princess was called the Halifax for a while? Perhaps its Art Moderne facade was Budina’s 1938 project.
Addendum: As Boxoffice ran a photo of the theater in 1950 (second photo at the top of this page) I’m not sure if the AIA Directory got the year wrong, or if Bihr’s project was only for some sort of alteration to the theater. He was apparently a contract architect for Fox Midwest for a number of years, handling many projects both large and small.
The entry for architect Samuel W. Bihr, Jr. in the 1956 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists the Fox Theatre at Winfield, Kansas, among his works. It gives the year of the Fox project as 1952.
Judging from the photo of the facade that CWalczak linked to above, this 1950 theater was not Spanish Renneissance in style, but thoroughly modern. Maybe it was the original Rio that was Spanish.
The Bluebell was in operation at least as early as 1925, and probably earlier. “The Storms Below,” a biography of Canadian writer Hugh Garner, quotes a letter from a former childhood neighbor of Garner, who lived in the area in the 1920s, which mentions the matinees at the Bluebell Theatre. Google Books preview.
A 1956 Boxoffice item mentions that a Mr. Vernon Lawson had managed the State Theatre in Rapid City since 1935, so the house was at least that old.
A book about Rapid City architecture says that the Rex Theatre was built in 1928.
The book Rapid City: Historic Downtown Architecture attributes the design of the Elks Lodge and theater to Sioux City architect John P. Eisentraut.
The Capitol was in operation by the late 1920s, but no firm date for its opening has been established. The building was just a hotel with what looked like retail space on the ground floor in the 1915 photo, but the conversion of the ground floor to a theater had taken place by the time the ca.1927 photo was taken. It might have been converted any time during that period.
For me it’s a tossup whether or not the Capitol should have the aka Capri V. It did operate as part of the Capri V, but then the Capri V’s entrance was at the Capri Theatre’s address, not the Capitol’s address. In any case, one of the main functions of including the aka’s on theater pages is to facilitate searches of the site. Anybody who has found the Capri V page with a site search will read there that it incorporated the former Capitol, and the Capitol’s page is easy enough to find from that page. I can’t see that it would be either helpful or harmful to have Capri V as an aka on this page.
There’s a mistake in the last paragraph of my previous comment: The photo caption I mentioned that has the names of the other three theaters on the block belongs to the ca.1927 photo from the book “Ottumwa,” not to a 1942 photo.
As the Capitol was eventually incorporated into the Capri V, it might make sense to have Capitol Theatre listed as an aka, even though the Capitol had a long history as a separate house with its own address, and has its own page at Cinema Treasures. On the other hand, the information is already included in the description of the theater, and as the Capitol does have its own page I don’t think it’s essential for the name to be listed as an aka. Having aka’s listed facilitates searches of the site, but the Capitol’s own page will be easy enough to find.
The aka’s that should definitely be listed for this house are Ottumwa Theatre and Capri Theatre. As late as 1985 (see the American Classic Images photo from that year to which Chuck linked above) the Capri was still operating as a single-screen house under that name.
I’ve been unable to discover exactly when the two theaters were combined and remodeled into the five-screen Capri V. I’ve searched Boxoffice Magazine’s archive, but it contains surprisingly few items about Ottumwa, and I’ve found no items at all about either the Capri or the Capri V.
I’m not sure if the name Square Theatre should be an aka or not. Though it’s not absolutely certain, I think that the original Square Theatre building on the Capri’s site was probably completely demolished after the 1941 fire. Maybe, like the Capitol, it should have its own page, though there wouldn’t be much information to put on it.