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A list of Cincinnati movie houses was published in the March 29, 1915, issue of The Cincinnatian, the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. The only house listed for Ludlow Road was the Clifton Theatre, at Clifton and Ludlow. In a comment above hank.sykes says the theater had originally been called the Clifton Opera House, but it was definitely showing movies as the Clifton Theatre by 1915.
The Crescent Theatre, at the above address, was on a list of Cincinnati movie houses published in the March 29, 1915, issue of “The Cincinnatian,” the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.
The Avenue Theatre, at the above address, was on a list of Cincinnati movie houses published in the March 29, 1915, issue of The Cincinnatian, the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. In that year it shared the 100 block of Fifth Street with three other movie houses; the Alhambra, the Colonial, and the Lubin.
Actually, the 1915 book had four theaters listed on West Fifth Street. In addition to the three noted in my comment above there was the Colonial at 128 West Fifth. That block must have been lively then, with four movie houses on it, and all on the same side of the street.
The theater’s name is missing a “d” in the middle. All the sources that I’ve seen, period and modern, call it the Nordland Plaza or Nordland. It was probably located in one of Cincinnati’s old German neighborhoods.
The Nordland Plaza is mentioned in a few publications from the 1910s that are available at Google Books. The most useful is this, from the trade journal Domestic Engineering, issue of November 16, 1912, which indicates a probable early 1913 opening for the Nordland Plaza Theatre, and names the architects:
“One of the latest propositions is the Nordland Plaza, which will be built on Vine Street, near Charlton, several squares from the Columbia, as per plans by Architects Stewart & Stewart. The general contract has just been awarded to Oscar Schroeder and the plumbing to Henry Niemes, of 4112 Hamilton Avenue.”
As Bob Jensen noted above, the Nordland Plaza Theatre had a Wurlitzer installed in 1913. The stage end of the auditorium was pictured in an advertisement for the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company in The Moving Picture World, October 25, 1913. The ad says the Nordland’s unit was a Wurlitzer Motion Picture Orchestra.
Although the web site for Bogart’s, the club now occupying the theater, says that the house opened as the Nordland Plaza Nickelodeon, I can’t find any evidence elsewhere on the Internet that Nickelodeon was ever part of the name, or that the house even operated on a five-cent policy. I note that Bogart’s site also gives the year the theater opened as 1890, so I’m inclined to consider it an unreliable source.
“The Cincinnatian,” a magazine published by the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, listed in its issue of March 29, 1915, theaters then showing movies. The Alhambra was listed at 146 W. Fifth Street. As that’s the same address listed in the 1923 city directory, I suspect that 146 is the correct address.
The 1915 magazine listed three moving picture houses on Fifth Street: The Alhambra at 146, the Avenue at 122, and the Lubin at 140. Cinema Treasures has the Avenue and Lubin listed at those historic addresses, so it’s unlikely the Alhambra’s parcel was renumbered.
Moving Picture World of April 17, 1909, reported that the McMahon & Jackson Motion Picture Company had been incorporated at Cincinnati, with a capital stock of $10,000.
The Forest Theatre, at the above address, was on a list of Cincinnati movie houses published in the March 29, 1915, issue of “The Cincinnatian,” the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.
The Glenway Theatre, at the above address, was on a list of Cincinnati movie houses published in the March 29, 1915, issue of “The Cincinnatian,” the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.
J Street: Yes, the photos ken mc linked to are gone. Boxoffice Magazine no longer has its archive online at issuu.com, which is where the link to the pictures went. Boxoffice has moved the archive to their own web site. I looked there for the article with the photos and couldn’t find it. Boxoffice published nine different regional editions of each its issues, as well as a national edition, and the edition now on their web site is apparently one of the regional editions, while the one that used to be at issuu.com and had the photos in it was probably the national edition.
J Street: “Rock Around the Clock” was released in 1956, but June Wilkinson wasn’t in it. If the movie you saw was in the early 1960s, it might have been “The Continental Twist” (1961) in which June co-starred with Louis Prima and Sam Butera. It’s even possible that “Twist” was double-billed with a re-release of “Rock,” and that’s why you associate June Wilkinson with the Bill Haley movie. In the days of double features, new movies that distributors feared might be weak at the box office were often paired with older movies that had been very successful.
Wilkinson was also the female lead in a 1962 comedy (and early example of soft-core near-porn) called “The Bellboy and the Playgirls,” which was co-directed by the young Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola also got a writing credit for some extra scenes. Apparently he couldn’t leave a script alone even in his early twenties.
As for the Chief, I still can’t reconcile the reported seating capacity of 328 with the reports and photos (which I can no longer find) in Boxoffice, or with the various comments above by people who actually attended this theater. It had to be way bigger than that.
Both the Iowa Theatre and the Strand Theatre were mentioned in Boxoffice of June 5, 1954. The Iowa Theatre was to be fitted out for CinemaScope, and the Strand was to be closed for the summer. The item also mentions the Grinnell Drive-In, which had been reopened for the season. All three houses were operated by George Mart.
“Grinnell in Vintage Postcards” also has a photo (page 32) of the Opera House/Colonial as the Iowa Theatre, ca.1949-1950 judging from the cars on the street.
What I gather from a 1989 monograph on Grinnell’s theaters (PDF file here) is that the Colonial Theatre was at the southwest corner of Main Street and Fifth Avenue; was built in 1901 as the Opera House; had become the Colonial Theatre by 1912, when it began showing movies on nights when no live events were scheduled; presented the first talking pictures in Grinnell in 1929; had become a full-time movie theater by the mid-1930s; was at some later time renamed the Iowa Theatre; might have been called the State Theatre in its last years; was closed in 1960, and the building was later demolished by Grinnell College.
The paper is primarily about the Strand Theatre, and the Mart family which operated the Strand for most of its history, and the information about the Colonial is sparse and scattered. There is also a little bit of information about other theaters in Grinnell; Preston’s Opera House, and the Bijou, Lyric, and Star theaters. An Airdome is also mentioned.
There is a photo of the Colonial Theatre in the Arcadia Publishing Company’s book “Grinnell in Vintage Postcards.” The caption gives 1902 as the year of construction and gives 800 as the original seating capacity. It also says that the demolition took place in the 1970s.
The Rivoli Theatre was probably at the northwest corner of Logan Boulevard and Burgoon Road. A book called “Altoona and Logan Valley Electric Railway” has a photo of a streetcar coming around the bend on Logan Boulevard (see the Google map for the bend’s location,) approaching Burgoon Road, and the caption says the Rivoli is out of view on the left. The photo shows part of a parking lot that might have belonged to the theater.
A book published in 1921, “The Story of Council Grove on the Santa Fe Trail,” says that T.W. Whiting built the Stella Theatre in 1916 and gave the deed on the property to the daughter, Mrs. Glen Kelly, for whom the theater was named. The house was sold to W.R. Bratton in 1921. A book from 1912 reveals that Whiting’s full name was Thomas Wilbert Whiting.
Boxoffice of September 18, 1954, said that Cle Bratton was remodeling the Ritz Theatre at Council Grove. The item said the the Chief Drive-In would remain in operation until the Ritz reopened on October 31. Cle Bratton and the Chief Drive-In are mentioned in Boxoffice again in 1956.
The Ritz was being operated by Mary Picolet by 1986, when she was quoted in this Chicago Tribune article (which only mentions the theater in passing, but is about an event too entertaining for me not to link to it.) I’ve also found Mary Picolet mentioned as operator of the Ritz as late as 1997, so she might have run the place right up until its closing.
The 1912-1913 edition of Julius Cahn’s Theatrical Guide listed an earlier theater in Council Grove, the Etta Opera House. I don’t know what became of it after 1921, when it was serving as an armory, or if it ever operated as a movie house, but small town opera houses of that era frequently did present movies.
I’ve found two photos of the third Orpheum at Google Books, both showing only the front. I don’t think either of them are in the San Francisco Public Library’s digital collection.
Page 13 of this 1912 book has a medium-close photo of the Orpheum’s entrance, showing the elaborate detail of the marquee.
Page 22 of this 1912 volume of Architectural Record has a front-on view of the theater’s facade (the caption missnames Lansburgh as Landsberger.)
A 1909 issue of The Architect and Engineer has an article about the Orpheum’s ventilation systems. No pictures, but it provides a rather thorough description of the structure’s “lungs.”
Another 1912 book has a brief biography of Lansburgh, though it only mentions the Orpheum in passing.
The Orpheum is mentioned in quite a few other public domain books that can be read at Google Books (at least in the U.S.– some books are blocked in other countries) but they don’t give many details, and I’ve found no other photos in any of those I’ve looked into.
The Orpheum was designed while Lansburgh was still part of the firm of Lansburgh & Joseph, in partnership with architect Bernard Julius Joseph.
The name Minski is puzzling me. The famous New York City burlesque king was named Minsky. Was some San Franciscan actually named Minski, or was the operator just trying to associate his theatre with Minsky’s in the public mind, while trying to avoid getting sued by the actual Minsky?
The only other place on the Internet I can find the name Minski’s Columbia Theatre is this page (scroll way down to reach the O'Farrell Street section,) which gives a different name history for the house than the one in the description above:[quote]“Orpheum 1909-1929 – designed by G. Albert Lansburgh
Erlanger’s Columbia 1931-1934
Minski’s Columbia 1935
Columbia 1936-1937”[/quote]The page is unsigned, but says “The information on this list was compiled from vertical files in the Art and Music Center of the San Francisco Public Library, city directories, motion picture directories, daily papers, and the very meticulous research of Jack Tillmany.”
This 1908 book mentions the Congress Hall Scenic Temple in South Boston, managed by James F. Powers. Apparently the house used both names simultaneously, probably to differentiate itself from other theaters in the area called the Scenic Temple.
There are many references to Scenic Temples in Boston, but there were multiple theaters using the name and I’ve been unable to sort them out. A 1914 Moving Picture World item concerns a William Bradstreet, who was planning to rebuild his Scenic Temple Theatre in Boston. He was said to be the owner of a chain of theaters in the area, so he might have operated the Congress Hall house and other Scenic Temple locations as well.
Comedian Fred Allen’s memoir, Much Ado About Me, mentions Winthrop Hall in Upham’s corner being an upstairs theater. In 1914, when Allen first appeared on the theatre’s stage as a juggler, Winthrop Hall was presenting nightly shows consisting of a two-reel comedy, a feature picture, and three acts of vaudeville.
Here is a vintage postcard of Uphams Corner, probably from the early 1920s. Winthrop Hall is the red brick building at center, with the gabled roof and stubby corner tower as described above. The style of the building is Romanesque Revival.
The Winthrop Hall Theatre is listed in a 1918 Boston business directory. Winthrop Hall is listed in the 1929 Film Daily Yearbook, but I’ve only got a snippet view so I don’t know if it was listed as closed or not. I haven’t found it mentioned in Boxoffice at all.
The Baltimore architectural firm Development Design Group, Inc., designed this Neo-Vintage project. The historical inspiration is predominantly Art Deco.
SouthSide Works Cinema appears to still be operated by Cleveland Cinemas, a small, regional chain which took over in 2006, two years after the house opened. SouthSide Works Cinema is mentioned on this page of their web site. It is not included in the site’s movie listings section (probably because all the chain’s other theaters are in or near Cleveland or Akron,) but that page has a link to the SouthSide Works' own web page.
The building is owned by the Stoffer Organization, developers of the entire SouthSide Works project. The current general manager of the cinema is named George Petrus.
This multiplex was designed by the Baltimore architectural firm Development Design Group, Inc.. Rave now bills the house as the Greene 14 + IMAX.
The Centro Ybor 20 was designed by the Baltimore architectural firm Development Design Group, Inc., which has been designing Muvico’s themed theaters since 1997.
Colorado Place splits off from Huntington Drive almost in front of the theater (it’s a double-curved “Y” intersection, with Huntington veering southward while Colorado Place bends north.) The City of Arcadia must have decreed at some time after 1950 that the numbers on the north side of that block be reassigned from Huntington Drive to Colorado Place, because that’s where they are now.
The theater was called Edwards Santa Anita for about two decades. The name Santa Anita was on the marquee until the early 1960s (I don’t recall the exact year,) when it was changed to Cinemaland. However, for as long as I remember, the theater always had a vertical sign that said Edwards, in letters larger than those used for the marquee name. The same was true at Edwards San Gabriel, which was renamed Edwards Century about the same time Edwards Santa Anita became Edwards Cinemaland.
Most of the old Edwards circuit houses had the company name on their signage, though at most of them it was in small, white neon script over the theater names themselves, so it was barely visible by daylight, and not very noticeable even by night. The San Gabriel and Santa Anita were the only houses I recall having the big vertical Edwards signs, but a smaller vertical reading Edwards was featured on the Edwards Village Theatre in Azusa.
A theater of the style the photos reveal would not have been first opened as late as 1935. Possibly 1935 is when Famous Players began operating the house. I’d guess the construction of the house to date from the late 1910s-early 1920s.
Perhaps the Classic was the theater then in the planning stage which was mentioned in the trade union journal The Bridgeman’s Magazine, issue of September, 1920. The house for C. Georgas and P. Leos was to be a two-story concrete, brick, and steel structure costing about $125,000 (presumably in Canadian dollars.) It was being designed by Toronto architects Hall & Duerr.
Boxoffice in 1954 mentioned two theaters that were then operating in Owen Sound; the Roxy and the Centre. The Roxy is the house now called the Owen Sound Little Theatre, built in 1912, but the Centre is unaccounted for, and it might have been the 1920 project by Hall & Duerr, so the Classic cannot yet be definitely attributed to them.
The Novelty Theatre was in operation by 1909, when it was listed as a business subscriber to the trade union journal The Railroad Trainman.
See my comment on the Rex Theatre page. Yale was the opening name of the Rex, so this page is redundant.
The book Washington County by Michelle M. Martin says that the Rex Theatre was built in 1915 and originally called the Yale.
There’s a small photo of the facade of the Yale Theatre in an ad for a popcorn machine that was published in the May, 1917, issue of Photoplay (result 4 of 5 for Yale– page 155.) There’s a bit of Art Nouveau decoration on the building.