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Architect H. Ryan’s first name was Henderson. He also designed Seattle’s Liberty Theatre.
The Liberty Theatre was designed by architect Henderson Ryan, with engineer Henry W. Bittman. Scans of plans, drawings, and cross sections of the Liberty can be seen at the University of Washington Library’s Digital Collections. Use the search term Liberty Theatre.
The size and elaborate decoration of the Liberty, with the fact that it was designed specifically for the exhibition of movies, having neither a fly loft nor an orchestra pit, made it one of the very first theaters that could truly be called a movie palace.
Architect Henderson Ryan also designed the Neptune Theatre in Seattle and the Whiteside Theatre in Corvallis, Oregon.
It’s good to know the El Dorado did exist, but the news of its location brings new confusion. Here’s a photo of the Fairchild Building with the antique emporium that occupies the Empire Theatre’s space. The caption says it’s a twin of the Upper Fairchild Building, which is the building the El Dorado was in according to the first of those articles.
But where is (or was) the Upper Fairchild Building? Is it just the other half of the Fairchild Building, meaning the theaters would have been practically next door to each other? Does anybody know?
The October 26, 1946, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the opening of the Malek Theatre had been set for Tuesday evening, October 29. The article reported the seating capacity of the new house as 825.
The destruction of the Grand Theatre and Gedney Hotel by fire was reported in the March 10, 1945, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The Grand, formerly the Gedney Opera House, had approximately 580 seats, according to the Boxoffice article.
The July 31, 1978, issue of Boxoffice said that the Malek Theatre had been bought by Dennis Voy and Gerald Peterson, who intended to convert it to a twin.
Robb & Rowley took over the Dixie Theatre in 1927. The previous owner had been P.Q. Rockett, who had bought the house in 1914.
The earliest mention of the name Texas Theatre I’ve found in Boxoffice is from the May 9, 1942, issue which said the house had reopened in an improved state that week after having been damaged by a fire earlier in the year. At the time it was R&R’s “A” house in Waxahatchie.
I can only find a couple of mentions of the Island in Boxoffice Magazine. One from September 18, 1954, says that it was being taken over by Laurelton Amusement Co., an affiliate of Interboro Theatres run by David Katz, former managing director of the Roxy Theatre. Katz planned a renovation of the house and the installation of a CinemaScope screen.
The Island was being run by Interboro Theatres itself when the January 12, 1952, issue of Boxoffice reported the success of a promotion by the circuit in which a cinematographer took films of kids at local schools, and the films were then run at the circuit’s various houses during Christmas vacation. “Look kiddies. See yourself in the movies and see your friends” read one ad reproduced in Boxoffice.
Such a thing seems almost quaint in this day when kids routinely put video of themselves on the Internet, but I’d bet that any theater that tried such a promotion now would provoke all manner of hysteria from parents and from various official and unofficial, self-appointed Guardians Of The Children.
Hot off the web page, here are excerpts from Boxoffice Magazine’s story about the Ritz fire:[quote]“$50,000 Loss to Ritz at Waxahachie After Fire
“DALLAS— Robb and Rowley’s comparatively new Ritz Theatre in Waxahachie is a mass of total ruin after a fire thought to have originated in the balcony. The house had just recently been remodeled. Nothing was saved and the loss is around $50,000.
“Additional loss was a new and late model sound equipment stored in the Ritz building, which equipment was about to be installed in the Empire, ‘B’ house. ‘A’ bookings will be shown in the Empire temporarily, it was said.
“R&R officials have been extremely busy discussing plans for a new theatre, details of which were not made known at this time.”[/quote] I’ve found the Ritz mentioned in Boxoffice as late as 1956. I’m trying to dig up more about the Empire, which was being operated by P.Q. Rockett in 1912, and was sold by him to Robb & Rowley in 1927.
If The Alamo was open in 1929 but closed by 1930, it might have been the cost of making the switch to talking pictures that killed it, and was probably the economic downturn that nailed its coffin shut. That happened to a lot of theaters during that period.
So the time-line would be Alamo Theatre from 1910 to 1929, rebuilt as the Kimo and reopened in 1944, operating (except for the temporary closure in 1952) under that name until at least 1969 (the last time I can find it mentioned in Boxoffice), and then probably becoming the Dove sometime in the 1970s and operating as a porn house under that name at least as late as 1984, and finally demolished prior to 2006.
The June 14, 1971, issue of Boxoffice Magazine ran an item about the groundbreaking for the Skyway I and II complex. The new house was designed by ABC’s consulting architect of the period, Henry G. Greene.
The Regency Theatre was featured in an article in the Modern Theatre section of Boxoffice Magazine, November 13, 1972. The building included second floor offices for the Salt Lake City division of ABC-Intermountain Theatres. The Technicote XR 171 screen was 22'x50'. The booth featured a 35/70mm Century projection system, and multi-channel sound was by Electro Sound.
According to Boxoffice Magazine, November 30, 1964, the opening of the Paramount in Eastgate Shopping Center had taken place on November 19. The new ABC-Paramount showplace began as single-screener with 858 seats in its gold-draped, curtain wall auditorium. Like most ABC theaters of the period, it was designed by architect Henry G. Greene, who attended the opening.
I think the building is still there, but that splendid Beaux Arts facade has been covered up. Google Street View. I wonder if any of that decoration survives under the mass of framing and plaster?
I can’t find any current movie listings for this theater. I wonder if it’s been closed?
A photograph of a crowd of moviegoers in front of the Kiva Theatre was featured on the cover of the July 27, 1946, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The Kiva was a Spanish language house at the time.
The Kiva was the subject of a two-page article in the April, 1992, issue of Boxoffice. After having been closed for several years, the house had been bought and refurbished by Malcolm and Amy Neal, who reopened it in March, 1991. The seating capacity has been reduced to 250.
The architect’s first name is spelled Erle, not Earle.
Henderson County Public Library has his papers (and the correct spelling of his first name.)
Architect Paul K. Evans should be credited above.
The architect of the Main Theatre was Paul K. Evans, according to Boxoffice Magazine, August 17, 1946. The house was under construction at the time.
The Co-Ed Theatre was designed by architect Erle G. Stillwell, according to the January 4, 1947, issue of Boxoffice Magazine.
The architect’s first name is misspelled above. It was Erle. It’s spelled correctly on this Cinema Treasures page.
Erle Stillwell’s papers are held by the Henderson County Public Library.
Stillwell was also the architect of the Co-Ed Theatre in Brevard, North Carolina.
The recent opening of the Millbrae Theatre was announced in the August 13, 1949, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The house was originally operated by Golden State Theatres.
Golden State had been planning a theater in Millbrae since late 1945, and intended to start construction in early 1946 on a house slated to be called the Tower, according to various contemporary issues of Boxoffice. Architect of the proposed house was Otto A. Deichman, but as construction was so long delayed I don’t know if his plans were ultimately used or not. The Tower was described as a 1200-seat theater with a stadium section.
According to the August 3, 1946, issue of Boxoffice Magazine, the Roosevelt Theatre, operated by Ben Levin, had been completely renovated, with new lobby, marquee, rest rooms, and decoration. The architect for the project was Otto A. Deichman. Unless there was another Roosevelt Theatre in San Francisco, this must be the place.
This large house was originally called the West Theatre (see the official website), which was described (but not illustrated, unfortunately) in Boxoffice Magazine, January 4, 1947. The Art Moderne house was designed for Mr. W.D. Glasscock by the San Antonio architectural and engineering firm Spillman & Spillman, with Beverly W. Spillman lead architect. The West originally had 650 seats on the main floor and a balcony seating 250.
A different page of the same issue of Boxoffice said the West Theatre had opened on New Year’s Eve, and that the project had cost $75,000.
The January 25, 1960, issue of Boxoffice said that the West Theatre had been closed, and the March 13, 1967, issue of Boxoffice said that the equipment of the West Theatre had been sold to a theater in Mexico City.
Some of the information in comments above is erroneous. The history of Norwich theaters is a bit confusing due to shifting of names, but this house was not the former Strand or the Yale.
There was a Strand Theatre in Norwich that was condemned in 1944. Ed Lord rebuilt it (to plans by architect Charles H. Abramowitz) and reopened it in 1946 as the Lord Theatre. It was not the same as Lord’s Midtown, as a June 8, 1957, Boxoffice Magazine item said that Ed Lord had shuttered the Lord Theatre for the Summer, leaving Norwich with only two operating theaters, Lord’s Midtown and the Stanley Warner Palace. So the Lord Cinema/Midtown/Loew’s Poli was not the same house as the Strand.
The Yale Theatre in Norwich is mentioned in issues of Boxoffice from 1958 to 1961. Ed Lord sold the Lord Theatre in 1958, but the Boxoffice item about it said he would continue to operate the Lord’s Midtown. Then a January 30, 1961, Boxoffice item says that “Isadore and Sam Berkman, owners of the modernistic Midtown Theatre, have resumed personal operation, with the relinquishing by the Markoff Brothers of the lease on the first-run theatre.” The item goes on to say that the Midtown was one of the newest theaters in Connecticut, having been built a decade earlier and originally leased by Loew’s Theatres before being operated by Ed Lord. Lord subleased the house in 1955, according to the November 5 issue of Boxoffice, and renamed it the Midtown.
So, this was not the Yale Theatre, either. An April 3, 1961, Boxoffice item mentioned the closing of the Yale Theatre, saying it had been acquired from the Edward Lord interests some years earlier, so it must have been the former Strand/Lord Theatre. The Yale closed on July 1, 1961, to make way for an urban redevelopment project.
There was a Loew’s Poli theatre operating in Norwich in the early 1940s, as evidenced by several Boxoffice items of the period, but the name was apparently moved to the new house. The construction of this new Poli began in 1948, according to a couple of Boxoffice items from the time, and the July 9, 1949, issue said that Loew’s new Poli in Norwich would open on July 13. I’ve been unable to find out what became of the earlier Loew’s Poli.
There’s also a bit of confusion about the earlier Poli, as in 1942 the former Broadway Theatre was rebuilt, and a few issues of Boxoffice say it reopened as the Loew’s Poli, but then there are many Boxoffice items from the mid-1940s still referring to the Broadway Theatre, and also to the Loew’s Poli, so I don’t know if the names were used interchangeably or if there were two different theaters operated in Norwich by Loew’s at the time.
I’ve also been unable to find when, or if, Ed Lord took this house back, but he took over the former Palace Theatre in 1964, twinning it in 1969. He also opened a twin house in the former location of Barney’s on Main Street in 1976. That might be the Lord Twin Cinemas seen next door to the former Lowe’s Poli/Midtown in the 1980 photo ken mc linked to in the comment immediately above.
Construction began in August, 1950, according to Boxoffice, issue of August 5 that year. The architect was Charles H. Abramowitz.
According to the May 8, 1948, issue of Boxoffice magazine, the Rialto at Three Rivers was expected to open within 30 days. The house had been designed for the Hall circuit by architect Jack Corgan.