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In the 1916 Grand Rapids Directory there is a house simply called Beecher’s Theatre listed at this address.
The Alcazar Theatre is listed at 642 Bridge Street in the 1916 edition of Polk’s Grand Rapids City Directory.
This house would not have opened in 1914 as RKO Keith’s, as the name RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum) wouldn’t come into existence until 1928. A 1915 photo published in “Grand Rapids in Vintage Postcards” shows the name Empress on the theater’s vertical sign, so that was surely its opening name.
It was still listed as the Empress Theatre in the 1922 Grand Rapids City Directory, and a biography of Harry Houdini lists the Empress in Grand Rapids as one of the venues he played in 1926.
The 1922 Grand Rapids City Directory lists a theater called the Superba at 314 Monroe Avenue.
The 1922 Grand Rapids City Directory lists the theater at 240 Monroe Avenue as the Iris Theatre, rather than the Isis. I don’t know if that was a typo or not. I’ve been unable to find any other references to either an Isis or an Iris Theatre in Grand Rapids.
The Norval Theatre was designed by architect Ernest Huberty. A notice of the plans was published in The American Architect January, 1919.
Prior to being the Kent Theatre, the house at 322 Monroe Avenue was called the Orpheum. It was listed under that name in the 1922 Grand Rapids City Directory.
The Fulton Theatre was listed at this address in the 1922 Grand Rapids City Directory.
Brown’s Stocking Avenue Theatre is listed at this address in the 1922 Grand Rapids City Directory.
The 1922 Grand Rapids City Directory lists Beecher’s Division Theatre at this address.
Broan: The Grand Theatre you found mentioned in 1912 might have been the unnamed house that was under construction in 1910 at 3512-14-18 Archer, according to an item in The American Contractor of July 3, 1910. It was designed by architect George O. Garnsey. 3514 Archer now houses an auto and truck garage called Mike’s Services, but it is clearly an old building. The top of a stage house is visible in Google Street View. This theater is not yet listed at Cinema Treasures.
The Burland Theatre apparently did not open as a Loew’s house. An article in The New York Times of November 16, 1914, said that David V. Picker had taken a lease on the Burland even before it was built, and had taken over direct operation of the house in June, 1914. The article said that he had lately sold a half interest in the Burland and his other house, the Eighth Avenue Theatre, to H. Whitman Bennett, and that the partners intended to open additional theaters on Broadway, in Brooklyn, and in nearby cities.
Also, the Archer has not been demolished. The front has been remodeled, but you can still see the brick side and rear walls of the theater in Google Street View along the block of Damen north of 35th. There is a stage house, so it probably hosted vaudeville as well as movies in its early years.
Google Maps has put this Henry Newhouse-designed theater in the wrong neighborhood. The actual location of 2010 W. 35th Street is between Damen and Archer Avenues, about two and a half miles mile west of where Google has placed its pin icon.
The Archer Theatre was under construction when this notice was published in the September 3, 1910, issue of The American Contractor: “Theater & 2-Store Building (class 4. 1100 seating cap.): 1 sty. 75x125. $40,000. W. 35th st. & Archer av. Architect Henry L. Newhouse, 4630 Prairie av. Owner Archer Amusement Association, care architect. Plastering let to Chas. Seaberg, 1302 Addison st. Up to second story.”
Surprisingly, this diminutive movie house was designed by a well-known theater architect. Here is the notice about it published in the August 27, 1910, issue of The American contractor: “Theatre (seating 299): Known as Lyric Theatre. 1 sty. 24x100. 1217 Milwaukee av. Architect Henry L. Newhouse, 4630 Prairie av. Owner E. Alberti, care architect. Architect taking figures. Brick & plaster, gravel roof, plaster cornice, struct. iron, Georgia pine & cement floors, marble, mosaic, gas & electric fixtures, nickel plumbing.”
The November 15, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World had a short article about the Riverview Theatre. Judging from the description the magazine gave, the auditorium must have been rather tunnel-like, being 219 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 35 feet high. The projection booth extended above the rear part of the seating, with a throw of 150 feet to the 14x18-foot screen.
The November 15, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World gave the opening date of the Heights Theatre as October 11. The house was fitted with a Hope-Jones unit orchestra.
The November 15, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the Burland Theatre had opened on November 1. In addition to the 2000-seat indoor theater, the project included an adjacent 3000-seat airdome for use during hot weather. The projection booth was situated so that the projectors could be turned around to face the screen of either theater. The house featured films made by Famous Players, All Star, and Kinemacolor.
The Burland had a seven-piece orchestra, but the MPW item made no mention of vaudeville. In fact, it noted that the screen in the indoor auditorium was against the back wall, with a throw of 155 feet. Prices were ten and fifteen cents for evening performances, five cents for weekday matinees, and ten cents for Sunday matinees.
Here’s the notice of this theater’s plans in the January 1, 1913, issue of The American Architect:
“Baltimore.—Another moving-picture and vaudeville theater will be built at 1108 East Preston St. for the Crescent Novelty Company. It will be a 1-story structure of ornamental brick. The plans have been prepared by F. E. Beall, 213 St. Paul St.”
“Historic Signs of Savannah,” by Justin Gunther (Google Books preview,) says that the Odeon Theatre had been renamed the State by 1950, and was demolished in 1960 to make way for the First Federal Savings Bank building.
“Historic Signs of Savannah,” by Justin Gunther (Google Books preview,) says that the Roxy Theatre was demolished to make way for a Woolworth store that was opened in 1954.
“Historic Signs of Savannah,” by Justin Gunther (Google Books preview,) says that the Avon Theatre was built in 1944. A smaller theater originally called the Folly and later the Band Box was demolished to provide space for its entrance building, and its auditorium was on a lot fronting on State Street. The Avon closed in 1970, and the auditorium has been demolished, but the entrance building, now a restaurant, still sports the Avon’s semicircular marquee.
The architectural firm responsible for the Empire Theatre was Mauran, Russell & Crowell (John Lawrence Mauran, Ernest John Russell, and William DeForrest Crowell.) Quite a few Internet sources give Crowell’s surname as Crowe, but reliable period sources such as Western Architect invariably say Crowell.
A biography of architect John Lawrence Mauran indicates that this theater was designed toward the end of the period when he was a partner in Mauran, Russell & Garden (with Ernest John Russell and Edward G. Garden,) and before the successor firm of Mauran, Russell & Crowell was formed (note correct spelling of William DeForrest Crowell’s surname.) Garden left the firm in 1909, the year this theater would have been designed, and Crowell became a partner in 1911, the year after the theater opened.
The Georgia Historical Society site doesn’t specifically say that the Palace opened in 1910, only that Oliver Hardy remained in Milledgeville and worked at the Palace when his mother left town in 1910, and that the Palace was the town’s first movie theater. Unless there is some other source that provides firm 1910 opening date for the Palace, we have to consider the possibility that the theater might have been in operation for some time before Oliver Hardy became its manager.
In fact it seems very unlikely that Milledgeville would not have gotten its first movie house until 1910. It was a good-sized town by 1900, with over 4000 people, and had actually been Georgia’s capital city from 1804 until 1868.
If the Palace did open as late as 1910, it probably wasn’t Milledgeville’s first movie theater. The September 19, 1908, issue of The Moving Picture World had this item: “Milledgeville, Ga.—F. W. Butts has leased a store in the Elks Building and will install a moving picture show.”
Perhaps Mr. Butts' project never got off the ground, or perhaps his theater’s existence was very brief and has been forgotten by local historians. I’ve been unable to find any other information about the Elks Building except for a Wikipedia article about the Twin Lakes Library System, which says that Milledgeville’s first library opened in the vacant Elks Building in 1938, but it indicates that the building was located on Hancock Street, so Mr. Butts' 1908 project must not have been the Palace Theatre.