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The Bluebell was in operation at least as early as 1925, and probably earlier. “The Storms Below,” a biography of Canadian writer Hugh Garner, quotes a letter from a former childhood neighbor of Garner, who lived in the area in the 1920s, which mentions the matinees at the Bluebell Theatre. Google Books preview.
A 1956 Boxoffice item mentions that a Mr. Vernon Lawson had managed the State Theatre in Rapid City since 1935, so the house was at least that old.
A book about Rapid City architecture says that the Rex Theatre was built in 1928.
The book Rapid City: Historic Downtown Architecture attributes the design of the Elks Lodge and theater to Sioux City architect John P. Eisentraut.
The Capitol was in operation by the late 1920s, but no firm date for its opening has been established. The building was just a hotel with what looked like retail space on the ground floor in the 1915 photo, but the conversion of the ground floor to a theater had taken place by the time the ca.1927 photo was taken. It might have been converted any time during that period.
For me it’s a tossup whether or not the Capitol should have the aka Capri V. It did operate as part of the Capri V, but then the Capri V’s entrance was at the Capri Theatre’s address, not the Capitol’s address. In any case, one of the main functions of including the aka’s on theater pages is to facilitate searches of the site. Anybody who has found the Capri V page with a site search will read there that it incorporated the former Capitol, and the Capitol’s page is easy enough to find from that page. I can’t see that it would be either helpful or harmful to have Capri V as an aka on this page.
There’s a mistake in the last paragraph of my previous comment: The photo caption I mentioned that has the names of the other three theaters on the block belongs to the ca.1927 photo from the book “Ottumwa,” not to a 1942 photo.
As the Capitol was eventually incorporated into the Capri V, it might make sense to have Capitol Theatre listed as an aka, even though the Capitol had a long history as a separate house with its own address, and has its own page at Cinema Treasures. On the other hand, the information is already included in the description of the theater, and as the Capitol does have its own page I don’t think it’s essential for the name to be listed as an aka. Having aka’s listed facilitates searches of the site, but the Capitol’s own page will be easy enough to find.
The aka’s that should definitely be listed for this house are Ottumwa Theatre and Capri Theatre. As late as 1985 (see the American Classic Images photo from that year to which Chuck linked above) the Capri was still operating as a single-screen house under that name.
I’ve been unable to discover exactly when the two theaters were combined and remodeled into the five-screen Capri V. I’ve searched Boxoffice Magazine’s archive, but it contains surprisingly few items about Ottumwa, and I’ve found no items at all about either the Capri or the Capri V.
I’m not sure if the name Square Theatre should be an aka or not. Though it’s not absolutely certain, I think that the original Square Theatre building on the Capri’s site was probably completely demolished after the 1941 fire. Maybe, like the Capitol, it should have its own page, though there wouldn’t be much information to put on it.
The Arcadia Publishing Company’s book Ottumwa has successive photos from 1915 and ca.1927 showing the Capitol Theatre’s building before and after it had became a theater. The Capitol and Capri were in separate but adjacent buildings, and operated as separate theaters for several decades before being combined under the Capri name.
Here is a page for a CafePress store which sells objects with old photos and memorabilia on them. There are a couple of photos of the Capri, including one from 1942 when the house was called the Ottumwa Theatre (theater pictures are in rows four and five.)
Another old photo, in the Arcadia Publishing Company’s book Ottumwa, shows a theater called the Square in the location of the Capri. Another page of the book says that the Ottumwa Theatre was destroyed by fire in 1941, so the 1942 Ottumwa which later became the Capri must have been an entirely or substantially new building.
The caption of the 1942 photo says that the same block of Main Street with the Capitol and Ottumwa theaters then also had theaters called the Rialto, the Empire, and the Strand.
The Zephyr Theatre building had been drastically altered by the time the photo Milton linked to above was taken. A CafePress store that sells objects with old photos and memorabilia on them has this photo depicting how the Zephyr originally looked as Wetherell & Harrison designed it.
Boxoffice Magazine of October 15, 1938, had an article about theater remodeling which featured a photo of the Times Theatre’s new facade. It can be seen on this page at the magazine’s archive.
Mike Rivest has a grand opening ad for the Fox Cape, undated, but the opening feature was the 1930 release “Good News.”
This theater might have existed before 1930. Prior to building the Strand Theatre in 1925, Nathan Appell Enterprises operated at least two other theaters in York, both of which were in operation during the mid-1910s. These were the Orpheum and the York Opera House. I haven’t found either name mentioned after the 1910s, so either one of these might have been renamed the York.
The Opera House was quite a distinctive building (a vintage postcard site currently has this card listed for sale), so a photo of the York would quickly reveal if it was the same theater or not. Or if DennisZ is still around maybe he’ll recognize it. His comment does say that the Holiday was an elaborate theater.
Nathan Appell was a partner in a project to build a four-story theater building in York in 1920. The project was mentioned in the December 20, 1920, issue of the industrial trade journal Power. If this project was completed, it might have been the York. Again, a photo of the York would reveal if it was in a four story building.
During the mid-1910s, York also had at least four theaters not operated by Appell; the Scenic, the Hippodrome, the Wizard, and the Jackson. There might also have been a theater called the Alhambra, though this might have been one of the others, renamed. With the exception of the Jackson, which Appell bought in 1926 and renamed the Capitol, any of these might also have been taken over by Appell and been renamed the York. As with the Orpheum and the York Opera House, I’ve found no references to those five theater names in York later than the 1910s.
I’ve found the Quirk Theatre mentioned in issues of the Fulton Times as early as April, 1913. I haven’t yet found an article about the opening of the theater, but there must be one. An article in a 1989 issue of the Oswego Valley News said that the Quirk Theatre had been built “…just before World War I….” The house was built by a prominent Fulton citizen, Edward Quirk, who also served at least one term as the town’s mayor.
The September, 1912, issue of trade union journal The Lather listed a theater project at Fulton in its construction news column. The architect for the project was Leon H. Lempert. As the local newspapers give no indication of any other new theaters opening in Fulton around this time, the project was almost certainly the Quirk.
The name State Theatre first appears in the local newspapers in 1935. The October 31 issue of the Fulton Patriot said that the renovated theater had been opened the previous night.
In 1941, the theater was more extensively remodeled. Congratulatory ads placed in the June 20th Oswego Palladium-Times, another local paper, included one from the Belgian Art Studios in New York which said that all the murals and other decorations in the remodeled theater were by Oscar Glas.
The Theatorium was showing movies at least as early as 1908. An item in the September 19 issue of The Moving Picture World that year said that the Theatorium was enjoying such success that it had been compelled to double its floor space.
The construction news column of the August, 1912, issue of The Lather, a trade union journal, said that a three story theater was to be built at Batavia. The architect was Leon H. Lempert.
Given the timing, and the restrained classical style of the Family Theatre’s facade, so characteristic of Lempert’s designs during that period, it seems very likely that the project listed in The Lather was this theater. The earliest mentions of the Family Theatre I’ve found in Batavia newspapers are from early 1914.
I came across a collection of photos of Boston buildings designed by the architectural firm of Peabody & Stearns which includes Chickering Hall, so that firm designed the original building as well as its 1912 expansion into the St. James Theatre. (This page is large. Not recommended for dial-up connections.)
This PDF of a scan of an article from a 1901 issue of The Music Trade Review has two drawings of Chickering Hall. The text says that the original 800-seat auditorium was 55x80 feet, and the stage 19x37 feet, so the alterations to convert the hall into a theater with over 1600 seats must have been extensive.
In my previous comment, the date of the issue of Boxoffice in which the article about the Beacham appears should be January 9, 1954.
A small “before” photo of the Beacham Theatre and an architects rendering of the remodeled facade appeared on this page of Boxoffice, January 6, 1954. Plans for the remodeling project were by the architectural firm of Kemp, Bunch & Jackson, the firm which took over the practice of architect Roy A. Benjamin upon his retirement in 1946. There’s a possibility that Benjamin was the original architect of the Beacham, but I haven’t been able to confirm this.
Boxoffice of January 9, 1954, had this article about the remodeling of the Rialto Theatre. It mentions the opening year as 1940, but gives the seating capacity as only 600. Design of the remodeling, which was carried out to convert the house to CinemaScope, was attributed to local architect Harold Long.
Robert Boller was the architect of a 1953 remodeling of the Orpheum. The project included removing the stage and installing a CinemaScope screen. Boxoffice of January 6, 1954, said that the auditorium’s capacity had been increased by 25 seats as a result of the project.
Boxoffice of January 6, 1954, said that Cine Payret’s recent presentation of “The Robe” was the debut of CinemaScope in Latin America. The strikingly modern lobby of the theater was featured on the cover of the Modern Theatre section of the same issue of Boxoffice.
The Arion Theatre underwent an extensive remodeling project in 1953. The modern design was done by the architectural firm of Liebenberg & Kaplan, according to Boxoffice of January 6, 1954.
Photos on this page, text on the following page.
Someone has started a web site about the Tivoli here. It’s set up as a weblog, but so far it has only two entries, both of them being articles from Boxoffice Magazine. There are a couple of photos, and also an e-mail address and a phone number.
The architectural style of the Indiana looks more 1920s than 1910s. A town as small as Washington probably wouldn’t have had a movie theater as large as the Indiana built as early as 1913. My guess would be that the Indiana Theatre was built in the 1920s, and most likely in 1926, when the organ was installed.
In Julius Cahn’s Theatrical Guide of 1897, the earliest edition available to me, there is a listing for an Opera House in Washington, managed by Horrall Bros., who are still listed as operators in the 1899-1900 edition. In the 1904-1905 and 1906-1907 editions the Opera House was listed as managed by Frank Green. Cahn lists the Opera House as a second-floor theater, and the Indiana looks like a ground floor theater, which is further indication that they were probably not the same house.
The 1893 issue of the entertainment trade journal The New York Clipper listed a house called Wise’s Family Theatre, which had been opened at Washington, Indiana, on November 14, 1892. It seems fairly likely that Wise’s Family Theatre, the Opera House of Cahn’s guides, and Palmer Bros. Grand on the postcard with the 1913 postmark, were all the same theater, and that it had changed operators several times.
Washington had a movie house called the Theatorium which was mentioned in the December 13, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World. I doubt that it became the Indiana Theatre either, but it is possible that the Theatorium was the Opera House, which could have been renamed sometime after the postcard above was printed, though it’s also quite possible that the Theatorium was an entirely different theater. Addresses would have to be found for both names to know for sure.
Given that the postcard ad shows the Opera House operating as a movie and vaudeville theater, and given that it was almost certainly not the Indiana Theater, I think it would be reasonable to give it a listing at Cinema Treasures.
Also, Kerasotes' web site doesn’t list any showdates for this theater. Has it been closed?
JimmiB: Please take a look at my recent comments on the Arcadia Theatre page. There’s a link to a 1909 magazine item about a theater, originally called the Victor, at 748 Penn Street. At first I thought it might have been the theater you knew in the 1950s as the stinky Ritz, but Ken Roe found a different address for the Ritz. It’s possible that the Victor didn’t last long, in which case you still might reconize the building as the location of some other business.