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Oddly enough, they won a Ronson pocket lighter.
I’ve found a mention of the Lyceum in the October 15, 1949, issue of Boxoffice. The house had won a minor prize for its performance in a charity fund-raising competition the magazine had been running.
Small picture of the State sandwiched between the National and Colonial in this photo, dating from the early 1960s, judging from the cars on the street.
Also interesting is this newsreel clip from 1933 (missing its soundtrack, alas) of the opening of the State. Mostly close-up shots.
The Ginter was designed by Richmond architect Fred Bishop, according to Boxoffice Magazine, September 11, 1937.
The November 15, 1947, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the Morley Theatre had been dedicated on November 6. The article said that the new house had 1210 seats, but also gave the figures of 798 on the main floor, 512 in the balcony, which would add up to 1310. It’s anybody’s guess which figure was a typo. The article also mentioned that there were two crying rooms with seven seats each.
Guests at the opening included the theater’s architect, Jack Corgan, and its decorator, R. F. Churchill, both of Dallas. The first show kicked off with a half hour live performance by “Singin' Sam” Harrison, followed by the feature film, “Cynthia.”
The January 4, 1947, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Erle G. Stilwell was the architect of the Center Theatre. The rendering in the magazine showed a four-story business building as part of the project, but the photos at Flickr show what looks like a theatre without any upper floors. The project must have been scaled down. The rounded marquee is the same in both, though.
A couple of interior photos of the recently remodeled Ark Theatre were published in the May 25, 1940, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The new Art Moderne design had been done by architect Erwin G. Fredrick, in association with interior designer Hans Teichert.
Construction on the Lans Theatre began during WWII, but was delayed by material shortages. Kalafat Brothers, the operators of the house, scheduled the opening for January 29, 1947, according to an item in Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of February 15 that year. The Lans was designed by Chicago theater architect Erwin G Fredrick.
The other proposed movie house mentioned in the Chicago Tribune article quoted by ken mc on Nov 20, 2008, must have been the one mentioned in the March 30, 1940, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. It was to have been designed by Rapp & Rapp, and the small architect’s rendering accompanying the item showed an art moderne building. The scan of the magazine is poor, but I think the name of the new house, to be operated by Sam Meyers, was the Glenwin. Does anybody know if it ever got built?
Richmond’s new State Theatre was featured in an article in the September 13, 1941, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The 1000 seat house (700 seats on the main floor and 300 in the balcony) was designed in the Art Moderne style by Chicago architect Erwin G. Fredrick.
OK, this web site has more pictures of both the Brunson and the Bay, but gives the address of the Brunson as 8200 S. Main Street. Somebody will have to check Google Maps to see which is correct (I can’t do it right now because Google Maps keeps crashing my browsers for some reason.)
The Brunson Theatre was designed by architect Leon C. Kyburz. There’s a photo of it on this page at the web site of the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. They give the exact address of the Brunson as 315 W. Texas Avenue.
The same page has a photo of another Kyburz-designed theater in Baytown, called the Bay, built in 1942 at 3100 Market Street. It doesn’t have a Cinema Treasures listing yet.
The first People’s Theatre was on a different site, across the street from its replacement. The second People’s Theatre was designed by architect Leon C. Kyburz, and Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of July 13, 1946, said that the construction permit had been issued on July 1.
The house was owned by the Jefferson Amusement Company, whose spokesman was quoted as saying “The People’s will be our first new theatre in Beaumont since we opened the Tivoli six years ago.” The Tivoli does not appear to be listed at Cinema Treasures yet, unless it’s a missing aka.
Another issue of Boxoffice Magazine, from December 2, 1944, has an article about the McLendon circuit, and it says the circuit’s new Beverly Hills Theatre was already open, so late 1944 would probably be the correct period for the opening. The company was able to get construction materials during the war because the theater would serve workers at a major aircraft factory nearby.
The article also said that the architect of the Beverly Hills was Raymond F. Smith. The style was Art Moderne.
The Centre Theatre was scheduled to open on December 1, 1944, and was one of the few new theaters to be completed in the U.S. during WWII. The issue of Boxoffice Magazine published the following day featured a rendering of the Centre’s handsome Art Moderne exterior as the front plate of the magazine’s Modern Theatre section.
An article in the magazine included a small reproduction of architect Jack Corgan’s original floor plans, and one of his sectional drawings of the house showing some nice scroll-work on the side wall. The Centre was of reinforced concrete construction, featured a section of stadium seating, and took three years to complete due to wartime shortages of manpower and materials.
Architect Corgan worked on the design and on getting priorities for building materials in his spare time, as he was drafted shortly after receiving the project and served as a flight instructor in the Army until late 1944.
The Centre was owned by Griffith-Consolidated Theatres, Inc., and was a replacement for a theater on the same site which had been destroyed by fire.
An item about Underwood and Ezell in the September 22, 1945, issue of Boxoffice (issuu misidentifies it as September 15, 1945) indicates that Jack Corgan designed all of the circuit’s early drive-ins, including the Circle in Waco, the Shepherd, and an unnamed theater on Military Drive in San Antonio. The item also says that plans were underway for drive-ins in Pharr, San Antonio, and at two locations in Houston.
The only clue I can find connecting Corgan with the Buckner is an item in the July 17, 1948, issue of Boxoffice, which is about a Dave Callahan whose company was about to open a drive-in in Little Rock called the Ascher, which was “…patterned after the Buckner Boulevard drive-in in Dallas.”
The next paragraph says “Callahan was in Dallas conferring…with architect Jack Corgan who designed the big airer.” It’s not perfectly clear from that wording whether Corgan designed the Ascher, the Buckner, or both, but that he designed both does seem likely.
Don Sanders’s book “The American Drive-In Movie Theatre” (previewable at Google Books) has a brief biography of Jack Corgan, and says that by the time he retired in 1980 he had designed over 75 drive-ins. He also designed many indoor theaters. So far, his Cinema Treasures list contains only fourteen.
The Buckner Boulevard Drive-In was opened June 4, 1948. It had a capacity of 664 cars. Owners were W.G. Underwood and Claude Ezell. Boxoffice Magazine of June 12, 1948, said “Underwood, Ezell, and other associates own 25 outdoor theatres in the state and are building more.”
There’s a possibility the Buckner was designed by Dallas architect Jack Corgan, but I’ll have to do some digging to see if I can come up with any confirmation. He did design other drive-ins for Underwood and Ezell, apparently including the Shepherd in Houston.
In the trade journal The Moving Picture World, July 24, 1915, under the heading “Other San Francisco Items” it says: “The Valencia Theatre has discontinued vaudeville and is now showing moving pictures exclusively.”
The Normandie Theatre was listed at 4811 S. Normandie in the 1956 City Directory. I’m sure that’s the correct address. The Academy Theatre, its aka, is listed at 4811 S. Normandie in the 1915 City Directory.
The building listed at 4811 by L.A. County Assessor has “0000” for the year it was built, and has an effective year built of 1963. It looks as though some part of an earlier structure might have survived a 1963 rebuilding, but the Assessor’s office has lost track of the original construction date.
Live Search bird’s eye view shows what looks like an apartment house on the lot at 4811 today, and Google Maps street view shows that the building has an address of 4807. The 1963 development must have incorporated one or more lots to the north of the theater’s site. There’s a small, shed-like building at the back that might be older than the apartment building, but it doesn’t look like it was ever part of a theater. The Normandie must have been demolished in 1963 or earlier.
I’m not sure why the Normandie was listed at 4817 in those mid-twenties ads. Some sort of address promiscuity, I guess. The building at 4817 today is a house dating from 1911, with a 1953 commercial addition at the front, according to the assessor’s office (and confirmed by Google satellite view.) That could never have been the theater.
In any case, as the Academy was already operating at 4811 Normandie in 1915, and the Normandie was still operating in 1956, the place had a long run. It’s too bad the building is gone. I’d like to have seen it. Maybe a photo will turn up someday.
Migratory address? I think it’s probably so. The 1915 City Directory lists a Cate & Swann Theater at 2127 W. Pico. The 1914 building at that address probably was built as a theater.
The parcel on the corner of Pico and Lake is given a Lake Street address by the L.A. County Assessor’s office, and it too is occupied by a building erected in 1914, but from Ken’s photos and the Google Maps view, it looks like the Empire was in the building east of that, on the lot the Assessor’s office still lists as 2127 W. Pico. They give the 1914 building there an effectively built date of 1922, so the original theater was probably expanded at that time.
Listed as the Carmel Museum Theatre in the 1956 L.A. City Directory (see also ken mc’s comment of January 5, 2007, above, citing the same name.)
An item from the December 23, 1944, issue of Boxoffice said that an early morning fire causing $15,000 damage had recently occurred at the San Carlos Theatre in Los Angeles. The cause was determined to be a cigarette left in a seat, which smoldered for several hours before starting the blaze. Residents of upstairs apartments had to flee the building.
The April 22, 1968, issue of Boxoffice Magazine ran an article about the new Prescott Drive-In. The Prescott was designed by San Francisco architect Gale Santocono, for Robert Lippert’s Affiliated Theatre Service Inc.
The new drive-in could accommodate 1000 cars on its 15 acre parcel, and had a screen 114 by 57 feet on a 70-foot tower. There was a free-standing marquee 40 feet high, with an attraction board 38 feet wide and 14 feet high. The first manager of the Prescott was Gus C. Vasconcellos.
This theatre had an interesting origin. It began as a simple quonset hut, and was opened by the Huish-Gilhool circuit when their Angelus Theatre, a few blocks away, was destroyed by a fire in 1948. While the house was already operating, the building was upgraded and expanded according to the design by architect Fred Markham.
The July 9, 1949, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the formal opening of the Arch Theatre had been scheduled for July 8, and a photo of the completed theater was published in the July 30 issue of the same magazine. The quonset hut shape was retained, the front of the building was expanded to one side, and the whole edifice was given a modern “California” (as Boxoffice called it) design, built of redwood and of native rock quarried in Park City.
The Angelus Theatre was reopened in a new building on its old site in 1950, giving Spanish Fork two movie theaters.
Larry: I found a reference to a chain called San Carlos Cinemas in the March 4, 1974, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The item said that the chain was shuttering the Magnolia Adult Cinema in Larkspur. It looks as though San Carlos Cinemas was the porno outfit that ran the Paris in its later years.
The introduction on this page should be updated to include the information about its early years I noted in my earlier comment.