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The September 11, 1909, issue of the trade journal Domestic Engineering ran an item about the plumbing, heating, and ventilation system of the new Princess Theatre, then under construction in Des Moines. The Princess Theatre was designed by the firm of Hallett & Rawson (George E. Hallett and Henry D. Rawson.) The item said that the roof of the building would be on by the middle of September, so construction was most likely completed before the end of 1909.
Hallett & Rawson was a leading Des Moines firm in the late 19th and early 20th century, but I’ve been unable to find any theaters other than the Princess attributed to them.
If there was a Hollywood Theatre in the 500 block of Liberty Street, it couldn’t have had that name between 1934 and 1948, when there was a Hollywood Theatre in the 400 block of the same street.
Information accompanying this photo from the 1910s says that this house opened in 1912 as the Elmont Theatre, and was later known as the Ideal Theatre before becoming the Hollywood Theatre. It gives the address as 411 N. Liberty Street, and says that it burned in 1948.
Information with this photo showing the tile at the entrance, all that survived after demolition, says the house had become the Ideal in 1927 and the Hollywood in 1934.
Here is a 1940s photo (1946 movie on marquee) showing the Hollywood at right and the Colonial Theatre farther along the block.
I’ve been unable to find any references on the Internet to a theater in the 500 block of N. Liberty Street.
The book “Winston-Salem in Vintage Postcards,” by Molly Grogan Rawls, says that the Amuzu Theatre opened in 1910, replacing a predecessor called the Lyric which had closed. Here is the photo of the Amuzu. It can also be seen at right in this 1913 photo of 4th Street.
A comment on a Winston-Salem forum said that the Amuzu was in a building that was built about 1880, so it was a storefront conversion. It might have had other names before it was the Lyric. The comment says that the building was demolished around 1974, but doesn’t say when it closed as a theater. I doubt that it survived into the sound era, though.
The book “Winston-Salem in Vintage Postcards,” by Molly Grogan Rawls, says that the Auditorium Theatre was built on the site of the Elks Auditorium after the old theater burned down on April 27, 1916.
Arby is correct about “Bullitt” being the first movie shown at the Thruway Theatre. According to the book “Winston-Salem,” by Molly Grogan Rawls, the house opened in February, 1969.
The caption of a photo of the Woolworth store the book “Winston-Salem” by Molly Grogan Rawls says that the store, opened in 1955, replaced three shops and the Forsyth Theatre. Comparison of photos shows that the new Woolworth’s was in the same building the shops and theater had occupied.
The March 30, 1930, issue of The Livingston Republican said that Peter Bondi’s new Palace Theatre was rapidly nearing completion adjacent to Bondi’s confectionery shop. The new theater was to be 30 feet wide by 116 feet long, and would seat 400 (though not very comfortably, I would imagine.) It was named the Palace in honor of the theater of the same name, Geneseo’s first movie house, which had operated on the same site about 20 years earlier.
The “J-Aprile” on the building’s parapet refers to the theater’s original owner. An article in the Livingston Republican of June 23, 1977, tells a bit about the theater’s early years. It was built in 1914 by an Italian immigrant named Joseph Aprile. It was originally called the Rex Theatre. In 1923 it was remodeled and expanded.
The theater was called the Rex at least as late as 1934, but had become the Riviera by some time in 1936. Members of the Aprile family were operating the Riviera at least as late as 1988.
There was also a Grand Theatre in Geneseo, converted from a Baptist church in 1920. It was located at Bank and Wadsworth streets. It operated both as a movie house and as a live theater. It was destroyed by fire on March 27, 1927.
The caption of this photo from Flickr user Larry McCombs says that the Colonial Theatre was in the space now occupied by a clothing store at 225 S. Main Street. The building was built in 1913 and, in addition to the theater, housed the Post Office.
Here is an article about the Grand Theatre from the web site Main Street Ronceverte. The article says that the theater was built in 1937, and was designed by John Norman Sr., one of the state’s first African American architects.
The Grand has been placed on the 2011 Endangered Properties List of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. PAWV provides this gallery of photos depicting the Grand as it is today (I’ve been unable to track down any vintage photos.) A non-profit organization, the Ronceverte Development Corporation, intends to buy the Grand to preserve it from demolition. The plans are to eventually convert the theater into a community college facility for cinema arts, and convert the former radio studios upstairs into a recording studio.
PAWV calls the house Shanklin’s Grand Theatre. James C. Shanklin was apparently the original operator of the Grand. He died in 1958, and his obituary can be found on this page of Boxoffice for March 10 that year.
The article headlined “St. Louis To Honor Fred Wehrenberg” in Boxoffice of September 14, 1946, features a picture of the first building occupied by the Best Theatre, which Wehrenberg had originally operated out of a tent. The article gives the names, addresses, and in many cases the names of the operators of more than a dozen St. Louis movie theaters from the 1910s.
The April 7, 1909, issue of The Moving Picture World has this item in its “Notes of the Trade” column: “Chelsea, Mass.â€"The Gordon Amusement Company, of Boston, has had plans prepared for the erection of a large vaudeville theater here.”
The same year, a letter from Local 7 of the Bridge and Structural Iron Workers Union was pusblished in the October issue of trade union journal The Bridgemen’s Magazine, listing a theater in Chelsea among the projects then underway on which the Chelmsford Iron Company was doing structural and/or ornamental iron work. Given these dates, it’s likely that Gordon’s Theatre opened in late 1909 or early 1910.
The November 15, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the Gordon interests had taken control of the Empire Theatre in Chelsea, and would operate it as a movie house. Gordon’s Theater would present stock company shows. The changes had been scheduled for November 10.
Architect H.S. Bair’s first name was Harry. Harry S. Bair also designed the Querner Theatre and the Plaza Theatre in Pittsburgh, and was the architect for the addition of the Columbia Theatre to a hotel building in Brookville, Pennsylvania.
Various publications of the AIA, as well as most other sources, spell the architect’s first name as Talmage, without the “d.” The name is spelled correctly in the introduction to Cinema Treasures' Rapids Theatre page, but not in the architect field.
The entry for Camden architect Howard E. Hall in the 1962 American Architects Directory of the AIA lists “1st Drive-in Theatre, original, Camden, N.J, 33” among his works.
The entry for New York architect Nathan Harris in the 1962 American Architects Directory of the AIA lists “Claridge Theatre & Off Bldg, Montclair, N.J, 22” among his works. The spelling of the theater’s name and the 1922 date don’t match the introduction above, but I’m sure it’s the same theater.
The book Montclair, by Royal F. and Elizabeth Shepard also mentions the Claridge Theatre opened in 1922. Another book, Another book, “Freedom’s child: The Life of a Confederate General’s Black Daughter,” by Carrie Allen McCray, gets the spelling right, and tells of attempts to integrate the Clairidge Theatre in the early 1920s.
Also note that this photo from the collection TC linked to in a comment back in 2006, which shows that the 1923 movie “White Tiger” with Priscilla Dean is listed on the marquee. The Clairidge Theatre was certainly open by 1923, and probably opened in 1922.
It’s amazing how many sources there are using the variant spelling Claridge for this theater, even though that 1923 photo shows that the spelling Clairidge was used on the marquee from the beginning. I found more than a dozen at Google Books, including the AIA Guide and some Motion Picture Almanacs, plus issues of Cue Magazine and New York Magazine, spelling it Claridge.
I’ve been unable to find anything about any of Poteau’s theaters in Boxoffice, but a Mr. O.K. Kemp of Poteau is mentioned twice in 1954. In June he visited Film Row in Oklahoma City, and in December he was re-elected as a director of the Theatre Owners of Oklahoma.
A snippet of a 1940 Motion Picture Herald item from Google Books mentions a W.O. Kemp in connection with the Victory Theatre at Poteau.
The towns of Poteau and Heavener are a few miles apart in LeFlore County, of which Poteau is the County Seat. It seems odd that one town would have a theater named for the other town.
There is a three-screen Poteau Theatre operating in Poteau today, though. Heavener apparently has no theaters open.
The June 9, 1958, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Liberty Theatre at Heavener had been closed for remodeling on May 10, reopening on May 21 for an 11-day run of “The Ten Commandments.”
A July 9, 1958, Boxoffice item about Claud Thompson, operator of the Thompson Theatre, said that he would be away from the theater for several months, having recently suffered a heart attack. The item said that Claud Thompson had been operating the house for many years, since his late father, Jim Thompson, had retired.
Boxoffice of June 9, 1958, said: “The Sequoyah Theatre, which was the only theatre in Tahlequah for many years, has been dismantled.” It’s not clear from the context of the item whether the Sequoyah had been dismantled recently, or some years earlier. The item is actually about Claud Thompson, operator of the Thompson Theatre, but it also mentions the Dream Theatre, operated by Allender Scott, and the Tahlequah Drive-In, operated by Bill Pierce.
The upper part of the Sequoyah Theatre building in the photos looks quite old. From the style I’d guess it dated from the 1910s, or at the latest the early 1920s.
The domain name of the Dream Theatre’s official web site is now for sale. The old official web site is back up, but the man page says only “Currentland is coming soon!” It has a link to The Current, a monthly publication. I have no idea what the connection is. In any case, the Dream Theatre appears to be closed, at least for now.
Though the main page of the old web site doesn’t link to it, one of its obsolete pages survives. It advertises a 2005 event, but it does feature two small photos of the auditorium.
According to this web page about Tecumseh, the Opera House was built in 1905.
This page from the Wisconsin Historical Society says that the auditorium in Columbus’s City Hall had, among its other functions, “…served as a motion picture theater until the local Rudalt Theater was built in 1917.”
Here is an illustrated article about Orchestra Hall in the August, 1920, issue of the professional journal Architecture. There are two photos, plus floor plans of four levels of the theater (scroll down.) There is also one photo of C. Howard Crane’s Grand Theatre in Pittsburgh. There are several additional photos of Orchestra Hall beginning on this page.
The pictures can be resized using the + and- buttons in the toolbar at lower right. Whatever size you chose can be downloaded using the usual right click and save commands. That’s useful when the pictures are displayed sideways, as they sometimes are.