Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Art Theatre on May 11, 2009 at 11:56 pm

At extreme right in the 1939 USC photo, is that the Burbank Theatre’s vertical sign that says “Mexico” on it? Though the marquee is hard to read, it looks like it says “Peliculas” on the first line.

I checked the city directories for 1938 and 1939, and the Burbank is listed in both (under the “Theatres” section rather than “Motion Picture Theatres” and there is no Mexico Theatre listed for either year. The Burbank is listed under Motion Picture Theatres in the 1942 directory.

Unfortunately the L.A. Library doesn’t have a 1940 directory online, or I’d check that. If the Burbank was a Spanish-language movie house called the Mexico, it must have been for a very brief time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theatre on May 10, 2009 at 12:15 am

The May 29, 1937, issue of Boxoffice mentioned that Dave Cantor had built the Park Theatre in Highland Park the previous year. In 1937, Cantor was buying the Canoga Theatre from its original owner, Nate Scheinberg.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gold Front Theater on May 9, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Several issues of Boxoffice from 1950 mention the opening of the Gold Front Theatre. The Bowling Alley was apparently pre-existing. A couple of the Boxoffice items say that the theater was “…built over the Gold Front bowling alleys….” The building in the photos does look too old to have been built in 1950, so the theater was probably located in converted retail space. The house opened in June. Boxoffice gives the seating capacity as 780 in some items and 888 in another.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Joyce Theater on May 9, 2009 at 12:17 am

The Joyce Theatre, which had been converted into western art gallery called the Montana Trails Gallery, was destroyed on March 5, 2009, by a gas explosion which leveled three historic downtown Bozeman buildings and severely damaged others.

Cinematour Forum post on the event.

Bozeman Daily Chronicle article (in case you have to be logged in to Cinematour to see their posts. I can’t remember if non-members can read them or not.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Century's 110-Drive-In on May 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm

As the projectors had probably been installed before the February 2 Ashcraft ad was published, 1956 does seem a likely year for the drive-in to have opened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Boulevard Theatre on May 8, 2009 at 12:58 am

The Boulevard was being outfitted in mid-1940. The July 6 issue of Boxoffice listed drapes and carpets for the Boulevard among the equipment ordered for various theaters from the Wil-Kin Theatre Supply Co. of Atlanta.

S.A. Lynch, a regional partner of Paramount Theatres, was building the Boulevard, according to another item in the same issue of Boxoffice. The new house was expected to be open later that month.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Century's 110-Drive-In on May 7, 2009 at 8:43 pm

The 110-Drive-In must have opened in 1957, not 1959. An ad for Ashcraft’s Super Cinex projectors appeared in the February 2 issue of Boxoffice Magazine that year, saying that these projectors had been installed at the Century 110 Drive-In.

It was certainly open by September of 1957, as the September 7 issue of Boxoffice carried an item about a promotion at the theater which involved giving away 6,000 barbecued beef sandwiches over a four day period.

The October 19, 1957, issue of Boxoffice ran an article about drive-in concession stands which featured several paragraphs about the operation at the 110 Drive-In, with two photos of its concession area.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tulare Theatre on May 7, 2009 at 7:59 pm

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has a number of drawings by Timothy Pflueger that can be seen on-line, including some depicting the Tulare Theatre. Enter Tulare in the search box. You can also search on Pflueger and then select the resulting “works by” link to see drawings of some of his other projects.

Also, the “firm” listing on this page should show Miller & Pflueger.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on May 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Patsy: Use Google Advanced Search, put issuu.com in the “site or domain” box, and the date January 03 1942 in the “exact wording or phrase” box. The article about the Grand starts on page 58.

My outgoing email isn’t working, so I’ll be unable to contact you until I get a different client set up. In any case, everthing I know about the Grand came from the online issues of Boxoffice.

There have been a lot of theaters called the Grand in California. but I’ve never been to any of them. Did you have a particular one in mind?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mayfair Theater on May 7, 2009 at 1:40 am

The Mayfair was the last of Trenton’s eight downtown theaters to close, according to an article Boxoffice Magazine of December 6, 1976, which announced the closing. Vincent Henry was the last manager of the house, and the last movies shown were “Saga In Africa” and “Burnt Offerings.”

This Boxoffice item says that the Henry family had operated the house since acquiring it in 1940, at which time they had changed the name to Mayfair. However, the January 3, 1942, issue of Boxoffice had said that the Hildingers (Charles and Helen) had reopened the former Orpheum as the Mayfair curing Christmas week.

The house had originally opened on March 29, 1922, as the Orpheum Theatre, owned by George B. Ten Eyck. The first feature at the Orpheum was the Coleen Moore film “Come On Over.”

During the 1930s the Orpheum was operated by the William Hunt Theatres Circuit of Wildwood, New Jersey.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on May 7, 2009 at 1:37 am

I don’t have time to read through all the comments, so pardon me if this information has previously been posted. The January 3, 1942, issue of Boxoffice Magazine ran an article about the recently-opened Grand Theatre in its Modern Theatre section.

From the photos with the article I’d say the Grand was definitely Art Moderne in style, rather than Art Deco. The article identified the architect of the new house as Michael J. DeAngelis. The seating capacity at opening was given as 850. Total cost of the project was a mere $65,000. The original owner was Kenneth Blakely.

An architect’s rendering of the Grand had earlier appeared in Boxoffice’s “Just Off the Boards” feature in the April 21, 1941, issue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Del Oro Theatre on May 6, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Various issues of Boxoffice Magazine indicate that the Del Oro Theatre was not built by United Artists, nor operated by that chain during its early years. Construction was begun in 1941 by Golden State Theatres, but apparently the house was being operated by Albert and William Forman’s United Theatres Circuit later in the 1940s.

An item in the April 16, 1949, issue of Boxoffice said that a $36,000 damage suit against United Theatres and Del Oro manager Jack Keegan was being tried in Nevada County superior court. Mr. Terry T. Whitesides of Grass Valley alleged that he had fallen in the aisle of the theater on September 28, 1947.

I’ve been unable to discover when United Artists took over the house, but they were operating it when it was triplexed in 1975.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Darress Theater on May 6, 2009 at 9:16 pm

There are some interesting discrepancies among various sources of information about the theater and about Mr. Darress. The theater web site has a picture of Charles Darress. Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of May 14, 1979, has an article about recent two theater closings, the State being one of them, and it says that the theater was opened in 1922 by Clare Darress.

Then there’s this page about a landmarked house for sale in Boonton, which says the house was designed by “…Clair Darress, a famous architect of many homes in the area, and creator of the Darress theatre on Main Street.”

Whether Charles, Clare, or Clair, it seems reasonable that, being an architect, Mr. Darress would have designed his theater himself.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Linda Theater on May 6, 2009 at 12:13 am

The February 8, 1941, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Phil Isley had opened the Bobby Walker Theatre on February 6.

Phil Isley’s daughter, Phylis, is better known by her movie name Jennifer Jones. Bobby Walker’s father was actor Robert Walker, co-star of Hitchcock’s “Strangers On a Train.” Bobby Walker also became an actor, appearing mostly on television. Robert Walker Jr. at IMDb.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Imperial Theatre on May 5, 2009 at 9:48 pm

The January 8, 1955, issue of Boxoffice said that the Imperial Theatre had been reopened after being completely remodeled and refurnished. A new 19x40-foot screen had been installed, along with a stereophonic sound system and acoustical plaster. The house was reseated with American Seating Company’s Bodiform chairs. The new seating capacity was given as 804.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about AMC Tysons Corner 16 on May 5, 2009 at 12:07 am

The entire Tyson’s Corner expansion, including the AMC cinema, was designed by the architectural firm RTKL Associates.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Serf Theater on May 5, 2009 at 12:05 am

Checking the 1937 Boxoffice article again, I think it says that 800 chairs were shipped to the Serf Theatre. The scan is very blurry, but the Google cache in plain text says 800. The 1950 reseating thus probably reduced the total capacity to 726, rather than increasing it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Serf Theater on May 4, 2009 at 11:32 pm

The October 9, 1937, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the Graham Brothers Theatre Supply Company of Denver had shipped various items to the new Serf Theatre in Las Vegas, New Mexico. These included 500 seats, 340 yards of carpeting, two blowers and motors, two curtains with tracks and controls, a sound screen, and complete booth equipment.

The Maloof Bros. were apparently the owners of the building, but the house was operated by Fox Intermountain Theatres when it opened, according to the October 23, 1937, issue of Boxoffice.

In its April 15, 1950, issue, Boxoffice said that the Maloof Bros. had closed the Serf Theatre for repairs when it was discoverd that the back wall was sagging. Fox Intermountain must have taken this opportunity to expand the theater, as the November 4, 1950, issue of Boxoffice said that the company had reopened the Serf with 726 seats.

The remodeled lobby featured a wagon wheel chandelier with six brass lanterns, and the walls were decorated with murals depicting the Santa Fe Trail. The auditorium was painted in shades of aqua and turquoise, and the screen had a turquoise velvet curtain.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about North Valley Plaza 3 on May 4, 2009 at 11:09 pm

The August 28, 1972, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that United Artists had opened its U.A. Cinemas I, II, and III on August 4 that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about 41st Avenue Cinema on May 4, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Plans to build what would become the 41st Avenue Playhouse were announced in the August 21, 1972, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The item said that the three-screen house, the first of its kind in Santa Cruz County, would have approximately 1250 seats.

It was built for the Kindair Corporation, a local theater circuit based in Monterey, California. The recent opening of the house was noted in the July 30, 1973, issue of Boxoffice, but no details about the theater itself were given. The first movie shown was a benefit premier of “Sleuth.”

The Kindair circuit was apparently acquired by United Artists sometime in the 1980s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitola Theater on May 4, 2009 at 9:13 pm

The Capitola Theatre was built for Arthur Mayer of San Francisco and Joseph Jacobs of Burlingame. Although construction of the Capitola began in late 1947, materials shortages delayed its completion, and it didn’t open until the summer of 1948. The start of construction was announced in the December 6, 1947, issue of Boxoffice Magazine, and the opening in the August 7, 1948, issue. The September 3, 1973, issue of Boxoffice said that the Capitola had celebrated its 25th anniversary on August 6.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Soquel Cinema on May 4, 2009 at 8:53 pm

The recent opening of the Osocales Theatre was announced in the September 25, 1948, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The October 2 issue of Boxoffice added that the theater had cost $60,000, was 50x100 feet in size, and seated 500.

I’m not sure if the May 6, 1950, Boxoffice item Ken cited just above referred to a replacement of 100 seats or an addition of another 100 seats. In any case, the building was large enough to accommodate the 500 seats it had on opening.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hiland Theater on May 3, 2009 at 10:47 pm

The April 15, 1950, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the J.T. Boutwell Company had installed 1,172 Kroelher seats in the Hiland Theatre, Albuquerque.

The November 27, 1967, issue of Boxoffice ran an article about Blanche Hatton, who had been managing theaters in Albuquerque since her arrival there in 1924. She became the first manager of the newly-opened Hiland in 1950, and held that post until 1963.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Falls Theatre on May 3, 2009 at 10:45 pm

From Boxoffice Magazine, November 28, 1977: “There will be five benefit showings of ‘The Gathering’ at the Falls Theatre in Chagrin Falls, where it was filmed.”

And from Boxoffice of August 27, 1979: “The Chagrin Falls Theatre has been torn down to make way for a new office building in Chagrin Falls….”

The town was not left without an indoor theater when the Falls was demolished, though. A 248-seat house called the Tanglewood Cinema had opened in the Tanglewood Shopping Center in 1973.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alamo Theatre on May 3, 2009 at 1:24 am

Alamo Jack’s is now just The Alamo, and has a new web site. The site includes an early photo of the Alamo Theatre, plus a scan of an article from a local newspaper (though its hard to read, the scan being too small) which says that the Alamo Theatre opened in 1928 in space previously occupied by a retail store. The closing date given in the article appears to be 1968, but I wouldn’t swear to that. The information in the intro that the Alamo opened as the Newnan Theatre in 1937 is erroneous.

Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of October 2, 1937, says that the Lam Amusement Company had taken over the Alamo from its former operator, J.B. Meyers. The October 21, 1939, issue of Boxoffice said that the Alamo had reopened after a remodeling. The August 22, 1953, issue said that a wide screen had been installed in the Alamo.

I’ve been unable to find any specific references to the 1939 remodeling having been designed by Tucker & Howell, but as that firm had drawn the plans for remodeling Lam’s Gem Theatre in Newnan in 1935, as well as doing many other projects for the Lam Amusement Company over many years, it seems likely that they would have done the plans for the remodeling of the Alamo as well.