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I totally screwed up the first sentence of my previous comment with sloppy cut-and-paste editing. It should say this: Here is a web page with an index of articles from Brunswick newspapers that are available on microfilm from the local library.
The Los Angeles Times of February 2, 1923, reported that the Strand Theatre had opened at Dinuba. Southwest Builder & Contractor of May 26, 1922, reported that the Strand had been designed by Fresno architect Ernest J. Kump. Modern sources usually refer to him as Ernest J. Kump, Sr., as his namesake son also became a noted architect.
Here is a vintage photo of the Powers Theatre. The caption says that it “… started as the Gem Opera House in the 1920s….” but an item in [em]The Moving Picture World[em] of July 15, 1916, indicates that the house was built to show movies: “CARIBOU, ME.â€"Astte & Page has the contract to erect a two-story moving picture theatre, 45 by 96 feet, for P. J. Powers, to cost $10,000.”
There is a web page an index of articles from the The Cumberland Theatre that are available on microfilm at a local library. It lists an article about the Cumberland Theatre published in 1949. The abstract indicates that the house was built in 1910, and remodeled in 1949.
The Cumberland Theatre is mentioned frequently in various 1920 issues of Bowdoin College’s student newspaper, The Bowdoin Orient. Some of its ads were for live theater performances. The newspaper also carried ads for a movie house called the Pastime Theatre, but no addresses were given for either house.
The Cumberland and the Pastime were both mentioned in the November 22, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World The postcard book Brunswick and Bowdoin College, by Elizabeth Huntoon Coursen, has photos of both the Cumberland and the Pastime (search using the spelling theater.)
The Leavitt Theatre was under construction in late 1910. In its issues of November 5 and November 19 that year, trade journal Domestic Engineering carried items about the letting of the plumbing contract and the installation of a heating plant.
Frank C. Leavitt was one of Sanford’s leading citizens, a coal and wood merchant, and the owner of quite a bit of property, including the town’s most important business block, but that didn’t stop him from getting into trouble with the law. He opened Sanford’s first movie theater in a billiard parlor on the fourth floor of the Leavitt Building in 1908, and apparently some locals were not pleased with the new entertainment. The official report of the state’s attorney general, covering cases for two years through November 30, 1908, included a report that Frank C. Leavitt had been charged with exhibiting obscene pictures.
Fortunately he was found not guilty, or it might have ended his promising career as a movie exhibitor, and the Leavitt Theatre might never have been built.
Is 721 10th Street South the confirmed address of the 1935 Park Theatre?, There was a New Park Theatre opened in 1913 at 822-825 10th Street South, a block away from this house. There was a photo of it in the July 12, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World. Google street view shows what looks like the same building still standing, though it gives the approximate address as 884 10th Street South. Theater-style exit doors can be seen on the back of the building, which abuts East 14th Street.
From the aerial view, it looks as though County Road 33 might once have ended at 10th Street, or maybe ran straight south to end at Grant Street, but was later cut diagonally through the 700 block to connect with Park Avenue South. If the Park Theatre moved to a new building in the 700 block of 10th Street in 1935, that building might have been demolished in the 1960s if such a road project was carried out then.
Here is another view of the Ramona Theatre building, which also shows the building next door, location of the former Fox (or Rex, or both) Theatre.
Here is a view of the Majestic Theatre’s auditorium, from an ad in the Catalogue of the First Exhibition of the Louisville chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1912.
A very similar view is here, illustrating an article about the Majestic’s lighting which was published in the August 10, 1912, issue of the trade journal Electrical Review and Western Electrician.
The most thorough history of the Majestic’s early years can be read in this article from The Moving Picture World of March 4, 1916. It reveals that the original 650-seat theater, opened in 1908, continued to operate during most of the part of 1911 when a new 1,200-seat theater was built over and around it, only closing for three weeks during which the old building was dismantled and carried out of the new building piece by piece. In 1915, a new, more ornate entrance was created for the theater. There is a photo of it, as well as another photo of the auditorium.
An article on Cleveland movie houses in the July 5, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World has a few lines about the Alhambra Theatre:[quote]“One of the largest and prettiest theaters in Cleveland, built originally for pictures, is the Alhambra, at Euclid avenue and East 105th street. The house now seats 1,100 and during the summer a balcony with 400 seats is to be added. The house was built five years ago.
“Originates Children’s Matinees.
“Jack Greenbaum, manager since the Alhambra-Doan Company took over the theater, fourteen months ago, originated the "children’s matinee” idea in Cleveland. Special programs for children are shown every Saturday. School teachers aid Greenbaum in the selection of the pictures for the children.“[/quote]The line claiming that the Alhambra ”…was built five yeas ago" (about 1911, then) contradicts the citation from Gary Marmorstein’s book in Bob Beecher’s comment on Mar 26, 2007, saying that an organ was installed in the Alhambra by Mitchell Mark in 1907. Not knowing Marmorstein’s source for the earlier date, I can’t say which is correct, but the 1916 magazine’s article might have been hastily written and thus would be more prone to error.
The February 15, 1965, issue of The Film Daily said that a bank had taken an option on Stanley Warner’s Ambridge Theatre and that the house might soon be closed. It was the town’s only operating theater. Boxoffice of October 4 the same year said that the Ambridge Theatre Building would be razed sometime that month.
“Invasion of the Mind Snatchers: Television’s Conquest of America in the Fifties,” by Eric Burns, a native of Ambridge, said that the town had four theaters in operation at the beginning of the 1950s, but only two by the end of the decade.
I’ve found the Ambridge Theatre mentioned as early as 1929, so it was in operation by then.
ronp: I’m wondering if the newspaper you cite was perfectly legible. Is it possible that it actually said Rex, rather than Fox? (Scans of old newspapers are often a bit messy, assuming your source was a scan.) There was definitely once a Rex Theatre in Buhl. It was mentioned in the October 25, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World. Even if it did say Fox, the Fox might have been the Rex, renamed. It would have been a cheap change for the signage.
Either way, I doubt that this theater had any connection to William Fox. I don’t think the Fox Intermountain chain, which included Idaho in its territory, was even founded until several years after the Buhl house was closed.
The Ramona Theatre has an official web site. The “About Us” section features a nice photo of the restored auditorium.
The Scenic Temple was definitely in operation by 1908, as contemporary sources indicate that it was used as a dispensary distributing station during the Chelsea fire, which began on April 12 that year (see The Burning of Chelsea, published in 1908.)
Here is a link to the Scenic Temple listing in the 1908-1909 Cahn Guide. It notes that Chelsea still had no regular theaters, but there were two other movie houses in town; the Star and the Theatorium.
I wonder if the name “Stueal” on the 1909 building permit for this theater was actually “Wuest” written by someone with a sloppy hand? Stueal might be a real surname, although Ancestry.com’s immigration records find only one person of that name. The form on which it was found could have been a bureaucratic error, of course. I can’t find any other references on the Internet to anyone named Stueal, except in results from Cinema Treasures.
I’ve found several references to Gustav P. Wuest, though, in publications from the 1910s as well as in a couple of documents prepared for nominations of buildings to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Arcadia Press book Oakland, by Walter C. Kidney, attributes the design of the facade of the Schenley Theatre to Henry Hornbostel. As Hornbostel did design (or collaborate on) other buildings in the Schenley Park neighborhood, it’s possible that he did collaborate on the theater project as well.
The April 8, 1915, issue of Engineering News has an article with structural drawings of the Schenley Theatre and a description of its construction. The article also says that the Davis Theatre in Pittsburgh, then under construction, had been designed by the same architects and engineers.
In an item in the January 5, 1914, issue of the journal American Stone Trade, architect Henry Hornbostle, to whom two sources that I know of attribute the design of the Liberty, was said to have “approved” the plans of the Schenley Theatre, a project designed by the architectural firm of H.E. Kennedy & Company.
On the Sheridan Square Theatre page, a comment by Denis McNamara (probably this architectural historian, by the way) says that architect Edward J. Schulte, who was working in Kennedy’s firm during the period when these theaters were built, listed the Sheridan Square, Schenley, and Liberty on his resume.
Despite the source I cited in my earlier comment above, and the book about Hornbostel reviewed here, I’m now wondering what roles Hornbostel and Schulte each played in the design of the Liberty. Unfortunately, there is much more information about the Schenley than the Liberty on the Internet, so I’ve been unable to track down any references from the 1910s that would confirm Schulte’s involvement in the project.
I’ve found nothing published prior to 2002 that mentions Hornbostel in connection with the Liberty, either, and I still find it odd that so restrained a classicist as Horbostel would have designed a theater that, as described by the book review to which I linked, featured “…white, glazed terra cotta tiles framing an American flag composed of red, white and blue light bulbs.”
Additional information about the Schenley Theatre from the January 5, 1914, issue of American Stone Trade: “Ground was broken this week for the new Schenley Theater to be built by Harry Davis and John P. Harris in Forbes street, opposite the Hotel Schenley, from plans by the H. E. Kennedy Company of this city and approved by Architect Henry Hornbostle. The theater in many respects will be one of the most artistic in this city.”
This, coupled with the information from Denis McNamara about Edward Schulte (see my previous comment) leads me to question the attribution of the design of the Liberty Theatre to Henry Hornbostle. I’ll comment further on the Liberty page.
A comment by Denis McNamara on the Sheridan Square Theatre page says that architect Edward J. Schulte listed this theater on his resume as his work. He was employed by H.E. Kennedy & Co. at the time. The following item appears in the August 5, 1913, issue of the journal American Stone Trade: “Architects H. E. Kennedy & Company, of this city, are preparing plans for $200.000 theater to be known as the Schenley, and to be built for Harry Davis and John P. Harris, well known amusement men of Pittsburgh. It will be erected near the opening of Schenley Park.”
The November 8, 1913, issue of trade journal The Moving Picture World had this item: “The Cameraphone Co., of Pittsburgh, H. Beatty, General Mgr., has added two more houses to their string. Cameraphone, at Sharpsburgh, seating capacity 530; Cameraphone, 1600 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, seating capacity 500, all doing good business.”
Five theaters were opened under the name Cameraphone by T.M. Barnesdale in 1908. These included the Cameraphone in East Liberty and the Cameraphone “…on lower Fifth avenue….” in Downtown Pittsburgh (I think this latter must have been the house at 347 Fifth Avenue that later became the Cameo Theatre.) A third Cameraphone was on Carson Street on the south side, according to this article in the July 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World.
The East Liberty Cameraphone was taken over by a partnership of H.B. Kester and W.C. Beatty not long after it opened. The H. Beatty who was general manager of the Cameraphone Company in 1913 was most likely a relative of W.C. Beatty. Kester was apparently out of the partnership by 1913, though he still operated the East Liberty Cameraphone. The Cameraphone Company that operated this house was established in 1913, and its president was James B. Clark.
The East Liberty Cameraphone dates to 1908. It was one of five Cameraphone theaters that were opened that year by T.M. Barnesdale. Three of them, including the East Liberty house, presented early talking pictures. The experiment with sound soon failed, and the theater was taken over by H.B. Kester and W.C. Beatty, who operated it as a regular silent movie theater. The house opened with 400 seats, was expanded to 700 seats in 1910, and expanded again to 900 seats in 1914.
Trade journal The Moving Picture World had an article about Pittsburgh area exhibitors in its issue of July 15, 1916, and it included a section titled Kester and His Cameraphone. Kester operated the East Liberty Cameraphone at least as late as 1926, when it was mentioned in the Film Daily Yearbook.
The 1941 Catalog of Copyright Entries from the Library of Congress includes a copyright issued to architect Victor A. Rigaumont for: “Alterations to Cameraphone theatre, 6202 Penn Ave., Th. Ward, Pittsburgh. Â© June 3,1941” There’s no indication of how extensive the alterations were.
Aerial views show that this entire block is now a parking lot. The Paramount has been demolished, as comments above note.
The listed seating capacity of 2,600 for this house must be wrong. From the photos of the theater it’s clear that this building couldn’t have held that many seats— probably not even half that number.
The various photos showing the side wall of the Paramount reveal that the building was quite old. It dated from no later than the early 20th century. This genealogy page refers to “The Old Marlowe Theater, that is now the State Theater….” The Marlowe Theatre was listed in the the 1904-1905 edition of Julius Cahn’s guide as a 1,050-seat, ground-floor house. This photo of the Marlowe’s auditorium (dated 1934 by the New York Public Library) makes an interesting comparison with the Paramount’s remodeled auditorium (that’s the same photo Chuck linked to above.) The interior was obviously gutted, either when it was remodeled as the Paramount or earlier, when it was renamed the State.
Volume 205 of the legal publication The Southwestern Reporter has information about a case involving the installation of a heating and ventilation system in the Lyric Theatre at Jackson, Tennessee. The initial contract for the system had been signed on July 9, 1913. Another case, in volume 203 of the same publication, involved a vacuum cleaning system installed in the house. It’s clear from the articles that the house was in operation during at least part of 1913, and most likely was built that year. A balcony is mentioned in one of the articles, so the Lyric was probably a good-sized theater, not just a small nickelodeon.
There are three more photos of the Orpheum in this Flickr set.
From YouTube, here is a 57 second clip of Mark Gifford playing the Orpheum’s Barton organ, now installed at Springfield High School.
Like the other theaters built by Muvico since 1997, the Boynton Beach 14 was designed by the Baltimore architectural firm Development Design Group.
There are conflicting reports about the theaters in Warsaw, but this house should probably be listed as the Boice Theatre, with Centennial as an aka. It was built in either 1916 or 1917, became the Boice Theatre in 1955, and operated until 1973. A comment on this message board page says that the theater that was the Boice in the 1950s had once been the Centennial, and that it had been built in 1916. It suggests that the Centennial might have been closed for a long time before being reopened as the Boice, and the building might have had some other use in the meantime, but that’s not certain.
But then this 2005 Union-News article says that the Boice was “newly built” in 1955. I’m inclined to think that’s wrong, as the building on the corner today has the same form as the one in the picture Lost Memory linked to (though it’s been refaced with modern materials,) and that was clearly an old building with a stage house. The article also says the house was operated by the Boices until it was destroyed by a fire in 1973, but this 1968 article about Ralph and Gladys Boice says that they had by then retired from the theater business and had recently leased the Boice Theatre to a Roger Vores.
The Boices had begun operating the Strand Theatre on North Buffalo Street in 1931, according to the 1968 article. I’ve also come across a reference to a Bell Theatre in Warsaw, the name of which was changed to the New Grand in late 1915. A house called the Royal was operating in Warsaw at the same time (it’s possible that one or the other of these might have become the Strand.) The old Warsaw Opera House might have been operating as a movie theater at that time, too, as it was mentioned in same issue of The Motion Picture World, January 1, 1916. However, this page with a history of the Opera House doesn’t mention it being used for movies. The Opera House was destroyed by a fire in 1967. The same page gives the opening year of the Centennial as 1917, rather than 1916.