Comments from Joe Vogel

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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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Malek Theater on Sep 8, 2010 at 5:09 am

The National Register of Historic Places confirms that the Malek Theatre was designed by the Des Moines architectural firm of Wetherell & Harrison.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theater on Sep 8, 2010 at 4:47 am

The Capitol was designed by the Des Moines architectural firm Wetherell & Harrison. The caption on this Flickr photo page has the story.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riviera Theatre on Sep 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Here are two small photos depicting the Riverside and Riviera theaters, featured in an ad for the builder, Libman Contracting Company, from the Year book of the Architectural League of New York, 1914.

The Riviera was builtin 1913, by the way, not 1912. The Riverside was built in 1911.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riverside Theatre on Sep 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Here are two small photos depicting the Riverside and Riviera theaters, featured in an ad for the builder, Libman Contracting Company, from the Year book of the Architectural League of New York, 1914.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Penobscot Theatre on Sep 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

This article from a Bangor newspaper says that the Opera House was designed by architect Edward J. Bolen.

I don’t know if the opera house it replaced, which burned down in 1914, ever ran movies, but it had been built in 1881 and had been designed by architect Arthur H. Vinal.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hudson Theatre on Sep 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

A 1912 issue of the quarterly Bulletin of the American Institute of Architects ran the obituary of architect Charles Henry Israels, which named a Hudson Theatre as one of the projects in which he was engaged. As this house is the only Hudson Theatre in New York City from the period of Mr. Israels' death that is listed at Cinema Treasures and not yet attributed to another architect, it seems the most likely candidate for his project.

Israels was a fairly well known artist and architect in his day, but the Internet reveals that his widow, under her later name, Belle Moskowitz, far surpassed his fame.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capri Theater on Sep 7, 2010 at 7:05 am

A book called Spirits Of The Border: The History And Mystery Of El Paso Del Norte says that the Ellanay Theatre opened November 8, 1918, with a seating capcity of 940. The original owners were J.M. Lewis and Victor Andreas.

The following quote comes from a 1918 issue of the trade journal “Architect and Engineer” under the headline “Unique Terra Cotta Work”

“The Los Angeles Pressed Brick company is finishing a unique piece of colored terra cotta work for the Ellanay Theatre at El Paso, Texas. It is a decorative panel, 14x25 feet, to be installed in the vestibule over the main entrance. The panel was molded in two sections, later to be cut into subdivisions before burning. It is a portion of two carloads of terra cotta which the company is furnishing on this contract.”
I believe that the remains of this terra cotta panel can be seen in this photo from the time of the theater’s demolition (this is one of the 14 photos Lost Memory linked to in the sixth comment on this page.)

The fact that a Los Angeles tile company was chosen for this project suggests that the architect of the building might have been a Californian familiar with their work. The Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company was the leading producer of face brick in Southern California during the early 20th century, but the product itself was produced by many companies throughout the nation, including Texas. A Texas architect would probably have been more likely to use a closer source. So far I’ve had no luck tracking down the name of the Ellanay’s architect, though.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Sep 7, 2010 at 6:57 am

Is there a source attributing the original, 1910 design of this theater to John Eberson, or did he just design a later remodeling? (The project index from the Wolfsonian Collection should say, but I can’t check it now as the computer I’m stuck with won’t open .xsl spreadsheets.)

I found this index entry citing an item in a 1912 issue of The Western Architect which attributes the design of a Majestic Theatre in Houston to the St. Louis firm of Mauran & Russell. I would presume it referred to this house built in 1910. Mauran & Russell designed a number of buildings in Texas during this period, judging from the results of a Google search on their name, so it seems plausible that they designed the second Majestic.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sequoia Theatre on Sep 7, 2010 at 3:31 am

Please pardon my misattribution of your comment, Larry. By three o'clock in the morning I get a bit dazed, and I lost track of who wrote which remarks.

I’m still trying to hunt down a photo of the original Sequoia Theatre, but so far all I’ve found are the aerial views of Redwood City I linked to on the Fox Theatre page, and those links are now dead, as are the links to photos of the Redwood Theatre. The San Mateo County Library system has apparently taken its photo collection offline.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theater on Sep 6, 2010 at 4:09 am

The intro currently says the State was built by Redland Theatres. It should read Redwood Theatres.

Also, the article CWalczak linked to on Dec 8, 2009, credits both S. Charles Lee and William B. David with the design of this theater. It’s probably correct. David was connected with Redwood Theatres from the mid-1930s to the mid-1940s, serving as the chain’s construction manager and a vice president.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roy's Photoplay Theatre on Sep 6, 2010 at 3:38 am

Roy’s Photoplay Theatre opened on March 5, 1913, according to a draft inventory of buildings in Burlingame, prepared as part of the city’s downtown planning process. The theater was designed by a local architect, J.J. Foley.

According to the inventory, the building as it is today probably “…does not retain sufficient integrity….” to qualify it for placement on the state or national historic registers.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sequoia Theatre on Sep 6, 2010 at 3:32 am

Over on the Redwood Theatre page, redwood red says in one comment that he recalls his aunt doing her banking at the old Bank of America branch at Broadway and Jefferson, where the current Bank of America’s parking lot is located, adjacent to the Sequoia Theatre’s building.

An item in the March, 1916, issue of the trade journal The Architect and Engineer says this: “W.H. Toepke, formerly of Havens & Toepke… has prepared plans for a $15,000 motion picture theater to be built adjoining the bank building at Redwood City.”

W.H. Toepke was a San Francisco architect. Given the date of the announcement, and the 1917 opening of the Sequoia, adjacent to the former bank building, it seems very likely that the Sequoia was the theater Toepke was designing. The projected cost of $15,000, low even for 1916, probably explains why the first Sequoia had a shed roof where the fly tower ought to have been. For $15,000 you just didn’t get a proper stage house for your theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about CineArts at Hyatt on Sep 6, 2010 at 3:27 am

Bob Jensen’s doubts about this theater’s history are justified. It was not originally built for Cinerama, or any other wide-screen process. In fact, it didn’t open as a movie theater at all, but as a live “theater-in-the-round.” It was originally called the Hyatt Music Theatre, and hosted both live theater, including musicals, and concerts by pop acts.

A comment by Dave Wills, the theater’s technical director, on this message board page at the Burlingame Historical Society web site says that the house opened in September, 1964, with a production of “Flower Drum Song” and closed in January, 1966, with a production of “Peter Pan.”

I think the house might have continued as a concert venue for a while after it stopped presenting Broadway musicals, and before it was converted into a cinema, as I’ve come across message board comments mentioning concerts there in 1967 and 1968. However, it’s possible that the conversion to a cinema included provision for such live events too. It was definitely showing movies by 1968.

This post at the SF Gate mentions the Hyatt. The author saw “The Empire Strikes Back” there, and says that “…the Hyatt had a huge curved screen that was the best I’ve seen anywhere north of the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood”, so it was definitely equipped for 70mm movies after conversion.

The Hyatt Music Theatre is mentioned in Dorothy Dandridge’s posthumous biography/autobiography “Everything and Nothing.” She played Julie in a 1965 production of “Showboat” which was presented at the Hyatt.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Covington Square 8 Cinemas on Sep 6, 2010 at 2:59 am

Legacy Entertainment, operators of this theater and the Coral Square Stadium 8 in Coral Springs, Florida, has a web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Globe Theatre on Sep 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Three construction photos of the Morosco Theatre appeared in a portfolio of projects designed by Morgan, Walls & Morgan, published in the January, 1921, issue of the west coast trade journal The Architect and Engineer.

Two photos of the auditorium

A photo of the facade

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Allen Theatre on Sep 5, 2010 at 4:29 am

A 1922 article on The Evolution of the Motion Picture Theatre, published by the journal Michigan Architect and Engineer, contains four early interior photos of the Allen Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about National Theatre on Sep 5, 2010 at 3:45 am

Here is a page for the National Theatre at the web site Buildings of Detroit. There are links to galleries with vintage and modern photos.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Washington Theatre on Sep 5, 2010 at 3:34 am

Here is a page about the Fox Washington Theatre at the web site Buildings of Detroit. There is a gallery with four black-and-white photos, plus a color postcard.