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Roy Benjamin’s original Italian Renaissance interior of the Riverside Theatre was completely replaced by the Art Moderne style of the Five Points Theatre in the 1949 remodeling. Plans for the remodeling were by Orlando architect F. Earl DeLoe, and the new decoration was designed by Rex M. Davis of the Teichert studios.
The project was the subject of a two-part Boxoffice article by Hanns Teichert, part one in the issue of November 5, 1949, and part two (with more photos) in the issue of December 3, 1949.
The Fox Theatre was designed by Philadelphia architect David Supowitz. It was opened on March 23, 1961, according to an article in Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of March 27.
A few pictures of the Town Hall Theatre are in this Boxoffice article from December 3, 1949. The article calls the style “modern baroque,” but it’s Art Moderne.
This illustrated article about Interstate’s new Forest Theatre appeared in Boxoffice of December 3, 1949. The architects were Pettigrew & Worley.
The Towne Theatre was featured in this two-page spread in Boxoffice, July 3, 1954. One of the first theaters built after the introduction of CinemaScope, it boasted a screen 54 feet wide and 24 feet high. Built for independent operator Melvin J. Fox’s Fox Theatres Inc., the 1,036-seat house was designed by Philadelphia architect David Supowitz.
A Boxoffice item of December 3, 1949, says this: “Vern Hester has sold Tulsa’s oldest operating theatre, the Strand, to provide room for an expanded furniture store. Built in 1909 by L. W. Brophy, Muskogee theatre owner, it was known as the Yale.”
The Strand had been offered for sale in a classified ad in Boxoffice of July 16, 1949. The ad said that it was a 320-seat grind operation with attractive grosses.
The Nortown was one of three theaters pictured in an ad for Poblocki & Sons in Boxoffice, December 3, 1949. Poblocki & Sons built theater marquees and signage, but also designed and erected pre-built theaters, using quonset hut construction. As the Nortown was in a quonset-style building, it might have been one of Poblocki’s pre-built theaters, but this ad, which was for their marquees, doesn’t say it was.
Poblocki & Sons is still doing business, under the name Poblocki Sign Company, and is still designing and building signage for new theaters and restoring signage on old theaters. Their web site is worth looking at. Click on their “Entertainment” link to reach a page with links to pictures of some of their theater signage, old and new.
A photo of a model of the Jordan Theatre was published in Boxoffice, January 5, 1946. The new theater was “…to be dedicated this month” the caption said. The architect of the Jordan was the prolific Victor A. Rigaumont.
A rendering of the proposed Mancuso Theatre at Batavia, drawn by its architect, Michael J. DeAngelis, was presented in the “Just Off the Boards” feature of Boxoffice Magazine January 5, 1946.
The Trans-Lux at 52nd and Lexington was a Thomas Lamb design. A picture of its streamline moderne auditorium was featured in an ad for Anemostat air diffusers that appeared in Boxoffice, January 5, 1946.
The Odeon was another of the Art Moderne theaters designed for the chain by architect Henry Holdsby Simmonds. A Boxoffice item of March 6, 1948, gives the opening date as February 27 that year and says the house seated 962 on the main floor, 228 in the loge, and 300 in the balcony.
Architect Vincent Raney’s rendering of the facade of the proposed Rodeo Theatre was presented in the “Just Off the Boards” feature of Boxoffice Magazine, January 5, 1946. There’s also a head shot of the architect.
Boxoffice contradicts itself. The issue of January 5, 1946, said this: “The inclement weather has delayed work on the rebuilding of the Madison Theatre in Covington, Ky., gutted by fire several months ago.”
Then the March 16, 1946, issue says this: “The Madison Theatre, Covington, Ky., which is being completely rebuilt after total destruction by fire, is now 70 percent completed.”
Gutted, or completely destroyed? You decide.
But while Boxoffice apparently couldn’t be bothered to report on the fire itself (at least I’ve been unable to find such an item,) a renovation of the Madison more than two decades later rated three photos in the November 20, 1967, issue.
Here is an illustrated article in Boxoffice of January 13, 1969, about the 1968 remodeling of the Crest by Famous Players. Apparently little of the original interior of the Belsize remains.
A small photo of the lobby of the Odeon Atwater Theatre from Boxoffice, September 25, 1967.
A view of the lobby from the opposite direction appeared in Boxoffice of January 15, 1968.
The Family Theatre was opened in 1916 by Nicholas G. Shafer, according to his thumbnail biography in the “Twenty Year Showmen” feature published in Boxoffice, May 26, 1945. The Family Theatre had 534 seats. Shafer went on to open the Victoria Theatre in 1921, which was replaced by the Shirley Theatre in 1924.
Boxoffice of April 5, 1952, reported that the Crosstown Theatre had been designed by the architectural firm of Brueggeman, Swaim & Allen.
The front of the Crosstown, Boxoffice reported, “…employs approximately one mile of neon tubing in the installation, requiring 40 circuits and 143 transformers. The V-shaped signature tower with Crosstown in vertical letters is 72 feet high, and begins 20 feet above the ground.”
Boxoffice of April 15, 1950, says that the Kewaskum Theatre began operating on March 26 that year, but that the formal opening was delayed until April 9 due to the Lenten season. This item also confirms Urban Peacock as the sole architect of the theater.
The State was sold by the Minnesota Amusement Company, a Paramount affiliate, to comply with the terms of the Paramount consent decree. The February 18, 1950, issue of Boxoffice reported the sale, saying that the State had been MAC’s “C” house in Austin. The buyers were the Donovan Brothers.
According to a 1966 article from the Austin Daily Herald, quoted by ken mc in a comment of Dec 16, 2006, on the Paramount Theatre page, the State actually opened as the Lyric sometime around 1912, and operated until about 1962. It was converted into a Goodwill store in 1966.
The Kent Theatre was designed by architect Henry E. Greenspoon. The Kent and another of Greenspoon’s pre-war designs, the Villeray Theatre on Rue St. Denis, were pictured in an article by Helen Kent in Boxoffice, March 3, 1945.
The name of the architectural firm is currently misspelled above (and on the pages for the other two theaters designed by Ellerbe & Company.) It should be Ellerbe, ending with one e. The company was founded in 1909 by Franklin Ellerbe and, upon his death in 1921, was taken over by his son Thomas F. Ellerbe who, as lead architect, expanded the firm into the largest in Minnesota.
Thomas Ellerbe was an avid supporter of co-ops and eventually converted his firm into an employee-owned organization, which it remained until merging with Welton Becket and Associates (designers of Pacific’s Cinerama Dome in Hollywood) in 1987. The successor firm, Ellerbe-Becket, remains in operation today.
The Paramount Theatre at Austin was originally planned for the Finkelstein & Ruben circuit, which was taken over by Paramount before construction was completed, and the house opened as the Paramount under the Publix banner in September, 1929.
Movie Age of November 30, 1929 said that the Winona Theatre, extensively remodeled, had reopened and was the second theater in town to install sound. The item also made reference to “…the atmospheric State Theatre in Winona” where improvements to the projection booth costing $5,000 were underway. The State appears to have been the town’s “A” house.
A picture postcard dated 1908, showing the Winona Theatre when it was still the Winona Opera House, can be seen on this page (sixth card from the top.) The splendid Richardsonian Romanesque facade suggests that it was constructed in the 1880s or 1890s.
According to Movie Age of November 30, 1929, the new Publix house at Brainard was scheduled to open on December 15. It was, the magazine said, “…an atmospheric theatre with open sky and twinkling star effects.”
According to this web page, architect Henry Hohauser was a cousin of architect William Hohauser and had worked in his New York office before moving to Miami in 1932.
A rendering of the Plaza Theatre, along with a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Cianciolo and their two sons appeared in Boxoffice, April 5, 1952.