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The Valley Theatre was mentioned, along with the Palace Theatre, in a Los Angeles Times article on March 4, 1924, headlined “Angelenos purchase El Centro theaters.”
A Southwest Builder & Contractor item of August 16, 1935, says that architect Clifford Balch was making alterations to the Valley Theatre.
This theater was designed by John Paxton Perrine, according to Southwest Builder & Contractor of July 22, 1927. West Coast Theatres had arranged to lease the house, which was to seat 1400. The article also announced that the project was to include a 1200 seat airdome theatre- a suitable arrangement for the torrid summers in the desert town of El Centro.
I also want to note that Cinema Treasures currently lists the architect as John Paxton Perine (with only one “r”), but that 90% of the references to him in the California Index spell his name Perrine, with a double r. Every other website I’ve seen his name on also spells it Perrine, as do published works featured by Google Books.
This theatre is located in the former Wilshire-Doheny Plaza (renamed 9100 Wilshire after the 1992 renovation), a major office-retail complex designed by Beverly Hills architectural firm Maxwell Starkman & Associates. Starkman was a Toronto-born architect who began his career in the office of Richard Neutra in 1950. His own company, founded a few years later, had become the fourth-largest architectural and engineering firm in the U.S. by the early 1980s. Maxwell Starkman’s last project was the Museum of Tolerance, in Los Angeles.
In 1978, the Doheny Plaza Theatre scheduled a British documentary film called “The Palestinian” which was produced and narrated by anti-Zionist actor Vanessa Redgrave. At 4:16 A.M. on June 15, a small bomb was detonated at the theatre, causing about $1,000 damage. After hasty repairs to the theatre, the film opened on schedule. Two men were arrested for the bombing. There’s no word on how much of an audience the movie attracted, but Jewish groups picketed the theatre.
Apparently I misspelled this theatre’s name, and the correct spelling is “Superba.”
The Superba was located in the two story building on the far corner of the intersection just right of center in this 1920 photo of Main Street. The small, free-standing building with gabled tile roof on the near corner was the Alhambra station of the Pacific Electric Railway.
Gackle is shrinking. I’m amazed that town of 290 (July 2006 estimate) manages to keep even a seasonal, part-time movie house running. But then, with a median household income of $27,500 and the median price of a house only $29,200 the residents of Gackle must have money to burn.
I have only just noticed that the L.A. Library’s photo of the Dome Theatre (featured in reduced size at the top of Cinema Treasures' Fox Dome Theatre page shows the marquee of the Rosemary Theatre, but above the marquee is the name Dome Orpheum, using the Orpheum Vaudeville Circuit’s standard script lettering. The Fox Rosemary must have had Orpheum Vaudeville in its early days. In any case, Dome Orpheum Theatre might have been an aka for the place around the mid-late 1920s. Can anybody dig up a period newspaper ad or something to confirm this?
In Los Angeles you could pick up a modest house in a marginal neighborhood for $675,000. Or if you already have one, sell it and buy a 1600 seat movie palace with ballroom.
But judging from the Wikimedia Commons photo, the Temple building doesn’t have much in the way of other uses to provide revenue- it looks like one little retail store and no offices or apartments to rent out. Whoever buys it will have to make it pay as an entertainment venue- unless they’re stinking rich and they intend to use it as a pied-a-terre for weekends in town, or something of the sort.
“…seeking entitlement….”: My guess would be that it just means they’re trying to get permission from the city. Completing the original design, which was to include a height limit (150') office building, would probably require some sort of special permit, given that the building as it exists has official landmark status.
To my ear, the phrase reeks of developer pretentiousness, though. Why can’t they just say seeking permission? Developers ought to run the jargon that comes out of their marketing departments past English teachers, so they’ll sound less pompous and self-aggrandizing.
Still, I’d have no objection to seeing the building completed as Priteca originally designed it. If adding office space brings in more revenue for the owners, then the theatre, too, will benefit.
The L.A. Times carried an illustrated article about the Pantages headed “Theater, skyscraper announced” on December 23, 1928, according to this card in the California Index. Maybe somebody could get Larry Harnisch to dig it up and post it in the Daily Mirror weblog?
The website of Partners in Architecture, the firm that designed this cinema, features a photo showing the gold sunburst on the lobby ceiling, reminiscent of the sunbursts above the prosceniums of several 1920s Egyptian-style theatres. (Click on “Portfolio” and then “Theaters” to fetch the photo web page.)
This web page has a couple of photos from the Cinemark era showing the bland exterior .
Here are photos of the Cinemark 16.
A neighborhood Discovery Tours guidebook published in 2002 by the City of San Antonio’s Office of Cultural Affairs has the following to say about the Cameo:[quote]“One of the focal points of the old St. Paulâ€™s Square area was the Cameo theater, the first
white-owned theater to open its doors to African Americans in San Antonio. Since 1919, the walls of the Cameo have heard every sound from the notes of Count Basie, Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, to the dialogue of Native Son, the sermonâ€™s of Rev. Claude Black, to wailing 1980s heavy metal and to the now current silence before a hoped-for revival”[/quote]The Bexar County Appraisal District gives the same 1940 construction date for this building that the Cameo website gives. Was there an earlier Cameo Theatre at the same location? Or was the 1940 construction actually one of those renovations so extensive that it reset the construction date? Or was the Office of Cultural Affairs guidebook just wrong?
A .pdf of the guidebook is available online here (there are no illustrations, alas.) The section about the Cameo is on page 12.
This theatre is listed in the “Career Achievements” section of a web page about architect Linda Bernauer, an associate of HOK Architects.
This is a multi-screen theatre. This article from the time of construction told of six screens, plus two screening rooms which could accommodate up to 50 patrons. Total seating was to be 1100. This LoopNet listing of the property describes it as having eight screens, but gives seating capacity as approximately 980. Architect was a Dallas firm, Hodges & Associates.
Here’s an article from about the time of the opening, with photos.
Designed by the Dallas-based firm Partners in Architecture.
Back in November of 2005, there was a discussion about the 1950s era remodeling of the U.A. to accommodate 70mm projection. I’ve finally come across this picture on the Internet showing the position of the new projection booth and the remains of the mezzanine section, which was closed off by a curtain.
It looks as though the mezzanine remained intact, though the decorative detailing along its front was been removed. My guess would be that the mezzanine seating was abandoned not because of the space needed for the projection booth, but because the new screen was taller than the earlier one and its upper area would not have been visible to patrons seated in the mezzanine.
The photo is among many to be seen at this Los Angeles Movie Palaces page.
Incidentally, some time ago I saw one of those 1950s teen exploitation movies consisting of a threadbare plot and loads of music performances by early rock'n'roll artists (it may have been the 1956 release Rock, Rock, Rock, though I can’t swear to it), and I’m pretty sure the inevitable “Big Rock Show” scene was filmed in the U.A., probably just before the remodeling was done. There were only a couple of shots showing the auditorium, but that C. Howard Crane Gothic style was recognizable, and it was used in only a few theatres. The L.A. theatre would have been the most likely to show up in this movie, with the Detroit U.A. a close second.
In keeping with Cinema Treasures' standard policy, this page should be renamed to the last name under which the theatre operated, which was Capri Cinema.
Bruce Risher, author of a book on the history of the City of Alhambra, has given me some additional information about this theatre. It was the second movie theatre in Alhambra and it opened as the Alhambra Theatre (the second of three houses in the city to use that name) and was later renamed the Plaza Theatre (probably in 1924, when the third Alhambra Theatre opened), and then the Granada Theatre, the Coronet Theatre, and finally the Capri Cinema, about 1963 or 1964.
I’ve tracked down the location of the first Alhambra Theatre and will add it to the database. I now know that the Granada/Capri was the theatre mentioned in the 1916 Builder & Contractor issue cited in my previous comment. It opened in 1917, and was designed by architect Harley S. Bradley.
OK, I just checked the page for the Sunshine Brooks Theater and was reminded that it was apparently the project Floyd Stanbery designed for an existing building in 1936.
Correction: Clifford Balch’s partner’s surname is spelled “Stanbery” (an “e” but only one “r”) in 20 California Index cards, including the one to which I linked above. Stanbury, with a “u”, is a close second, appearing in 16 cards. Southwest Builder & Contractor uses both spellings in different articles. Another periodical called West Coast Builder uses only Stanbury. The Index contains two citations from Los Angeles Times articles, and both of these use Stanbery. I think the wisest course would probably be to go with the L.A. Times. The usually reliable ArchitectDB uses Stanbery as well.
Incidentally, none of the cards in the Index use the double-r spelling Stanberry, which Cinema Treasures currently uses. We should probably get rid of that.
Contemporary sources quoted in the California Index mention two proposed theatres in Oceanside in 1936, involving two operating companies. Fred Siegel’s Palomar Operating Company hired Clifford Balch to design a theatre to be erected on Hill Street (now Coast Highway) between Topeka and Michigan Streets (Southwest Builder & Contractor, 1/17/36).) As 314 N. Coast Highway is about three blocks north of that location, unless the street numbers have been changed I don’t see how that proposed theatre could be the Palomar.
I can’t find any numbered streets on a current map of Oceanside, but the second 1936 theatre project in that city was supposed to have been at Hill and 3rd Streets. It was a project for the Inter-Counties Investment Company, of Anaheim, and called for the remodeling of an existing building. Plans were to be by Cliff Balch’s usual partner, engineer Floyd Stanbury, apparently working alone, as he did on a few occasions (Southwest Builder & Contractor, 3/17/36 and Southwest Builder & Contractor, 6/19/36.) Given that the address of the Palomar today is 314, it seems possible that Pier View Way was once called 3rd Street, and this possibility is probably what led to the surmise that the Palomar was this 1936 project.
As the Palomar dates from 1924 (as this article in Sign On San Diego indicates), then neither Balch nor Stanbury had anything to do with this particular theatre, unless one of them designed the mid-1930s renovation mentioned in that article.
I have found no information on whether or not either of the two 1936 theatre projects mentioned in Southwest Builder & Contractor were ever carried out.
The spelling of the street name is “Prichard”, not the more common “Pritchard”. Check Google Maps. It can’t find “Pritchard” Street, but easily finds “Prichard” Street.
According to the Old Theatres of Fitchburg website, this theatre opened as Whitney’s Opera House in 1880. In 1904 it became the second home of the Bijou, a vaudeville house which also showed some movies before closing in 1916.
This page features a small (unreadable, alas) scan of a 1961 newspaper article about the Bijou, headlined “Old Opera House at Fitchburg is Deserted Ruin”, including an interior photo that appears to date from that time. The place had apparently sat empty for 45 years.
Currently, the block on which the Bijou’s entrance was located (on Prichard Street just north of Main Street) has one and two digit street numbers. Searching on Google Maps, the address 5 Prichard Street will fetch that corner. From the satellite view, it looks like the building still stands. There’s no Google street view, unfortunately.
Makalapua Stadium Cinemas was designed by WPH Architecture, a firm which has offices in Las Vegas and Portland, and has designed over forty multiplex cinema projects.
Goldstream 16 Cinemas was designed by WPH Architecture, a firm which has offices in Las Vegas and Portland, and has designed over forty multiplex cinema projects.
Regal Pioneer Place Stadium 6 was designed by WPH Architecture, a firm which has offices in Las Vegas and Portland, and has designed over forty multiplex cinema projects.