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The January 2, 1910, issue of the Los Angeles Herald said that architects Train & Williams had been engaged to draw the plans for Thomas Tally’s new theater on Broadway adjacent to the Majestic Theatre.
A few years later, Train & Williams designed the Hyman Theatre (aka Garrick) at 8th and Broadway, across the street and up the block from Tally’s Broadway, so there were two Train & Williams-designed theaters on this block until the Garrick was demolished in 1927. The firm also designed the Strand Theatre in Pasadena, which has also long since been demolished.
The January, 1913, issue of the trade journal The Architect and Engineer of California said that architect William H. Crim had designed the new Wigwam Theatre that was to be built in San Francisco’s Mission District.
The July 5, 1913,issue of the trade journal The Moving Picture World ran an article, the first few paragraphs of which dealt with the Angel Theatre. It is available online here, at Google Books.
The tire store mentioned in the intro is in a modern building, not the former Madison Theatre. The Madison was located across the street. Comparing the ca.1940 photo I linked to against the modern Google Street View, you can see that the building that was next door to the Madison is still there. The Madison’s site has been a parking lot for fifty years.
I’m not sure the Grand Opera House opened in the 1890s. It might have been earlier. The 1897 edition of Cahn’s Guide is the earliest available to me. The caption of the photo I linked to only says that the opera house was in a building from the 1850s that originally housed a church. It doesn’t give the year it was converted into the opera house.
Given the fact that the non-curchlike facade was probably built as part of the conversion into an opera house, and that its style is the Italianate that was popular through the 1870s but went out of fashion in most places during the 1880s, it seems quite possible that the Grand Opera House opened in the 1870s, and probable that it was in operation by the late 1880s.
Concerning the address, it should be 224 West Main Street. Madison has an eccentric street numbering system. On the east side of town, odd numbers are on the north sides of streets, and on the west side odd numbers are on the south sides of streets. The Madison Theatre was on the north side of Main on the west side of town, so it had an even number.
Here’s an item from The Moving Picture World of August 17, 1915:
“The Little Grand, Madison, Ind., has the white brick front about completed.”
The question is, was the Little Grand’s auditorium on the same footprint as the Ohio’s? If it was, chances are that the Ohio was built entirely inside the shell of the Little Grand after the fire. From what I’ve read here and at other web sites I’ve had the impression that the Ohio was entirely new construction, but it would have been very odd for that white brick facade to have been used on a building erected in 1938, so most likely the front survives from the Little Grand.
MusicForMovies: I’ve found that the Grand Theatre and the Little Grand Theatre were different houses. The Grand was originally called the Grand Opera House and had opened in the 19th century. It was later renamed the Grand Theatre (possibly around 1928), and finally became the Madison Theatre, probably in 1940. It was demolished in 1960. Here is its Cinema Treasures page.
I’ve finally puzzled this out. The Grand Theatre is already listed here as the Madison Theatre. It never burned down. The theater that burned— whether it burned in 1928, 1936, or 1937— was always called the Little Grand Theatre, and this page should be changed to reflect that.
The organ mentioned in the current intro was undoubtedly installed not in the Little Grand, but in the Grand.
After some thought, I’ve realized that 1940 was probably the year the Grand Theatre was renamed Madison Theatre. I’m not sure when the Grand Opera House became simply the Grand Theatre, but it might have been sometime around 1928, when an organ was installed.
This page has a photo of the Madison Theatre, and considerable information about it. The building was erected in the 1850s as a church and later altered to become an opera house (it was listed in Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide, issues of of 1897 and 1906, as the Grand Opera House, with 900 seats.)
The house began showing movies early in the silent era. The site doesn’t give a closing date, but says that the Madison was demolished in 1960. The address is given as 222-224 W. Main Street.
This list of major fires in Madison, from the Jefferson County Public Library, says that the Little Grand Theater (Ohio Theater) burned on December 27, 1928. No other theater fires are on the list. This contradicts the Ohio Theatre’s official web site, which says the Little Grand burned in 1936.
A 1911 book published by the Indian Department of Inspections lists four movie theaters in Madison: The Little Grand Theatre, Gray’s Theatre, the Star Theatre, and the Wolwager Theatre (It’s online at Google Books.)
Here are multiple pages of articles about the Hall Theatre from the The August 27, 1916, issue of The Daily Missourian. The house was scheduled to open the following night, August 28.
A 600-seat theater called Trainor’s Opera House was listed for Greenville, Ohio, in the 1906-1907 edition of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide. It must have been the theater the Wayne replaced, according to the above comment by Pens. If the opera house lasted until 1920, odds are good that it, too, ran movies for a time.
The Los Angeles Herald of May 4, 1910, ran an article about the expansion of Silverwood’s clothing store into the space previously occupied by the Garnett Theatre. Demolition of the theater’s interior had begun the day before the article was published. Though no mention was made of when the theater had closed, it most likely operated to within days of the start of the conversion, if not the day before. Space on Broadway was never left vacant for long on in those days.
Perhaps the first movie house in Brawley was the one mentioned in El Centro’s newspaper, the Imperial Valley Press, on September 17, 1910:
“The Gilbo moving picture theatre, operated by I. J. and U. N. Gilbo, will be opened in Brawley next week. The theatre is located in the building erected by Peter Hovley.”
John Ratto was operating a theater in Jackson at least as early as 1910, when he was the subject of an item in the October 21 issue of the Amador Ledger. Read the article (headlined “Ratto in More Trouble”) online here, from the Library of Congress collection of historical newspapers.
An item in the November 6, 1910, issue of the Los Angeles Herald said that W.H. Clune and associates were planning a theater on Fraser’s Million Dollar Pier, and that the syndicate had secured exclusive rights to present vaudeville and movies at the pier. The theater must have been the Starland. The plans for the project were being drawn by architect A. F. Rosenheim.
The Roxy is still not listed at Cinema Treasures. The building at 3764 Broadway still exists, and is occupied by a women’s apparel shop called Best Fashions. From Google Street View it looks like the old marquee is still there, though covered up and stripped of its original signage. It also looks like the upper part of the facade has been altered— probably the decoration jase recalls was removed.
Though KenK remembers the Roxy as being larger than the Glen, in the satellite views the buildings look almost the same size. The Roxy building is higher, and jase said it had a balcony, but I don’t see any indication of upper-level exits. I’m wondering if the “balcony” was not actually a section of stadium-style seating (although I don’t see any front exits at the ends of the building either, which theaters with stadium sections typically had in those days.} But if there was a stadium section, that would account for KenK’s impression of the Glen being much smaller than the Roxy.
An article in the September 29, 1909, issue of the Seattle Star said that the Grand was one of the Seattle theaters that had been designed by architect E. W. Houghton. It mentioned two others, one being the Moore, but the scan of the paper is bad and the name of the third Houghton-designed house is almost unreadable, but it was probably the Majestic, which appears in the theater listings of that same issue of the paper.
From its date of opening, its location, and the description of an unnamed theater that was the subject of an article in the Salt Lake Herald of July 16, 1908, the architect of the Victory Theatre can be identified as E.W. Houghton of Seattle, with H.A. Hodgson as his associate in charge of construction. This was the same team that designed and built the Ogden Theatre at Ogeden, Utah, the following year.
The Salt Lake Herald article can be read online here, in the Library of Congress’s newspaper collection.
As a rule I think it’s a good thing to have a closed theater listed by its final name, but quite a few exceptions have already been made and the Hyde Park seems to me a good candidate for an exception. If a theater had many name changes over its life, I’d prefer to see it listed under its final name even if that name had been used for only a few years.
In the case of theaters that had a particular name for decades and then another name for only a few years, I think it makes more sense to list it under the long-standing name, with the final name as the aka. People from the neighborhood searching for it on the Internet are more likely to search on the original name than the final name.
One page that should be renamed is the one for the Capri, in Alhambra, California. It’s been listed forever by the third of its five names, the Granada Theatre.
None of the comments on this page so far apply to the original Strand Theatre, which has not become the Erie Playhouse, and was not designed by Victor A. Rigaumont. It was designed by the noted Buffalo, New York architect G. Morton Wolfe, who designed at least two theaters in that city.
The Strand in Erie was operating by 1916, when these two photos of its auditorium appeared in a portfolio of Wolfe’s work that was published in the August, 1916, issue of the trade journal The Ohio Architect, Engineer and Builder. So far I’ve been unable to find a photo of the exterior of the original Strand.
Here is a photo of the Hyde Park Theatre, form a portfolio of the work of its architect, Howard McClorey, which was published in the October, 1916 issue of the trade journal The Ohio Architect, Engineer and Builder.
Aside from the addition of the modern marquee, the 1983 photo of the facade shows it to have been little changed from its original appearance.
I have to disagree with Chuck about changing the appellation. If it was the Hyde Park Theatre for almost 70 years, and the Park Cinema only for its last five years, there are probably more people around who remember it by its original name than by its final name.
We’ve been waiting a long time, but here it is: A photo of the Circle Theatre, from a portfolio of the works of architect G. Morton Wolfe in the August, 1916, issue of the trade journal The Ohio Architect, Engineer and Builder.
The architect appears to have been influenced by the arts and crafts and the prairie styles in designing the front of the Circle Theatre. It gives the building a vaguely Oriental look. It would be interesting to know what the original interior looked like.
But I’m not surprised that there has been some confusion over who actually designed the Circle Theatre. It is not at all characteristic of Wolfe’s work, most of which consisted of very strong, even austere, industrial buildings, and fairly straightforward commercial blocks with restrained detailing. Wolfe did design at least one other theater during this period, though; the first Strand Theatre in Erie, Pennsylvania, which had a splendid, ornate auditorium, though I haven’t found any photos of the front of that house.
The January 8, 1920, issue of the trade Journal Electrical World had an article entitled “Artistic and Utilitarian Theater Lighting” which featured four photos of the Palace Theatre.
The article can be read online here at Google Books.
The official web site of the Midland Theater Foundation is still in operation.
The original name of the house, the New Tackett Theatre, and the name of the architect, Clare A. Henderson, still need to be added.