Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Rex on Jan 29, 2012 at 5:49 am

Here’s something interesting from the April 10, 1932, issue of The Film Daily:

“EBERSON ARCHITECT LEAVES

“Alexandre Mercil, chief draftsman for John Eberson, architect, has sailed on the Ile de France for an extended stay in Paris, where he will assume the duties of supervising the completion of Theatre Poissonniere in Paris which Eberson has designed for Etablissements Jacques Haik. This theater is scheduled to open within the next four months. It seats 3,000 and is one of the major theater operations in Paris.”

If Eberson had little to do with designing this theater other than to inspire its actual architect, why did he send his chief draftsman off to Paris to oversee its completion? It sounds like more of a collaboration to me. The article about Bluysen on French Wikipedia says he designed “Cinéma Le Grand Rex, à Paris (1932), en collaboration avec l'ingénieur John Eberson.” Even acting as engineer, Eberson would probably have had considerable input on the design of the building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Smalley's Theater on Jan 29, 2012 at 5:37 am

There were two houses called the Smalley Theatre on this site. Something apparently happened to the first one in the early 1930s, and it was replaced by a new building. Here’s an item from the May 16, 1932, issue of The Film Daily:

:“Norwich, N. Y. — A 900-seat house on the site of the former Smalley theater here is planned by William C. Smalley, head of the Smalley Chain Theaters, Inc. Victor A. Rigaumont is the architect and the house, designed in the French Riviera style of architecture, will have a stage and orchestra pit.”
Don’t ask me what the “French Riviera style of architecture” is. I have no idea.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bemidji Theatre on Jan 28, 2012 at 6:41 am

If this theater was located in the BPO Elk’s building, then it is the house that opened on March 7, 1917, as the Elko Theatre. If that’s the case, then 1935 is probably the year it was renamed Bemidji Theatre. If it isn’t the same theater, then the Elko was very close by. The Elk’s building is at the corner of 4th and Beltrami.

Google has no street view for this building, and Bing Maps bird’s-eye view is nothing but a blur. It would help if somebody could post a photo.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jan 28, 2012 at 5:13 am

There were at least two theaters called the Grand in Bemidji. There was a Grand Theatre advertised in the local newspaper as early as 1911, along with a Brinkman Theatre and a Majestic Theatre.

The second Grand opened sometime in September or October 1915, in the building that had been occupied by the Brinkman Theatre. This page has a large ad for the Grand Theatre from the December 9, 1915, issue of The Bemidji Daily Pioneer. This page has a photo of the building as the Brinkman Theatre, from the same publication’s issue of March 27, 1909. As near as I’ve been able to discover, the Brinkman Theatre opened about 1907, and was expanded in 1909.

The August 21, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World said that J. H. French had sold the Grand Theatre building in Bemidji to A. T. Carlson. This item might have referred to the first Grand Theatre, which presumably closed when the new Grand opened.

In the address field, Third Street needs to be followed by NW. There are two different Third Streets in Bemidji, and Google Maps is sticking its pin icon on the wrong one.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paul Bunyan Playhouse on Jan 28, 2012 at 3:12 am

David Gebhard and Tom Martinson’s Guide to the Architecture of Minnesota says that the Chief Theatre was designed by Liebenberg & Kaplan, and built in 1937. The finding aid to the Liebenberg & Kaplan papers at the University of Minnesota Libraries lists the Chief as a 1937-38 project. The style of the building is streamline modern.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rex Theatre on Jan 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm

The Rex Theatre at Bemidji was mentioned in the August 28, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World. The operator was named Oliver Whaley, and he had just opened a second theater, located at Nymore, Minnesota.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rex Theater on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:10 am

A small photo of the Rex Theatre was published in the August 28, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World. The caption says that the operator of the Rex, J. B. Quesinberry, had been among the magazine’s subscribers for several years.

If Mr. Quesinberry had been operating the Rex throughout that time (the caption doesn’t say,) this theater might have been opened even before 1910, and could now be one of the oldest operating movies theaters in the country.

The 1926 FDYB report of the seating capacity must have been an error. The caption of the 1915 photo says that the Rex had 300 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:50 am

The August 28, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the Blomburg Amusement Company’s new Strand Theatre on Patton Avenue at Lexington in Asheville had opened earlier that month.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:30 am

This article by Leanne Smith in the Jackson Citizen Patriot says that the Capitol Theatre was opened as the Orpheum Theatre on February 24, 1916, and was renamed the Capitol in 1922. The theater closed in 1973 and was demolished in 1975.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Playhouse on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:11 am

The book Around Canandaigua, by Nancy H. Yacci, a photo of the Playhouse. The movie on the marquee, One Stolen Night, staring Betty Bronson, was a 1929 release. The name Fox is above the marquee. An ad in a 1930 issue of the Naples, New York Record calls it the Fox Playhouse Theatre.

Both the photo caption and a timeline I found on the Internet say that the Playhouse Theatre was demolished in 1972. Judging from the lay of the land in the 1929 photo, and the configuration of business buildings in Canadaigua, the Playhouse must have been on the south side of Chapin Street in the block west of Main Street, which is just about where Google Maps is putting its pin icon on this page.

Writer Michael Winship, a Canandaigua native, devotes a few paragraphs of this article to his memories of the Playhouse Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:08 am

An article about the Majestic’s first operator, W. S. McLaren, in the March 12, 1918, issue of Michigan Film Review quoted him as saying that he had opened the Majestic Theatre in the old Athenaeum building on January 21, 1916. McLaren also operated a 250-seat house in Jackson called the Colonial, which he had opened in January, 1915. Prior to that, he had operated a movie house called the Sylvan Theatre in the former opera house in his home town of Chelsea, Michigan.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Jan 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm

The 1941 Boxoffice article with the photos of the Star Theatre can now be seen at this fresh link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jan 25, 2012 at 4:49 am

The Capitol Theatre was located in the assembly room of Homer’s Town Hall, built in 1908. The assembly room, which was 60x53 feet and had a stage with a depth of 27 feet, was converted into a movie theater in 1938, and remained in operation as the Capitol Theatre until 1955.

The address of the Homer Town Hall is 31 N Main St., Homer, NY 13077. The Capitol Theatre used the building’s main entrance, so would have had the same address.

A fairly detailed history of the Town Hall can be found on this web page, which has a single photo of the building’s Colonial Revival exterior.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Temple Theatre on Jan 25, 2012 at 4:17 am

There is an eBay listing for a program from Schine’s Temple Theatre in Fairport, dated the week of January 1, 1933.

An advertisement for an insurance agency in a 1952 issue of the local newspaper gives the agency’s location as 83 South Main Street, “Next to Temple Theatre.” There’s still a building just south of that location that looks like a theater. Today it is occupied by the Fairport Masonic Lodge, with an address of 87 S. Main Street.

This probably is the Temple Theatre, and given the name, it’s possible that it has always been owned by the Masons, and leased out by them for part-time use as a movie theater- not an uncommon arrangement in small American towns.

The front of the building is fairly simple, but has a bit of Colonial Revival detail. It has a gabled roof, but the auditorium section is more boxlike. The front might have been updated at some point. I can easily picture the building dating from the early 1930s, but probably not earlier, unless it has had a major remodeling.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cozy Theater on Jan 25, 2012 at 3:17 am

The theatres page of the Pittsburg, Kansas Memories web site says that the Cozy Theatre opened in 1930, and operated as the Cinema Theatre from 1969 until closing in 1983 (the page says that the building “burned down” in spring, 1983, though the American Classic Images photo that lostmemory linked to in an earlier comment, showing the burned-out theater, is dated August, 1982. ACI also has this photo of the Cozy dated March, 1985.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Missouri Twin Cinema on Jan 24, 2012 at 4:12 am

An advertisement for Boller Brothers in the July 10, 1926, issue of The Reel Journal lists this house as the Cook Theatre. David and Noelles list of known Boller theaters gives the house the aka’s Cook and Missouri Twin.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Jan 24, 2012 at 4:01 am

An advertisement for Boller Brothers in the July 10, 1926, issue of The Reel Journal listed the Strand Theatre in St. Charles as one of the firm’s projects. David and Noelle’s list of known Boller Theatres lists the Strand as a 1925 project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dickinson Theatre on Jan 24, 2012 at 3:55 am

An advertisement for Boller Brothers in the July 10, 1926, issue of The Reel Journal listed the Novelty Theatre in Topeka as one of the firm’s works. David and Noelle’s list of known Boller theaters has 1926 and 1944 as the years when the Bollers worked on the Novelty, and also gives the house the aka Crystal Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Madrid Theatre on Jan 24, 2012 at 2:36 am

The June 5, 1926, issue of The Reel Journal said that the new Madrid Theatre in Kansas City had been designed by the architectural firm of DeFoe & Besecke (Victor DeFoe and Walter A. Besecke.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Midland Theater on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:52 am

The Midland Theatre has been demolished. Its site, and that of two adjacent buildings, is now the site of the modern structure housing the Kansas Teachers Credit Union. The historic building that now houses Harry’s Cafe is at 412 N. Broadway, and was next door to the theater.

This web page about Pittsburg’s theaters says that the Midland was torn down in 1973. It also says that there was a theater at this address as early as 1907, originally known as the Wonderland, then the Vaudome, and then the Electric. This web page has information about them, and features a 1908 Sanborn map showing the location of the theater and another on the same block, the Palace.

However, the page also says that the Electric Theatre was torn down about 1919, along with an adjacent grocery store, and replaced with a new theater called the Klock, which later became the Midland. I’m not sure that the Electric was demolished, though. This page from the same web site has several photos of Broadway looking north from Fourth Street, and it looks to me as though the Klock/Midland had the same footprint as the building that housed the Wonderland/Vaudome/Electric. I think it’s possible that the original theater building only underwent a major remodeling when it became the Klock.

The Klock Theatre was set to open soon, according to an item datelined Pittsburg in the September 9, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

:“To the person or persons guessing the date or nearest date of the opening of the Klock theater here, a prize of ten dollars will be awarded. This contest is an unusual one. Most theaters on opening offer a prize for the best name suggested. The advertisements in the Pittsburg newspapers say: ‘Look the building over and make your guess.’ The managers, Messrs. Klock and Klock, are uncertain as to the opening date. The contest closed August 19, so it is presumed that the theater will open shortly.”
The history page of the Fox Colonial Theatre’s web site mentions the Klock/Midland Theatre a few times, noting that the 1926 remodeling of the house was designed by Boller Brothers, and that 1926 was the year the Klock was renamed Midland.

The Fox Colonial web page also says that the Art Deco marquee placed on the Fox in 1959, and still in place now, had been moved there from the Midland. The pittsburgksmemories web page says that the Midland closed in 1958.

The best photographic view of the Midland I’ve found is on this page of the book Pittsburg by Randy Roberts and Janette Mauk, and it’s only a partial view. Still, it gives an idea of the somehwat Italian look that Boller Brothers gave the facade in their design for the 1926 remodeling. The marquee that was later moved to the Fox is recognizable.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theater on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:42 am

When the Colonial Theatre reopened on May 30, 1926, following a remodeling carried out by its new operators, the Midland Theatre circuit, it hosted the world premier of the Paramount feature Good and Naughty, starring Pola Negri. The event was reported in the June 5 issue of The Reel Journal.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wallace Theater on Jan 21, 2012 at 8:14 am

The January 22, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture world reported that the New Wallace Theatre at Bradenton, Florida, had opened in July, 1915, and had been prospering since, while two other movie theaters in Bradenton had succumbed to competition from the new house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Columbus Theater on Jan 21, 2012 at 7:47 am

The January 1, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World ran the following item about the Columbus Theatre:

“The Ascher Brothers opened their fine theater, the Columbus, Sixty-third street and Ashland avenue, this city, on Saturday, December 18. The Ascher Brothers justly consider the Columbus one of the most beautiful in their long chain of houses. Architect Newhouse says of the design of the interior: ‘It has always been my aim while designing theaters to avoid the trouble often found — too many useless seats, due to the arrangement. I decided to substitute the amphitheater arrangement for the seats and place the screen in such a position as to afford a clear and direct view from any seat in the auditorium. The use of the dome lighting system, by which the management can burn 150 sixty-watt lamps throughout the performance and keep the house well lighted without affecting the picture will meet with popular favor.’”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Jan 21, 2012 at 7:33 am

The September 14, 1916, issue of Engineering News had an article about a Stratford Theatre at Germantown Avenue and Venango Street (Google Books scan.) The article described the construction of the concrete girder supporting the theater’s proscenium arch. As the Strand is the only theater at that intersection listed at Cinema Treasures, I’m wondering if this house opened as the Stratford?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cleve Theatre on Jan 21, 2012 at 6:06 am

The Cleve Theatre was designed by the F&Y Building Service, according to the latest version of the theater’s official web site.