Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sky-Hi Drive-In on Apr 17, 2010 at 1:52 am

The opening of the Sky-Hi Drive-In was tentatively set for July 1, 1952, according to Boxoffice of May 31 that year. The theater was being built for Earl Hargis, owner of the Sky-Hi Cafe, and was his first venture into movie exhibition.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Apr 17, 2010 at 1:50 am

The Star was built in 1941 by F.L. “Doc” Lowe, who already operated theaters in Sterling, Kansas, and Brookfield Missouri. The opening of the Star was announced in Boxoffice of July 12 that year. Reportedly it had 500 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lake Theatre on Apr 17, 2010 at 1:48 am

From Boxoffice of November 9, 1964: “Robert Cannon, owner of two indoor theatres at Lake City, has sold his first-run Lake Theatre for nontheatrical purposes and has reopened his former sub-run Columbia Theatre as a first-run house.”

However, this was apparently not the end for the Lake. Boxoffice of November 14, 1966, says this: “MCM Theatres… has leased the Lake Theatre… from Robert Cannon. MCM has renamed the Lake to the Gateway.” The Gateway was opened after extensive remodeling, according to Boxoffice of January 30, 1967. The item said the Gateway had 500 seats.

But there is a problem. The Cinema Treasures listing for the Gateway Theatre gives a different address from that given above for the Lake Theatre. Is it possible that Lake City renumbered its streets at some time?

Theaters in Lake City are difficult to research with search engines, given the fact that the name is so common. The name Robert Cannon turns out to be pretty common, too, so knowing it isn’t much help. I think that somebody familiar with Lake City is going to have to help sort this one out.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Columbia Theatre on Apr 17, 2010 at 1:46 am

The Columbia must have opened a bit earlier than 1949. Boxoffice of March 15, 1947, says this in an item datelined Lake City: “Leonard Vaughan has been named manager of the New Columbia Theatre here.” The fact that “New” is capitalized might indicate that there was also an earlier Columbia Theatre in Lake City, or it might just be an error by a Boxoffice typesetter.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Prior to its destruction by fire on St. Valentine’s Day in 1960, the Lyric was operated under lease by Publix Great States Theatres. The new house was to be leased to Square Amusement Co., a subsidiary of Great States.

I’m wondering of the seating capacity of 939 currently listed above was for the old Lyric? Two issues of Boxoffice (March 26, 1962, and February 4, 1963) each give the seating capacity of the rebuilt theater as 800. The 1962 item mentions that seats “…of the new wide variety….” were planned for the new Lyric.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Academy Theatre. on Apr 16, 2010 at 10:49 pm

This house was listed in the 1900-1901 edition of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide as the Fisher Academy of Music, with a seating capacity of 1,650. The back wall of the stage was 40 feet from the footlights, and was 66 feet wide wall to wall, with a proscenium 33 feet wide. Quite a spacious theater for a town of 18,000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about UA Warner Center on Apr 16, 2010 at 2:00 am

I doubt AlanSanborn is still watching this page, but if anyone else mistakenly believes that the United Artists Westwood Theatre is (shamefully) missing from the Cinema Treasures database, it can be found listed under its later name, the Mann Festival Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bal Theatre on Apr 15, 2010 at 11:18 pm

The Bal Theatre was designed by architect Vincent G. Raney. An article about it appeared in Boxoffice of September 14, 1946. There are four photos. The article mistakenly palces the Bal in Oakland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Santa Clara Theater on Apr 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Boxoffice of July 30, 1938, reported that the Harvey Amusement Company and Gerald Hardy had acquired the Casa Grande Theatre in Santa Clara, and would spend $20,000 renovating it. The house was expected to reopen in August as the Santa Clara Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about West Side Theatre on Apr 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

The information in the comment above by thomas_gladysz is the final piece I needed to clear up the mystery. The West Side Theatre did indeed open as the Newman Theatre, probably in 1936 or 1937.

Southwest Builder & Contractor of March 6, 1936, mentioned plans by architect S. Charles Lee for a theater project at Newman. Boxoffice of December 18, 1937, said that the newly formed West Side Theatre Company was taking over two houses from the Harvey Amusement Company; the land and building of the Newman Theatre at Newman, and the leasehold on the Empire Theatre at Gustine.

I’ve been unable to find an exact opening date for the Newman Theatre, or when it was renamed the West Side Theatre, but I no longer have any doubt that they were the same house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Folly Theatre on Apr 15, 2010 at 12:44 am

In his comment of April 9, 2008, Warren identifies the architects of The Folly as the firm of Dodge & Morrison. The senior architect of this firm, Stephen Webster Dodge, is the subject of this brief biography in a 1908 book, “Flatbush of Today.”

The biography only mentions three theaters designed by the firm, all of them already attributed at Cinema Treasures. The firm’s junior partner, Robert Burns Morrison, didn’t have a biography in the book. Perhaps he didn’t live near Flatbush.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Magnolia Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 1:04 am

Here is a link to the California Index card citing the May 17, 1940, Southwest Builder & Contractor article identifying Clifford Balch as the architect of the new theater to be built at the northwest corner of Magnolia Boulevard and Valley Street. It’s misidentified as the Major Theatre in the caption, but that is the location of the Magnolia Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 1:01 am

The earliest mention of the Liberty I’ve found in Boxoffice is from the issue of July 7, 1935, which mentions the operators as Rudolph Navari and B. L. Stoner. A June 9, 1945, Boxoffice item about the sale of the Liberty to the Camerlo brothers says that Rudy Navari, the seller, had been an exhibitor at Verona for 26 years. I haven’t found references to Navari connected with any other theaters at Verona, so it’s possible that the Liberty was in operation by 1924, though I’ve found no confirmation for this.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eastwood Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:55 am

Ed Blank: I’ve just seen your question (my email service was blocking Cinema Treasures comment notifications for a long time.) I’m afraid I can’t help you. I don’t know Joel Navari, and I’ve never been to Chicago. I did a search for him in the Boxoffice magazine archives at issuu.com, but the last time he was mentioned in the magazine was apparently in 1968.

The last time the Eastwood Theatre was mentioned as far as I can determine was in the issue of February 2, 1970. It’s an item saying that the Eastwood was being demolished. It says that Mrs. Rudy Navari had been robbed at the theater and decided not only to close it but to have the building razed. You can read the item at this link (third item in the farthest left hand column.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Olympic Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:52 am

The Olympic was listed in an ad for Tiffany Productions in Movie Age of December 7, 1929. Exhibitor’s Forum of February 3, 1931, said that A. Buby had taken over the lease on the Olympic from A. Belda. The same magazine’s issue of April 7, 1931, reported that the Olympic Theatre in Verona had been sold at a sheriff’s auction.

The Olympic was listed in Boxoffice of October 9, 1937, among theaters that had been remodeled since the start of the year. The operator at this time was J. Moritz. Max Arnold was operating the Olympic in 1946 when the September 21 issue of Boxoffice said that the house had been redecorated and new drapes hung.

The Olympic was closed for remodeling and the installation of CinemaScope, said an item in the June 11, 1955, issue of Boxoffice. On January 7, 1956, Boxoffice reported that Sam Plutis' Olympic at Verona had been reopened after being dark for several months.

In 1957 the house appears to have gradually sputtered out of existence. The March 30 issue of Boxoffice said that Bill Graner had closed the Olympic, but that it would be reopened by Joe Mazzei. On November 9, 1957, Boxoffice said that Joe Mazzei had closed the Olympic at Verona. I haven’t found the theater mentioned in any later issues of the magazine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:50 am

The Hollywood took a long time to build. Boxoffice noted that fact in its announcement of of July 3, 1937, saying that the opening was scheduled for late October or early November. They had to note the fact again in the issue of July 2, 1938, which said that the Hollywood had by then been under construction for about two years, but that the opening was tentatively scheduled for July 4. There appears to have been a final delay, as Boxoffice of July 23 reported that the Hollywood had been opened “Monday evening.”

The Hollywood was reported to have either 950 or 1000 seats, depending on which issue of Boxoffice you read. The cost of the project was reported as $150,000 or $160,000. The original owners were M. Goldman of Monongahela and his local partner, James Retter, operator of the Grand Theatre in California. On the opening of the Hollywood the Grand was closed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trace Theater on Apr 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm

According to a brief item in Boxoffice of February 3, 1945, the Trace Theatre was to be rebuilt following a disastrous fire which had occurred in December.

The Trace was still in operation at least as late as 1964, when Stephen Abraham was mentioned as the operator in the August 17 issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Edwards Atlantic Palace 10 on Apr 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm

basscott: The old theater you remember was the original Alhambra Theatre, built in 1924, and its Annex, a smaller auditorium added in a former grocery store adjacent to the Alhambra’s lobby in 1940.

After being closed for several years, the Annex was renovated in the late 1960s and reopened as the Gold Cinema. Later the duplex was called the Alhambra Twin Cinemas. The entire complex was demolished after suffering severe damage in the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, and the Atlantic Palace was built on the cleared site.

The original Alhambra Theatre and Gold Cinema are listed at Cinema Treasures under their final name, the Alhambra Twin Cinemas There is also a Cinema Treasures page for the El Rey Theatre.

Here is a link to the August, 1991, Boxoffice article about the Atlantic Palace 10. A color photo of the theater by night appears on the cover of the same issue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alhambra Twin Cinemas on Apr 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm

James Edwards' intention to add a second auditorium to the Alhambra Theatre was announced in Boxoffice, issue of July 23, 1938 (upper right corner.) However, the project was not completed until August, 1940.

Helen Kent’s illustrated article about the Alhambra and Annex appeared in Boxoffice of October 12, 1940.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Redmoor Event Center on Apr 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm

A photo of the Mt. Lookout Theatre appears at lower right of this page in Boxoffice, February 21, 1941. The caption attributes the design of the theater to Cincinnati architects S.S. and George Godley. If correct, this is interesting information, especially in light of hank.sykes' revelation of the involvement of the F&Y company in the project.

The photo in Boxoffice shows a moderne building similar to other theaters built by F&Y during this period. I’ve never been able to find the name of an architect associated with F&Y, though it was certainly a design/build company. The Y in the company name is for Leo Yassenoff, and I’ve always heard that the F was supposed to be the initial of the architect, but now I’m wondering if the Godleys might have regularly done designs for F&Y?

Samuel Godley died in 1941 (on November 2, his 83rd birthday) and was known primarily for his residential designs, but did do a number of larger projects. His biography in the Biographical Dictionary of Cincinnati Architects doesn’t mention any theaters. His son George Godley doesn’t have an entry in the Dictionary.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clune's Auditorium on Apr 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm

To belatedly answer Heidi DD’s question: Yes, I’m sure the program you have is for this Auditorium, before Billy Clune took over its operation. Sparks Berry was manager of the Auditorium during its early years. It seems likely that the April 24 performance in your program took place in 1907. See the newspaper item in the right hand column near the bottom of the page here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Apr 11, 2010 at 7:45 pm

The interior photos of the Roxy show a building that must have been built quite some time before 1939. Note in particular the thin columns under the balcony. Those were characteristic of the late 19th-early 20th century period.

I suspect that the Roxy was an old theater called the Metropolitan that was in operation at the turn of the century, when it was listed in Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide. The Metropolitan later ran movies and was mentioned in Movie Age of May 25, 1929, when sound was installed.

Boxoffice of November 11, 1939, has a brief item announcing that the two theaters at Owatonna had been sold to the Frank Amusement Co. by F. R. Thompson. Most likely Frank gave the house an update and renamed it the Roxy that year. Boxoffice doesn’t provide any confirmation of this surmise, though. Neither of Owatonna’s theaters is mentioned very often in the magazine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Old Orchard Theater on Apr 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Boxoffice devoted three pages to an article about the Old Orchard Theatre in the issue of January 9, 1967. The original single-screen theater seated 1,700. It was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Sidney H. Morris & Associates.

Morris’s firm would later design at least two other projects for M&R Amusements: the Evergreen Theatre in Evergreen Park, and the M&R Twin Drive-In (later called the Wheeling Twin Drive-In) at Wheeling, Illinois.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wheeling Twin Drive-In on Apr 10, 2010 at 11:18 pm

The Wheeling Twin Drive-In (originally called the M&R Twin Drive-In) was built in 60 days, according to this article about it in Boxoffice of June 19, 1967. Additional photos of it are featured in Boxoffice of October 30, 1967.

The drive-in was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Sidney H. Morris & Associates, who designed at least two conventional theaters for M&R Amusements: the 1960 Old Orchard Theatre in Skokie, and the Evergreen Theatre in Evergreen Park, Illinois.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Evergreen Theater on Apr 10, 2010 at 11:16 pm

My previous comment should read Wheeling, Illinois, as the location of the Wheeling Twin Drive-In.