Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Jun 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Mr. J. M. Blanchard was mentioned as the operator of the People’s Theatre in a couple of 1913 issues of The Moving Picture World. In the November 1 issue, he was cited as being displeased that a cinematic version of “Quo Vadis?” was not being made available to movie theaters. The producers were attempting to attract an audience that didn’t usually attend movies, and they advertised that their production had never been shown in a movie house, but only in regular theaters.

The regular theater that showed the movie in Sunbury was probably the Chestnut Street Opera House, the only such theater listed at Sunbury in Julius Cahn’s guides during the period. Despite its name, the opera house played vaudeville for much of its history, and might have shown movies as part of the programs. If so, it should be added to Cinema Treasures.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Campus Theater on Jun 21, 2011 at 4:52 am

It looks like the opening name of this house was Miller Theatre. Here’s an excerpt from a document about historic resources in Manhattan prepared for the National Register of Historic Places. It’s from a section of the document that concerns a Manhattan architect named Henry B. Winter, who was active in the first half of the 20th century:

“Designed in 1926, the Miller Theater at Moro Street and North Manhattan Avenue had an interior based on an Egyptian motif, reflecting the influence on popular culture of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922.”
So Harry B. Winter was the architect, the original style was Egyptian, the opening name was Miller Theatre, it became the Varsity Theatre by 1932, the Sosna Theatre sometime between 1935 and 1940, and the Campus Theatre probably no earlier than 1946, when Sam Sosna sold the house to the Griffith circuit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theater on Jun 21, 2011 at 4:50 am

A document about historical resources in Manhattan, prepared for the National Register of Historic Places, says that the Marshall Theatre was Manhattan’s first purpose-built movie house, and that it was originally designed by Carl Boller. This project was undertaken in 1909, a decade before the firm Boller Brothers was formed, though Robert Boller was working in his older brother’s office as a draftsman by this time.

The list of known Boller Brothers theaters says that Boller Brothers did additional work on this theater in 1929 and 1950, but doesn’t reveal the extent of these projects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Castle Theatre on Jun 21, 2011 at 4:44 am

The only mention of Mabel, Minnesota, I can find in the old trade journals is an item in The Moving Picture World for January 24, 1914: “A new moving picture show will be opened at Mabel, Minn., by Doctor Harrington, of Preston, Minn.” It might have been the Castle.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Varsity Theater on Jun 21, 2011 at 1:13 am

CinemaTour gives the address of the Varsity Theatre as 1125 Moro Street. The structure on that lot is a typical old commercial building, so the theater was probably converted from retail space when it opened in 1969. The current use of the building appears to be offices for the publishers of a university-related sports magazine called Powercat Illustrated.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Campus Theater on Jun 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm

pedropolis: The book store that occupies this building is apparently thriving, so it’s unlikely that it will become available for use as a theater. I’ve never been in the book store, so I don’t know if they leveled the floor or not, but they probably did, and if they did it’s probably solid concrete. Ripping out a concrete floor to restore a traditional sloped theater floor is very expensive, so turning it back into a theater would probably involve building a new stadium-style seating area, assuming the ceiling is high enough to accommodate one.

Chuck: I’ve found no evidence that Varney’s Book Store ever showed movies in this building. The terra cotta (or faux terra cotta) piece on the parapet reading “20 * Jon A. Levin * 00” refers to the owner of the book store, and 2000 must have been either the year he took over the store, or the year he incorporated the theater space into the book store.

The theater’s original name, Varsity Theatre, still needs to be added as an aka.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about O'Klare Theatre on Jun 19, 2011 at 6:59 am

I found a reference to the O'Klare Theatre being on North Barstow, not South Barstow, but I don’t know the exact source. It’s a Google Document reproducing page 295 of an unidentified book. The page describes a number of businesses in Eau Claire, and the paragraph about the theater says it was in “…the second building beyond the bridge….”

I think the address currently listed must also be wrong. The 1000 blocks are residential areas on the edge of town, and I don’t see any bridges near them in Google Street View. The only bridge on Barstow Street is in the center of town, and it’s the dividing line for north-south street numbers.

Did the listed address mistakenly get a superfluous 3 in it? I’m thinking the O'Klare might have been at 105 N. Barstow Street. 105 probably would have been in the second building north of the bridge, as the block would have started with 101 N. It’s also possible that the theater was at 103-105 N. Barstow, and this was written 103-5 in the source, but the hyphen got blurred out.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Jun 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Boxoffice Magazine has moved its archive from to its own web site, in a section called The Vault. The article about Harry Zimmerman is now at this link.

I’ve come across a couple of references to a movie house in Sunbury called the People’s Theatre, which was in operation by 1913. No address is available, but I’m wondering if it might have been an early aka for the Strand or the Rialto.

In the vintage photo of the Strand at Strandsunbury (the one taken when the street was flooded) the entrance building, at least, was of a style that could have dated from the early 20th century. The theater could have been built behind it at a later date, of course, and the lobby run through an existing building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jun 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Roger6: I’m not connected with Cinema Treasures except as an active long-time user familiar with its workings, and I’ve been able to puzzle out some of the features of the new site.

The attribution on this page only means that the theater was added to the database by P Shaw. Your photo attribution is on a different page. Click on the “Photos” link above the picture, or on the photo itself, then click on the thumbnail on the page the link fetches, and that will take you to the page where the photo and the comments you uploaded are displayed (the link to your Flickr page isn’t working, though. I don’t think they’ve worked out all the bugs yet.)

To the right of that photo on its own page it does say that it was uploaded by Roger6. There’s also a box below the photo where viewers can leave comments on the photo itself. Your user name to the right of the photo on that page is also a link, and it will take you to a page where thumbnails of all the photos you upload will be on display.

If you need more detailed information, you’ll have to contact the site’s moderators. The contact email addresses are on a page linked from the “About” page, which in turn is linked in the banner at the top of every page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lasky Theatre on Jun 18, 2011 at 6:54 am

Also, this theater was demolished in 2009. Photos here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lasky Theatre on Jun 18, 2011 at 6:39 am

mortalman: Most likely the building and the business were under separate ownership. Such arrangements are not rare. The Laskys owned the building, and the Krim brothers must have owned and operated the theater business for at lest part of its history, leasing the theater portion of the building from the Laskys.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tyler Theater on Jun 18, 2011 at 2:51 am

Don: It’s pretty easy to embed links now, using markdown code. Put the text that will become the link between square brackets [thus], then copy and paste the url between parentheses (thus). You can leave spaces between words in the text as usual, but leave no other spaces. Below, I’ve put Tyler Theatre between square brackets and put the photo’s url at Flickr between parentheses. That’s all there is to it:

A view of the Tyler Theatre

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Western Theatre on Jun 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm

The Western Theatre is first listed in the Los Angeles City Directory in 1927, so that’s most likely the year it opened, unless it opened very late in 1926.

I probably updated Street View a little bit too far south. The theater was most likely just north of the park, where the parking lot is now. The park itself has been built in recent decades, as it doesn’t appear on any of the maps I own, the most recent of which dates from the 1960s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Home Theater on Jun 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm

The Home Theatre is listed at 3945 S. Western in the 1923 Los Angeles City Directory. In the 1926 directory, it’s at 3943 S. Western. No theater is listed for this side of this block of Western Avenue in the 1927 directory, but the new Western Theatre across the street is listed.

I’m sure the Home Theatre was in the building still standing at 3943-3945 S. Western Avenue. As the structure was built in 1914 and the Gay Theatre was listed at 3945 S. Western in 1915, the theater was probably the first occupant. The name was changed to Home Theatre by 1923, and it probably closed in 1926 or early 1927.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jun 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Apparently my number guess was a bit off. A timeline for the Towle Theatre that I stumbled on gives the address of the Orpheum (apparently from a 1926 directory) as 156 State Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about DeLuxe Theater on Jun 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm

This web page has three early photos of the Towle Opera House. From the exterior photo it can be seen that it occupied the lot now containing the Towle Theatre and the lot next door with the building currently housing the Hammond Innovation Center.

This page has a later photo, when the Opera House had become the DeLuxe Theatre, and the commercial space in front of it was occupied by Woolworth’s.

The Towle Opera House opened in 1903, and was called the Hammond Theatre in 1911, but had become the De Lux Theatre by 1912. The spelling was later changed to DeLuxe. I’ve been unable to discover if the building housing the modern Towle Theatre is the one built on the site in 1929-1930, or is of more recent construction.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Calumet Theatre on Jun 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm

A 2010 newspaper article said that the City of Hammond now owns the Calumet Theatre and intends to demolish it. The building’s cornerstone gives the construction date as 1930, and names the architect as Louis C. Hess. Local resident Debbie Thill petitioned the city to preserve the cornerstone to use as a headstone for Hess’s grave.

The article is here, for the time being. There are four photos and a three-minute video of Ms. Thill talking about Louis Hess.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jun 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Old Photos (see second photo on this page) show the Orpheum across the street from a rusticated stone building with the name “Long’s Hall” painted on the side. One web site (photos about halfway down this web page) mentions a dime store in that building having the address 247 E. State Street, so the Orpheum was probably at about 244, 246, or 248 E. State.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jun 17, 2011 at 7:42 am

Correction: This 1952 newspaper article says that the Orpheum opened on Christmas Day, 1911.

Also, this web page features Hammond author Jean Shepherd’s nostalgic article about the Orpheum Theatre, “Leopold Doppler And The Orpheum Gravy Boat Riot.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jun 17, 2011 at 7:24 am

Several vintage photos of the Orpheum are displayed on this web page.

Here is a pdf file of a 2002 newsletter from the Hammond Historical Society, featuring a brief article about the Orpheum. It gives the opening year as 1912, and says that the theater was designed by a local architectural firm with the unlikely name of Bump & Berry. Prior to the installation of the Kimball organ in 1922, the Orpheum sported a $10,000 Wurlitzer Hope-Jones instrument.

The Orpheum operated for only forty years before closing. The building was demolished in 1952, according to this web page about downtown Hammond architecture.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theatre on Jun 17, 2011 at 6:59 am

This web page features several photos of the Paramount Theatre in Hammond and, for some reason, one photo of the Oakland, California, Paramount.

A legal case in the late 1980s revealed that the 99-year lease on the land the Paramount Theatre occupied began in 1929, so construction of the theater most likely also began that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Parthenon Theatre on Jun 17, 2011 at 6:32 am

Several vintage photos of the Parthenon Theatre can be seen on this web page. The text on the page is mostly quoted from Cinema Treasures, so there’s no new information available.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jun 17, 2011 at 6:15 am

This web page has several photos of the State Theatre both before and after the bombing. Most of the text is quoted from Cinema Treasures and thus offers no new information, but there are scans of a couple of newspaper items about the bombing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 15, 2011 at 6:58 am

The September 16, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the new Capitol Theatre in Macon was scheduled to open on October 2. They missed the deadline, though, as the theater’s official web site says that it opened on November 10. Here’s the complete item from MPW:

“Macon, Ga.—R. H. DeBruler, formerly of Atlanta, will be manager of the Capitol, the new moving picture house at Macon, Ga., which is under construction, and will throw its doors open to the public on October 2.

“The house is owned by Troup Howard, R. C. Hazelhurst and Brown Wimberly, of Macon. When completed it will have cost about $60,000. It will seat 1,000 people and will have main floor and a balcony, and boxes on the side, with an orchestra of five. Only first run pictures will be shown.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dreamland Theatre on Jun 15, 2011 at 6:18 am

Thanks for fixing my mistake in updating Street View. So far, this is the only one I’ve updated to the wrong location, but it was still a dumb move.

I found a second mention of the Superba Theatre in The Moving Picture World, this from the issue of September 19, 1908:

“Augusta, Ga.-The Superba, which has been closed all Summer, will reopen on October 1st and the Airdome will close. Mr. Bandy is satisfied with the conditions and prospects.”
I’ve found a couple of references to Frank and Hubert Bandy, as operators of the Liberty Theatre in Savannah and the Lyric Theatre in Macon. Presumably the Mr. Bandy operating the Superba was one or the other of them.