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There is only one “n” in the middle of Coniston. Photos are here, in Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of July 17, 1948. The article says that the nickelodeon-era house had been remodeled to plans by architect William Riseman, William Riseman Associates.
The E.M. Loew circuit had the Capitol remodeled and renamed it the Center Theatre in 1948. An article about the project, which was designed by William Riseman Associates, appeared in Boxoffice Magazine, July 17, 1948. There was also a nice night photo of the new marquee of the Center on the cover of that issue of Boxoffice.
The auditorium of the Paradise made the cover of Boxoffice Magazine in September, 1950.
Here’s a night photo of Cine Tacna in a 1950 Boxoffice Magazine ad for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company</a>.
The Grove Theatre opened on June 7, 1950, as reported in the June 24 issue of Boxoffice. The house was operated by Tri-States Theatres and was designed by Dallas architect Raymond F. Smith.
Manager Joe Jones, according to Boxoffice, had gotten his first job in a theater at the Bon Ton in Honey Grove 34 years earlier.
The Model Theatre was a Pereira & Pereira-designed house, opened about the same time as their more famous Esquire Theatre in Chicago. It was originally operated by the Carley Amusement Company, associated with Butterfield Theatres.
Boxoffice Magazine of September 17, 1938 presented a multi-page feature comparing the Model and the Esquire, with several photos of each house (9 pages of photos altogether) and text by Bill Pereira. Naturally the Esquire gets the bulk of the coverage, but the Model is well represented.
The opening date of the Model was June 16, 1938. I’ve not found the Model Theatre mentioned in Boxoffice later than September 29, 1956, in an item saying it was being reopened.
The 1966 Boxoffice article about the single-screen Stanley Warner Route 4 Theatre with photos showing Drew Eberson’s original design as executed is currently available online. In addition to the article, a photo of the theater’s lobby appeared as the frontispiece of the issue’s Modern Theatre section.
Also, what’s the deal with the word “Primus” in the current name given above? Sure, Primus is one of my favorite groups, but what have they to do with Paramus, New Jersey?
The Shady Oak Theatre was a Fanchon & Marco operation when it got a new manager named Howard Albertson in 1952. Three years later, Boxoffice Magazine ran a two-page spread about the Shady Oak and the unusual policies Albertson had established at the house. A photo of the theater was featured on the cover of that issue of Boxoffice as well.
The architects of the Kallet Theatre in Oneida were Bley & Lyman (Lawrence Bley and Duane Lyman), according to an Libbey-Owens-Ford ad in Boxoffice, November 12, 1938. This might have been Bley & Lyman’s only theater. The ad is the only reference to them I’ve found in Boxoffice, and all the Internet references (there are a lot) are about non-theater buildings.
The second Sayville Theatre was opened by Prudential Theatres in April, 1951. It was designed by John and Drew Eberson. Photos of both the interior and exterior of the house were featured in an ad for Heywood-Wakefield theater seats in Boxoffice of December 8, 1951.
This particular Avenue Theatre must be the one that got the name in 1938. According to Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of November 12 that year, the former Pearl Theatre on Fifth Avenue uptown had reopened as the Avenue Theatre after being “…renovated from front to back, wall to wall and ceiling to floor….” The owner of the Avenue was Jacob Richman.
The March 26, 1973, issue of Boxoffice announced the intention of the Clarksburg Library Board to condemn the Ritz Theatre and adjacent private buildings in the 400 block of West Pike Street. The last operator of the Ritz was Russell Lopez.
The July 23 issue of Boxoffice said that the Ritz had closed, and that it had been the only theater in Clarksburg showing Restricted films. Madge Stout at the Robinson Grand must have been running a strictly G and PG house (I don’t think PG-13 had been added to the rating system yet.)
An item about the demolition of the Ritz Theatre appeared in Boxoffice, January 7, 1974. It said in part: “The theatre was built 46 years ago by the late Jack Marks, one of the Mountain State’s pioneer exhibitors, but he never operated the Ritz, transferring the new, unopened theatre building to Warner Bros. Theatres. A city
which at one time had five theatres, Clarksburg now has only one, the Robinson Grand.” The Ritz must have opened about 1928.
In 1949 Moore’s Opera House was taken over on a lease by Madge Stout, who was already operating the Robinson Grand Theatre for the estate of Claude Robinson. Madge Stout (sometimes appearing in Boxoffice items as Madge Stout Douds, or Madge Douds, her married name) was still operating Moore’s as late as 1957, as mentioned in the December 7 issue of Boxoffice- which means the theater was probably still open for at least part of 1958.
When Ralph Douds, Madge Stout’s husband, died in 1959, the notice in the May 11 issue of Boxoffice referred to Madge only as operator of the Robinson Grand, so it’s likely that Moore’s had been closed by then.
Boxoffice noted that “Colonel” Moore was still the owner of the building in 1949 when Madge Stout signed the new lease on the house. It’s likely that Claude Robinson had been operating Moore’s Opera House since the late 1930s at least. When the Grand burned in 1939, Boxoffice reported that its programs would be shifted to Moore’s until the Grand was rebuilt.
The obituary of Claude Robinson appeared in Boxoffice of January 1, 1949. It says that it was while he was living in New York in 1913 and 1914 that his brother, Reuben, persuaded him to invest in a new theater in Clarksburg, which became the Robinson Grand.
Another Boxoffice article, published November 12, 1938, was based on a items that had been published in a Philadelphia trade paper in 1915, and it made reference to “Rube” Robinson using movies from Paramount, Metro, and Fox at the Robinson-Grand Theatre in Clarksburg. The house may have had Grand on its marquee, but the Robinson brothers were definitely associated with it by 1915, and it was certainly showing movies by then. The Obituary also gives the date of the first remodeling as 1927. Perhaps work began in 1927 and was completed in 1928.
Thanks to a user comment by William Brandon on a Flickr photo page linked above, I’ve found the 2000 “Images of America” series book about Harrison County at Google Books, and as William said there’s a photo of the Grand, probably from 1927 (the caption says “shortly after 1900” but the movie on the marquee is probably one released in 1927), and the name “Keith” is across the top of the vertical “Grand” sign, and “Vaudeville” across the bottom, so the house was at least for a while part of the Keith vaudeville circuit. The caption of this photo also says that the architect of the Grand Theatre building was R.C. Holmboe.
Another interesting bit of information I’ve stumbled on is that there was a Grand Theatre in Clarksburg listed in the 1904-1905 edition of Julius Khan’s Official Theatrical Guide. This was an 800-seat house managed by a Mr. R.A. Farland. Could this theater have been a predecessor to the Robinson Grand? Perhaps burned and rebuilt in 1912?
A strange item appeared in Boxoffice of November 12, 1938. There’s a photo of the Robinson Grand showing the new marquee and vertical sign recently installed. A few paragraphs of text below the photo praise the marquee, but criticize the failure to remodel the facade of the building itself. The item has no by-line, so I have to assume it was an editorial opinion by the magazine. I’ve never seen another item of this sort in Boxoffice. But the marquee in the picture appears to be the same one the house still has, so it’s quite a relic itself. I wonder if any of the original neon detail survives in storage somewhere?
Boxoffice of March 11, 1939, ran a “Ten years ago” feature which included news from 1929 that “Bill Pritchard and Guy P. Gregg open their new Grand, Clarksburg, W. Va.” I don’t know if this was the same Grand Theatre, perhaps briefly operated under a lease, but it’s the only Boxoffice item I’ve found mentioning Pritchard or Gregg in connection with a Grand Theatre at Clarksburg or anywhere else.
Many issue of Boxoffice mention Madge Stout, noted in Robinson’s obituary as his long-time assistant, who became the manager of both the Robinson Grand and Moore’s Opera House after Robinson’s death. She remained manager of Moore’s until its closing (about 1958-1959) and was still manager of the Robinson Grand as late as 1975. One item indicated that she had gone to work for Robinson at the Grand Theatre about 1925. Fifty years at one theater is quite a career.
The September 17, 1938, issue of Boxoffice said that construction had begun on the Ada Theatre. The house was to be operated by Clarence A. MacDonald, operator of five theaters in Columbus.
The Ada was designed and built by the F&Y Construction Company (later renamed F&Y Building Services.) F&Y head Leo Yassenoff told Boxoffice that his company had completed or had begun construction on 11 theaters since December 15, 1937.
The obituary of Foster McSwain was published in Boxoffice, May 19, 1969. It says that upon arriving in Ada in 1917 “…he acquired the Ada Liberty, following up this purchase with the Majestic, which he renamed the American. In 1919 he purchased a site at Main and Townsend streets and built thereon the McSwain, which still bears that name. During the big days of his operation here, he also built the Ritz and Kiva theatres, which he operated several years. Both these theatres have long been dismantled.”
McSwain operated the theaters in Ada in partnership with Griffith Consolidated Theatres starting in the 1920s and eventually became a director of Griffith, later to become Video Independent Theatres, and vice president of the Griffith Realty Company.
The McSwain Theatre got an extensive refurbishing in 1956, according to Boxoffice of May 19 that year. In addition to redecorating the lobby and auditorium, installing air conditioning, tiling the rest rooms, and adding new glass doors for the entrance, Video Independent installed a new marquee. According to a June 23 item, the house had reopened after ten weeks. There was new carpeting throughout,the seats on the main floor had been reupholstered and entirely new seats had been installed in the balcony.
The McSwain was twinned in 1972. The May 15 issue of Boxoffice said: “The new Mini penthouse theatre in Ada, created from the balcony of the McSwain Theatre, began operation April 27, with ‘The Hospital’ as its first film.”
In 1991, the dark McSwain could have been picked up for a song. The May issue of Boxoffice said the house, in good condition, with two screens, heating and air conditioning, but lacking seats, concession stand, and projection equipment, was available on a lease-purchase arrangement, or for immediate sale at $40,000.
The August 26, 1939, issue of Boxoffice reported that the remodeled Ritz was set to reopen that week.
The obituary of Foster McSwain published in Boxoffice, May 19, 1969, said that he had built the Ritz and Kiva theaters some time after building the McSwain, but didn’t give the years of their opening. McSwain operated theaters in Ada in partnership with Griffith United Theatres, later Video Independent Theatres.
Boxoffice of January, 1987, said: “Cinemark… has opened the new North Hill Cinema 6 in Ada, Okla.”
Boxoffice of April 24, 1972, reported that as of April 6, the Gemini Twins in Ada were more than 35% complete. The house was to be operated by Vista Theatres, and the total investment including equipment was estimated at $250,000. An earlier Boxoffice item had given the seating capacities of the auditoriums as 312 and 224. I haven’t found any items about the opening itself.
I’ve come across a couple of references to architect Bud Magee as Charles Magee and Charles “Bud” Magee. In addition to the Christown, and the Buena Vista at Tucson, he designed at least one other NGC house, the Fox Theatre in Provo, Utah, opened in 1967. There’s a rendering of the Provo Fox in Boxoffice, April 24, 1967.
Oy. I meant Kees and Colburn, of course. Where did Caldwell come from? I need to get more sleep.
Brad is correct. Boxoffice Magazine of February 5, 1973, has an item saying: “Owner of the recently opened Malibu Cinema, a United General Theatres Franchise operation, is David O'Meara….” The house was still a single-screen theatre at least as late as early 1982, when the February issue of Boxoffice published a letter from David O'Meara in which he mentioned that the theater had 250 seats.
A view of a Trans-Lux Modern Theatre was featured in an ad for Carrier air conditioners in Boxoffice Magazine, March 7, 1936. I think it’s the same theater seen in the two exterior photos linked in ken mc and Warren’s comments. If this theater closed in 1933, Carrier must have been using an old photo of it. It’s possible that the ad had already been in use for a few years and Carrier was just too cheap to have a new one created.
On February 18, 1936, a little over a year after it opened, the Colony Theatre hosted the world premier of Walter Wanger’s “The Trail Of the Lonesome Pines,” the first dramatic feature film in full color. Two days later, the New York premier was presented at the Paramount Theatre there. Paramount Pictures congratulated itself with this two-page spread in Boxoffice Magazine of March 7, 1936.
The October 23, 1948, issue of Boxoffice reported another world premier at the Colony, that of the Ingrid Bergman-Charles Boyer movie “Arch of Triumph.”
A brief item in Boxoffice of September 23, 1950, mentioned “…Paramount’s Colony, Miami Beach, now called the Colony Art Theatre….” This name and policy change does not appear to have lasted long, and Boxoffice was again calling it simply the Colony Theatre by 1952.
The theater was apparently closed in late 1953. The November 12, 1955, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Colony would be reopened by Florida State Theatres on December 23 with the southeastern regional premier of “Guys and Dolls.” The house had been closed for two years, the item said, and was being refurbished and would be equipped for wide-screen movies.
After that, the Colony appears to have thrived as a first-run house, with occasional road shows, for a couple of decades, and was mentioned in Boxoffice frequently.
The Square Theatre was renovated in 1936. The March 7, 1936, issue of Boxoffice has an article by architect William I. Hohauser, illustrated with a few photos of the Square Theatre, which was one of his recent modernization projects.
Unfortunately, the scan of the article is very blurry, and about half the text is unreadable, including the part that makes reference to the Square Theatre. The photo caption is readable, but doesn’t give much information. It does, however, specifically say the project was a renovation, so the Square must have operated before 1936, perhaps under a different name.