Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Holly Theatre on Sep 22, 2009 at 7:03 pm

It’s Henry, not Henty, Jensen. Still, the California Index at the L.A. Library’s web site has only one card citing a Times article naming Henry Jensen, and that’s an article from June 21, 1914, about the Palace Grand Theatre in Glendale. All the other cards mentioning Jensen cite articles in Southwest Builder & Contractor or other publications. The name Theaterium does not appear in the Index at all.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Woodland Theatre on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm

crackdog is right. The distinctive cornice line of the theater is on the building at 608 NW 65th Street. The Woodland was not in the building Molly Maguire’s is in now, and where the confectionery was located in the 1932 photo, but in the building next door.

From the satellite view and from the Google street view along 6th Avenue NW, it’s clear that this narrow section of the building was only the entrance to the theater, and the auditorium was at right angles to it, with its rear exits on 6th Avenue. The auditorium is still there, and is probably used by Advanced Sign Design, Inc., which occupies all the storefronts from the former theater entrance to the corner.

In any case, whatever the address of the Woodland was in historic times, the former entrance is now clearly numbered 608 NW 65th Street, as can be seen in the Google street view.

I’ve found the Woodland Theatre mentioned in Boxoffice Magazine a couple of times. The December 16, 1950, issue said that Ted H. Wilson had bought the Woodland from John Danz of Sterling Theatres. Then the January 13, 1951, issue said: “Don Wilson, former owner of the Kent (Wash.) theatre, purchased the Woodland in Seattle.” Then on July 14, 1951, came the notice that “Walter Timm, who recently purchased the Woodland Theatre here from Ted Wilson, was on the row….”

The next mention of Walter Timm I can find is from 1957, by which time he was operating a theater in Portland, and there’s no mention of the Woodland. I’ve been unable to find any references to the house when it was the Olympic.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about San Carlos Theatre on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm

I misstated the original seating capacity of the Palace in my comment above. That line in paragraph 2 should read “…increasing the theater’s total seating capacity from a little under 600 to 825.” The article said that “about 250” seats had been added in the remodeling. The figure currently at the top of this page (571) was probably accurate for the Palace. I’m guessing Bryan found the theater in the listings in an FDY published before the 1952 remodel and renaming.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Theatre on Sep 21, 2009 at 7:06 pm

The Bijou was indeed built as the Lakeside Theatre in 1937. The Lakeside was renamed the Bijou in 1981 by new owner Judy Mace, who sold the house to Keith and Betsy Altomare in 1996. Boxoffice Magazine’s special ShoWest edition, published April 1, 2000, had an article about the Bijou and the Altomares.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about San Carlos Theatre on Sep 21, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I’ve found this theater referred to as the Palace in Boxoffice as far back as 1937, but never more recently than 1951. The July 11, 1953, issue of Boxoffice ran an article about the Palace being renamed the San Carlos Theatre when a major remodeling and expansion of the house had recently taken place. The theater was operated by Miami showman Milton Frackman and his local partners, A.W. Castro and Gerald Abreu.

Among other changes to the theater, a small shelf balcony had been enlarged into a full balcony, increasing the theater’s total seating capacity from a little over 600 to 825. The article did not give a name for an architect of the remodeling, but the decoration was by Eugene Vitanza, of Miami. An interesting sidelight mentioned int he article is that Ernest Hemingway occasionally attended this theater when he lived in Key West.

The last of the partners who had operated the San Carlos since the early 1950s, Gerald Abreu, gave over the operation to Marshall & Rode Theatres of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in 1968, according to Boxoffice of April 15 that year. That’s the last mention of the San Carlos I’ve found in Boxoffice, and I’ve been unable to find the house mentioned under its later name of Cinema II at all.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lux Theatre on Sep 20, 2009 at 8:51 pm

The DeRay’s vertical and marquee can be seen in this 1941 photo of Joplin’s Main Street. The theater also had a large rooftop sign at this time, but it is facing the other direction. The vertical signs of the Fox and Paramount can also be seen, down the street on the left side.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lux Theatre on Sep 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm

This theater should be listed under its final name, the Lux Theatre. It also had at least one name between Lyric and Lux. From the 1930s until 1952 it was the DeRay Theatre.

The Lyric Theatre opened after 1900 and was in operation at least as early as 1906 when it was shown on the Sanborn Fire Insurance map of Joplin. Though it was a narrow house it had a fairly deep stage, and may have presented legitimate stage productions, though it was not the town’s largest theater. The Lyric was more likely a vaudeville house before movies became popular.

I’ve been unable to find out anything about the house between the 1900s and the 1930s, but at least as early as 1937 it was being operated as the DeRay Theatre by the Fite brothers, whose small regional movie house circuit consisted of five theaters in Kansas and Missouri.

In 1952 the DeRay was acquired by Dickinson Theatres, and was completely remodeled and reopened as the Lux Theatre. Dickinson operated the Lux for two decades, and it appears to have been a first-run house the entire time.

The Lux closed when Dickinson opened their new Northpark I & II Theatres at Northpark Mall in 1972. The Lyric Theatre building has since been demolished, along with everything else on its block.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eastgate 5 Theatres on Sep 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm

The January 15, 1979, issue of Boxoffice said that the Eastgate opened as a twin in 1971, and was acquired by Dickinson Theatres in 1974 when the addition of a third auditorium was underway. The Boxoffice item was about Dickinson’s plans to add two more screens to the complex.

As a triplex the Eastgate had provided 861 seats, and the two additional screens would bring the total capacity to 1,463. The alterations were to be substantial, including the addition of a new lobby, a new front and signage, and redesigning the existing parts of the complex to be wheelchair accessible.

The expansion project was designed by Denver architects Mel Glatz & Associates.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Carib Theater on Sep 19, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Last line of paragraph two in my last comment should start “If it’s the same guy….”

I’ve got typoid fever tonight.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Carib Theater on Sep 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Note: I misspelled Heinemann in my comment above. I can only plead that my computer has a surplus of n’s and wants to get rid of as many as possible.

If it’s the same Peter Heinemann, he’s become a fairly well-known artist and a number of his paintings, often featuring images of cats and birds (as in this one), can be seen at various web sites. The painter Peter Heinemann was born in 1931 and would have been about 23 years old when the Clearwater Carib was built. I believe he is still living. It it’s the same guy, maybe he’ll find this page and tell us about the murals.

I’ve been unable to find out who created the very similar but more elaborate mural on the facade of the Miami Carib, but if it wasn’t Cohen and Heinemann (or at least Cohen, as Heinemann would have been about 19 in 1950) then the Clearwater mural was a pretty blatant imitation. I’d be inclined to blame the owners of the project. They must have had a case of mural envy. Interestingly, the name of the company they formed to build the Clearwater theater is from the initials of their surnames, N and V, but spelled out as En Vee, Inc. Freudian, perhaps?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Carib Theater on Sep 19, 2009 at 7:10 pm

The Carib Theatre in Clearwater opened in 1954, and was the subject of an article in Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of March 6 that year. Considerably smaller than the Miami Beach house of the same name, it had 1,194 seats on opening, and was the first Florida theater built to accommodate a CinemaScope screen from its opening day.

Despite any similarities it may have with the Miami Beach Carib, which was designed by architect Michael DeAngelis, the Clearwater Carib was designed by architect James E. Casale. The murals in the auditorium and on the theater’s facade were the work of artists Peter Cohen and Peter Heinnemann.

The Carib was originally operated under lease by the Bay-Lan Theatre Corporation of Tampa (the Miami Beach Carib was a Wometco house), though the building was owned by two men who had winter homes in Clearwater; Anast Notopoulos, the head of a Pennsylvania theater circuit, and Philip Voulis of Chicago.

Boxoffice article here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about El Dorado Theater on Sep 19, 2009 at 6:07 pm

An August 20, 1938, Boxoffice item that reported the sale of the Empire and El Dorado theaters to Fred and Lee Naify said that the El Dorado had 300 seats and the Empire 600 seats. Both figures were probably rounded off.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theater on Sep 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Ken Walter: Belated thanks for posting the photo links. I didn’t get a notification for the page update back in April.

Thomas2: The Palace was located at 540 E. C Street. There are links to a couple of photos of it (thanks again to Ken Walter) on its Cinema Treasures page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about DeKalb Theatre on Sep 19, 2009 at 5:06 pm

The increased seating capacity in 1950 over 1941 was probably the result of a rebuilding that took place in 1950. The January 7 issue of Boxoffice said that the DeKalb was being “torn down” to make way for a new theater that was expected to open within four months. The project apparently took longer than expected, as Harry Hart’s column in the August 26 issue of Boxoffice reported that the DeKalb was expected to open about August 31.

From the various photos linked above I suspect that the building was not torn down, and that the new theater was probably built within the existing walls. That classic facade looks like it would date from the 1920s or earlier, though in parts of the south old styles lingered long after they were discarded in most other places, so maybe it really was rebuilt to look like that in 1950. Harry Hart’s column said the rebuilt DeKalb would have a porcelain front, but that must refer to the panels on the ground floor. The upper part of the building appears to be faced in terracotta.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theater on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:56 pm

There’s something extraordinarily weird about Baxter Springs. The numbers on North Military Avenue get larger as you go south, instead of smaller as you would expect. Then, after the 300 N. block, the street name suddenly becomes just Military Avenue, with no north or south. But the numbers keep getting larger as you go south. Perhaps the city fathers of Baxter Springs were a bit confused about the concept of direction?

I think Phantom Screen was right the first time about the location of the Ritz. It must have been in the building with the boarded up restaurant on the northwest corner of Military and 12th, but the address of that building is not 1190, despite what Google Maps says. If you look at the building directly across the Avenue from it, there’s an establishment called Hatbox Photography. Looking up Hatbox Photography on the Internet, I found its address to be 1144 S. Military Avenue. Thus, the building across the street must be 1145 Military Avenue, the former home of the Ritz Theatre.

The Ritz was opened in 1926. The April 10 issue of The Reel Journal reported that the building, owned by John I. Cooper, was under construction and would be completed about May 1. (I think the building looks a bit too old fashioned to have been newly built in 1926, and was probably a conversion from some other use, but perhaps Mr. Cooper just had a very old fashioned sense of style.) The theater was being outfitted by Yale Theatre Supply Company, and would have “…416 upholstered seats, according to J. H. Toler, of the Yale Company.” Other issues of the magazine indicate that the Ritz was originally operated under a lease by C.A. Rehm.

There were also theaters called the Elite and the Majestic in Baxter Springs at the time, mentioned in issues of The Reel Journal as far back as 1925. I haven’t found the Majestic mentioned after that, but the Elite was mentioned as late as 1929. It’s possible that one or the other of them became the New Baxter Theatre.

A report on a fire at the Ritz in the July 15, 1944, issue of Boxoffice referred to the theater as “…the Commonwealth second house in Baxter Springs….” Commonwealth also operated the New Baxter Theatre at the time.

The March 7, 1957, issue of Boxoffice has an item that says “The building of the Ritz Theatre at Baxter Springs, Kas., has been sold and will be remodeled for a restaurant operation. The purchase was made from the Cooper estate.” As the item specifies the building rather than the theater being sold, it sounds as though the Ritz might already have been closed for some time before the sale took place.

Baxter Springs gets a surprising number of mentions in the trade publications, and it would take quite a while to sort through the lot of them. This comment is stuff gleaned from a handful of them that looked most significant to me. Maybe I’ll have time to dig up more about the town’s theaters at some future date.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lone Star 4 Theater on Sep 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Drat! I forgot to link to the other Gedney photo with the location identified.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lone Star 4 Theater on Sep 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm

The details page for that photo doesn’t give a location, but dates the picture to the 1960s. However, another William Gedney photo of the same theatre appears on another page at the Duke web site and the caption says the Lone Star Cairo Theatre was in Cairo, New York.

Lone Star Cairo Theatre was a later aka for the house listed at Cinema Treasures as the Van Buren Theatre. Follow the second link Warren posted on that page to an early photo of the Van Buren. It’s unmistakably the same building, with a marquee added.

It would be interesting to know why the name Lone Star was chosen. Upstate New York is a long way from Texas.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wasson Theatre on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:24 pm

I think the compilers of the Boller list use “destroyed” to describe theaters that have been so completely altered that no trace of their original function remains. That’s might be what happened to the Wasson.

In fact from the bird’s eye view at Bing Maps it looks as though the entire back portion of the building could be of more recent construction. That totally flat roof was not characteristic of theaters built in the early 20th century. I also suspect that the front of the building used to be taller. Those three decorative arches are awkwardly placed too high on the current facade. I suspect that something above them— maybe a parapet wall, maybe an entire upper floor— got lopped off.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Sep 16, 2009 at 6:58 pm

The May 22, 1937, issue of Boxoffice had news from Eagle Grove:

“Ed S. Morris, manager of the Princess at Eagle Grove, has just finished installing a new canopy which is very attractive and quite an addition to the front of his theatre. He says he certainly would like to take a vacation as he has not been away for 11 years and thinks every person needs a change of scenery.”
Ed must have been serious about needing a vacation. The October 9, 1937, issue of Boxoffice reported that Central States Theatres had recently bought a number of Iowa houses, among them the 520-seat Princess at Eagle Grove. Ed Morris was the seller. He didn’t stay away for long, though, as he was again reported as being the manager of the Princess in the November 25, 1939, issue of Boxoffice. I guess show business was in his blood.

A brief profile of Ed Morris was published as part of the “Twenty year Showmen” feature in Boxoffice of February 24, 1945. It said that he had gone into the exhibition business at Eagle Grove in 1924, and still owned a half interest (with Central States) in the Princess, his first location. It doesn’t say if he built the Princess or bought it, but it’s clear the theater was operating at least as early as 1924.

Incidentally, the 1937 item is the only one that gives Ed Morris’s middle initial as S. The others all give it as E.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theatre on Sep 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm

The Paramount building was built five years before the Christman Building went up in 1917. Page 48 of the .pdf I linked to above gives the construction date of the Paramount Building as c.1912. The list of Boller Brothers theaters says the Electric Theatre was built in 1912 and remodeled in 1926. It was renamed the Paramount in 1930 or 1931. The building which housed the Electric/Paramount’s entrance was actually an older structure from c.1893 that was remodeled as part of the theatre project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Zap Theater on Sep 16, 2009 at 1:07 pm

The Zap Theatre is mentioned in Boxoffice as early as 1943. The Zap was still operating in 1955. The September 3 issue of Boxoffice said “The Zap Theatre here, located in the Zap Community Hall, is now being operated by Norman Beck, though a contract with the village board.” The contract called for movies to be shown at least two nights a week and for dances to be held.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Sep 15, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Here’s information from the August 13, 1938, issue of Boxoffice that doesn’t quite match the current intro above:

“The remodeled Downtown, which opens August 18 as the Esquire Theatre, was established 16 years ago by Spyros Skouras, president of National Theatres, he revealed here this week. His first venture beyond his St. Louis scene of operations, the house was then known as the Twelfth Street Theatre.”
I can’t tell from the wording of this item whether Skouras opened the house as the Twelfth Street Theatre 16 years before, then later changed the name to Downtown Theatre, or if he acquired an existing house called the Twelfth Street Theatre 16 years before and changed the name to Downtown Theatre at that time. Can anyone know anything about a theater being at this address prior to 1922?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Holiday Star Theater on Sep 15, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Hanns R. Teichert, whose firm decorated the Holiday Theatre, penned an article about the house for the April 7, 1951, issue of Boxoffice. Among the features of the Holiday were a fireplace in the lobby, a spacious lounge and coffee room available for private parties and club meetings during non-show hours, and a ground-floor cry room.

The Holiday had 1,050 Kroehler Push-Back seats upholstered in red mohair, and the stage curtain was hand-painted in gray, white, and black to suggest a forest scene. Carpeting was a tweed in tones of blue, red, black, and yellow. Teichert referred to the overall theme of the design “resort decor” which was intended to evoke the atmosphere of a lodge.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hippodrome Theatre on Sep 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Here is a 1902 photo of C.M. DeGraff Building, aka the Empire Block, which became the entrance to the Hippodrome Theatre in 1917. T.R. Bellas was the architect of the DeGraff Building, which is still standing and is a contributing structure in Joplin’s Sunshine Lamp Historic District. Much of the architectural detail has been removed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ideal Nickelodeon on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm

The description page for the photo Seymour Cox links to above gives the address of the Ideal Theatre as 528 S. Main Street, which is the address of the later Orpheum Theatre.

The building in which the Ideal/Orpheum was located is the Zelleken Block, which was built no later than 1891 and originally housed retail space on the ground floor. I’m not sure when the Ideal was replaced by the Orpheum, or if there was a gap between their periods of operation.