Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capri V Theatre on Jan 11, 2011 at 3:40 am

Here is a page for a CafePress store which sells objects with old photos and memorabilia on them. There are a couple of photos of the Capri, including one from 1942 when the house was called the Ottumwa Theatre (theater pictures are in rows four and five.)

Another old photo, in the Arcadia Publishing Company’s book Ottumwa, shows a theater called the Square in the location of the Capri. Another page of the book says that the Ottumwa Theatre was destroyed by fire in 1941, so the 1942 Ottumwa which later became the Capri must have been an entirely or substantially new building.

The caption of the 1942 photo says that the same block of Main Street with the Capitol and Ottumwa theaters then also had theaters called the Rialto, the Empire, and the Strand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Zephyr Theatre on Jan 11, 2011 at 2:58 am

The Zephyr Theatre building had been drastically altered by the time the photo Milton linked to above was taken. A CafePress store that sells objects with old photos and memorabilia on them has this photo depicting how the Zephyr originally looked as Wetherell & Harrison designed it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jan 8, 2011 at 4:09 am

Boxoffice Magazine of October 15, 1938, had an article about theater remodeling which featured a photo of the Times Theatre’s new facade. It can be seen on this page at the magazine’s archive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Cape Theatre on Jan 8, 2011 at 4:01 am

Mike Rivest has a grand opening ad for the Fox Cape, undated, but the opening feature was the 1930 release “Good News.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about York Theatre on Jan 8, 2011 at 3:57 am

This theater might have existed before 1930. Prior to building the Strand Theatre in 1925, Nathan Appell Enterprises operated at least two other theaters in York, both of which were in operation during the mid-1910s. These were the Orpheum and the York Opera House. I haven’t found either name mentioned after the 1910s, so either one of these might have been renamed the York.

The Opera House was quite a distinctive building (a vintage postcard site currently has this card listed for sale), so a photo of the York would quickly reveal if it was the same theater or not. Or if DennisZ is still around maybe he’ll recognize it. His comment does say that the Holiday was an elaborate theater.

Nathan Appell was a partner in a project to build a four-story theater building in York in 1920. The project was mentioned in the December 20, 1920, issue of the industrial trade journal Power. If this project was completed, it might have been the York. Again, a photo of the York would reveal if it was in a four story building.

During the mid-1910s, York also had at least four theaters not operated by Appell; the Scenic, the Hippodrome, the Wizard, and the Jackson. There might also have been a theater called the Alhambra, though this might have been one of the others, renamed. With the exception of the Jackson, which Appell bought in 1926 and renamed the Capitol, any of these might also have been taken over by Appell and been renamed the York. As with the Orpheum and the York Opera House, I’ve found no references to those five theater names in York later than the 1910s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jan 8, 2011 at 3:33 am

I’ve found the Quirk Theatre mentioned in issues of the Fulton Times as early as April, 1913. I haven’t yet found an article about the opening of the theater, but there must be one. An article in a 1989 issue of the Oswego Valley News said that the Quirk Theatre had been built “…just before World War I….” The house was built by a prominent Fulton citizen, Edward Quirk, who also served at least one term as the town’s mayor.

The September, 1912, issue of trade union journal The Lather listed a theater project at Fulton in its construction news column. The architect for the project was Leon H. Lempert. As the local newspapers give no indication of any other new theaters opening in Fulton around this time, the project was almost certainly the Quirk.

The name State Theatre first appears in the local newspapers in 1935. The October 31 issue of the Fulton Patriot said that the renovated theater had been opened the previous night.

In 1941, the theater was more extensively remodeled. Congratulatory ads placed in the June 20th Oswego Palladium-Times, another local paper, included one from the Belgian Art Studios in New York which said that all the murals and other decorations in the remodeled theater were by Oscar Glas.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jan 8, 2011 at 3:25 am

The Theatorium was showing movies at least as early as 1908. An item in the September 19 issue of The Moving Picture World that year said that the Theatorium was enjoying such success that it had been compelled to double its floor space.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Family Theater on Jan 8, 2011 at 3:05 am

The construction news column of the August, 1912, issue of The Lather, a trade union journal, said that a three story theater was to be built at Batavia. The architect was Leon H. Lempert.

Given the timing, and the restrained classical style of the Family Theatre’s facade, so characteristic of Lempert’s designs during that period, it seems very likely that the project listed in The Lather was this theater. The earliest mentions of the Family Theatre I’ve found in Batavia newspapers are from early 1914.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Uptown Theatre on Jan 7, 2011 at 5:22 am

I came across a collection of photos of Boston buildings designed by the architectural firm of Peabody & Stearns which includes Chickering Hall, so that firm designed the original building as well as its 1912 expansion into the St. James Theatre. (This page is large. Not recommended for dial-up connections.)

This PDF of a scan of an article from a 1901 issue of The Music Trade Review has two drawings of Chickering Hall. The text says that the original 800-seat auditorium was 55x80 feet, and the stage 19x37 feet, so the alterations to convert the hall into a theater with over 1600 seats must have been extensive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Beacham Theater on Jan 6, 2011 at 6:06 am

In my previous comment, the date of the issue of Boxoffice in which the article about the Beacham appears should be January 9, 1954.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Beacham Theater on Jan 6, 2011 at 6:04 am

A small “before” photo of the Beacham Theatre and an architects rendering of the remodeled facade appeared on this page of Boxoffice, January 6, 1954. Plans for the remodeling project were by the architectural firm of Kemp, Bunch & Jackson, the firm which took over the practice of architect Roy A. Benjamin upon his retirement in 1946. There’s a possibility that Benjamin was the original architect of the Beacham, but I haven’t been able to confirm this.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Jan 6, 2011 at 5:10 am

Boxoffice of January 9, 1954, had this article about the remodeling of the Rialto Theatre. It mentions the opening year as 1940, but gives the seating capacity as only 600. Design of the remodeling, which was carried out to convert the house to CinemaScope, was attributed to local architect Harold Long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:44 am

Robert Boller was the architect of a 1953 remodeling of the Orpheum. The project included removing the stage and installing a CinemaScope screen. Boxoffice of January 6, 1954, said that the auditorium’s capacity had been increased by 25 seats as a result of the project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cine Payret on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:19 am

Boxoffice of January 6, 1954, said that Cine Payret’s recent presentation of “The Robe” was the debut of CinemaScope in Latin America. The strikingly modern lobby of the theater was featured on the cover of the Modern Theatre section of the same issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Arion Theatre on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:05 am

The Arion Theatre underwent an extensive remodeling project in 1953. The modern design was done by the architectural firm of Liebenberg & Kaplan, according to Boxoffice of January 6, 1954.

Photos on this page, text on the following page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tivoli Theatre on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:02 am

Someone has started a web site about the Tivoli here. It’s set up as a weblog, but so far it has only two entries, both of them being articles from Boxoffice Magazine. There are a couple of photos, and also an e-mail address and a phone number.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Indiana Theater on Jan 6, 2011 at 3:54 am

The architectural style of the Indiana looks more 1920s than 1910s. A town as small as Washington probably wouldn’t have had a movie theater as large as the Indiana built as early as 1913. My guess would be that the Indiana Theatre was built in the 1920s, and most likely in 1926, when the organ was installed.

In Julius Cahn’s Theatrical Guide of 1897, the earliest edition available to me, there is a listing for an Opera House in Washington, managed by Horrall Bros., who are still listed as operators in the 1899-1900 edition. In the 1904-1905 and 1906-1907 editions the Opera House was listed as managed by Frank Green. Cahn lists the Opera House as a second-floor theater, and the Indiana looks like a ground floor theater, which is further indication that they were probably not the same house.

The 1893 issue of the entertainment trade journal The New York Clipper listed a house called Wise’s Family Theatre, which had been opened at Washington, Indiana, on November 14, 1892. It seems fairly likely that Wise’s Family Theatre, the Opera House of Cahn’s guides, and Palmer Bros. Grand on the postcard with the 1913 postmark, were all the same theater, and that it had changed operators several times.

Washington had a movie house called the Theatorium which was mentioned in the December 13, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World. I doubt that it became the Indiana Theatre either, but it is possible that the Theatorium was the Opera House, which could have been renamed sometime after the postcard above was printed, though it’s also quite possible that the Theatorium was an entirely different theater. Addresses would have to be found for both names to know for sure.

Given that the postcard ad shows the Opera House operating as a movie and vaudeville theater, and given that it was almost certainly not the Indiana Theater, I think it would be reasonable to give it a listing at Cinema Treasures.

Also, Kerasotes' web site doesn’t list any showdates for this theater. Has it been closed?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theater on Jan 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm

JimmiB: Please take a look at my recent comments on the Arcadia Theatre page. There’s a link to a 1909 magazine item about a theater, originally called the Victor, at 748 Penn Street. At first I thought it might have been the theater you knew in the 1950s as the stinky Ritz, but Ken Roe found a different address for the Ritz. It’s possible that the Victor didn’t last long, in which case you still might reconize the building as the location of some other business.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theater on Jan 3, 2011 at 5:50 am

The street name in the header needs to be changed from Penn Avenue to Penn Street. There is a Penn Avenue in Reading, so the Google Maps link currently fetches the wrong location. The caption for the photos Lost Memory linked to in the preceding comment gives the location of the Park as the 1000 block of Penn Street.

The “Related Websites” link in the intro is dead, by the way.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Arcadia Theater on Jan 3, 2011 at 5:41 am

FDY must have meant Penn Street, rather than Pennsylvania Street, since Penn Street is where the local commenters on the Park Theatre page (MikelD and JimmiB) place it. But it wasn’t the Victor in any case. I suppose it still might have once been the Princess/Arcadia, though.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Arcadia Theater on Jan 3, 2011 at 5:09 am

The Irvin Glazer Theatre Collection contains a promotional piece for the Astor Theatre in Reading, which says that the new house was to be built on the site of the Arcadia. If that was the case, then the original Arcadia must have been demolished in 1927 or 1928.

As an Arcadia Theatre was still listed in the FDY as late as 1941 the name must have been moved to another theater when the original house was closed and demolished to make way for the Astor. An October 3, 1928, ad for the Arcadia Theatre in the Reading Eagle has the words “Formerly the…” (Princess? The scan is hard to read.)

The ad gives no address for the Princess/Arcadia, but it’s possible that the Princess was a theater that had been opened in 1909, originally called the Victor, which was located at 748 Penn Street. Here is a scanned clip of an item from The Moving Picture World, issue of April 17, 1909, telling about the New Victor Theatre. There is a small photo of the entrance. Perhaps someone from Reading will recognize it.

It’s also possible that the Victor eventually became a theater called the Ritz, which was mentioned in comments on the Cinema Treasures page for the Park Theatre. The comments only say that the Ritz was on Penn Street somewhere between 7th and 9th. Perhaps it is listed in an FDY from the 1950s. If the Ritz was at 748 Penn, then it must have been the Victor, and maybe the Princess and Arcadia as well.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Astor Theatre on Jan 3, 2011 at 4:51 am

The street name in the header needs to be changed from Pennsylvania Street to Penn Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Warner Theatre on Jan 3, 2011 at 4:28 am

The address currently given for this theater is wrong. JimmiB says (the preceding comment) the Warner was across the street from the Astor and a couple of doors from the Embassy. The Embassy had an odd numbered address and the Astor an even numbered address, so the Warner must have been odd numbered as well. In the 1945 photo ken mc linked to above, the Progressive Outfitting Co. next door to the Warner’s entrance looks like it has an address of 751, so the theater must have been at 753 Penn.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Santander Performing Arts Center on Jan 3, 2011 at 3:56 am

The old Rajah Temple was gutted by fire in May, 1921. The rebuilding project was extensive, costing approximately one million dollars and taking more than a year to complete. The five-bay facade of the original building was retained, though there were extensive alterations to its upper floors, but the rebuilt theater’s entrance was in a new annex that was erected adjacent to the surviving front portion of the original structure. The auditorium of the new Rajah Theatre was new construction as well.

The book “Reading in Historic Postcards” includes cards depicting the original and the rebuilt building on page 107. The text on the latter card says that the Austin organ installed in the rebuilt theater had cost $35,000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bullock's Theatre on Jan 3, 2011 at 3:39 am

The April 17, 1909, issue of The Moving Picture World had this item about T.R. Bullock’s new theater:[quote]“AMUSEMENT PALACE FOR PROVIDENCE.

“A new motion picture house with a seating capacity of about twelve hundred will open soon in Providence, R. I., at 34 and 38 Richmond street. According to the plans now made by Mr. T. R. Bullock, the proprietor, it will be one of the finest in New England. The billiard and pool tables that formerly occupied the hall have been moved into new quarters and it will be the only building of its kind that has so many of the popular sports of the day under one roof—-namely, billiards, pool, bowling, moving pictures, vaudeville and illustrated songs. It will be very unique in this way, as it will give our patrons a chance to bring their families to enjoy the theater while they are playing billiards or bowling. As all of the different entertainments are under one roof it does not make it necessary for anyone to leave the building to go from one entertainment to the other. The place will be known as Bullock’s Temple of Amusement, the name that Mr. Bullock has used since he opened the place four years ago. Mr. R. B. Royce will have charge of the house and assist Mr. Bullock in the management and booking of the vaudeville. Mr. Royce is well known to the Summer park people and sends greeting to all of his friends. Bullock’s Temple of Amusement Orchestra will furnish the music under the leadership of Mr. Geo. Wallace. Mr. Bullock has signed with the Motion Picture Patents Company, so that good pictures are assured. These will be changed on Mondays and Thursdays. It is expected that the house will open on May 11.“[/quote]