Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Genoa Theatre on Mar 28, 2010 at 1:17 am

A small rendering of the Genoa Theatre accompanied a brief article about the recently-opened house in Boxoffice of December 3, 1949.

This item said that the theater was designed by Gerald M. West of Chicago and Genoa City. But a Boxoffice article of September 3, 1949, had given the architect’s name as Derald West, which is apparently correct. I found a reference to an architect named Derald West practicing in Lake Geneva as early as 1911, and there is a Derald M. West currently listed as practicing architecture in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Given the unusual first name I can’t imagine them not being related. Given the time span, there could have been another Derald West in between them.

As Louis Rugani noted in the fourth comment on this page, Genoa Theatre is the correct name of this house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Mar 28, 2010 at 12:31 am

There’s a Boxoffice item of July 10, 1948, saying that the Crescent Amusement Company’s Diamond Theatre in Bowling Green was to be enlarged and remodeled. The manager said that the building would be extended by about 65 feet. Boxoffice of February 5, 1949, said that the Diamond Theatre had been closed for extensive remodeling.

The December 3, 1949, issue of Boxoffice announced that the State Theatre had opened. The item claimed a seating capacity of 1,400 for the expended house (probably an exaggeration.) The item noted that Crescent Amusement Co. also operated the Capitol and Princess theaters in Bowling Green.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about La Mar Theatre on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:11 am

As Mrwillmrr noted, the opening year currently given in the intro is wrong. Boxoffice of August 28, 1948, said that the La Mar Theatre had just celebrated the tenth anniversary of its opening. Also note the 1937 Southwest Builder & Contractor article mentioned in my earlier comment which said that Clifford Balch would be the architect of the new theater to be built at Manhattan Beach.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theater on Mar 15, 2010 at 2:00 am

Boxoffice of February 5, 1938, said that the Custer Theatre at Charleston would open February 16. The theater was owned by Gene Custer. The house originally seated 575, according to Boxoffice of February 26.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kaywood Theatre on Mar 15, 2010 at 1:22 am

Boxoffice featured an article about the Kaywood Theatre in the issue of February 2, 1946. The article says the Kaywood had opened on Christmas Day. It also attributes the design of the theater to Frank G. Ackerman, but doesn’t mention the Ebersons.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Mar 15, 2010 at 1:19 am

There is a biographical sketch of Abram Preiskel in a 1922 book called “History of Passaic and Its Environs” by William Winfield Scott (it can be read online at Internet Archive or Open Library.) It says that Preiskel studied civil engineering and architecture at the University of Michigan, and established his practice at Passaic in 1910 upon being certified as an architect by the State of New Jersey. The book also said that, as of 1922, “…he is engaged in specializing in the construction of theater buildings.”

I haven’t found any items in Boxoffice specifically naming Abe Preiskel as a theater manager, but he was a co-owner of the Capitol (with Harry Hecht) at least during part of the 1930s, and later a co-owner of the Central (with John Ackerman) when it first opened in 1941. He was also co-owner (with Hecht) of the Rivoli in Rutherford for some time. Hecht and Ackerman appear to have been the partners directly involved in management.

As for Charles Sandblom’s work on the Capitol, I’ve been unable to find anything about it from any of the sources available on the Internet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about George W. Newman Theatre on Mar 13, 2010 at 11:35 pm

A 1985 article in the Rutherford News Leader said that the Rivoli was built in 1922, and was designed by architect Abram Preiskel. Preiskel was also for many years a partner in the operation of the Rivoli Theatre with Harry Hecht, as mentioned in Boxoffice Magazine of September 20, 1941.

Indirect confirmation of 1922 as the Rivoli’s opening year is found in a September 14, 1946, Boxoffice article about a Mr. William D. Waldron, which mentions that he had been managing director of the Rivoli in Rutherford for nine years when, in 1931, he finally got the city to allow movies to be shown on Sunday.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Mar 13, 2010 at 11:32 pm

The name of the architect is currently misspelled above. Note CT user Passaic’s comment of March 4, 2007. Boxoffice mentions Abe Preiskel a few times (and once misspells his name as Preskill.) The magazine never mentions him as an architect but only as a theater operator. Passaic’s comment also attributes the design of the Montauk Theatre to Preiskel.

This 1916 book attributes the design of a proposed (but as yet unnamed) theater to be built at Lexington and Main Avenues to Abraham Preiskel. I wonder if that project could have been the theater listed at CT as the Fine Arts? A 1985 Rutherford News-Leader article attributes the design of that city’s Rivoli Theatre (listed here as the George W. Newman Theatre) to Preiskel.

I’ve found a number of references to Preiskel on the Internet, but with different first names. Boxoffice most often refers to him by the diminutive “Abe,” but other usually sources say either Abraham or Abram, with Abram being somewhat more frequent. I think Abram Preiskel is probably the correct form of his name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Montauk Theatre on Mar 13, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I haven’t read through all the comments above to see if this information is already here, but a March 4, 2007, comment by CT user Passaic on the Capitol Theatre page attributes the design of the Mantauk Theatre to architect Abram Preiskel.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fine Arts Theater on Mar 13, 2010 at 11:25 pm

This 1916 book attributes the design of a proposed (but as yet unnamed) theater to be built at Lexington and Main Avenues to Abraham Preiskel (most other sources give this architect’s as Abram Preiskel.) I wonder if that could have been this theater?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theater on Mar 13, 2010 at 10:01 pm

We can add another aka for the Liberty. Before 1935 it was called the Music Box Theatre. About three quarters of the way down this web page depicting numerous Portland Theatres is a view of Broadway south from Stark with the Liberty Theatre in the foreground, but the signage identifies it as John Hamrick’s Music Box Theatre. The same page has two other photos of the building, an early one depicting it as the Orpheum and, near the bottom of the page, a 1946 photo of it as the Liberty.

The photo of the Liberty as the Music Box looks like it dates from the very late 1920s or the early 1930s. It would have to have been before 1935, when the Music Box name was moved to the former Alder Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Music Box Theatre on Mar 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm

The address above is correct for an earlier Music Box, which operated in the Alder Street location from 1935 and probably through the 1950s. The Music Box on Broadway at Yamhill, which opened in late 1959 or early 1960, doesn’t yet have a page at Cinema Treasures.

Also here’s a correction to my comment of April 9, 2009. The last paragraph says that I thought the photo at the PSTOS web site was of Seattle, not Portland, but I now think it is indeed Portland, and it depicts an even earlier Music Box Theatre, listed at Cinema Treasures under its later name, the Liberty Theatre. That house was most likely the Music Box from the late 1920s until 1935, when the name was moved to this house, the former Alder Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Monroe Theatre on Mar 11, 2010 at 11:48 am

The March 12, 1949, issue of Boxoffice said that the Monroe Theatre was opening that month. The house was originally owned and operated by Walter and Carlisle Neithold, who also operated a theater at Goshen, New York.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts on Mar 6, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Loew’s was apparently leasing the Penn out as early as 1955, when an item in the February 19 issue of Boxoffice said that the former manager of the Penn had been transferred to Loew’s Ohio Theatre in Cleveland, adding that “The Penn was recently acquired by John P. Harris.” (I’m not sure if they were referring to the Harris circuit or to the namesake grandson of the late John P. Harris.)

Two movies that played the Penn in early 1956 were U.A.’s “The Man With the Golden Arm” and Paramount’s “The Court Jester.” Boxoffice of February 4, 1955, also mentions an invitational preview of Paramount’s “Anything Goes” having been held at the Penn. The earliest specific mentions I can find in Boxoffice of the Penn as a United Artists house come from 1961.

The decline in the Penn’s fortunes during the late 1950s is indicated by the infrequent mentions of it in Boxoffice after 1956. Prior to 1956 the Penn was the theater most often mentioned in the magazine’s reports from Pittsburgh.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lewis and Clark Theatre on Mar 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm

A pre-renovation photo of the auditorium of the Lewis And Clark Theatre can be seen on this page of Boxoffice, June 8, 1957 (upper right corner.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shaker Theatre on Mar 6, 2010 at 6:32 am

The Shaker was extensively remodeled in 1954, after suffering damage from a fire in an adjacent cafe that April. The house reopened on July 3. Architect Jack Alan Bialosky designed the remodeling, on which $125,000 was expended.

Boxoffice of September 4, 1954, devoted four pages to an illustrated article about the Shaker Theatre. It was no longer Colonial in style, but featured a casual modernism with many rustic touches such as exposed masonry, planter boxes, and wood with the grain exposed. This style had recently become popular in the west, where it was often called California Modern. It’s a bit surprising to see it in Cleveland.

Architect Bialosky used a more conventional modernism in his remodeling of the Granada Theatre some time later.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts on Mar 6, 2010 at 6:29 am

Boxoffice of August 24, 1964, reported that United Artists would shutter the Penn Theatre on September 30. Operating losses were cited as the reason. UA had operated the Penn in recent years, the item said, and prior to that the house had for some time been operated by a local stock company. That would explain why the Penn didn’t benefit from all those MGM hits in the 1950s. They must have gone to other theaters that were still being operated by Loew’s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Guild Theatre on Mar 6, 2010 at 6:27 am

As noted in Ed Blank’s comment of June 3, 2008, the Guild had once been called the Princess Theatre. The name was changed to the Beacon Theatre in 1937, according to Boxoffice of April 3 that year. The item said the Princess had been closed for a week for renovations before reopening as the Beacon on Easter Sunday.

Boxoffice of January 1, 1955, made a reference to “…the Guild Theatre, formerly the Beacon, in Squirrel Hill.” The house had adopted an art policy, competing with Stanley Warner’s nearby Squirrel Hill Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Squirrel Hill Theater on Mar 6, 2010 at 6:24 am

Boxoffice of April 24, 1937, said that Warner Bros. had recently opened its newly-constructed Squirrel Hill Theatre. It was the first new house built by Warner in the Pittsburgh area in six years.

Stanley Warner gave the Squirrel Hill an updating in 1956, according to Boxoffice of October 13 that year. The item said that the Squirrel Hill was the first art house in this district of Pittsburgh.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Manor Theatre on Mar 6, 2010 at 6:21 am

The Manor was mentioned as a Warner Bros. house in Motion Picture Times of May 5, 1931.

Boxoffice of February 8, 1965, reported: “The remodeled Manor Theatre, now a SW art house, has 1024 seats, inside ticket desk, 50-foot wall-to-wall screen, modern sound and projection, large lounge area, deep pile carpeting, plus new decorations, etc….” An item from February 1 had said that the Manor seated 884 on the main floor and 140 in the balcony.

The Stanley Warner circuit also operated the nearby Squirrel Hill Theatre, which had long been an art house. The Guild Theatre also operated as an art house at times during this period. Squirrel Hill must have been an arty neighborhood in those days.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Opera House Cinema on Mar 6, 2010 at 6:17 am

A photo of the lobby of the Village Opera House appeared on the cover of Boxoffice, August 18, 1969. The caption says the new road show house seated 520.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elite Theatre on Mar 6, 2010 at 6:14 am

Israel White, operator of the Elite Theatre, committed suicide on August 1, 1935. He had been worried about financial reverses, according to a report in Boxoffice of August 17 that year. His assistant and intended son-in-law, Sidney Pink, took over operation of the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Globe Theatre on Mar 4, 2010 at 1:27 am

The name of the architect currently credited with designing this theater is probably wrong. I can’t find an architect named James C. Van Buren (or even just James Van Buren) in an Internet search, but there are numerous references to a prominent New Haven firm called Brown & Von Beren, and there is also this brief biography of architect Ferdinand Von Beren.

Most telling is an item in the records of the New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company which lists a 1913 bid to supply terra cotta ornament for an addition to an unnamed theater on Main Street in Bridgeport, which had been designed for S.Z. Poli by the firm of Brown & Von Beren. Brown & Von Beren might have been the original architects of this theater as well as architects of the 1913 expansion. The New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company’s records only list projects on which they made bids, and they apparently didn’t bid on the original construction project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capri Theatre on Mar 4, 2010 at 12:19 am

Phantom Screen is correct. Capri is an aka for the Ritz. Boxoffice of July 29, 1963, makes reference to “…the new Capri Theatre, formerly the Ritz….”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Rosemary Theatre on Mar 3, 2010 at 12:52 am

The Los Angeles Public Library gives the date of this photo of the Rosemary Theatre’s proscenium during demolition as 1970.