Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Linwood Dunn Theater on Aug 26, 2011 at 2:19 am

Pickford Center is located in a building which originally served as offices and studios for the Mutual-Don Lee Broadcasting System’s radio and television network. It was dedicated in 1948, and was designed by Los Angeles architect Claud Beelman.

The complex originally featured four theater-style sound stages which could be used as studios for telecasts with what the television industry rather disturbingly calls live audiences (as opposed, I guess, to audiences of the undead.) Presumably, the Linwood Dunn Theater occupies one of those four studios.

Hollywood Heritage provides this history of the building (but misspells architect’s Beelman’s first name as Claude, a common mistake. He used the spelling Claud.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Washington Theater on Aug 23, 2011 at 4:35 am

Here is a link to photographer Edmund J. Kowalski’s photos of the Washington Theatre taken June 25, 2005, before the house was restored.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Manos Theater on Aug 23, 2011 at 4:26 am

As the Manos Theatre is a three-story building, not very wide, and appears to have an iron cornice, perhaps it was the proposed house mentioned in the May 21, 1910, issue of The American Contractor:

“Tarentum, Pa.—Theater: 3 sty. 136x 33. Architect Ira F. Cutshall. Owner J. H. Oppenheimer. Plans completed; taking figures. Brick, stone, composition roof, large skylight, galv. iron cornice, struct. & orn. iron, yellow pine finish, tile & hardwood floors, marble tiling, gas & electric fixtures, lavatories, water closets, bath tubs.”
What the theater needed bathtubs for I don’t know. Perhaps they were a feature of the dressing rooms.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Harris Theater on Aug 23, 2011 at 4:05 am

A history of Tarentum published as part of the Tarentum Borough Comprehensive Plan (Google Documents quick view here; see page 23) says that the Harris Theatre opened in January, 1906, as the Tareco Opera House, and was renamed the Nixon Theatre the following year. It became the Harris Theatre in 1926.

The Nixon was mentioned in the September 16, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World, which reported that the vaudeville house had been taken over by F.J. Nally and Jacob York, who intended to operate it as a movie house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Embassy Theatre on Aug 23, 2011 at 3:04 am

Whittle Randy’s book “Johnstown: A History” says that the Embassy Theatre opened in 1913 as the Nemo Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rosemead Theatre on Aug 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm

The three most recent comments on this page are actually about AMC’s Rosemead 4 Cinemas, not the much earlier Rosemead Theatre, which closed almost twenty years before the AMC was opened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fischer's Theater on Aug 22, 2011 at 2:50 am

Google Maps is putting this theatre on First Street in San Pedro. The downtown address has not existed since the late 1920s, of course, so I guess Google is confused. Maybe adding the zip code (90012) would help.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Euclid Theater on Aug 22, 2011 at 1:12 am

To get Google Maps to display the correct location of this theater, its address will have to be changed to the modern 3021 Whittier Boulevard. Stephenson Avenue was not obliterated, just renamed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Embassy Theatre on Aug 22, 2011 at 12:40 am

The Los Angeles County Assessor’s office says that the building on this site was built in 1921. In Google’s satellite view, the auditorium roof appears to be partly intact. Comparing it with a 1948 view at Historic Aerials, it looks as though only about the rear third of the building has actually been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Isis Theatre on Aug 21, 2011 at 2:31 am

Here is Metropolitan Theatres' official Isis Theatre page. They are listing movies on only four screens, though.

This web page appears to be a sale listing for the building, though the information on it does not appear to be up-to-date. It has a few photos, as well as details about the building and its history. This page says that, as of 2001, there were five screens, and that the total seating capacity was 753. Perhaps one of the auditoriums has since been closed.

The original auditorium of the Isis was entirely demolished in 1998. Only the facade of the original building (which was erected in 1892 as a warehouse) is still standing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theater on Aug 21, 2011 at 2:03 am

A biography of William Sterling Hebbard says that he took over the San Diego practice of the Reid brothers in May, 1891. The Fisher Opera House opened on January 11, 1892, so Hebbard was solely in charge of the project for about eight months. The Reid brothers were associated with the project as early as January, 1889, when they entered into a contract with Fisher and the San Diego Opera House Company.

The Reids had over a year to design the project, while Hebbard became involved only a short time before construction began. Given this timetable, it seems likely that the Reid brothers were primarily responsible for the design of the Fisher Opera House, and Hebbard primarily responsible for overseeing its construction.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alhambra Twin Cinemas on Aug 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Here is a photo of Jimmy Edwards standing in front of the Alhambra Theatre in the 1930s. The circa 1939 date given on that page is wrong. As I recall from earlier research, Edwards bought the lease on the Alhambra not long after he acquired the Mission (later Monterey) Theatre in Monterey Park, and that was in 1930. By 1939, Edwards was operating a circuit of more than a dozen neighborhood theaters, and the Alhambra was his flagship house. If this photo depicts the theater just after Edwards acquired it, it probably dates from the very early 1930s.

The July 23, 1938, Boxoffice Magazine item about Edwards' plans to add a second auditorium to the Alhambra Theater, mentioned in my earlier comment, has been moved to this link.

The article by Helen Kent about the opening of the Alhambra’s second auditorium, in the October 12, 1940, issue of Boxoffice, now begins at this link, and continues on the subsequent two pages of the magazine (click “next page” links at top or bottom of the page scans.) This article has several photos of the theater as it appeared in 1940.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theater on Aug 16, 2011 at 5:13 am

I updated Street View to the wrong location. The State Theatre was on the lot that is now a parking lot, just beyond the light blue, single-story Greek revival building with the Masonic symbol on it. That building is at 432 Main Street, so the theater’s address must have been 436 Main, assuming that the storefronts abutting the theater entrance were 434 and 438.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Aug 16, 2011 at 5:08 am

The State Theatre nearly had a much larger theater as a neighbor. In 1927, the October 8 edition of Building and Engineering News reported that architect B. Marcus Priteca was preparing the working plans for a seven-story theater, commercial and office building at the southwest corner of Colorado and Hudson in Pasadena. Had it been built, the new theater, which was to be leased to the Pantages circuit, would have seated about 2,200, making it a little over two thirds the size of the Hollywood Pantages, opened in 1930. The theater portion of the Pasadena Pantages was to have been 110x170 feet, and the frontage building containing the entrance and lobby would have been 116x90 feet.

Another Pasadena theater that was planned but never built was a large house for Warner Bros., also to have been designed by Priteca, and slated for the corner of Colorado and Euclid, which is very near where the Arclight Pasadena is now located. This theater probably would have been very much like the Warner houses Priteca designed for Beverly Hills, Huntington Park, and San Pedro at about the same time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tower Theatre on Aug 16, 2011 at 5:05 am

I’ve finally found confirmation that B. G. Horton was indeed an architect, so he did design the Tower Theatre. A 1917 issue of Western Architect and Engineer said that he had been granted a certificate to practice architecture in California. His office was located at 750 E. Colorado Street in Pasadena.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theatre on Aug 16, 2011 at 4:54 am

Southwest Builder & Contractor of May 13, 1928, reported that a permit had been issued for construction of a theater at 1373 N. Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena. The architectural firm responsible for the design bore the unusual name Orlopp & Orlopp. The only firm of that name to which I can find references on the Internet was based in Dallas, so that’s another probable connection between the Park Theatre and Texas.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about National Theatre on Aug 16, 2011 at 3:11 am

As JayAllenSanford noted in an earlier comment, the National Theatre has been demolished.

Given the opening year of 1928, it’s likely that the Bush Theatre was the house mentioned in the August 20, 1927, issue of Building and Engineering News, described as a two-story theater and store building for Major T. C. McCaully. The Los Angeles architectural firm T. C. Kistner & Co. designed the project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theater on Aug 16, 2011 at 2:47 am

Alexander Curlett would have been the lead architect on this project. His father, William Curlett, had died in 1914. Aleck Curlett later formed a partnership with Claud Beelman, which lasted until 1928. I’d love to see photos of the Rialto, if anyone can dig them up. Curlett tended to be overshadowed by Beelman in their later partnership, and it would be interesting to see what he came up with on his own.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Flower Theatre on Aug 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

The Boxoffice Magazine cover with the photo of the Flower Theatre’s auditorium that I linked to in an earlier comment has been moved. See it at this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palmer Theatre on Aug 15, 2011 at 5:25 am

I do believe I might have updated Street View to the wrong building. I was thinking auto repair shop, as in the description, and there is an auto repair shop that looks like it could have been a theater, but I got turned around and didn’t realize I was looking at the north side of the street. The auto repair is at 4050 24th Street. If the theater was on the south side of the street, at 4045, then it was where the Wells Fargo Bank is now. I don’t see a Rite Aid anywhere on the block.

Is it possible that the address is wrong, and the theater really was at 4050? The building there certainly looks the part.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palmer Theatre on Aug 15, 2011 at 5:02 am

I wonder if the Palmer Theatre could have been the house mentioned in the July 23, 1927, issue of Building and Engineering News? It was described as being at 24th and Noe, and was to be a reinforced concrete building with a theater and two stores, costing $70,000. The owner’s name was A. C. Franklin, and the working drawings were being prepared by architects Morrow & Morrow.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Allendale Theatre on Aug 15, 2011 at 4:18 am

The Allendale Theatre, originally dating from 1914, was extensively altered in the late 1920s for the Blumenfield circuit. The architect was William I. Garren. Multiple notices about the project appeared in various issues of Building and Engineering News in 1927.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Olympic Drive-In on Aug 15, 2011 at 3:33 am

This theater should be listed in Los Angeles. West Los Angeles is a district, not an independent city.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pismo Theater on Aug 15, 2011 at 3:30 am

The May 7, 1927, issue of Building and Engineering News said that O. C. Williams was taking bids for construction of a theater, office, and store building to be built at Pismo Beach for W. W. Ward. The architectural style of the Central Coast Theatre indicates a late-1920s construction date. I’m sure the Ward Theatre and the Pismo/Central Coast Theatre are one and the same.

O. C. Williams, who had a Los Angeles address, might have been the architect for the project, but I’ve been unable to discover if he was indeed an architect. He might have only been a builder or general contractor.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Aug 15, 2011 at 3:28 am

The actual opening year of the National Theatre was 1927. This comment by tspauld on the Tower Theatre page says that the National on E Street was under construction when the Liberty Theatre, which replaced an earlier National Theatre at 1st and D Streets, opened on January 1 that year.

Indeed, the January 15, 1927, issue of Building and Engineering News ran an item saying that subcontracts had been awarded for work on the new theater being built on E Street between 5th and 6th in Marysville for the National Theatres Syndicate. That could only have been the National/State.

The item said that the new theater had been designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Bliss & Fairweather.