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I’ve found that, after a number of years practicing in Winfield, and not long after designing the Opera House, architect Willis Ritchie moved to the state of Washington, settling in Spokane in 1892. There he became one of the most successful architects in the Northwest, designing buildings throughout the region, from Vancouver, Washington, to Anaconda, Montana, as well as the Washington State Building at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
This list of theaters in Wilmington gives the following series of names for the theater at 305-307 Maryland Avenue:
The Polonia (1921-1923)
Avenue Theater (1923-1936)
Ace Theater (1936-1963)
Capri Art Theater (1963-1970)
William Speck’s book Toledo: A History in Architecture says that the Rivoli was built in 1920. I have found references to the theater being in operation during the 1920s. The Wolfsonion collection’s index of John Eberson’s work lists the Rivioli only as a 1930 remodeling project, so he must not have been the original architect. So far, I’ve been unable to discover who did design this theater.
In the absence of interior photos, I don’t know how extensive the 1930 remodeling was, but the only exterior feature of the theater that was ever changed appears to have been the marquee. As the house was only ten years old in 1930, I doubt there was much alteration of the interior either. The ground floor front eventually got a streamlined update, with vitrolite panels and new metal door hardware, but this is not seen in photos from the mid-1930s, and so must have been done quite some time after Eberson worked on the house.
The facade at least was never Art Deco, except for that marvelous zig-zag marquee, as numerous photos such as this one show the building’s classical details such as fluted pilasters with ornate, composite capitals, swagged garlands with festoons, a denticulated cornice, and balusters along the parapet, which is surmounted by four pairs of urns. This decor was all intact until the theater was demolished. Whoever the original architect was, he had probably attended the Ecole de Beaux-Arts, or had studied with someone who had.
William Speck’s book Toledo: A History in Architecture confirms that the Colony Theatre opened in 1941, but says that it closed in 1981. It also says that the theater suffered a fire in 1984, and was demolished the following year.
classictheaters: The Greenwich Theatre you’re thinking of is the one listed as the Art Greenwich Twin.
Google Maps will fetch the address for the theater that Chuck gave, but only if you write the street name as Lewis and Clark. Apparently an ampersand confuses their software.
In the street view from Lewis and Clark Boulevard, the theater building is hidden by a long row of shops. You get a pretty good view of the theater across a parking lot from 2568 Chambers Road, if you use the zoom feature. It’s a rather plain and boxy Midcentury Modern structure, but it looks to be in pretty good shape, at least on the outside.
Prior to the construction of the Graham Opera House, Washington was served by the Everson Opera House, a second-floor theater that was later converted to other uses. A 1909 book, “History of Washington County, Iowa” by Howard A. Burrell (Google Books fullview), has a photo of the Everson and drawing of the Graham, both probably from the late 19th century.
Here is an article from the Washington Evening News giving some historical background on the State Theatre. It’s dated November 18, 2010, and being a newspaper article it might not remain available on the Internet for very long.
The article says that the building was erected in 1893 to replace the first Graham Opera House (located at the opposite end of the same block) which had opened in 1886 and was destroyed by fire in 1892. Movies were exhibited in the Graham Opera House as early as 1897, but it was not renamed the State Theatre until 1931, at which time it became exclusively a movie house.
Judging from the photos of the State linked in earlier comments, the current facade probably doesn’t date from the 1931 remodeling and conversion of the opera house into a movie theater. That flat, plain style indicates a later remodeling project, probably from the 1940s or 1950s. The brick on the ground floor looks like it might even date from the 1970s.
Washington had at least one regular movie house in 1919, when an ad for the Motiograph company ran in the November 8 issue of Motion Picture News. It featured a letter from a “Mr. C.A. Pratt of the Electric Theatre Co., Washington, Iowa; Fox Theatre, Washington, Iowa and Pratt’s Theatre, Winfield, Iowa….”
This page should be titled Regent Theatre, with the aka Winfield Grand Opera House. There is already another Cinema Treasures page for the Winfield Cinema, under its earlier name of Fox Theatre. It has the correct address. The address on this page is for the Regent Theatre, aka Winfield Grand Opera House (as listed in Julius Cahn’s Theatrical Guide), but several of the comments after the first five about the Fox/Winfield Cinema.
Here is a page with several photos of the Regent Theatre (click on the thumbnails) including a number of interior shots. The Opera House was opened in 1887, and was designed in the Romanesque Revival style by local architect Willis A. Ritchie.
Here is a large web page about Willis Ritchie, with contemporary news articles about his projects an numerous photos of various buildings he designed.
The Fox was last operated as the Winfield Cinema I $ II, as seen in this 1985 photo. The Cinema Treasures page for the Regent Theatre, aka Winfield Opera House, is currently mistakenly listed as the Winfield Cinema.
Boxoffice included the Fox in Winfield on its list of theaters opened in 1950. I’m not sure if a theater had previously operated in this building under another name, or if the structure was new or was converted from some other use.
There’s a good December, 2009, photo of the Grand’s auditorium in this weblog post by photographer Christopher Elston. There are also a couple of night shots showing the marquee.
The official web site link above is dead, and the theater no longer appears in the listings of B&B Theatres. Its address is now listed as the location of the Callaway Arts Council. I can’t find a web site for the council, but this page of a local web site lists it, and says that the council’s goal is to preserve the theater as a performing arts center, and that they have already presented a few events there.
I can’t find any listings of upcoming events, though, so the theater must be only intermittently active for now. The house is being referred to as the “Historic Fulton Theater” (with the “er” spelling) on a number of web sites. That’s going to be a bit confusing for Internet searchers, as the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is often referred to on the web as the Historic Fulton Theatre.
I don’t know why this didn’t dawn on me before, but the source for the name “Uanero” in my previous post (cards in the L.A. library’s California Index, citing issues of Motion Picture Herald) probably contained a typographical error, and it was Frank Panero who took over the West Theatre in 1939. D'Oh! So obvious!
Trade Journal The Moving Picture World of August 7, 1915, said that Frank Panero was opening the Delano Theatre at Delano, California. The Delano Theatre was also mentioned in a journal called News Notes of California Libraries, in April, 1917, when it hosted an event to raise funds for a site for a library in Delano.
Now I don’t know if the current Delano Theatre is in this 1915 building, or if the house later moved to the 1924 building mentioned in the second paragraph of my previous comment. The link to the picture in Boxoffice is no longer available on the Internet, but if memory serves, the building in that photo was of a style that was being built in the 1910s as well as the 1920s.
Andrew Craig Morrison’s book “Theaters” identifies Louis A. Sheinart as the architect of the Costello Theatre.
When the Ames Theatre was almost completely rebuilt in 1928, the architects for the project were Vorse, Kraetsch and Kraetsch of Des Moines. This, and much additional information, can be found on the web page to which ken mc linked in the comment immediately above.
The lead architect of the firm’s theater projects was Norman T. Vorse, who had designed theaters prior to merging his practice with that of the Kraetsch Brothers in 1919.
This web page about Des Moines architect Norman T. Vorse says that he designed the Garden Theatre, among others. As the Garden was in operation before 1919, when Vorse merged his practice with that of the Kraetsch Brothers, this was one of his solo projects.
The principal architect of the Capitol Theatre was Norman T. Vorse, of the firm of Vorse, Kraetsch and Kraetsch. After the construction of the Capitol, the firm’s offices were moved into the 12th floor of the office building that was part of the project.
Here is a web page with a biography of Norman T. Vorse.
Andrew Craig Morrison’s book “Theaters” identifies the Des Moines architectural firm Vorse, Kraetsch & Kraetsch as the designers of the Rivola Theatre. Norman T. Vorse was the lead architect on the project. The building which was remodeled to accommodate the new theater was built in 1874 for J.H. Green and Company, purveyors of agricultural implements. The Rivola Theatre opened on April 21, 1921.
Edmonton writer Lawrence Herzog says in the final paragraph of this post that the Rialto Theatre was demolished in 1987. I’ve been unable to find the opening year for the house, but a capsule review of a book titled “The Rule, Wynn and Rule Architectural Drawings” says that the firm designed the Rialto. Rule, Wynn, Rule also did a remodeling of the Roxy Theatre in Edmonton in 1955, and were the original architects of the Varscona Theatre (not yet listed) in the Old Strathcona district of the city.
This page from the Alberta Online Encyclopedia mentions the Odeon Theatre and gives its address as 2101 33 Avenue SW. I’ve been unable to pin down the period of the name change (or even the original source of the name change) from Marda to Odeon, so I’m not sure if this was the same Odeon Theatre that hosted Calgary’s road show run of “The Sound of Music” which is listed at 03.31.1965 on this Cinema Treasures news post.
The link to the University of Calgary’s page about Donald B. Smith’s book in my first comment above is dead, but perhaps the Google Books preview of Calgary’s Grand Story will last longer.
Theatre Junction has been operating in this building for four years now. A few bits of the original plaster surviving in what appears to be the original theater entrance hall can be seen in this video from the Calgary Herald, dated July 26, 2009. I don’t know if this part of the building has been restored since then.
Two references to this theater is Boxoffice Magazine items still available on the Internet both call it the Fox East Hills Theatre.
Also, it’s called the Fox East Hills in this news item from some web site called Cinema Treasures (I don’t know how reliable it is.) It says that the house began a 13 week reserved seat engagement of “The Sound of Music” on March 30, 1966. Apparently this was the Fox Intermountain circuit’s roadshow house in St. Joseph during this period. That means it was probably equipped for 70mm.
J. Neel Reid’s name is currently misspelled as Neil in the architect field above.
According to an August 5, 2010, article in the Ypsilanti Courier, the Wuerth Theatre closed in 1959, and the auditorium was subsequently demolished to make room for a parking lot. The surviving street-front commercial building dates from 1896. The theater, originally the Ypsilanti Opera House, was built that year to replace an earlier opera house on the same site which had been utterly destroyed by a tornado in 1893.
This theater was apparently known as the Forum only briefly. The April 2, 1918, issue of the Michigan Film Review ran an item saying that Mr. A.W. Rennie was now operating the Ypsilanti Opera House as a full-time movie theater. The January 15 issue of the same publication had said that the Opera House was showing movies two or three nights a week, and presenting stage productions the rest of the time. Then the April 9, 1918, issue of the Review mentioned Mr. Rennie as manager of the Forum Theatre in Ypsilanti. I haven’t found the name Forum used prior to that date, nor the name Opera House used after that date.
The East Auditorium, with 700 seats, is on a list of Toledo movie theaters published in 1919.
Here is a photo of the East Auditorium from the 1930s.