Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Frederic Theatre on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:13 am

Boxoffice of October 2, 1937, reported that the new Frederic Theatre had recently opened. It replaced a theater of the same name that had been destroyed by fire in March. The operator of the Frederic, Ralph “Clint” Norine, continued to operate the theater into the 1970s. His death was reported in Boxoffice of February 19, 1979. The death notice didn’t say that the theater had closed. It had still been open when mentioned in Boxoffice of April 17, 1972. It isn’t mentioned after 1979.

A second theater at Frederic, the Milltown, was opened in 1947, but soon closed. Boxoffice of October 16, 1954, reported that the Milltown Theatre building had been sold and would be converted to other uses. The theater had been dismantled some time before, according to a Boxoffice item of September 11, 1954.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sunrise Theater on Jun 26, 2010 at 4:32 am

Boxoffice of September 27, 1941, said the new Sunrise Theatre at Southern Pines had been opened the previous week. This item says the first operator of the house was W. P. Benner, who had theaters at Carthage and Hemp. Everett and Stewart are first mentioned in connection with the Sunrise in Boxoffice of December 2, 1944, in an item saying they would take over the house on Decmeber 3.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Carolina Theatre on Jun 26, 2010 at 4:16 am

The Carolina Theatre was long operated by Charles Picquet. A March 10, 1956 Boxoffice item about his 72nd birthday said that he had gone “…to Pinehurst to operate a theatre there and at Southern Pines in the early twenties.” He had become head of the Theatre Owners of North and South Carolina as early as 1923, so there must have been a theater in operation at Southern Pines by that year.

The article doesn’t mention names for the theaters he was operating in the early 1920s, but the Pinehurst and Southern Pines houses he ran in later years were both called the Carolina Theatre. Cinema Treasures doesn’t currently list any theaters at Pinehurst.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Country Squire Theatre on Jun 26, 2010 at 4:10 am

This theater was originally called simply the Squire Theatre, though a facade sign read “Shellmel’s Squire Theatre.” Boxoffice of October 11, 1965, said the Squire was scheduled to open on October 13. It was Fresno’s first new theater in 20 years, Boxoffice said. They must have meant indoor theater. I’m pretty sure drive-ins had been built in Fresno during that period.

By 1968 it had been renamed the Country Squire Theatre, and was being operated by Trans-Beacon Theatres, according to Boxoffice of February 19. Simon Korenbrot was noted as owner and builder of the theater in the 1965 item, and in the 1968 item William Korenbrot was mentioned as head of Trans-Beacon.

A photo of the Squire was featured as the frontispiece of the Modern Theatre section of Boxoffice, December 13, 1965.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about AMC Merritt Square 6 Theatres on Jun 26, 2010 at 3:59 am

An 868-seat single-screen house called the Merritt Theatre was in operation at Merritt Island by late 1965. Here’s an article about it in Boxoffice of December 13 that year. There are two photos, but both are interior shots. Does anybody from the area remember this theater, or know how long it survived? I can’t find it mentioned in Boxoffice after 1967. I’m just wondering if this building might have been incorporated into the AMC project.

The earliest mention I can find of an AMC multiplex at Merritt Island is in Boxoffice of October 19, 1970, which mentioned the project briefly, though a September 15, 1969, item had said that a six-screen “American Royal Cinema complex” was being developed by the Alpert Investment Corp. of Jacksonville at the Merritt Island Shopping Center. The recent opening of the AMC six-plex was announced in Boxoffice of November 16, 1970.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hilan Theatre on Jun 24, 2010 at 5:04 am

A December 4, 1937, Boxoffice magazine obituary of Atlanta showman Louis Bach says that he built the Hilan Theatre in 1933.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about United Artists Theatre on Jun 24, 2010 at 3:31 am

Fox West Coast gave up the United Artists in Pasadena in 1950 as part of the consent decree. Boxoffice of February 2 that year listed twelve FWC houses in California that had gone to UA, finally severing the relationship that had existed between the two chains. The other eleven houses were: State and United Artists, Los Angeles; Capitol and California, Glendale; United Artists in Inglewood, Long Beach, and Berkeley; Long Beach in Long Beach; Mission, San Jose; Varsity, Palo Alto, and California, Richmond.

FWC was operating the Pasadena UA at least as early as 1937, according to items I’ve seen in Boxoffice, but I’m pretty sure it was a UA-operated house from 1950 until it closed. I also recall the Washington Theatre in Pasadena being a UA house in the 1960s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Uptown Theatre on Jun 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

The description currently says that this theater originally presented movies and vaudeville, but I remember the building quite well and it had no stage house. Despite its fairly lavish proscenium, I don’t think the stage was very deep, and it certainly had no fly tower. The theater was built as a movie house, and its minimal stage facilities could have accommodated only the simplest live events.

However, there is enough room at the back of the lot that a proper stage house could be added on to the building, should anyone with very deep pockets want to convert the place into a regular live theater— though in a town that was unable to save the Raymond Theatre, which already had a generous stage, I don’t know who would want to make such a commitment to the old Egyptian.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capri Theatre on Jun 23, 2010 at 3:19 am

Here is an article about the reopening of the Melba as the Capri in Boxoffice of May 9, 1960. There are two small photos. This article doesn’t give the date the house had reopened, but an April 18 Boxoffice item had said that the conversion had taken place that winter, and that as part of the project the Capri had been equipped for 70mm projection.

The Melba had ended its four-year run as a Cinerama house in 1958, when Tans-Texas Theatres renovated and reopened it as a first-run house. Boxoffice of June 8 that year said the first feature shown was William Castle’s “Macabre.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Astro Twin Theaters on Jun 23, 2010 at 1:56 am

The Astro Theatre was expected to be completed in time for a Thanksgiving Day opening in 1967, according to Boxoffice of August 28 that year. The 700-seat, single-screen theater would feature D-150 projection, and was being erected at a cost of $350,000. The architect of the Astro Theatre was Joe W. Hiller.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Theatres - Movies 9 on Jun 23, 2010 at 1:52 am

Ground was broken for the Cargill Theatre on August 7, 1967, according to an article in Boxoffice of August 28. Developer Robert Cargill had arranged to lease the theater to Jefferson Amusement company’s subsidiary, East Texas Theatres. (Though opened by East Texas Theatres in May, 1968, by 1969 it was being operated by Gulf States Theatres.)

The single-screen house would seat 1,368, (a 1968 Boxoffice item gives the capacity as 1,260) all on one level. The Cargill would have the largest screen in East Texas, 92 feet wide and 32 feet 6 inches high, and would be equipped with 70mm projection.

The theater was designed by the Longview architectural firm Allen & Quinn, with Leon C. Kyburz as consulting architect.

Boxoffice of February 25, 1974, said that the Cargill Theatre was being converted into a triplex. There would be a central auditorium seating 450, and a 300-seat auditorium on each side.

All Gulf States Theatres operations in Texas were taken over by Martin Theatre of Texas on December 21, 1975, according to an item in Boxoffice of January 19, 1976. I found the Cargill mentioned once more in Boxoffice, later in 1976, and after that, nothing. Is it possible that Martin changed the name of the theater? If they did, I’ve been unable to discover what it became, or what became of it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Forum Theatre on Jun 23, 2010 at 1:47 am

The Binghamton Theatre was renamed the Capri Theatre in 1960. Boxoffice of June 20 reported that Comerford Theatres had held an invitational premier on June 8, and the remodeled house had opened to the public the following night. The renovation had included reseating the auditorium, reducing its capacity from about 1,800 to about 1,200.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ramsey Cinema on Jun 23, 2010 at 1:44 am

An item in Boxoffice of June 20, 1960, announced the reopening of this theater which had been closed for eight years. The item calls it the East Main Street Theatre, but I think the writer must have mistaken the location for the name. The house had been closed by the Board of health in 1952 following a series of fires. It was updated with new wiring, wide screen, and rebuilt seats by the new operator, Bertil J. Carlson.

Boxoffice gave the seating capacity in 1960 as 296, so I’m wondering how they’ve managed to not only twin it but increase seating to 380. From the photos it’s apparent that the building has not been expanded. Did they add an auditorium in the basement?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oriental Theater on Jun 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I thought the story vaguely sounded familiar as I was writing my previous comment, so I double checked and, sure enough, this theater is already listed at Cinema Treasures under its final name, the Mexico, and I’d already posted lots of information about it on that page last year.

Thanks for the tipoff with the aka’s, Bob. I probably wouldn’t have realized the duplication existed if I hadn’t seen them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oriental Theater on Jun 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm

The Coronet was set to open on December 28, said Boxoffice of December 18, 1948. Alfred Sack, new operator of the remodeled theater, intended to show foreign language and art films with a top admission of sixty cents. The item didn’t say if the Coronet had been renamed, only that it had been remodeled.

A December 24, 1953, Boxoffice item said that Sack had opened the Coronet “…in an abandoned and four-times closed small and unsuccessful neighborhood film house.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lucas Theatre on Jun 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm

This house was the Encore after it was the Lucas. The earliest mention of the Lucas I’ve found in Boxoffice is in the classified section of the issue of August 17, 1946. The ad was placed by someone whose name appears to be Rey Lampkin (the scan is very blurry) who said that he had just sold the Lucas Theatre in Dallas and was looking to buy another theater, preferably in north Texas.

L. R. Robertson was apparently the buyer of the Lucas, as either L. R. Robertson or Mrs. L. R. Robertson are mentioned as operators of the Lucas in Boxoffice items in 1947 and 1948.

Then in 1949, the October 1 issue of Boxoffice reported that the Lucas Theatre had been sold to Alfred and Lester Sack. The October 22 issue said that the Lucas Theatre would close for remodeling, and would reopen as the Encore in November with a revival policy.

The most interesting item about the theater appears in Boxoffice of November 26, 1949, which said that the Sack brothers' Encore Theatre had opened on Thanksgiving Day, with Mrs. Ethel Garland, Judy Garland’s mother, as manager (the former Mrs. Gumm had apparently married her daughter’s career and taken its name.)

Perhaps Mrs. Garland was not a good manager, as Boxoffice of May 13, 1950, said that G. L. and J. W. Griffin had bought the Encore Theatre from Alfred Sack. I’ve been unable to trace the history of the theater beyond that. Perhaps the name was changed again and that’s why I can’t find any more mentions of it in Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Apollo Theatre on Jun 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Though not identified as the Kansas City Apollo, a few small photos of this house appeared in an ad for Viragon germicidal equipment that was published in Boxoffice of August 17, 1946. There is a photo of the facade before its modern remodeling, and a rare interior photo showing a section of seating in the balcony. Viragon was a Kansas City based company.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinéma Gaumont Opéra on Jun 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm

An interesting article in Boxoffice of August 17, 1946, recounts some of the story of the Paramount Theatre during the occupation of Paris by the Nazis. The scan is a bit blurry, but after clicking on the magazine image to enlarge it, you can click on the + sign in the bar that appears above it to enlarge further and most of the text will be fairly readable.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jayhawk Theater on Jun 21, 2010 at 4:00 am

A biographical item about retiring Fox Midwest manager Larry Breuninger in Boxoffice of March 31, 1956, said that the circuit had bought the Jayhawk Theatre at Salina from him in early 1932.

Breuninger’s career had outlasted the theater’s. Boxoffice of January 15, 1955, said that the Jayhawk was being dismantled. The building was to be converted for business use.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Vogue Theatre on Jun 21, 2010 at 3:47 am

Boxoffice of October 15, 1938, reported that the Vogue Theatre at Salina had opened the previous Thursday. The magazine’s October 22 issue reported some details of the event, and revealed that architect Larry P. Larson had designed the Vogue.

The Vogue’s original owner, Gus Diamond, sold the house to Lon Cox in 1949. Boxoffice of July 23 said that Cox would take over operation of the Vouge and of the Howard Theatre at Arkansas City, which he had also bought from Diamond, on August 1. Diamond would move to Los Angeles where he would devote his time to his interests in the Pacific Drive-In Theatres circuit.

Cox operated the Vogue until 1962 when he sold the house to the Dickinson circuit, reported in Boxoffice of June 25. The house operated at least into the mid-1970s, and was mentioned several times by Boxoffice in 1975.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Jun 21, 2010 at 3:34 am

Boxoffice of October 23, 1937, said that the Fox Strand Theatre at Salina was being extensively remodeled and expanded. The January 15, 1938, issue said that Fox Midwest would open the Strand within 30 days. The project had cost $35,000, and the expanded theater would seat 750. The original seating capacity was not mentioned.

A house called Shanberg’s Strand Theatre, Salina, Kas., was listed as one of the theaters showing the Pathe release “Play Ball” in an ad in The Reel Journal of August 8, 1925. This was most likely the same Strand Theatre that Fox Midwest later acquired.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sunset Cinemas on Jun 21, 2010 at 3:26 am

The franchisees of The Movies! at Salina were Don and Carol Porter, according to an item in Boxoffice of July 12, 1971. The company selling the franchises was called American Automated Theatres Inc., and was headed by J. Cooper Burks and Athel Boyter.

Boxoffice of August 19, 1974, said that The Movies twin in Salina had been bought by Dickinson Theatres and would be renamed the Sunset Cinemas. Dickinson’s Mid-State Cinemas 1 & 2 had opened the previous year.

Boxoffice of February 15, 1971, ran this article about AATI. There are a few drawings of their prototype theaters, and a couple of photos of the first The Movies! at Altus, Oklahoma.

As does Okie Medley in a comment above, This page at Cinematour (with photos by Adam Martin) gives the theater’s address as 1221 W. Crawford St., Salina KS 67401.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theater on Jun 21, 2010 at 3:09 am

The Grand was a very early theater. A March 3, 1945, Boxoffice article about the retirement of long-time showman Hort Ulrich says that he had worked at the Grand in Salina sometime between WWI and 1922.

The Grand was mentioned in The Reel Journal of June 6, 1925, when it was running “Charly’s Aunt” with Sydney Chaplin, and in Motion Picture Times of July 7, 1928, when it was showing an MGM release, “The Patsy” with Marion Davies.

The Reel Journal of October 2, 1926, listed the Grand as one of the theaters operated by M. B. Shamberg’s Midland Theatres circuit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts on Jun 21, 2010 at 3:04 am

According to the item about the theater’s 40th anniversary that was run in Boxoffice of August 30, 1971, the exact opening date of the Fox was February 23, 1931.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jayhawk State Theatre of Kansas on Jun 21, 2010 at 3:00 am

There is an article about the Jayhawk in the September 4, 1926, issue of The Reel Journal.