Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Majestic Theatre on Jul 14, 2011 at 12:14 am

The web site Historic Evansville says that the New Majestic Theater was built in 1909 to replace an earlier Majestic Theater on the same site. The New Majestic opened in Christmas Day, 1909, and was demolished in 1974.

An item in the July 31, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the Switlow Amusement Company of Louisville, Kentucky, had bought the New Majestic Theater in Evansville. The theater had apparently been operating as a legitimate house, as Switlow intended to convert the Majestic to a movie and vaudeville combination house. The architectural firm of Joseph & Joseph had been hired to design a $20,000 remodeling.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema 70 on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Coate and orange are right. I conflated the Cinema 70 with the Cooper 70 in my earlier comment. The Cooper 70 and Ute 70 are not yet listed at Cinema Treasures.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Jul 12, 2011 at 10:08 pm

The 1952 Boxoffice Magazine page with the photo of the Esquire’s sign has been moved to this link. Here’s a shortcut to the rendering of the Melrose matt54 linked to.

The Esquire’s vertical sign is obviously not, as I had suspected it might be, a reworking of the Melrose sign. It’s much bigger, and is even in a different location on the facade than the Melrose sign was. Now that I’ve seen the Melrose as it was before the remodeling, with all its Art Deco detailing, I have to say I preferred it to the Esquire.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jul 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

The 2002 article about the Capitol Theatre published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to which I linked a few years ago, has been relocated this link. It has two photos, neither of which can be enlarged, unfortunately.

Dismal news about the Capitol appeared in this newspaper article published on January 26, 2011. The company which bought the theater from the City of New London for one dollar in 2006 not only failed to carry out the promised renovations, but has lost the building due to non-payment of taxes. The Capitol has been sold at auction to a New York City developer whose intentions are unknown.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fairyland Twin Drive-In on Jul 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm

The biographical listing of architect John C. Monroe in the 1962 AIA Directory lists the Fairyland Drive-In, Kansas City, Mo., as one of his 1961 projects.

The drive-in was associated with an adjacent amusement park, Fairyland Park, which dated back to the 1920s. Here is a 1987 photo of the drive-in’s sign and attraction board, by Flickr user Darrell James.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Cinema on Jul 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm

One of the names in the “Firms” field above is currently misspelled. Architect Donald H. Moeller’s biographical listing in the 1962 AIA Directory says that the Hollywood Theatre remodeling was a 1956 project. The senior partner in the firm was named Cedric Start.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wantagh Theatre on Jul 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

According to the biographical listing of Queens architect Leon A. Miller in the 1962 AIA Directory, he designed the Wantagh Theatre in 1960. He also designed the Glen Cove Theatre and Town Theatre in Glen Cove, NY.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Town Theatre on Jul 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

The Town and the adjacent Glen Cove were both designed by Queens architect Leon A. Miller, according to his biographical listing in the 1962 AIA Directory. The Glen Cove was the earlier project, built in 1959. The Town was built in 1961.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Glen Cove Theatre on Jul 10, 2011 at 11:57 am

The Glen Cove Theatre and Town Theatre were both designed by the same architect, Leon A. Miller. His listing in the 1962 AIA Directory mentions both theaters, saying that the Glen Cove was built in 1959 and the Town in 1961. Miller also designed the Wantagh Theatre at Wantagh, NY, a 1960 project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Warner Theatre on Jul 10, 2011 at 11:45 am

The Hippodrome was mentioned several times, though not by name, in various issues of The American Contractor in early 1910. One item in the May 14 issue, announcing the completion of the plans by the architectural firm of Muhlenberg Bros., gives the address of the proposed theater as 751-57 Penn Street. The theater was being built for a Mr. Abe Zable. The seating capacity was given as 960, so the 1925 expansion must have been fairly large.

I’ve been unable to discover the architect of the State Theatre project, but the Muhlenberg firm was still listed in the AIA directory at least as recently as 1962, so they would have been around in 1925 and could have designed the expansion as well.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trace Theater on Jul 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

The marquee is still on the building, which is at the northeast corner of Main and Carroll Street. For some reason, Internet searches for Street View-identifiable businesses on Main Street all return addresses on Market Street. The street apparently has two names. I wonder if it’s been recently changed?

In 1988 or 1989 (or perhaps both,) the Trace Theatre served as the venue for an updated version of “Romeo and Juliet” mounted by the Cornerstone Theater Company, a group from Yale University that has staged productions in small towns in many parts of the United States. I’ve found references to other live theater events in Port Gibson from the 1980s into the 1990s, but haven’t been able to determine if any of these were also held at the Trace Theatre.

For a while, the Trace Theatre was also the site of a night club called Westside. The club’s neon sign, between the entrance doors, can be seen lit up in this photo at Flickr, uploaded November 9, 2010, though I doubt it was taken that day.

Port Gibson has a community theater group, but their venue is called the Blue Barn Theatre, and I don’t think it’s the same building as the Trace Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Carbon Theatre on Jul 10, 2011 at 1:47 am

The NRHP Nomination Form for the Star/Carbon Theatre building is available here in the pdf format, and here in Google Documents quick view form.

The Star Theatre was built in 1923-24 by the Georgedes brothers, and was designed in the Classical Revival style by Salt Lake City architect J. A. Headlund. The theater was leased to a series of operators, In 1964, members of the Georgedes family sold the building to Duane and LaVerne Steele, who converted the theater into retail space.

Wikipedia has this modern photo showing the building’s remarkably well-preserved front.

This web page has a very small interior photo of the Star Theatre’s auditorium, published in the local high school’s yearbook in 1924 (it’s the ninth photo down in the left column.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about RKO Proctor's Theatre on Jul 8, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Google Maps has trouble with this address. Even when I tried it at Google Maps' own web site, they set the pin to a location on 6th Avenue. They will set the pin icon at the corner of Gramatan and 1st Street for any number from 4 Gramatan to 20 Gramatan, except 6 Gramatan, which invariably goes to 6th Avenue. Unfortunately, 1st Street is a full block south of the theater.

A request for 2 Gramatan, for some reason, puts the pin at the corner of Gramatan and Fisk, immediately south of the theater, but the immediate street view is of a different corner than the one the theater is on. The closest Google gets to an immediate street view of the theater is with the address 22 Gramatan Avenue, which puts the pin at the corner of Gramatan and Prospect, just north of the theater building, with the street view looking southwest.

I think I’ve puzzled out how the Cinema Treasures-Google Maps interface works. On several pages which have had erroneous theater addresses corrected, Google Maps continues to fetch the uncorrected location and put its pin there. That means that the code which displays the address on the page must be distinct from the code that sends the request to Google Maps.

If this is so, it’s a good thing, as Google Maps frequently mis-locates the pins on its maps. If the address Google is requested to fetch is not visible to page viewers, and displaying the correct address on the page does not affect the Google Maps request, then most pages can be fixed so that we get both the correct address displayed and a correct pin location on the map. About the only exceptions would be where the street a lost theater was on no longer exists, or in places such as shopping centers where Google uses one address for a huge complex, and the theater is actually some distance from the location the pin icon will appear.

The problem so far has been that, even when erroneous addresses displayed on the page have been corrected, the bits of code that make the request to Google Maps apparently have not. Plus there are theaters such as this one, where even when Cinema Treasures is probably requesting the correct address, Google gets confused and pins the wrong location. Even if these problems affect only two or three percent of the site’s pages, fixing them is going to take a lot of tedious editing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rudalt Theater on Jul 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Ludington Street has a lot of handsome old buildings. It’s too bad the Rudalt Theatre is no longer among them.

The City of Columbus web site gives the address of the Police Department as 159 S. Ludington Street. The theater’s entrance was closer to the corner, so it might have been at 161 S. Ludington. The style of the Public Safety Building is late Midcentury Modern, with no hint of ‘80s postmodernism about it. I’d guess it was most likely built in the 1960s or 1970s, so the theater was probably demolished during one of those decades.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Jul 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I’ve been able to move some street views up to a mile or so (unfortunately, these moves always leave the pin icon on the map in the old location.) But I’ve noticed that there are places where Google’s street view camera just didn’t go, and some places where there is a disconnection from one block to another. A couple of times I’ve been able to “take an alternate route” around a disconnection, getting access to a particular block from the opposite direction.

These situations are especially common in small towns, where the camera truck didn’t travel every street, and in old cities with very irregular street layouts. If the views you’ve been trying to move have been in such locations, that might be the problem. I’ve had to update several small town theaters with views from an intersection down the street, simply because Google’s camera truck didn’t cover the block the theater is on. It’s usually not a very good view, but it’s better than none at all.

I think Ken must have adjusted and reset the view for the Liberty early this morning. It was farther away last night.

If you move the street view down Charlotte Street, just past the brick apartment house, you can see the side wall of the Liberty’s auditorium with the large plants growing from the roof. If I lived in that house next door, I’d be reluctant to use my side yard for fear that a big chunk of the wall of the theater would collapse onto it. I’m surprised that the local authorities haven’t condemned the auditorium and ordered its demolition.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Franklin Park Theatre on Jul 6, 2011 at 9:29 am

This theater is currently classified as Gothic Revival in style, but the round arch, dentilated cornice, fanlights in the doors and all are Classical elements. Was the interior Gothic? Funk & Wilcox usually favored the Adamesque or Italian Renaissance styles for theater interiors during this period.

The Franklin Park’s facade is very similar to that of the Strand Theatre in Columbia Street, which was also designed by Funk & Wilcox, and has the same sort of “triumphal arch” entrance. In fact, of the five Funk & Wilcox houses for which Cinema Treasures has either photos or street views available, all have designs firmly rooted in Classicism.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Jul 6, 2011 at 9:24 am

A 1979 booklet called “Living in Dorchester” (available at this link from cites architectural historian Douglass Shand Tucci as saying that Funk & Wilcox’s design for the Strand Theatre featured an Adamesque interior and a Classical Revival facade.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Jul 6, 2011 at 9:02 am

I’m not sure why it’s not working for you, Ron. As long as the “Update” button hasn’t already been used, and thus removed, I’ve always been able to reset the street views to the correct location. It might be a browser issue. I’ve only ever reset views using Opera, so I don’t know whether or not there are other browsers that don’t work properly with the Update feature.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rowland Theatre on Jul 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Architect Julian Millard (not Hillard) was apparently also the designer of the Capitol Theatre at Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jul 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

The Capitol must have been the planned theater mentioned in the “Building News” section of the July 24, 1912, issue of The American Architect: “Altoona.-Architect Julian Millard is drawing plans for a theater to be erected for Gamble Bros, on the site of the property at the corner of Eleventh Ave. and Fourteenth St. Cost, $25,000.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Jul 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

The NRHP has another typo in its information, pasted in lostmemory’s comment of July 31, 2005. The names of the architects were Osterman and Siebert, not Osreman and Siebert.

That the Liberty Theatre should have a somewhat Rhinelandish look is not surprising. Architect Henry Osterman was born near Essen, Germany, in 1862, and only arrived in the United States in 1889. He was a builder before setting himself up as an architect, and was largely self-taught. He practiced on his own until 1912, when he formed his partnership with Victor Siebert, then a recent graduate of the Boston School of Technology.

Osterman probably maintained considerable contact with Germany, to which his three brothers had all returned by 1896. He most likely read German publications and kept up with the stylistic trends of the old country.

I detect in the Liberty’s unusual design strong hints of the Jugendstil, the German form of Art Nouveau which flourished in the late 19th-early 20th century. We could do worse than to classify this theater as Art Nouveau. I think Tudor Revival is certainly less appropriate. The building doesn’t really have much of the Tudor about it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Montesano Theater on Jul 5, 2011 at 1:58 am

Zoom in all the way on the photo KenLayton linked to, and it looks like there might be a ghost sign on the theater’s side wall. On the other hand, it might just be years of accumulated dirt. I can’t make out any actual letters, but either way, the building was already pretty old in 1929. From the architectural style of the facade, I’d guess that it was built no later than the early 1920s, and more likely sometime in the 1910s, and perhaps even earlier.

If the building dates from as early as 1908, it might be the 400-seat Opera House at Montesano which was included on a list of theaters published in the September 5 issue of The Billboard that year. I haven’t found a theater at Montesano listed in any editions of Julius Cahn’s Theatrical Guide, though.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alkrama Theatre on Jul 4, 2011 at 11:52 pm

You could well be right about the connection between the names Alkrama and Kramer, David. A scan of the newspaper item I cited in the description of the theater is available online here. Part of the scan is too dark to read, but the readable part of the article does mention a Mr. Kramer being involved in the project, though it doesn’t make any explicit any connection between the names Kramer and Alkrama. Noting some of the guests at the opening, the article includes

“…little Vera Scott, who has the honor of suggesting the name Alkrama, and to whom is due the fact that Elizabeth City’s new theatre has a new name- one that will hardly be found in other city or town and yet that is as euphonious as the best sounding of the old favorites.”
A few lines farther on, the article says
“…Messrs. Kramer and Nutter deserved praise for the enterprise with which they had carried out their project and for the faith they had shown in Elizabeth City.”
The 1913-1914 edition of Julius Cahn’s theatrical guide lists the Alkrama Theatre, Kramer & Nutter, managers. The newspaper article doesn’t say how old little Vera Scott was in 1912, but she is undoubtedly long gone now, so the story of how she arrived at the name Alkrama may be lost to history, unless it’s preserved in some old publication as yet unavailable on the Internet.

The 1912 newspaper article says that the Alkrama replaced the older Gaiety as Elizabeth City’s leading theater. The Gaiety was listed in the 1910-1911 Cahn guide as a 350-seat house that was at the time being used only for vaudeville and moving pictures. The manager of the Gaiety was John Nutter.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Nothing Cinema on Jul 4, 2011 at 3:28 am

The New Nothing Cinema’s weblog hasn’t been updated since April, 2009.

There is also a Facebook page, but that was last updated on October 16, 2010, and that update is about an event taking place in New York City.

I did find one listing for a movie at the New Nothing Cinema, scheduled for April 20 this year, but I can’t find anything more recent. I don’t know if this means the place is no longer open, or is open only intermittently, or if they have just quit promoting it on the Internet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Village Cinema on Jul 4, 2011 at 1:36 am

Street View has been “updated” to the wrong location. If you pan left, the move back down Fulton Street a few mouse clicks south, you can see a parking lot in between the gas station on the corner and the large development to the north. That’s where the Village Theatre was located. Looking directly at the parking lot, zoom in and you can recognize the buildings to either side of the theater looking almost exactly as they appear in the 2004 photo cubey linked to in an earlier comment.

Here is a link to the Heywood-Wakefield ad with the photo of the Village Theatre’s auditorium, in Boxoffice of April 1, 1950.