Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Toy Theater on Sep 15, 2010 at 2:44 am

Here is a photo of the Toy Theatre, clipped from volume 1 of a 1922 publication, “History of Milwaukee” by William George Bruce and Josiah Seymour Currey (scan available at Google Books.)

It looks like there was another theater right next door to the Toy.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Leavitt Fine Arts Theatre on Sep 14, 2010 at 3:41 am

The March 25, 1922, issue of the trade journal Domestic Engineering said that a Mrs. Libby, operator of a tea room in Kennebunk, intended to build a building with a movie theater and two stores in Ogunquit. Plans for the $25,000 project had been drawn by Kennebunk architect W.E. Barry.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on Sep 14, 2010 at 2:57 am

The 1940s photo Don Lewis linked to is not posted on the Fox Cineplex page. When this page is taken down, I hope that Don’s comment can be moved there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Haymarket Theatre on Sep 14, 2010 at 2:37 am

The 1914 obituary of noted Chicago architect John J. Flanders attributes the design of the Haymarket Theatre to him.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sierra Theater on Sep 14, 2010 at 2:33 am

The February 18, 1922, issue of the trade journal Domestic Engineering noted that the Rounnel Construction Co. had won the contract to erect a brick theater building at 112-14 S. Central St. in Eagle Rock. This was probably the theater that became the Sierra.

I don’t have any maps from the period available, but I’m pretty sure that before the City of Eagle Rock was annexed to Los Angeles in 1923, this section of what later became Eagle Rock Blvd. was called Central Street. In Los Angeles, the street that was incorporated into Eagle Rock Blvd. was originally called Glassell Avenue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wilkinson Theater on Sep 14, 2010 at 2:24 am

The March 18, 1922, issue of trade journal Domestic Engineering said that George H. Wilkinson of Wallingford was having plans prepared for a theater to be built on Center Street. The architect for the project was Loomis J. Thompson. Thompson later designed the Capitol Theatre in Watertown as well.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Omaha Theater on Sep 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Here is a photo of the World Theatre that appeared in an ad for Crane plumbing fixtures in a 1923 issue of the trade journal Domestic Engineering and the Journal of Mechanical Contracting.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Casino Theatre on Sep 13, 2010 at 6:41 am

The December 13, 1913, issue of trade journal The Moving Picture World said that an existing building at 213 W. Third Street would be remodeled for use as a moving picture theater to be called the Casino. The local firm of Clausen & Clausen (Frederick G. and Rudolph J., a father and son partnership) were preparing the plans for the project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Sep 13, 2010 at 5:59 am

The Colonial Theatre was open by 1913, and was pictured in an article in the trade journal The Moving Picture World, issue of December 20 that year (clip of the article from Google Books.)

The 408-seat Colonial was designed by local architects Thomas Benjamin & Sons, Frank Van Der Til, and Blakslee Brothers.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Poli Theatre on Sep 12, 2010 at 4:39 am

An interesting item in the November 8, 1913, issue of the trade journal The Moving Picture World says that construction of the foundations for a new Poli theater at Main and Gold streets in Hartford had begun. If that was not the exact location of the Loew’s Poli then it must have been very close. The item said that construction was being rushed on the project, in hope that the house could be opened in January, 1914. Architect for the project was Ferdinand Von Beren of the New Haven firm Brown & Von Beren, who did other work for the Poli chain.

I’ve found no later references to this project in the trade publications. I’m wondering if Loew’s Poli was later built on the foundations begun in 1913? Or did something else get built there, or nothing at all? Maybe the city decided it needed part of the site for a street widening project or something of that sort, and the theater project was halted? Perhaps Mr. Poli ran into financial difficulties and the project had to be delayed? A mystery, anyway. Does anybody know the answer?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empire Theatre on Sep 12, 2010 at 4:00 am

In my previous comment, that should of course be a construction year of 1866, not 1966, for the theater that burned in 1912 (unless we have one of those rare, time-traveling theaters on our hands.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Myers Theater on Sep 12, 2010 at 3:49 am

I’ve yet to find a University library with a user-friendly web site, but you can find the photos of the Myers by going to the UW library’s Digital Collections page, then putting Myers Theater (that spelling exactly) in the search box.

It’s possible to right click on any given size of a photo there and copy the link address, then paste that here (thus), but then those who click on the link here won’t get the data page with all the details about the photo, just the photo itself. Also I don’t know how long the resulting link will last.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Montana Theater on Sep 12, 2010 at 3:20 am

A 1901 issue of The Engineering Record said that Butte architect H. M. Patterson (Henry M. Patterson) had prepared the plans for a theater to be erected on Broadway for the Sutton Theatre Company. This was probably one of Patterson’s last projects in Butte, as in 1902 (or 1905— sources conflict) he relocated to Los Angeles. There he specialized in the design of churches, though he did design at least one Southern California theater, the Washington in Pasadena, done in association with architect Clarence L. Jay.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Theater on Sep 12, 2010 at 3:16 am

I’ve found a reference to Poli’s Bijou Theatre being in operation at least as early as 1913.

This essay about architect Ferdinand Von Beren, published in 1918, attributes the design of the Bijou to him.

His firm, Brown & Von Beren, also designed the Globe Theatre in Bridgeport, and in 1913 construction began on a Brown & Von Beren-designed Poli theater at Main and Gold streets in Hartford, though this project appears not to have been completed (it might have been completed several years later as Loew’s Poli, which is attributed to Thomas Lamb.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Globe Theatre on Sep 12, 2010 at 3:12 am

The firm of Brown & Von Beren (see my previous comment above) is also mentioned in a 1913 issue of Motion Picture World in connection with a theater they were designing for the Poli circuit in Hartford. It was apparently never built, but it’s yet another connection to S.Z. Poli.

The biography I linked to in my previous comment atributes the design of Poli’s Bijou Theatre in New haven to Ferdinand Von Beren as well.

I’m more certain than ever that this theater should be attributed to Ferdinand Von Beren, Brown & Von Beren (the biography, published in 1918, says that partner David R. Brown died in 1911, but that the firm name remained unchanged.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empire Theatre on Sep 12, 2010 at 3:05 am

A publication of the North Adams Historical Society says that the Empire Theatre was built in 1912 to replace an earlier theater dating from 1966 that had burned down.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sixth Street Theatre on Sep 12, 2010 at 3:01 am

A Billboard Magazine item from early 1942 reveals that, at that time, the Sixth Street Theatre had been a Warner Bros. house for at least nine years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Myers Theater on Sep 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Boxoffice was not always reliable in reporting dates of events in the distant past. The weekly magazine’s news items from most places relied on local theater operators or managers, film distributors who traveled the territory, and often on local newspaper reports which were themselves sometimes hastily written. Contemporary newspaper reports from the time and place of an event are better sources for information, but unfortunately very few of these are yet available on the Internet.

Here is a pdf file of the obituary of Oscar Cobb from the July, 1908, Quarterly Bulletin of the AIA. It says that he was from Maine and only arrived in Chicago in 1871. It’s rather sketchy about his career prior to his arrival in Chicago, but does say that began building theaters “about 1875” so it’s probably safe to rule him out as the architect of the original 1870 Myers Opera House.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about McCook Theater on Sep 11, 2010 at 6:47 am

According to the book “When Dayton Went to the Movies” the McCook Theatre opened on July 10, 1941. The house was designed and built by the F & Y Building Service. Originally seating 900, its capacity was reduced to 700 when Todd-AO projection equipment was installed in 1958.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mecca Theater on Sep 11, 2010 at 6:45 am

The book “When Dayton Went to the Movies” says that the Mecca Theatre was designed by Dayton architect Gustave A. Niehus.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Columbia Theater on Sep 11, 2010 at 6:42 am

The Columbia was one of the Dayton theaters designed by architect Gustave A. Niehus (others included the Apollo and the Mecca.) The Columbia’s recent opening was announced in the Decmeber 27, 1913, issue of The Motion Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theater on Sep 11, 2010 at 5:12 am

The Grand Theatre that opened in 1909 was apparently replaced by this theater, originally called the New Grand when it opened in the latter part of November, 1913. The December 27, 1913, issue of Moving Picture World ran an article about the new house (click on the Page 1546 link here) with a description and a small photo. Though it now has a modern front, the gabled roof in recent photos is recognizable in the 1913 picture.

The New Grand was designed by the Louisville architectural firm of Joseph & Joseph in a restrained style. The building was faced with white and green enameled brick, and details such as classical moldings and window pediments were of galvanized iron painted to resemble stone. The theater was 60x120 feet, with a stage 25x60 feet for vaudeville and other live performances. The New Grand seated 700 on the main floor and 300 in the balcony. The article doesn’t mention an organ, but says that a four-piece orchestra was employed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about King Opera House on Sep 10, 2010 at 3:18 am

This theater was listed in the 1901 edition of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide as the Van Buren Opera House. A web site listing supposedly haunted buildings in Arkansas gives 1901 as the year the theater was built, but it doesn’t name a source for the information.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Melba Theatre on Sep 9, 2010 at 3:36 am

Gin is correct about this theater having its entrance in mid-block between Nevins and Bond. The photo of the Keeney Theatre’s facade in a 1915 article in the trade journal Architecture and Building shows slivers of the adjacent structures on both sides. A person approaching Livingston Street from the north along Hanover Place would have seen the ornate theater front almost directly ahead of them. The theater’s auditorium, at right angles to the lobby building, was on the south side of the block, adjacent to Schermerhorn Street.

The article also has three interior photos of the Keeney Theatre. It’s now available online at Google Books (click on their Page 140 link.)

Brooklyn’s current Greyhound bus terminal has an address of 288 Livingston, and takes up the half block bounded by Livingston, Bond, and Schermerhorn streets that once included Loew’s Melba. This is not, as the intro currently states, a high-rise office building, but a four-level parking and commercial structure. The theater’s entrance was located where the garage entrance is now, opposite the end of Hanover Place. The tiled hipped roof above the entrance can be picked out in a 1954 aerial photo available for viewing at Historic Aerials, so it was still intact at that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tivoli Theatre on Sep 8, 2010 at 5:40 am

The full name of the local associate architect for the Tivoli was Reuben Harrison Hunt.