Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm

The Regent Theatre was drastically altered by the mid-1930s, when the original stadium seating section was removed and replaced with a conventional orchestra floor. A cross section of the Regent’s auditorium as originally designed can be seen on this page of Lisa Maria DiChiera’s The Theatre Designs of C. Howard Crane.

Contrast that with this photo of the remodeled Regent that was featured in a Heywood-Wakefield ad in Boxoffice of September 19, 1936.

I’ve been unable to find a photo of the Regent’s auditorium before its remodeling, but DeChiera’s thesis includes these photos of the Majestic Theatre in Detroit, built the year after the Regent and designed by Crane with a very similar seating configuration.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eastown Theatre on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Here is a fresh link to the first page of the 1936 Boxoffice article about the Eastown Theatre. The article continues on subsequent pages of the magazine (click on “next page” links above or below the right side of the page scans.)

Keep clicking a couple of pages past the article about the Eastown and there is an article about the Washoe Theatre in Anaconda, Montana, opened the same year. The pair provide an interesting example of the two streams of modern design during the 1930s: the ornate (and costly) Art Deco details of the Washoe, versus the elegant simplicity of the Eastown’s Streamline Modern style.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Old Town has changed so much over the last century that old photos of Main Street are all but unrecognizable. Almost every building in this photo, which appears to be from the 1910s, is gone, including the Strand Theatre. Many of the buildings were already gone by the time this photo was taken, probably in 1959, though the Strand was still there with its modernized front from the mid-1930s.

The October 17, 1936, issue of Boxoffice published before and after photos of the recently remodeled Strand Theatre, which can be seen at lower right on this page. As near as I can tell, the Strand was on part of the site of a modern building that currently houses a Rite Aid drug store, and its front has been replaced by a blank brick wall.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza Theatre on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:40 am

Two small interior photos of the Plaza Theatre illustrate this brief article in Boxoffice of October 17, 1936.

Another view of the Plaza’s auditorium illustrates an ad for Heywood-Wakefield theater seats on this page of the same issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Frolic Theater on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:30 am

The 1936 Boxoffice article about the Frolic Theatre can be seen at this link. A photo and partial floor plan appear on the subsequent page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Will Rogers Theater on Mar 8, 2012 at 7:33 am

The October 17, 1936, issue of Boxoffice featured a brief article about the Will Rogers Theatre, with a single photo of its Streamline Modern auditorium. The exterior had some Art Deco flourishes, but the auditorium was almost austere, nearly the sole exception being the florid upholstery on the seats. The scan of the photo is a bit blurry, but it serves to show the overall sleekness of the design.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cine Metro-Passeio on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:48 am

The text is in Portuguese, but this web page features several interior photos of the Cine-Metro Passeio, a rendering of the exterior, floor plans, and a cross section of the building, all of which will be of interest to theater fans whether they can read the text or not.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Center Mayfield Theatre on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:08 am

There is a photo of the auditorium of the Center Mayfield Theatre at the upper right corner of this page of Boxoffice, November 14, 1936.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Cinema on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:58 am

The Roxy opened a bit earlier than 1939. There is a photo of the recently-built house on this page of Boxoffice, November 14, 1936.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crystal Theater on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:52 am

The architect’s rendering of the Crystal Theatre in Boxoffice of November 14, 1936, mentioned in my earlier comment, can be seen at this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rogers Theater on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:43 am

This Rogers Theatre must be the one that can be seen in the two photos at the top of this page of the November 14, 1936, issue of Boxoffice. At the bottom of the page are two photos of the Central Theatre in Yonkers, New York. The last paragraph of the text says that both houses were designed by architect William Hohauser.

Warren G. Harris’s earlier comment on this house attributing the design to Charles Sandblom says that it was a 1935 project, but didn’t open until 1936. The belated opening must have been related to Sandblom’s 1935 plans being dropped, and Hohauser designing the theater as it was finally built.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kiggins Theatre on Mar 8, 2012 at 1:05 am

An article by Helen Kent with a few photos of the Kiggins Theatre was published in Boxoffice of November 11, 1936 (additional photo on the subsequent page.) In addition, a view of the theater’s stairwell appeared as the frontispiece of that issue’s Modern Theatre section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Metro Theater on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:25 am

Here is a quote from the Landmark Designation Report for the Metro Theatre, regarding the involvement of architect Otto A. Deichmann in the 1941 remodeling of the house, and his professional relationship with Timothy Pflueger:

“While architect Timothy L. Pflueger (1892-1946) has long been associated with the 1941 renovation of the Metro Theatre, his involvement is less clear than that of architect Otto A. Deichmann (1890-1964). A city permit, dated 1941, for interior work and plumbing lists the name of the architect as Otto Deichmann, 321 Bush Street. Historical consultants involved with the 1998 renovation of the theatre believe that Deichmann worked with Timothy Pflueger during the renovation. Research has not confirmed that Deichmann worked in the offices of Pflueger’s firm, Miller and Pflueger, but the two men were associates and overlapped on important projects, most notably the Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939-1940, where Deichmann designed the Shasta-Cascade Building. The well-known mural by Diego Rivera, Pan American Unity, now located at the main campus of City College of San Francisco, was commissioned for the Golden Gate International Exposition. The mural depicts both Pflueger and Deichmann. Pflueger, friend and patron of Rivera, collaborated with him on the mural.”
Click this link to download a PDF file of the Landmark Designation Report. It has a fairly extensive history of the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Deluxe Theatre on Mar 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

The new page for the De Luxe Theatre on Alvarado Street can be found at this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about De Luxe Theater on Mar 7, 2012 at 9:54 am

The building in which the De Luxe Theatre was located, at the southeast corner of Alvarado Street and Wilshire Boulevard, was built in 1910, which might have been the year the theater opened. The theater was tucked into a two story “L” shaped structure, which can be seen at the very bottom of this 1956 aerial view, a bit right of center. The auditorium can be distinguished by its roof.

By the 1930s, the building housed a branch of the Thrifty Drug Company, which remained the main tenant for several decades. In 1970, the second floor of the “L” shaped section was removed, and the roof of the former auditorium was rebuilt along with the rest of the roof, at a lower level, so essentially nothing remains of the De Luxe Theatre but the walls.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Deluxe Theatre on Mar 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Ponderpig: In 1923, your father and grandmother would have gone to the De Luxe Theatre on Alvarado Street. This house on Jefferson Avenue was then called the Favorite Theatre. The De Luxe Theatre on Alvarado Street was in operation by 1914, and continued at least into 1927. It does not appear in the 1929 city directory, so it had closed by then. My guess would be that it was unable to survive the competition from the new Westlake Theatre, which opened at 636 Alvarado in 1926. I’ve been unable to find any indication that a theater ever operated in this location again.

Note that this means that the earlier comments about the organ that was installed in the De Luxe Theatre in 1921 also pertain to the Alvarado Street house, not this Jefferson Boulevard house.

The Alvarado Street De Luxe is not yet listed at Cinema Treasures. I’ve submitted it for inclusion. A page for it should appear within a day or two, when a link to it will show up in the “Newest Theaters” section on the home page.

The earliest listing I can find for a theater at 1873 Jefferson Boulevard is in the 1923 city directory, in which it is listed as the Favorite Theatre (it might have opened earlier, but I don’t have access to directories between 1915 and 1923.) By 1926, it was listed as the St. Andrews Theatre, which is also listed as in the 1927 and 1929 directories. No theater is listed for the address in the 1932 directory, but by 1936 it was open again as the De Luxe Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox-Bay Cinema Grill on Mar 6, 2012 at 7:56 am

The entry for architect Albert F. Keymar in the 1956 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists the Fox-Bay Theatre as one of his works, with the design date of 1949.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gorman Theatre on Mar 6, 2012 at 7:32 am

According to his listing in the AIA’s American Architects Directory, the architect for the 1947-1948 renovation of the Gorman Theatre was Harry J. Korslund, of Norwood, Massachusetts.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theatre on Mar 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

This page of a web site called Elvis Presley Pedia list the opening of the Park Theatre as an event of 1940. No source is cited, but the site lists a few other theaters by opening year and it appears to be accurate in those cases.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Mar 4, 2012 at 7:09 am

Heh. It turns out that one of the sources that attributes the design of the Regent Theatre to C. Howard Crane is a blog at some site called Cinema Treasures. As it appears to be a fairly reliable site, we should probably add that information to this page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Mar 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm

The 1922 book A standard history of Springfield and Clark County, Ohio has this to say about Gus Sun’s Regent Theatre:

“In the realm of Springfield theaters, Gus Sun is easily the dean; he has leased theaters and operated them until he owned them. In 1912 he leased the Grand and in 1917 he purchased it, and in 1919 he dismantled it, constructing the Regent on the site….”
The book also has a bit about the Grand Theatre, the Regent’s predecessor:
“In 1881 the Grand Opera House was built on Limestone Street, on the site of the old Leffel Water Wheel industry. It was built by John W. Bookwalter, with a seating capacity of 1,200, and the advantage of a ground floor and other up-to-date improvements….”
Quite a few sources note that the architect of the Regent Theatre was C. Howard Crane, and that the house opened on August 16, 1920. Some sources also claim that it was built as a legitimate theater that was later converted to show movies, but in fact Gus Sun built the Regent for vaudeville and movies.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Mar 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Volume one of A standard history of Springfield and Clark County, Ohio, published in 1922, lists a Liberty Theatre among the movie houses then operating in Springfield. In addition to the Regent, the town’s “A” house, the book lists the Majestic, Princess, Hippodrome, Colonial, and Strand as movie theaters. It also mentions the Fairbanks Theatre as a legitimate stage house, and the Sun Theatre as a high-class vaudeville theater.

The Liberty was still in operation at least as late as 1961, when a demonstration was held by Antioch College students protesting the theater’s policy of excluding African Americans. Here is a recent article about the event from The Springfield Paper.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Mar 3, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Why do the description and the address field both place this theater in New Hampshire? It’s clearly supposed to be Franklin, Idaho.

Here is a modern photo of the Princess Theatre. This might be the same theater listed in the 1906 Cahn guide as the Franklin Opera House, though I can’t imagine how they ever crammed the 500 seats Cahn’s guide said it held into that tiny building, which looks to be about 30' x 80'. Franklin then had a population of 875, according to Cahn, so I doubt that it supported two theaters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Cinema I & II on Mar 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

Erwin and Unicoi County, by Linda Davis March, says that the Capitol Theatre was opened on November 11, 1935. The house has been run by members of the Hendren family since opening. The Hendrens also operated an earlier theater called the Lyric, which was on South Main Street. When the Capitol opened, the Lyric became the “B” house in Erwin.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Florence Mills Theatre on Mar 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

I think that this item from an April, 1912, issue of The Moving Picture World must be about the Globe/Florence Mills Theatre, which was built that year:

“Plans for a new… theater have been completed by Architect A. Lawrence Valk. Theater being built for John Wagner at Central Avenue, near Jefferson”