Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cameo Theatre on Jun 6, 2010 at 2:48 am

Boxoffice of August 21, 1961, reported that the Cameo Theatre in Bristol was being razed to make way for an addition to the Southern New England Telephone Company building. The Cameo had been operated by Stanley-Warner, also operators of the Bristol Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cricket Theater on Jun 6, 2010 at 1:25 am

Boxoffice of May 22, 1948, ran this item datelined Collinsville: “Millard G. Weaver, owner of the Cricket and the Sandy theatres here, has announced his candidacy for mayor. Weaver opened his first theatre in Collinsville in 1924 and three years ago replaced it with a modern house.”

Boxoffice of January 29, 1968, referred to the Cricket as “long closed” when it was mentioned in an article about houses that had been reopened the previous year. The Cricket was in operation at least as late as 1977, when it was mentioned in the April 4 issue of Boxoffice.

The Cricket actually operated intermittently well into the 1970s. Boxoffice of January 29, 1968, listed the Cricket as one of several dark theatres in the region that had been reopened the previous year. But the very next issue of Boxoffice, February 5, said: “Gay Johnson, it has been reported, has closed his Cricket Theatre in Collinsville, Ala.”

The Cricket shows up again in Boxoffice of December 8, 1975, which reported that Jim Tripp, operator fo the DeKalb Theatre at Fort Payne, had reopened the Collinsville house. Tripp operated the Cricket at least until spring of 1977, when the April 4 issue of Boxoffice mentioned it again. I haven’t found it mentioned any later than that.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Radford Plaza Cinemas on Jun 5, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Boxoffice of November 15, 1976, said that the Plaza 1 and 2 in Radford had opened in the 11th of that month. Each of the twin auditoriums seated 225. The house was operated by the Independent Theatres circuit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Radford Theatre on Jun 5, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Boxoffice of February 5, 1949, said that the Radford Theatre would reopen in about two weeks, following renovations. The major project had included the construction of a balcony, increasing the seating capacity of the house from 525 to 704.

Radford had two other indoor theaters in the late 1940s, one called the State, mentioned frequently, and one called the Virginian, which I’ve found mentioned by name only once. Both had apparently closed by the mid-1950s. Radford also had two drive-ins.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Jun 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Before being remodeled in 1940, the Roxy was called the Princess Theatre. The name change was announced in the March 23 issue of Boxoffice.

When the Martin-Thompson Theatres partnership was dissolved in 1961, Boxoffice of May 15 reported that the Roxy was one of the houses that would thereafter be operated by Martin Theatres.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bacon Theatre on Jun 5, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Various items in Boxoffice present a somewhat puzzling picture of the theaters in Alma. Here is an item from March 18, 1939, datelined Alma: “The Strickland Bldg here has been leased to Mr. Stein, owner of the Alma Theatre for 10 years. It is being remodeled and will be converted into a theatre.” That’s the only mention of the Alma Theatre I’ve found, and I’ve been unable to find any more mentions of the theater that was supposed to open in the Strickland Building either.

Then Boxoffice of June 24, 1946, said: “James E. Smith expects to open his new Bacon Theatre in Alma, Ga., about the first of August.”

In 1948, several items were published about a lawsuit filed by the Bacon’s operating company, the Alma Amusement Company, against several film companies and L. A. Stein. I haven’t found how the case was decided.

A September 23, 1974, Boxoffice item has a puzzling number in it. It says: “Charley King, staff advisor at AIP, may have set a record for a leisuretime activity. He has been booking the little Bacon Theatre in Alma, Ga., for 36 years for a small group of Alma businessmen who keep their theatre going as a community project.” If the Bacon opened in 1946, I don’t see how, 28 years later, Mr. King could have been booking it for 36 years. Did Boxoffice get the number wrong, or was there an earlier Bacon Theatre?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Jun 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm

A September 8, 1961, Boxoffice item contradicts some of the information in the 1968 item I cited in my comment above. It says: “A. Carl Schmidt of Hillsdale is completing construction on a new Strand Theatre at Alma on the site of the one destroyed by fire last November, and will open October 1. The new house will have 800 seats, compared to 900 in the destroyed house.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Columbia Theatre on Jun 5, 2010 at 4:34 am

There was a Columbia Theatre operating in Kittanning at least as early as 1931, when it was mentioned in the April 21 issue of Exhibitors Forum.

The last mention of the Columbia I’ve found in Boxoffice is from the issue of October 12, 1964, which said that the house had reopened after a summer shutdown. It would operate Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, running double features. The owner/operator was Joe Brody. This item said the Columbia had 500 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinemas IV on Jun 5, 2010 at 4:31 am

This house was probably a Manos Theatres operation, taken over by Carmike later. Boxoffice of April 17, 1978, said that architect Edgar Kwalwasser was designing a triplex to be built in the Franklin Village Shopping Center for the Manos circuit.

I can’t find anything in Boxffice about the opening of the house, or any other items which would confirm that it opened before 1982, or that it was originally a triplex, or that it was originally a Manos operation. But I don’t think Carmike was operating in Pennsylvania in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Carmike took over the Manos chain in 1993. Also, Mike Rivest lists the Franklin Village house as having been operated by Manos before Carmike took over.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bank Cinemas I & II on Jun 5, 2010 at 3:49 am

Boxoffice of December 23, 1974, said that architect Bernard J. Liff was designing the twin cinemas that were to be built in the downtown Pittsburgh development called The Bank. The house was to be operated by Morgan American Management Corporation. Liff was also the lead architect for the Eastland Mall Theatre at North Versaille, Pennsylvania, and might have designed other theaters as well. He launched his practice in the mid-1930s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Carmike 6 on Jun 5, 2010 at 3:43 am

An October 7, 1975, Boxoffice item about the plans of the Manos circuit to build a quad in Altoona mentions the Twin 40 Cinema at Uniontown. It had been designed by the same architect who was handling the Altoona project, Edgar Kwalwasser. The Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania, architect had also designed the circuit’s Laurel 30 at Greensburg Pennsylvania and Twin Cinema at Elkins, West Virginia.

In 1978, Kwalwasser was the architect for a Manos triplex in Kittanning (Boxoffice, April 17, 1978), and designed a two-screen addition to the Laurel 40, originally a single-screener (Boxoffice of March 20.) In 1970, Kwalwasser had designed a 470 seat house for Manos at Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Uniontown’s Twin 40 was opened in 1973. According to the item about the opening in Boxoffice of June 4, the first movies shown were “Class of ‘44” in Cinema 1 and “Man of la Mancha” in Cinema 2.

I’ve been unable to discover when the Twin 40 was expanded to six screens. The Manos chain had 19 theaters with a total of 80 screens when it was absorbed by Carmike in 1993.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eastland Mall Theatre on Jun 5, 2010 at 12:06 am

Boxoffice of April 27, 1964, said that this theater was being designed for the Associated Theatres circuit by architects Liff & Justh. The finding aid for the J. Evan Miller Collection of Cinerama Theater Plans, which lists the Eastland, gives the firm’s name as Liff, Justh & Chetlin.

An obituary for Bernard J. Liff (he died in 2008) uses the plural “theaters” in listing the types of buildings he designed, but so far I’ve been able to find only one other theater project he was connected with. Boxoffice of December 23, 1974, said that he had been hired to design two cinemas for the downtown Pittsburg project called The Bank, which I guess would be the Bank Cinemas I & II.

A January 11, 1965, Boxoffice article about the opening of the Eastland (originally a single-screen house seating about 900) says that its projection room was equipped to run any process except three-strip Cinerama. It also says that the screen was only 40 feet wide, which seems rather small for even single-strip Cinerama, but as the house is included in the Miller collection I suppose it must have shown a Cinerama movie at least once.

Little more than a year after the opening of the Eastland, Boxoffice of January 17, 1966, said the the Eastland II was to be built adjacent to the original theater. The new auditorium was to have about 600 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theater on Jun 2, 2010 at 4:46 am

If this Star Theatre was previously the Wheaton Theatre, then the Wurlitzer installed in the Star Theatre in 1921 (Lost Memory’s comment of Aug 30, 2007) must have been in the other Star Theatre, aka the Knights of Pythias Hall. The Wheaton was apparently still in operation in 1937. An item in Boxoffice of June 5 that year reported a fire at the Wheaton Theatre in Weiser, so the house must have been renamed the Star when it was rebuilt following the fire.

The web site GenDisasters provides this page quoting a May 21, 1937, Ogden Standard Examiner item about the fire.

A 1916 issue of the Music Trade Review has this entry for Idaho in a list of theaters recently opened: “C. Matt Sears has just opened the Wheaton Theatre, a new moving picture house, at Weiser.”

GenWeb has this photo of the Wheaton Theatre. It does not bear much resemblance to the Star Theatre building seen in the recent photos.

A classified ad in Motion Picture Times of August 4, 1928, offered for sale a Wurlitzer K organ at $7,500 dollars. The ad was placed by A.C. Gordon. I wonder if that could have been the organ from the earlier Star Theatre?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jerry Lewis Cinema on Jun 2, 2010 at 2:00 am

The exact opening date of this Jerry Lewis Cinema was April 15, 1972, according to the May 5 issue of Boxoffice. The house had 322 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palms Theater on Jun 2, 2010 at 1:55 am

Boxoffice of January 1, 1949, said that the Palms Theatre had opened recently. It had been built for Clayton Bennett, and was being operated by his son Gordon. The Palms was sold to Edward Eckert in 1951, as reported in various issues of Boxoffice in June and July that year.

Eckert was still operating the house at least as late as 1962, when he posed for a photo (upper right, with the marquee of the Palms in the background) that appeared in Boxoffice of March 5. The caption mistakenly dates Eckert’s purchase of the Palms to 1949.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Boxoffice of May 22, 1948, ran this item datelined Collinsville: “Millard G. Weaver, owner of the Cricket and the Sandy theatres here, has announced his candidacy for mayor. Weaver opened his first theatre in Collinsville in 1924 and three years ago replaced it with a modern house.”

Boxoffice of January 29, 1968, referred to the Cricket as “long closed” when it was mentioned in an article about houses that had been reopened the previous year. The Cricket was in operation at least as late as 1977, when it was mentioned in the April 4 issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Time Theatre on May 28, 2010 at 3:47 am

Boxoffice of May 10, 1947, said that W.T. Kirby’s 450-seat Time Theatre was scheduled to open at Wetumka that day. It would be the town’s second movie house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Leo Theatre on May 28, 2010 at 3:40 am

An item in Boxoffice of October 5, 1940, said that E.H. Hulsey opened the Queen Theatre in Dallas in 1913. A May 10, 1947, Boxoffice piece about long-time theater man Lou Bissinger said that he had become the manager of the Queen three months after it had opened, and was still operating the house 34 years later. The Queen was located in a building that had been remodeled into a theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dream Theatre on May 28, 2010 at 3:35 am

The new Dream Theatre at Tahlequah was slated to open about May 20, according to Boxoffice of May 10, 1947. General manager of the new house, S.P. Doss, was the former owner of the Chief Theatre at Eufaula. The Dream was to seat 400 on opening.

The official web site link above no longer works. I think the place might have changed ownership. This might be the new web site, once it’s finished, but I can’t swear to it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Long Theatre on May 28, 2010 at 3:20 am

The Long Theatre was the first movie house in Keyes, which, according to a May 10, 1947, Boxoffice item, was a town of 227 when the 250-seat theater opened that month. Lewis W. Long was the owner of the house. The Long Theatre was still in operation at least as late as 1964, when it was mentioned in the February 3 issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Electric Theatre on May 28, 2010 at 2:50 am

Could the Electric Theatre have become the Palace?

A Palace Theatre at Quapaw was purchased by C.E. Barber in 1927, according to a line in a “Twenty Years Ago” feature in Boxoffice of February 15, 1947. Boxoffice of November 27, 1948, reported that an entire block of the business district of Quapaw had been destroyed by a fire that began in the Palace Theatre.

I’ve found Quapaw mentioned in Boxoffice only six times. Three mention the Palace, two others mention only C.E. Barber, and the May 10, 1947, issue mentions neither, but says that the Ryan Theatre at Quapaw was scheduled to open that day. The Ryan had previously operated as a 16mm house, but the item didn’t say what its name had been. The house had been converted into a 35mm theater by Alex Rowls, and it had 260 seats. That’s the sole mention of it in the magazine. Perhaps the Ryan was the Palace, and Mr. Rowls decided not to rename it after all? As far as I’ve been able to discover, Quapaw is never mentioned in Boxoffice after the 1948 item about the fire.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wayne Theatre on May 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Boxoffice of April 19, 1947, reported that Frank and Floyd Smith had sold a half interest in their Wayne Theatre at Corydon to the Iowa United Theatres circuit. The item said that the Smith brothers had arrived in Corydon and built the Wayne in 1936.

A September 19, 1977, Boxoffice item said that Bud Kelly had permanently closed the Wayne Theatre on August 1, so the house must have been dark for more than a decade after that.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on May 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm

From Boxoffice of March 16, 1957: “The Strand Theatre, Orono, Me., will close its doors March 25 because of poor business. Connie Russell jr. is the owner.”

Then the April 6 issue of Boxoffice said: “Connie Russell jr. closed the Strand, Orono, Me., and completed plans to turn it into an office building.”

The earliest mention of the Strand I’ve found in the trades is from the September 1, 1932, issue of New England Film News, which listed the house as one of half a dozen theaters in the region that had recently reopened. The item did not mention how long the Strand had been closed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lewis and Clark Theatre on May 25, 2010 at 12:57 am

Here are the additional photos of the Lewis and Clark in Boxoffice, October 19, 1957. LThe project’s ead architect, John Graham Jr., also designed the Northgate Theatre in Seattle for the Sterling circuit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Northgate Theatre on May 24, 2010 at 1:03 am

Note that it was John Graham Jr. who designed the Northgate Theatre. His father, John Graham Sr., was also a noted Seattle architect.