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This theater has a slightly earlier Cinema Treasures page under its final name, the State Theatre.
The State Theatre was on the site of the Lycoming Opera House, a 1600-seat theater built in 1892 and destroyed by fire on May 31, 1915. Here is a pre-fire photo of the Lycoming Opera House, and here is a post-fire photo along with a picture of the stage before the fire.
It’s possible that parts of the opera house auditorium were incorporated into the new theater on the site, which probably opened within a year or two of the fire. Boxoffice of June 6, 1977, ran a brief article about the State Theatre, saying it had closed on March 22 after operating for 85 years (which would be 1892, the year the opera house opened.) The 1975 photo from American Classic Images shows that the State had an entirely different entrance building than the old opera house, but the old photos don’t show enough of the back of the building to determine whether or not any of the auditorium’s original walls survived the fire.
The March, 1917, issue of club journal The Rotarian had an item about the opening that January of a theater in Williamsport called the Majestic. Given the timing, I wonder if this could have been the house that later became the State? However, it could also have been one of the other Williamsport houses, such as the Rialto or the Park, both of which look as though they could have been built around 1917.
The Keystone Theatre was updated in 1959. The June 22 issue of Boxoffice said the seats had been reupholstered and re-spaced, new lighting had been installed, and projection equipment had been upgraded to complement the new 36x50-foot screen. The renovated house would switch to a first-run policy, according to manager Bernard Cross. Though the Boxoffice item says nothing about a name change for the house, the State marquee in the ACM photo looks like it would date from about this time, so the Keystone might have been renamed the State at the time of the 1959 remodeling.
Here is a fresh link to the photo of the Harris DuBois Theatre in Boxoffice, October 15, 1938.
A post by user Foxfan on this page at a DuBois community forum says that this house was called the Pershing Theatre for a while before being renamed the Playhouse. The post also has some information about other theaters that have operated in DuBois.
Thanks for the correction, NYozoner. Boxoffice did sometimes leave out important details. I think the layout editors, working under tight deadlines, sometimes clipped sections out of articles to make them fit the space available on the page. That still happens a lot with weekly and daily publications.
From the aerial images on the page you linked to, it looks as though Blatt Brothers expansion of the operation amounted to almost a complete rebuilding of the original theater.
The Star Drive-In opened June 12, 1957, and was the subject of this single-page article in Boxoffice of May 5, 1958. It was the eighth drive-in for the Blatt Brothers circuit, a regional circuit operating in New York and Pennsylvania. Among its features was an outdoor dance floor.
Boxoffice gave the car capacity as 1,250. The projector required an enormous throw of 610 feet to reach the 152-foot wide screen, advertised by the theater as the world’s largest.
The description says that the auditorium of this theater has been demolished. If that’s so, the status field should be changed to match.
The St Louis Park Theatre was featured in an article in Boxoffice of May 5, 1958. There are several photos of the house on this page and the two subsequent pages.
The theater had reopened on November 8, 1957, after a remodeling and redecoration, which had included some structural changes. The architect for the project was John Field, of the San Francisco firm Knorr, Elliot & Associates. Field was the son of the theater’s owner, Harold D. Field. The caption of one photo gives the seating capacity of the remodeled house as 960.
A two-page article about the Vic Theatre begins on this page of the June 2, 1958, issue of Boxoffice. It features before and after photos of the facade, as well as a few photos of the remodeled interior.
One of the photos, depicting the foyer, had appeared on the cover of Boxoffice for May 5, 1958.
The article also says that the Green Bay Theatre was renamed the Jay-Are Theatre in 1912, after being purchased by J.R. Minahan, and was renamed the Orpheum after Minahan leased the house to Harry K. Timm the following year. Fox Wisconsin took over the lease of the Orpheum in 1933, and in 1943 the theater was bought by Victor L. McCormick. Marcus Theatres began leasing the Orpheum in 1956. When the subsequent remodeling was done the house was presumably renamed the Vic for Victor McCormick, then still the owner of the building.
Here is an early photo of the California Theatre featured on the cover of the May, 1919, issue of the Los Angeles-based investment magazine American Globe.
The Newspaper article wolfgirl500 linked to says that W.H. Cook of Bates & Cook was the architect of the State Theatre. A 1946 AIA questionnaire signed by William H. Cook also claims the State Theatre as his work.
The questionnaire (PDF here) doesn’t mention the firm of Bates & Cook. I’m not sure what the relationship was. There was definitely a partnership between Wheeling, West Virgina, architect Charles W. Bates and an engineer named William H. Cook, but (assuming it was the same Cook, which it probably was) both men were licensed architects and had their own independent practices during the same period they were collaborating on some projects. The sources I’ve been able to find on the Internet don’t pin down any details, though. Maybe somebody else will have better luck.
Architects Edgar A. Stanley and Morris W. Scheibel formed their partnership in 1911, according to Stanley’s entry in “The Semi-centennial Alumni Record of the University of Illinois,” published in 1918.
Here is a direct link to the photo I linked to above.
Here is an early photo of the Liberty Theatre featured in an ad for the South Amboy Terra Cotta Co., in the June, 1918, issue of The Architectural Forum.
The NYCLPC’s Landmark Designation Report for the Paramount Hotel mentions the Washington Theatre among Thomas Lamb’s works, but says that the project was designed in association with theater architect Victor Hugo Koehler.
According to James Trager’s book “The New York Chronology” the Lafayette Theater opened in November, 1912. It was designed by architect Victor Hugo Koehler. Only white patrons were admitted to the orchestra floor until August of 1913, when the Lafayette became the first New York City theater to integrate.
Incidentally, the Office for Metropolitan History’s Manhattan Database lists three theaters designed by Koehler that I’ve been unable to track down. They are: a 1902 project for a four story theater and loft building, 100x100, at the southeast corner of Grand and Chrystie; a 1913 two story movie theater, 41x90, at 11-13 W. 116th Street; and a one story movie theater, also 41x90, at 385-387 Third Avenue. Maybe somebody familiar with Manhattan will be able to identify these theaters.
Here are fresh links for the July 2, 1949, Boxoffice items posted above by ken mc and Gerald A. DeLuca:
Cover photo of the main floor lounge.
Page one of the two-page article about the University Theatre in the Modern Theatre section of the same issue.
Ridley & Glazier were the architects of the original 1925 Masonic Temple building, but according to the Medina Masonic Temple Company web site, the theater project of 1937 was the work of architect George Howard Burrows.
More than half the theater’s footprint is in this annex, including the stage house, but the rear portion of the theater is in the original 1925 building. The entrance is in a structure also added onto the south side of the Temple as part of the 1937 project.
The modifications converting the house to a two-screen theater were done in 1972.
East Providence’s Town Hall was a Romanesque Revival style building designed by William R. Walker & Son, the firm that designed the Toy (Avon) and Majestic theaters in Providence proper.
The entry for architect A.O. Budina in the 1956 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists the Westhampton Theatre in Richmond as one of his projects from the year 1938.
The entry for architect A.O. Budina in the 1956 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists a Halifax Theatre in South Boston among his works for the year 1938. I found a single 1945 newspaper reference to the Halifax Theatre being located on North Main Street. The house is also mentioned in Boxoffice of October 9, 1954, the year CinemaScope equipment was installed.
As the AIA Directory doesn’t specify if the project was for a new theater or a remodeling, is it possible that the Princess was called the Halifax for a while? Perhaps its Art Moderne facade was Budina’s 1938 project.
Addendum: As Boxoffice ran a photo of the theater in 1950 (second photo at the top of this page) I’m not sure if the AIA Directory got the year wrong, or if Bihr’s project was only for some sort of alteration to the theater. He was apparently a contract architect for Fox Midwest for a number of years, handling many projects both large and small.
The entry for architect Samuel W. Bihr, Jr. in the 1956 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists the Fox Theatre at Winfield, Kansas, among his works. It gives the year of the Fox project as 1952.
Judging from the photo of the facade that CWalczak linked to above, this 1950 theater was not Spanish Renneissance in style, but thoroughly modern. Maybe it was the original Rio that was Spanish.
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.