Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eden Theater on Jan 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm

The Eden was another Henry G. Greene design for ABC. The architect attended the May 27, 1969, opening of the house. He appeared in a photo taken at the event and published in Boxoffice of June 16.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about King Theatre on Jan 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Boxoffice of April 22, 1950, named John and Drew Eberson as architects of the King Theatre, which was then being rushed to completion.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fulton Theatre on Jan 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm

The line in the intro saying that the Fulton is one of only three theaters in the U.S. that is listed as a National Historic Landmark may have been true at one time, but the NHL program’s web site now lists nine: the Fox in Detroit; the Fox in Atlanta; the Fulton; the theater of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival at Beckett, Massachusetts; the Majestic in San Antonio; the Ohio Theatre in Columbus; the Pabst in Milwaukee; the Paramount in Oakland, California; and the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Undoubtedly, more will be added to the list in the future.

The National Historic Landmark program is not the same thing as the National Register of Historic Places, a much longer list which includes a much greater number of theaters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kirby Theatre on Jan 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Jesse Jones, currently listed as the architect of this theater, was not an architect but a busnessman and a real estate developer. The architect of the Kirby Theatre was Alfred Charles Finn.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jan 26, 2010 at 11:44 am

The closing year currently given in the intro for this theater must be wrong. The April 10, 1954, issue of Boxoffice says this: “Bill Cupples has the distinction of being the last manager of the Capitol at Guelph, a former unit of 20th Century Theatres which has been torn down. the theatre had previously been operated by Famous Players for years.”

I’ve found Boxoffice references to a Palace Theatre at Guelph, opened by Famous Players in 1941; a Royal Theatre, operating from at least 1937 and until at least 1957; and a Regent Theatre, which was mentioned in 1941 and 1945, but apparently was opened about 1918 or 1919 for Paramount and taken over shortly after by Famous Players. There’s no indication of what became of it later, but it’s possible that Regent was an early aka for either the Capitol or the Royal, both of which were long operated by Famous Players.

A 1945 Boxoffice item made it clear that there were then only three theaters operating at Guelph, those being the Capitol, Royal, and Palace, all Famous Players houses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Guelph Concert Theatre on Jan 26, 2010 at 11:41 am

An item in Boxoffice of October 19, 1946, about delays in construction on various theater projects in Canada said that the Odeon at Guelph was an exception, and that it was expected to be completed soon. They should have knocked on wood. The house was not opened for another year.

Boxoffice of November 8, 1947, said that the Odeon Theatre at Guelph had opened on October 31. The item also said that architect Leslie Kemp had been “interested in the design” of the theater. Kemp was an English theater architect who had come to Canada to oversee the completion of the various Odeon theater projects designed by the late Jay English, who had drowned that August.

The long-delayed date of opening indicates that the Guelph house was designed by Jay English, and that Kemp only oversaw the later period of its construction and took care of any minor design changes that might have been made while the project was being completed. Kemp’s arrival in Canada was announced in the October 11, 1947, issue of Boxofffice, though he probably had been in the country for some days before the item appeared.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Heights Theatre on Jan 26, 2010 at 6:55 am

There is a 2006 photo of the restored 1935 Art Moderne facade, and a view dated 1935 showing the original mission style front, on this page at Houston Deco.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Central Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm

According to the records of the New York Terra Cotta Company, the Central Theatre was designed by E.C. Horne & Sons. It was opened in 1920.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empire Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Miner’s Empire Theatre was designed jointly by George Keister and the firm of McMurray & Pulis.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Austin Theater on Jan 25, 2010 at 3:51 pm

According to the records of the New York Terra Cotta Company, the 1916 remodeling of this theater was designed by an architect named P.P. Scroggs. Philander P. Scroggs was an Augusta architect who later formed the partnership of Scroggs & Ewing with Whitley L. Ewing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about National Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 3:50 pm

According to the records of the New York Terra Cotta Company, the National Theatre was designed by the architectural firm of Joseph & Joseph, with Albert Kahn associated. Joseph & Joseph, founded in 1908, is still in business.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Boulevard Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 3:45 pm

A four month delay in the expected opening date is pretty drastic, especially in the pre-war period when labor and materials shortages were not yet a problem. I wonder what happened? It wasn’t even a bad hurricane season.

The article does name the architects of the Boulevard as Weed & Reeder (Robert Law Weed and Edwin T. Reeder.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Delancey Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm

The Delancey Street Theatre was designed by architect S.S. Sugar, who also designed Loew’s Greeley Square Theatre. An item saying plans for the project had been filed was published in The New York Times of July 2, 1911.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Byham Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 11:59 am

Eleven drawings of this theater are digitized and available for viewing at the LOC’s online collection (search using the name Fulton Theater.) The building was designed by the New York architectural firm Dodge & Morrison.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star and Garter Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 11:57 am

Here is a detailed history of the Star and Garter at the Jazz Age Chicago web site. The theater was designed by the New York architectural firm Dodge & Morrison.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Brighton Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 11:55 am

Architects' and Builders' Magazine of August, 1910, has an illustrated article about the New Brighton Theatre at Brighton Beach. The theater was designed by the architectural firm of Dodge & Morrison.

The obituary of exhibitor Herman Becker in Boxoffice of September 14, 1957, said that he and Edward Rugoff acquired the Brighton Theatre in 1929. It said that the Brighton had been a theater “…where plays intended for Broadway were tried out….”

In the late 1940s and early 1950s the Brighton was part of George Brandt’s “subway circuit” which took stage plays to theaters in the outlying neighborhoods of New York City during the summer months. One Boxoffice item of the period mentioned that some of the houses in the circuit, including the Brighton, showed movies during the winter.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Central Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 8:37 am

Here is an illustrated article about the Bronx Theatre in the November, 1909, issue of the trade publication Architect’s and Builders' Magazine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about McFarland Theatre on Jan 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

A 1944 Boxoffice item says that Frank Panero operated a theater at McFarland. Late in 1945, another item said that Panero had a new theater under construction at McFarland, to cost $70,000. An August 17, 1946, item mentioned that Panero was operating only one theater at McFarland, so the old one must have been closed.

I’ve found no mention of the opening date for the new theater, nor the name of the architect, but Panero built several new theaters in the post-war period, and so far all those I’ve found attributed to an architect (at Selma, Shafter, and Delano) were designed by Vincent G. Raney. He’s the likely architect for this house, too, but I haven’t found confirmation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Beach Theatre on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Chuck, you must be right about the address. The Beach must be the theater that was at 1318 Atlantic. But I still think the Beach was once the City Square, one reason being an entry in the 1920 edition of Boyd’s Atlantic City Directory, which lists: “O'Keefe Edw J genl mgr Criterion Theatre Cort Theatre City Square Theatre h 1318 Atlantic.”

A January 6, 1951, Boxoffice item I found said that the Cinema was a former burlesque house taken over by Waxmann in 1940. It was still called the Cinema in 1951, and got the name Shore the next year.

The same item repeated the claim that the then-Shore (this house) had been the City Square, and added that it was once operated by Eddie O'Keefe, and was taken over on a lease by Waxmann in 1945. But the Cinema, at 1831 Atlantic, has to be the last theater to have had the name Shore, so the address currently given on the Shore page is wrong and actually belongs here on the Beach page.

Comparing the 1981 photo of the Beach linked above by Lost Memory with the 1968 Shore photo he linked on the Shore page, they are both seen with their post-1950s names on the marquees. That would indicate that this house, which still had the name Beach in 1981, is the 1911 Embassy which became the City Square in the 1920s and the Shore in 1947 and finally the Beach in 1952. The front must date from the 1947 renovation by Waxmann, which would explain why it doesn’t look like a building from the 1920s (or 1911.)

I hope this can finally unravel the confusion that has prevailed on the various Atlantic City theater pages.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shore Theatre on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:10 pm

If the various reports in Boxoffice are correct (and I see no reason to doubt them in this case) then this theater, the last to be called the Shore, was a former burlesque house that was taken over by Harry Waxmann in 1940 and renamed the Cinema, which was its name through 1951. It became the Shore in 1952.

One of Chuck’s comments on the Beach page says that the address of the Cinema was 1831 Atlantic, so that has to be the correct address for this theater. The address 1318 must be the address of the previous Shore Theater, which became the Beach when this house became the Shore.

So the Shore should have the aka Cinema, and the correct address is 1831 Atlantic.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Theatre on Jan 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

A January 6, 1951, Boxoffice item about Harry Waxmann says that the Hollywood Theatre opened as the Royal in 1930, was bought by Waxmann in 1934 and remodeled. It doesn’t give the year of remodeling but it was certainly the 1936 project by David Supowitz, which is one of four remodeling projects illustrating an article by the architect in Boxoffice of July 25, 1936.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Valley Cinemas on Jan 24, 2010 at 10:06 am

The August 27, 1979, issue of Boxoffice has a letter from Peyton Terry, owner of the Survant Theatre, Glasgow, Montana. He must have renamed the house after himself some time after that. A Roxy Theatre in Glasgow, destroyed by fire in November, 1952, was replaced by a house called the Survant Theatre, the opening of which was reported in Boxoffice of January 30, 1954. The description of the new house says that the front had facing of Arizona flagstone, which the photos linked above show Valley Cinemas building has.

The Survant featured a “south seas” motif, the article said, beginning with a floral pattern on the sidewalk at the entrance. The first photo Chuck linked to shows that the decorative sidewalk has been replaced by ordinary concrete. The lobby and auditorium of the Survant were decorated with hand-painted murals by San Francisco artist Homer Sterios. Construction was by the Harvey Theatre Construction Company, a California firm, and the theater was designed by San Francisco architect Bernard Nobler.

Bernard G. Nobler died in 2003, and an obituary referred to him as an architect who had designed theaters and other buildings in California and Hawaii. Though the Boxoffice item also refers to him as a theater architect I’ve been unable to find out much about his work. The only other Boxoffice references to him are for his unfortunate 1970 remodeling of the Empire Theatre in San Francisco, his position as local associate to architect Henry Greene in the 1968 twinning of the St. Francis Theatre in the same city, and a project for a twin theater that was planned for a site on Ventura Boulevard in North Hollywood as long ago as 1948, but which was apparently never built.

I’ve found Internet references to several of his non-theater projects, including the Tahoe Biltmore resort and casino of 1946, which was originally owned by the Blumenfelds, operators of the San Francisco-based theater chain, though the resort apparently didn’t have a theater in it. But given the association with the Blumenfelds, it seems possible that Nobler designed some of the theaters for that chain, most of which so far remain unattributed at Cinema Treasures.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empire Cinema on Jan 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

The 1970 renovation mentioned by Slevin in a comment above was designed by architect Bernard G. Nobler, according to an item in Boxoffice of March 2, 1970.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fair Oaks Theater on Jan 24, 2010 at 9:51 am

A March 22, 1947, Boxoffice item said that G.W. Page was building a new theater at the corner of Grand Avenue and Alder Street in Arroyo Grande. Boxoffice of December 13, 1947, said that Bob Page had opened his new Fairoaks Theatre in Arroyo Grande. Page also operated the Bay Theatre in Morro Bay.

I’ve found Boxoffice referring to not only a Grande Theatre in Arroyo Grande, but also to an Arroyo Theatre and an Arroyo Grande Theatre. So far I’ve been unable to tell if this was one theater that kept changing its name, or if Boxoffice was just inconsistent about the name, or if there were actually two (probably not three in this tiny town) different theaters.

In 1938 and 1939, all three names were given, though always one name per item, for a theater operated by Charlie Olds. A March 5, 1938, item said that Charles Olds was taking over the dark Mission Theatre in Arroyo Grande and would reopen the 400-seat house on March 15, after remodeling was complete. There was nothing about him ever opening a second theater. Olds vanished from Boxoffice by 1945, but the multiple theater names continued.

An ad in Boxoffice of January 17, 1948, said that the Arroyo Theatre had installed new chairs. The February 18, 1950, issue said the Grande Theatre was getting a complete remodeling. In 1949, one item named George Page as the operator of the Arroyo Theatre. Did he buy the rival house, or was this an example of confusion by Boxoffice?

I haven’t found any of these three names mentioned after the 1950 item other than retrospectively (former owner of the Arroyo, for example) but the Fairoaks (Boxoffice split the name into Fair Oaks a few times, but Fairoaks was their most frequent usage) is last mentioned in the January 8, 1955, issue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Town Theater on Jan 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Boxoffice of November 16, 1964, reported that the Roosevelt Theatre at Seattle would be replaced by a new, first-run house called the Town, to be operated by Sterling Theatres. The bland and boxy facade that replaced that splendid zig-zag Art Deco front was the work of architect Alfred H. Croonquist. The impression given by the article was that the theatre would be virtually rebuilt, indicating that an art deco interior was probably lost at the same time.

A larger version of the 1941 photo linked above, along with additional information about the theater, can be seen at this web post by Seattle chronicler Paul Dorpat. Especially interesting is the information in a comment by David Jeffers, revealing that the original architect of the Roosevelt was Henry Bittman. Bittman, an engineer who became a licensed architect in 1923, was known for his use of terra-cotta ornament, and many buildings of his design featuring that material still grace the streets of Seattle’s older neighborhoods.