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As far as I’ve been able to tell, the Star was the only theater in Goldendale in the 1940s (Boxoffice never mentions any others), so it must have been the as-yet unnamed house K.A. Spears was building there in 1937, announced in Boxoffice of August 21 that year. The new theater was to seat 450 and was expected to open in October. The architect was D.W. (Day Walter) Hilborn.
CinemaTour has three photos of the Tower Square Cinemas (the vertical sign seen in one photos just says Tower Cinema) at 50 N. Tower Square in Tulare. The photos are dated 1999. CinemaTour doesn’t give the number of screens, but Mike Rivest lists it as a triplex. I haven’t found it mentioned in Boxoffice Magazine.
A couple of web sites say that the former Tower Square Cinemas building was converted into an indoor paintball venue in 2008, but I can’t find a listing for it on the Internet. Maybe it didn’t last long.
In addition to the Tulare, State, and Tower Square, Tulare had a theater called the El Rey operating from at least 1940 into the 1950s, and a small twin (2x180 seats) opened in the Town and Country Village shopping center in 1973. I found a single reference to a Lake Theatre in Tulare in a 1944 Boxoffice item, but that might have been a misplacing of a Lake Theatre somewhere else— perhaps the one in Corcoran.
There are also a few items about theaters in Tulare that appeared in Southwest Builder & Contractor as far back as 1912, and one of these was probably the first Tulare Theatre, but I don’t know which of them it was. Other projects the magazine announced might never have been built.
Tulare now has a multiplex called the Galaxy Tulare 10, opened in 2004.
I’m not doubting that the theater was multiplexed, just saying that I can’t find anything in Boxoffice about it. I had hoped to find an item that would reveal the year that it was done, and that might give the new seating capacity.
The Alliance was a 1937 rebuild of an older theater called the Imperial. Fox Intermountain had recently opened the rebuilt and renamed house, according to Boxoffice of November 20 that year. The Imperial had already been completely remodeled before, as reported in Movie Age of January 19, 1929.
Fox Intermountain was still operating the Alliance when the house was reseated in 1956, reducing capacity from 900 to 756, according to Boxoffice of June 2.
Updated and remodeled again in 1976, the Alliance was then being operated by Commonwealth Theatres, as reported in Boxoffice of October 11.
I’ve found nothing in Boxoffice about the multiplexing of this theater.
The Rig Drive-in was dismantled in 1962, according to Boxoffice Magazine of August 13 that year. The owner, Joe Stribling, cited a decline in business, as well as a lack of time to look after the theaters, for his decision to close the Rig Drive-In and Davenport’s only other theater, the Gem.
Was the Gay Theatre’s name changed to the Strand as early as 1917, or was there an earlier Strand Theatre in Knoxville? The July 7, 1917, issue of the trade journal The Music Trade Review said: “The Signal Amusement Co. of Chattanooga has opened the new Strand Theatre in Knoxville.”
The Music Trade Review of March 9, 1918, had this interesting information: “The Wm. L. Glockner Music Co., the local Wurlitzer representative, reports the placing recently of a Style H Wurlitzer Orchestra in the Hidalgo Motion Picture Theatre, on North Main Street.”
I wonder if this was the same Glockner who operated Glockner’s Automatic Theatre?
Here’s evidence of another movie house in San Pedro, from The Music Trade Review of April 14, 1917: “The Wm. L. Glockner Music Co. reports the sale of a Wurlitzer orchestra, Style Y-O, to the Empire Motion Picture Theatre, San Pedro, Cal.”
The Ideal Theatre was built for Consolidated Amusements Enterprises, one of the largest of the early movie theater circuits in the east. The trade journal The Music Trade Review of November 6, 1915, published an encomium penned by Consolidated’s head, Lawrence Bolognino, in praise of the instruments of the American Photo Player Co., which had been installed in a number of the circuit’s houses.
The Ideal was then under construction, and a $5,000 Fotoplayer had been ordered for it. Other theaters being operated by Consolidated (each with a Fotoplayer among its accouterments) included the Drury Lane Theatre, the Regent Theatre, the Seventy-Second Street Playhouse, and the Morningside Theatre.
The Winkler Drive-In was designed by architect Jack Corgan, according to Boxoffice of April 5, 1947. It was the ninth Texas drive-in in the Underwood and Ezell chain.
I finally stumbled across a Boxoffice item later than 1947 with information about the second Soledad Theatre. It’s in the August 5, 1950, issue in an article about the use of laminated wood in theater construction. The theater isn’t mentioned in the article itself, but two photos of it, inside and out, are used as illustrations.
See bottom of right-hand page here.
No sooner is one mystery solved than another arises. It has taken me a few months to realize that there’s another mystery, though. Boxoffice of October 5, 1946, said: “The Soledad Theatre in Soledad burned to the ground recently. Owners are Gnesa and Franscioni.” But, in the absence of addresses, there’s no confirmation that the burned Soledad Theatre was the same one that was run by the Johnsons in the 1920s.
If the information in the October 6, 2005, comment by Tom DeLay above is correct, and the building the Johnsons' Soledad Theatre occupied is still standing, then the theater that burned to the ground in 1946 must have been a second Soledad Theatre, and the building on Kidder Street that was built to replace it would be the third house of the name.
The Algona Theatre was built for Central States Theatres to replace the second Call Theatre, on the same site, which had been destroyed by fire on December 21, 1950. An earlier Call Theatre (on a different site), which had opened as the Call Opera House in 1892 and was converted to a movie theater in 1916, had also been destroyed by fire, in 1937.
After the 1937 fire the owners of the original Call had leased and then purchased the State Theatre, which had opened in 1936, and renamed it the New Call Theatre. Later it was called simply the Call Theatre. This was the building which burned in 1950.
Boxoffice of July 21, 1951, said that a contest would be held to name the second Call’s replacement, then under construction, and apparently the unimaginative name Algona Theatre won.
The original Call Theatre should have its own Cinema Treasures page. As the Call Opera House it was listed in various issues of Julius Cahn’s theatrical guide with 600 seats, but no address was given.
I don’t know if the State/New Call should have its own page or not. One Boxoffice report soon after the 1950 fire said that the owners were considering the possibility of incorporating some of the old structure’s walls into the new building, but I don’t know if that was done or not. As it took so long to rebuild on the site, perhaps the Algona was an entirely new building.
It looks like the Yuba Theatre was operating before 1940, either in the current building or at another location. The October 19, 1946 issue of Boxoffice reported on the sale of the Yuba Theatre by Mr. and Mrs. V.C. Shattuck “…after fifteen years under their management.” The Shattucks, located in Truckee, operated a number of small town theaters in the region.
Unfortunately I’ve found no earlier references to the Yuba Theatre in Boxoffice, and only two later references, from 1957 and 1976. A couple of other web sites give 1940 as the construction date of the current Yuba Theatre, but it’s impossible to tell the actual age of the building from the photo on the theater’s Facebook page. The exterior is rustic and looks like it could date from the 19th century, but the region is full of faux-rustic buildings. Also, in a photo of the theater’s interior at Facebook the auditorium has wall sconces that look art moderne and could well date from 1940.
Yuba Theatre Facebook page.
The last operator of the Liberty Theatre was Jess Levin’s General Theatrical Company, but from its opening in 1916 until 1955 it had been operated by John W. DiStasio. The announcement of DiStasio’s retirement and the sale of the Liberty to the Levin interests appeared in Boxoffice, October 29, 1955. The announcement of the final closing of the Liberty was published in Boxoffice of December 7, 1957.
The 1921 installation of the Robert-Morton organ was part of a remodeling that took place that year. The November 19 issue of The Music Trade Review said the Liberty would have its formal reopening on Thanksgiving Day.
The Grand Theatre’s marquee in the photo dated 1941 advertises “They Died With Their Boots On” which was made in 1941 but was not released outside New York City until January 1, 1942, according to IMDb. The Grand must have gotten it even later. Boxoffice of April 4, 1942, says “Blumenfeld circuit’s Grand in Sacramento will open May 1.”
Tom Spaulding’s NorCal Explorer (item about 2/3 of the way down the page) gives the actual opening date as May 15, 1942. A war-related delay, I’d imagine.
The web site I linked to two years ago is unchanged, still saying the Grand will be reopening soon. This is probably not a war-related delay.
The November 19, 1921, issue of The Music Trade Review reported that a Robert-Morton organ would be installed in the Pantages Theatre at Vancouver. I’m not sure if this was done then or not, as the PSTOS page for the Pantages says a Robert-Morton was installed in the house in 1925.
The Town Drive-In was designed by architect Ted Rogvoy, according to an item in Boxoffice, February 25, 1950. The article is illustrated by a small rendering.
The location of this theater, by the way, is Redford, not Redrod.
The Music Trade Review of September 30, 1916, said “The $100,000 Casino theatre at Narragansett Pier, has just been opened by John Hannon.”
The Grand opened during the last week of December, 1937, according to an item in Boxoffice, January 1, 1938. The item said that the Grand was the second theater to open in Sheffield in three months, the Nu-Bee Theatre having opened in October, 1937. Prior to that, Sheffield had been without a movie house for fifteen years.
Owner-operator of the Grand was local physician F.H. Rodemeyer. The one-story, brick and tile building was 33x110, and the 300-seat auditorium was 74 feet long. The house was air conditioned.
Does anybody have anything on the Nu-Bee Theatre? Heh. Nu-Bee. n00b!
Here’s a glimpse of the auditorium of the Carmen Theatre in Boxoffice, August 16, 1941. The caption says the house is a slightly smaller twin of of the Civic Theatre in Detroit, built the same year and designed by the same architect, Kenneth S. Frazier.
Boxoffice didn’t give the seating capacity in this particular item, but judging from the photos it doesn’t look as though it could have held the 1,490 seats currently listed above. Still, an item in the May 28, 1955 Boxoffice says that it had 1,500 seats. If it was enlarged some time after its opening I’ve been unable to find anything about such an event in Boxoffice.
The Civic was the subject of an article in Boxoffice, July 19, 1941. There are several photos. The architect of the Civic was Kenneth S. Frazier, who also designed the Carmen Theatre in Dearborn the same year.
The remodeling of the Dearborn in the 1930s was the first such job undertaken for Balaban & Katz by the Pereira brothers, according to the final paragraph of this article in Boxoffice, June 20, 1942. The Pereiras returned in that year to again remodel the house, which was then renamed the Surf Theatre. The article includes two photos of the marquee, but unfortunately none of the interior.
Boxoffice of September 16, 1939, said that Fox Intermountain Theatres had begun remodeling a building in Longmont for use as a theater. The project was to cost $60,000.
The December 9, 1939, issue of Boxoffice said that the new Fox in Longmont had opened December 5, with 710 seats. The July 19, 1941 issue of Boxoffice had an article about the new projection booth at the Fox in Longmont, installed when the house “…was being modernized recently.” There’s a small photo of the auditorium.
Also, I have to question the attribution of the design of the theater to the Skouras Brothers. Spyros Skouras certainly dictated the look of Fox theaters during this period, but I’ve never heard of any of the Skouras brothers actually being a designer. Spyros undoubtedly had a lot to say about the choice of architects and decorators for the various Fox houses built or remodeled during his tenure, but I’d be very surprised to learn that he or his brothers ever wielded the pencils themselves.
The 1941 item names George Frantz as chief of design and construction for Fox Theatres at the time of the Longmont project, and attributes the idea for the house’s suspended, circular projection booth to him. I don’t think Frantz was himself an architect. A few issues of Boxoffice refer to him as a “theatre engineer.” He apparently left the details of design to the various architects, such as Mel Glatz and Carl Moeller, who Fox either contracted with or employed in-house over the years.
A December 26, 1936, Boxoffice item about the plans to build this theater says that it was to be the second house in Walter Reade’s American Community Theatres project. The lot on which the theater was to be built was 90x278 feet.
Walter Reade announced the formation of the American Community Theatres Corporation in 1936, as reported in Boxoffice Magazine of October 10 that year (bottom center of left page.) Over the next few years the chain expanded rapidly.
It might be that all the early Community Theatres houses were designed in Thomas Lamb’s office. A January 8, 1938, Boxoffice item about the chain’s intention to build seven new theaters that year said that, following his return from a cruise, Reade would meet with Lamb “…to draw up plans.”