Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Mar 5, 2011 at 7:21 pm

This house is open again under its old name, the Lyric Theatre. Google Showtimes and other web sites say that “Just Go with It” is playing today at 2:00 and 7:00 PM.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm

The entrance of the recently remodeled Strand Theatre was pictured on the cover of Boxoffice, April 7, 1958.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

This theater was still called the News-View as late as 1954, when the August 21 issue of Boxoffice said that operator John Wolfburg was renting the house to packagers of television shows during the morning hours. The packagers used the showings primarily to promote their offerings to advertising agencies, prospective sponsors, and TV station programming directors, and the viewing public was admitted for free to provide an audience.

I have no memory of the house as the News-View, but I’m sure it had become simply the New-View by the early 1960s. The earliest mention of it under that name I’ve found in Boxoffice is from November 28, 1966, which mentions that operator Harry Wineberg was running “Born Free” at the house.

The nomenclature for this theater is a bit complex. Note in this ca.1950 photo (the same one linked above by ken mc, and misidentified by the web site as being in New York City) that the hyphenated name “News-View” is on the facade in large letters. At the top of the marquee is a small sign in script reading “Tele-View” and the marquee says “Newsreel Theatre.” It’s possible that the “Tele-View” signage was added only in 1941, after the Tele-View Theatre east of Vine Street was converted into the Hitching Post Theatre. The News-View and Newsreel Theatre signs were thus on the house at the same time, rather than being two different aka’s. All the old references to the house I’ve found call it the News-View Theatre (though usually without the hyphen) rather than the Newsreel Theatre.

The exterior features of the News-View building remained pretty much the same into the 1970s. The Ritz facade and marquee actually date from the mid-‘70s remodeling of the house by Pussycat Theatres. The Ritz Theatre page at Historic Hollywood Theatres has a small photo dated 1972 showing that the only significant changes from the ca.1950 photo were the removal of parts of the signage: the “S” from the name on the facade and the “Tele-View” sign, and the replacement of the marquee’s “Newsreel” with “New-View.”

Boxoffice mentions the New View frequently from 1970 through 1973, and never hyphenates the name, but I recall seeing it hyphenated in the ads and listing in the L.A. Times. It was certainly hyphenated on the theater’s signage.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Massac Theatre on Mar 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm

The URLs have been changed for the weblog posts by Michael Allen that I linked to in my previous comment:

Post about the New Merry Widow Theatre in St. Louis.

Post about the Massac Theatre.

I’m still trying to track down any confirmation of the surmise that Jack Shawcross was the architect of the Massac Theatre, but so far no luck.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kiowa Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Kiowa being a very small town, this was probably its only theater and thus the house that Boxoffice of January 30, 1954, reported had been damaged by a fire and explosion which “…ripped the box office off the front and broke windows.” The fire was brought under control within thirty minutes, so the building must have survived and been reopened. The theater had been built five years before, the item said, and had cost $30,000. The owner-operator was named Fred Collier. Unfortunately, Boxoffice doesn’t give the name of the theater.

This item is the only mention of Kiowa I’ve found in Boxoffice but, as this theater had been opened in 1948 or 1949, I’d surmise that it was most likely a replacement for an earlier, probably much older, theater, which was either closed or demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about LaVerne Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm

I’ve found a single mention of the Laverne Theatre in Boxoffice. The issue of February 9, 1952, said that owner Paul Covey had installed a new Glascreen screen and Peerless Magnarc lamps in the house.

Boxoffice did not capitalize the v in the theater’s name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Filmarte Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 9:04 am

David James’s book “The Most Typical Avant-Garde” says that this theater became the Filmarte in July, 1928.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gaiety Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 9:00 am

cmayerrro: I’m afraid I can’t provide you with any additional information about Wolfe’s 1913 movie. About 80% of all movies made in the United States during the silent era are lost, and the odds that a copy (even a partial one) of From Dusk to Dawn survives are pretty slim. It’s possible that reviews survive in publications of the period, and one or another of them might give you a clue to the story’s origin, but I’ve been unable to find any.

There’s a very slight chance that a copy of the movie survived among the cache of American silent films recently revealed to exist in Russia. There are 194 films, according to this article, and copies of them are being sent to the Library of Congress. I’ve been unable to find a list of the titles of these movies. Given the vast number of movies that have been lost, and the mere handful that were discovered in Russia, though, the chance that a copy of From Dusk to Dawn is in this cache of survivors is slight. Still, the movie’s Socialist theme makes it likely that prints of it would have made their way to Russia during the early Soviet period.

If andita is still watching this thread, Google Books has a preview of the David James book cmayerro mentioned, The Most Typical Avant-Garde, and I noticed that it says the movie premiered at the Mozart Theatre on Sunday, October 19, 1913, and played there for one week before moving to the Lyceum Theatre. The Mozart was on Grand Avenue, and the Lyceum on Spring Street.

If From Dusk to Dawn later played a house on Fifth Street, I’ve unearthed another possible venue at which it might have been shown. I only recently discovered that, in 1908, a good-sized movie house called the Globe Theatre was built at the southeast corner of Fifth and Los Angeles streets. It was operating at least as late as 1914, but was closed sometime before 1921. Given its early closing date, as well as its out-of-the-way location, it’s not surprising that its existence eluded our discovery for so long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shirley Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 7:13 am

Les Nordean’s Tiger Theatre at Konawa, Oklahoma, was gutted by fire in May, 1954. The August 14 issue of Boxoffice reported that Nordean had spent $16,000 to restore the house, and was renaming it the Shirley Theatre after his wife.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Opera House on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:39 am

Bob, it was the Grand Opera House on Main Street that opened in 1900. It replaced the old Opera House on Roberts Street that had burned down in August that year, according to the historic plaque on this page (lower right.)

Because the original Opera House burned in 1900, it must never have operated as a regular movie theater, though it probably hosted one or two of the movie exhibitors who travelled the country during the period from 1896 into the early 20th century. For that reason it probably shouldn’t be listed at Cinema Treasures. The Grand Opera House, however, did later become a movie house, and is listed here under its later name the Electric Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Electric Theatre on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:36 am

The historical marker at lower right on this web page gives some history of the Grand Opera House in Kingfisher. It says that the original Opera House on Robberts Avenue burned in 1900, and the Grand Opera House was opened on the second floor of the Pappe Building to replace it.

The marker says that the Grand Opera House seated 800, not the 600 listed in Julius Cahn’s guide. It doesn’t mention the house showing movies or being renamed the Electric Theatre. Probably the movie operation didn’t last long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Morley Theater on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:32 am

The missing vertical sign was replaced at some time. It appears in this photo, which was probably 2007, judging from the movies on the marquee.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about 89er Theatre on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:30 am

Here is a photo of the new 89er Theatre. I don’t know if it’s in an old building that was converted into a theater, or if it’s a new building that was decorated with Victorian details.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Electric Theatre on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm

The Grand Opera House was listed in the 1904-1905 edition of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide, but had not been in the 1899-1900 edition. so it opened sometime between 1900 and 1904. The guide listed a seating capacity of 600 for this second-floor house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crown Theatre on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm

In 1939, the Crown was probably owned by Pete Crown. The March 4th issue of Boxoffice said that Pete Crown was closing his Crown Theatre in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and switching his theaters in Pampa and Borger, Texas, from first run to subsequent run operations.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elm Theater on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

An ad for Anemostat air diffusers in Boxoffice of May 7, 1949, featured a picture of the Elm’s auditorium. The caption says the theater was designed by New York City architect E.C. Bullock.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Opera House on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm

The 1899-1900 issue of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide lists an Opera House at Kingfisher. The seating capacity was 500, the proscenium was 30 feet wide and 18 feet high, the distance from footlights to the back wall was 18 feet, and the distance between side walls was 30 feet.

The 1904-1905 edition of the guide describes a somewhat different theater called the Grand Opera House. It seated 600, and had a proscenium only 24 feet wide and 16 feet high, but the distance from footlights to back wall was 32 feet and the distance between side walls was 50 feet.

I don’t know if the Opera House of 1900 and the Grand Opera House of 1904 were entirely different theaters, or if the original theater had been expanded and altered. Both were listed as second floor houses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tejon Theatre on Feb 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Here is a 2010 interview with Tim and Karrie League, who operated the Tejon Theatre from 1994 to 1996. After leaving Bakersfield, the Leagues moved to Austin, Texas, where they found the successful Alamo Drafthouse chain of movie pubs.

The Tejon’s marquee is now in the possession of the Kern County Museum, and awaiting restoration so it can be installed in the museum’s “Neon Courtyard” according to the note at the bottom of this web page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theater on Feb 26, 2011 at 10:53 pm

I’ve been unable to find any mention of the Tilford Theatre later than the 1915 item I cited above, and the only mention of the Liberty I’ve found in the trade publications is the Boxoffice item from 1955. Local newspaper archives would probably be the best source of information about the Tilford’s change of ownership.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Odeon Theatre on Feb 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

The date of 1813 for the building of this theater has to be wrong. I suspect a typo. It was probably built in 1913. The town’s own web site says that white settlement in the area didn’t begin until 1815. A settlement called Old Hardin developed in the 1830s, but the current town wasn’t platted until 1868, and wasn’t incorporated until 1881. I can’t find a theater at Hardin listed in any edition of Julius Cahn’s guide. The town was probably too small to support a theater before the 20th century.

This web page mentions graduation ceremonies for Hardin High School being held at the Odeon Theatre in 1936, so it was still standing in that year.

According to an item in Boxoffice of May 12, 1956, a Bach-Mar Theatre at Hardin, which had been closed for about four years, was being reopened by Kenneth Bachman and J.D. Martin. Most likely this was the Odeon, renamed. As the town has always been quite small, it’s unlikely any theater other than the Odeon was ever built, unless the Odeon was either destroyed or converted to some other use before the house that became Bach-Mar was built.

A February 23, 1959, Boxoffice item mentions Glen Lentz, who “…used to operate the theatre at Hardin, Mo.” That’s the only other mention of Hardin I’ve found in Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theater on Feb 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I’ve found Murphysboro mentioned only once in Boxoffice, in the issue of November 19, 1955. The item said that John Marlow had reopened the Liberty Theatre, which had been closed since October, 1954.

The Tilford Theatre is mentioned in The Moving Picture World, issue of July 19, 1913. An advertisement in the August 17, 1915, issue of the same publication published a letter from Tilford Theatre operator W.F. Tilford to Chicago film distributor F.O. Nielsen, praising a movie called “The Spoilers” which had enjoyed great success at his house.

A Star Theatre at Murphysboro is also mentioned in various 1913 issues of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Marlow Theatre on Feb 26, 2011 at 8:39 pm

The Marlow Theatre in Herrin also opened under the name Hippodrome. A book called “Williamson County Illinois Sesquicentennial History” has a bit of information about it. The operating company was called the Grand Opera Company, and was a partnership of brothers John, George, and James Marlow with Paul Columbo.

The Hippodrome opened on November 24, 1917. It operated primarily as a live theater, but later an annex theater was built next door to it where movies were shown. By “next door” the book must mean behind, as that’s where the Annex Theatre listed at Cinema Treasures is located, facing on the next street west.

An item about the opening of the Murphysboro Hippodrome in the November 15, 1919, issue of trade journal Motion Picture News referes to John Marlow as “…president and manager of the Hippodrome Theatre at Herrin, Ill….”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Annex Theater on Feb 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

According to a book called “Williamson County Illinois Sesquicentennial History” the Annex Theatre was built behind the Hippodrome Theatre (later called the Marlow Theatre) specifically to show movies. It was operated by the same company that operated the Hippodrome/Marlow, which in its early years was a live stage house.

This photo shows the Annex “about 1912” according to the caption, but the original Hippodrome’s stage house is visible behind it, with part of the name Hippodrome visible, so the photo must date from after 1917.

The same photo gallery has additional photos of the Annex, one on the same page depicting a 1955 fire, another one on the next page showing the marquee in aside view (along with photos of two drive-ins, the Marlow and the Egyptian,) and there is also this photo of a snow-covered Park Avenue, with the Annex at left.

Boxoffice of May 12, 1956, carried an item headlined “Reopens at Herrin, Ill.” which said that the Annex had been damaged by fire the previous July.

Boxoffice of April 20, 1964, posted a brief obituary of John D. Marlow, who had died at Herrin on April 1. It said that he had operated Marlow’s Fireproof, Annex, and Drive-In theaters, all of which had been closed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Marlow's Theater on Feb 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm

This must be the theater that was the subject of an item in the trade journal Motion Picture News, issue of November 15, 1919:

“John Marlow, president and manager of the Hippodrome Theatre at Herrin, Ill., announces that their new theatre at Murphysboro, Ill., will open December 15. This theatre has a seating capacity of 1,600 and is elaborately furnished and contains a $15,000 pipe organ.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Covina Theater on Feb 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Of the various theaters I attended in the San Gabriel Valley (almost all of them fairly old houses,) the only one that I remember having had a dedicated crying room was the Garvey, my childhood neighborhood house. I got to use it once when I was about four years old and freaked out because the movie started before my older sister had gotten back to her seat after going to talk to friends. The crying room worked. I quit crying as soon as I got there, but I think my sudden calm was from the fascination of seeing a new part of the theater that I hadn’t known existed.

Another theater, the Garfield in Alhambra, had two rooms with glazed windows overlooking the auditorium, one on each side of the house. They served as foyers to the rest rooms, and I only saw the one on the men’s room side. It had no seats as the crying room at the Garvey did, but it’s possible that the one on the women’s room side had seating so it could serve as a crying room. I never asked anybody who had been in it.

Of the theaters elsewhere that I attended, I don’t recall any crying rooms, except for the pair at the Los Angeles, but by that time I was a teenager and wasn’t really looking for them. Articles in post-WWII issues of Boxoffice about new theaters frequently mentioned them, though, and from that it appears that they became a pretty common feature during that time.