Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gaiety Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 9:00 am

cmayerrro: I’m afraid I can’t provide you with any additional information about Wolfe’s 1913 movie. About 80% of all movies made in the United States during the silent era are lost, and the odds that a copy (even a partial one) of From Dusk to Dawn survives are pretty slim. It’s possible that reviews survive in publications of the period, and one or another of them might give you a clue to the story’s origin, but I’ve been unable to find any.

There’s a very slight chance that a copy of the movie survived among the cache of American silent films recently revealed to exist in Russia. There are 194 films, according to this article, and copies of them are being sent to the Library of Congress. I’ve been unable to find a list of the titles of these movies. Given the vast number of movies that have been lost, and the mere handful that were discovered in Russia, though, the chance that a copy of From Dusk to Dawn is in this cache of survivors is slight. Still, the movie’s Socialist theme makes it likely that prints of it would have made their way to Russia during the early Soviet period.

If andita is still watching this thread, Google Books has a preview of the David James book cmayerro mentioned, The Most Typical Avant-Garde, and I noticed that it says the movie premiered at the Mozart Theatre on Sunday, October 19, 1913, and played there for one week before moving to the Lyceum Theatre. The Mozart was on Grand Avenue, and the Lyceum on Spring Street.

If From Dusk to Dawn later played a house on Fifth Street, I’ve unearthed another possible venue at which it might have been shown. I only recently discovered that, in 1908, a good-sized movie house called the Globe Theatre was built at the southeast corner of Fifth and Los Angeles streets. It was operating at least as late as 1914, but was closed sometime before 1921. Given its early closing date, as well as its out-of-the-way location, it’s not surprising that its existence eluded our discovery for so long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shirley Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 7:13 am

Les Nordean’s Tiger Theatre at Konawa, Oklahoma, was gutted by fire in May, 1954. The August 14 issue of Boxoffice reported that Nordean had spent $16,000 to restore the house, and was renaming it the Shirley Theatre after his wife.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Opera House on Mar 2, 2011 at 9:39 am

Bob, it was the Grand Opera House on Main Street that opened in 1900. It replaced the old Opera House on Roberts Street that had burned down in August that year, according to the historic plaque on this page (lower right.)

Because the original Opera House burned in 1900, it must never have operated as a regular movie theater, though it probably hosted one or two of the movie exhibitors who travelled the country during the period from 1896 into the early 20th century. For that reason it probably shouldn’t be listed at Cinema Treasures. The Grand Opera House, however, did later become a movie house, and is listed here under its later name the Electric Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Electric Theatre on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:36 am

The historical marker at lower right on this web page gives some history of the Grand Opera House in Kingfisher. It says that the original Opera House on Robberts Avenue burned in 1900, and the Grand Opera House was opened on the second floor of the Pappe Building to replace it.

The marker says that the Grand Opera House seated 800, not the 600 listed in Julius Cahn’s guide. It doesn’t mention the house showing movies or being renamed the Electric Theatre. Probably the movie operation didn’t last long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Morley Theater on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:32 am

The missing vertical sign was replaced at some time. It appears in this photo, which was probably 2007, judging from the movies on the marquee.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about 89er Theatre on Mar 2, 2011 at 7:30 am

Here is a photo of the new 89er Theatre. I don’t know if it’s in an old building that was converted into a theater, or if it’s a new building that was decorated with Victorian details.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Electric Theatre on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm

The Grand Opera House was listed in the 1904-1905 edition of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide, but had not been in the 1899-1900 edition. so it opened sometime between 1900 and 1904. The guide listed a seating capacity of 600 for this second-floor house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crown Theatre on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm

In 1939, the Crown was probably owned by Pete Crown. The March 4th issue of Boxoffice said that Pete Crown was closing his Crown Theatre in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and switching his theaters in Pampa and Borger, Texas, from first run to subsequent run operations.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elm Theatre on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

An ad for Anemostat air diffusers in Boxoffice of May 7, 1949, featured a picture of the Elm’s auditorium. The caption says the theater was designed by New York City architect E.C. Bullock.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Opera House on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm

The 1899-1900 issue of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide lists an Opera House at Kingfisher. The seating capacity was 500, the proscenium was 30 feet wide and 18 feet high, the distance from footlights to the back wall was 18 feet, and the distance between side walls was 30 feet.

The 1904-1905 edition of the guide describes a somewhat different theater called the Grand Opera House. It seated 600, and had a proscenium only 24 feet wide and 16 feet high, but the distance from footlights to back wall was 32 feet and the distance between side walls was 50 feet.

I don’t know if the Opera House of 1900 and the Grand Opera House of 1904 were entirely different theaters, or if the original theater had been expanded and altered. Both were listed as second floor houses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tejon Theatre on Feb 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Here is a 2010 interview with Tim and Karrie League, who operated the Tejon Theatre from 1994 to 1996. After leaving Bakersfield, the Leagues moved to Austin, Texas, where they found the successful Alamo Drafthouse chain of movie pubs.

The Tejon’s marquee is now in the possession of the Kern County Museum, and awaiting restoration so it can be installed in the museum’s “Neon Courtyard” according to the note at the bottom of this web page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theater on Feb 26, 2011 at 10:53 pm

I’ve been unable to find any mention of the Tilford Theatre later than the 1915 item I cited above, and the only mention of the Liberty I’ve found in the trade publications is the Boxoffice item from 1955. Local newspaper archives would probably be the best source of information about the Tilford’s change of ownership.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Odeon Theatre on Feb 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

The date of 1813 for the building of this theater has to be wrong. I suspect a typo. It was probably built in 1913. The town’s own web site says that white settlement in the area didn’t begin until 1815. A settlement called Old Hardin developed in the 1830s, but the current town wasn’t platted until 1868, and wasn’t incorporated until 1881. I can’t find a theater at Hardin listed in any edition of Julius Cahn’s guide. The town was probably too small to support a theater before the 20th century.

This web page mentions graduation ceremonies for Hardin High School being held at the Odeon Theatre in 1936, so it was still standing in that year.

According to an item in Boxoffice of May 12, 1956, a Bach-Mar Theatre at Hardin, which had been closed for about four years, was being reopened by Kenneth Bachman and J.D. Martin. Most likely this was the Odeon, renamed. As the town has always been quite small, it’s unlikely any theater other than the Odeon was ever built, unless the Odeon was either destroyed or converted to some other use before the house that became Bach-Mar was built.

A February 23, 1959, Boxoffice item mentions Glen Lentz, who “…used to operate the theatre at Hardin, Mo.” That’s the only other mention of Hardin I’ve found in Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theater on Feb 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I’ve found Murphysboro mentioned only once in Boxoffice, in the issue of November 19, 1955. The item said that John Marlow had reopened the Liberty Theatre, which had been closed since October, 1954.

The Tilford Theatre is mentioned in The Moving Picture World, issue of July 19, 1913. An advertisement in the August 17, 1915, issue of the same publication published a letter from Tilford Theatre operator W.F. Tilford to Chicago film distributor F.O. Nielsen, praising a movie called “The Spoilers” which had enjoyed great success at his house.

A Star Theatre at Murphysboro is also mentioned in various 1913 issues of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Marlow Theatre on Feb 26, 2011 at 8:39 pm

The Marlow Theatre in Herrin also opened under the name Hippodrome. A book called “Williamson County Illinois Sesquicentennial History” has a bit of information about it. The operating company was called the Grand Opera Company, and was a partnership of brothers John, George, and James Marlow with Paul Columbo.

The Hippodrome opened on November 24, 1917. It operated primarily as a live theater, but later an annex theater was built next door to it where movies were shown. By “next door” the book must mean behind, as that’s where the Annex Theatre listed at Cinema Treasures is located, facing on the next street west.

An item about the opening of the Murphysboro Hippodrome in the November 15, 1919, issue of trade journal Motion Picture News referes to John Marlow as “…president and manager of the Hippodrome Theatre at Herrin, Ill….”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Annex Theater on Feb 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

According to a book called “Williamson County Illinois Sesquicentennial History” the Annex Theatre was built behind the Hippodrome Theatre (later called the Marlow Theatre) specifically to show movies. It was operated by the same company that operated the Hippodrome/Marlow, which in its early years was a live stage house.

This photo shows the Annex “about 1912” according to the caption, but the original Hippodrome’s stage house is visible behind it, with part of the name Hippodrome visible, so the photo must date from after 1917.

The same photo gallery has additional photos of the Annex, one on the same page depicting a 1955 fire, another one on the next page showing the marquee in aside view (along with photos of two drive-ins, the Marlow and the Egyptian,) and there is also this photo of a snow-covered Park Avenue, with the Annex at left.

Boxoffice of May 12, 1956, carried an item headlined “Reopens at Herrin, Ill.” which said that the Annex had been damaged by fire the previous July.

Boxoffice of April 20, 1964, posted a brief obituary of John D. Marlow, who had died at Herrin on April 1. It said that he had operated Marlow’s Fireproof, Annex, and Drive-In theaters, all of which had been closed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Marlow's Theater on Feb 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm

This must be the theater that was the subject of an item in the trade journal Motion Picture News, issue of November 15, 1919:

“John Marlow, president and manager of the Hippodrome Theatre at Herrin, Ill., announces that their new theatre at Murphysboro, Ill., will open December 15. This theatre has a seating capacity of 1,600 and is elaborately furnished and contains a $15,000 pipe organ.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Covina Theater on Feb 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Of the various theaters I attended in the San Gabriel Valley (almost all of them fairly old houses,) the only one that I remember having had a dedicated crying room was the Garvey, my childhood neighborhood house. I got to use it once when I was about four years old and freaked out because the movie started before my older sister had gotten back to her seat after going to talk to friends. The crying room worked. I quit crying as soon as I got there, but I think my sudden calm was from the fascination of seeing a new part of the theater that I hadn’t known existed.

Another theater, the Garfield in Alhambra, had two rooms with glazed windows overlooking the auditorium, one on each side of the house. They served as foyers to the rest rooms, and I only saw the one on the men’s room side. It had no seats as the crying room at the Garvey did, but it’s possible that the one on the women’s room side had seating so it could serve as a crying room. I never asked anybody who had been in it.

Of the theaters elsewhere that I attended, I don’t recall any crying rooms, except for the pair at the Los Angeles, but by that time I was a teenager and wasn’t really looking for them. Articles in post-WWII issues of Boxoffice about new theaters frequently mentioned them, though, and from that it appears that they became a pretty common feature during that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Villa Theatre on Feb 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

There are no current listings for this theater at any of the movie web sites, and the house doesn’t appear in the Great Falls Tribune’s movie listings. It must have been closed.

Here is a fresh link to the article about the Villa Theatre in Boxoffice, March 3, 1958.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rio Theatre on Feb 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm

A Facebook user named Sarah mentions having seen “Roger Rabbit” at the Rio Theatre in 1988, so it was still open at least that late. I’ve found Myrtle Creek mentioned in Boxoffice only twice, both times in items from 1954 dealing with the Tri-City Drive-In, then operating south of the town.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rio Theater on Feb 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm

The second Rio Theatre is already listed at Cinema Treasures. I’ve found Myrtle Creek mentioned only once in Boxoffice, and only in a passing comment about a Tri-City Drive-In that was in operation south of town in 1954.

However, a book called “In Search of Western Oregon” (Google Books preview) mentions a Myrtle Theatre operating on Main Street near 2nd Street as early as 1917. Perhaps that’s the house that later became the first Rio Theatre?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Benedum Center for the Performing Arts on Feb 22, 2011 at 9:17 am

The Michel Legrand concert of February 7, 1976, mentioned by KingBiscuits in a comment above, was a benefit event, and marked the reopening of the house following a $500,000 renovation by operator Cinemette. The company planned to use the Stanley both for first run films and for live events, and already had seven concerts scheduled through spring of that year.

Boxoffice of March 1 that year said that the project included new seating, new carpeting, interior repainting and exterior cleaning, rewiring, and new lounges, as well as backstage improvements including new dressing rooms, a refurbished elevator, and reactivation of the hydraulic system that lifted the orchestra pit to become part of the stage apron. The stage featured 500 yards of new red velvet curtains. The creation of new aisles in the auditorium had reduced the seating capacity from 3,704 to 3,491.

The article gave the original opening date of the Stanley Theatre as February 27, 1928. Among other bits of information about the theater’s history was the fact that Dick Powell had served as its master of ceremonies for three years, doing four shows a day, until J.P. Harris arranged a screen test for him with Warner Brothers in 1932 and he departed for fame in Hollywood.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sky View Drive-In on Feb 22, 2011 at 8:37 am

rloeffler is correct. This drive-in was called the Sky-View, not the Sunset.

Groundbreaking for the drive-in project at 72nd and Hartman Avenue was to take place soon, according to an item in Boxoffice of May 8, 1954. Plans for the 1100-car facility had been drawn by Colorado Springs architect Deitz Lusk, Jr..

Boxoffice of August 28, 1954, said that the Sky-View Drive-In had opened the previous week. Owner-operators were Ralph Blank and William Miskell.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Exeter Street Theatre on Feb 22, 2011 at 7:36 am

Clarence Blackall was the architect for the conversion of the First Spiritualist Church into the Exeter Street Theatre in 1914, but the church itself had been built in 1884 from designs by the Boston firm Hartwell & Richardson. Henry Walker Hartwell and William Cummings Richardson (no relation to Henry Hobson Richardson) designed the church in the popular Romanesque Revival style.

Following the closure of the theater, the auditorium space was filled with two additional floors. The 1995 fire did considerable damage to the upper part of the structure, and the subsequent repairs led to additional interior alterations. I don’t know how much, if any, of Clarence Blackall’s interior work from 1914 remains, but Hartwell & Richardson’s exterior has survived remarkably well for a century and a quarter.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Feb 22, 2011 at 7:32 am

Boxoffice of November 13, 1961, had an item about the sale of the Strand Theatre at Seneca Falls. The seller was the village board, and the buyers were Oliver and Adelyne Acheson, theater operators from Syracuse. The Achesons intended to renovate the house and reopen it.

The item said the Strand had been “…built about 40 years ago by Fred Fisher and later was sold to the Schine Theatre circuit.” A later owner, Clinton Young, had sold the theater to the village.

The last mention I’ve found of the Strand in Boxoffice is from September 19, 1977, when it is mentioned in passing as one of the theaters operated by Conrad Zurich, who also operated the Hollywood Theatre in Syracuse.