Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hillside Mall Cinemas on Nov 10, 2009 at 1:23 am

I thought I posted this comment last night, but I must have only hit “Preview” and forgotten it. Luckily I have a copy.

Photos of the new Hillside Theatre appeared in Boxoffice Magazine, January 7, 1963. The Hillside was designed by the Minneapolis architectural firm Liebenberg, Kaplan, Glotter, & Associates.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lynn Theater on Nov 10, 2009 at 1:14 am

Boxoffice of February 22, 1947, said that the Lynn had been gutted by fire on January 13. Rebuilding was about to get underway. The house was being operated by East Texas Theatres.

The Lynn and the Paramount were not the same theater. An August 3, 1946, Boxoffice item said that East Texas Theatres had bought a lot in the 400 block of Washington where they intended to build a new theater when materials became available. The item said “The new theatre will be located between the Lynn and Paramount theatres, which are owned and operated by East Texas Theatres.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bay Shore Cinema on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Could someone who has seen this theater take a look at the picture on the cover of Boxoffice Magazine for January 7, 1963, and tell me if the 1962 Maurice Sornik-designed house for Prudential Theatres it depicts is the Bay Shore Cinema in New York? The caption says that it is in Bay Shore, New Jersey, but I’ve been unable to find any confirmation that the New Jersey town ever had a theater called the Cinema. I think the caption writer might have made a mistake.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mirror Theater on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:21 pm

The postcard view Lost Memory linked to on Feb 14, 2008, is no longer at the same location, and the link now fetches another version of the same postcard ken mc linked to in the subsequent comment. The card showing the Mirror Theatre next door to the Capitol is now here.

The Mirror could not have been the Telenews unless the same auditorium was reached through two different street-front buildings at different times. If it wasn’t the same auditorium, with the entrance shifted to the adjacent building when the Telenews was opened, then the Mirror had to have been an entirely different theater. It must have had a different address, too. Also, if the date Moody’s Collectibles gives for the postcard I just linked to is correct (1931) then the name Mirror was given to the house before 1933.

As for the Pantages time-line currently given in the intro, Motion Picture Times of October 6, 1928, said that the Pantages Theatre in Dallas was being remodeled and was slated to reopen as the Ritz on October 16. Unless the new operators, Robb and Rowley, changed their minds about renaming the theatre at that time, the city directory cited by Jack Coursey in the first comment above kept the name Pantages way too long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jewel Theater on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:12 pm

The Oklahoma City column of Boxoffice, September 17, 1938, says this: “…a Negro house, the Jewel, 400 seater at Ardmore, being opened by P. H. James who also operates the new Jewel, Negro house, here….” That’s the earliest mention of James or the Jewel I’ve found in Boxoffice.

A brief notice of the death of P. H. James appeared in the Oklahoma City column of Boxoffice, November 15, 1965: “P. H. James, former operator of the Jewell Theatres here and in Ardmore, died in a nursing home. He also had owned and operated the Jay-Kola Bottling Co. Survivors include the wife, two daughters, two sons, a brother and one sister.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Campus Theater on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:07 pm

The April 13, 1940, issue of Boxoffice said that the new Campus Theatre in College Station was expected to open in about fifteen days. It was built by Ben Ferguson and Bill Underwood, but by 1961 it was being operated by the Schulmans, operators of the theaters in nearby Bryan, Texas.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Queen Theater on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:06 pm

The December 2, 1939, issue of Boxoffice reported that the rebuilt Queen Theatre had opened the previous Tuesday. It was being operated by Mrs. Morris Schulman, who also operated the Palace and Dixie Theatres at Bryan. She had bought the Queen, then dark, in 1938, according to Boxoffice of October 1 that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Marquis Theatre on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:01 pm

An early report on plans for this theater in Boxoffice of September 3, 1973, said that it was to be a twin with each auditorium having 500 seats. The twins were to be called the Duke and the Duchess. The theater was to be operated by the Sameric Theatre Corporation of Philadelphia.

By late 1974 Boxoffice was reporting that construction on the project had not yet begun due to disputes with the city over parking requirements. The house finally opened as the Eric Twin in June, 1975, according to a later Boxoffice item.

The September 18, 1978, issue of Boxoffice said that two additional screens would be added to the Eric Easton Twin. The original auditoriums, it said, seated 665 and 352, and the new auditoriums would seat 364 and 378. The project was to be completed before Christmas that year, but an August, 1983, Boxoffice item about the planned expansion of the house to six screens said the the expansion to four screens had been completed in June, 1980.

The 1983 item said that the fifth and sixth auditoriums of the Eric 6 would have 350 and 434 seats respectively. This would have brought the total seating capacity to 2,532. I haven’t found the exact opening date for the last two screens, or confirmation of their seating capacity, but the city allowed the fifth and sixth screens to operate for thirty days in October, 1983, according to that month’s issue of Boxoffice. A final permit to operate would be contingent on the developers completing work on sidewalks, parking facilities, and some interior work on the complex.

The last mention I’ve found of the Easton Eric Six in Boxoffice was a report in September, 1988, about a taxicab that had jumped the curb and crashed into the lobby. I haven’t found either the Marquis or the Cinema Paradiso mentioned in Boxoffice at all.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Markland Mall Cinemas on Nov 9, 2009 at 1:06 am

This theater was opened as the Cinema I and Cinema II in 1968 by Alliance Amusements, and house the office of the circuit’s city manager. It was described in Boxoffice’s issue of August 26, not long after the opening. These were fairly luxurious theaters, featuring continental seating arrangements in rows 40 inches wide, 20x40-foot screens, and 70mm capability in the 854-seat Cinema I. Cinema II had 610 seats. Alliance then operated more than 80 theaters and five CATV systems in four states.

The August 18, 1969, issue of Boxoffice referred to the house as the Markland Twin Cinemas I & II, and said they were operated by the Cinecom Theatres Midwest States, Inc. division.

I’ve been unable to find anything about this theater between then and 1991, when the November issue of Boxoffice said that construction had begun to add two screens at the Markland 3 in Kokomo, and that the house would be renamed the Markland 5.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Belcourt Theatre on Nov 9, 2009 at 1:03 am

Photos of the Belcourt Playhouse are here in the July 8, 1963, issue of Boxoffice. The theater had recently been taken over and remodeled by Rockwood Amusement Company, and was operated as an art house. Seating had been reduced from 550 to 344. The article says the house had also been known as the Children’s Theatre after being called the Community Playhouse.

Rockwood Amusement must have operated the Belcourt Playhouse for only a year or so, as by August, 1964, Boxoffice was calling it the Belcourt Cinema and said it was being operated by the Nashville Theatre Company. In 1968 it was part of Fred Massey’s Masco circuit, and the August 26 issue of Boxoffice carried the announcement of Masco’s intention to add a second auditorium to the house. The January 20, 1969, issue listed the Belcourt Cinema II as being under construction. I’ve been unable to find an opening date.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rimrock 5 Theaters on Nov 9, 2009 at 1:00 am

Boxoffice of August 27, 1979, has an item about the opening of a new twin theater of 900+ seats called the World West in the Rimrock Mall. It, too, was to be a Theatre Operators house. I don’t see it listed at Cinema Treasures.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trans-Lux 49th Street Theatre on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:58 am

I’ve got more confusion for everyone.

There’s a December 19, 1965, Boxoffice item that contradicts some of the introduction above- saying that the Trans-Lux West was to open around Easter, 1967, that it was the Trans-Lux Broadway that was being remodeled (with plans by Drew Eberson, who had designed the Trans-Lux East) and that the Trans-Lux Broadway had opened in 1933.

Article here.

Then the April 24, 1967, issue of Boxoffice says that reconstruction had begun on the Trans-Lux Broadway, which was to reopen as the Trans-Lux West on May 22. (This Boxoffice item contradicts the earlier one by saying that the Trans-Lux Broadway had been in operation for 36 years, which would give an opening of 1931 instead of 1933. Did Boxoffice also confuse this house with the earlier one in the Brill Building?)

Article here.

I do find Boxoffice referring to this house as the Trans-Lux 49th Street in issues from 1956 and 1957, but before and after that the magazine always calls it the Trans-Lux Broadway.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about 1863 Cinema on Nov 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Boxoffice has uploaded its archive to The 1978 mention of the 1863 Cinema is brief, and is the only one I’ve found in the magazine. It is simply listed among a number of theaters for which Mid America Theatre Service was doing booking and buying.

The scan is here. The mention is in the “Cincinnati” column.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Meyerland Plaza 8 on Nov 8, 2009 at 12:47 am

The Meyerland Cinema I and II was being designed by Boston architects William Riseman & Associates, with local architect Thompson McCleary associated, according to a Boxoffice Magazine item of July 20, 1964.

William Riseman designed many multi-screen theaters for General Cinema and other companies during this period. It’s likely that all the “butterfly” style twins GC built at the time were Riseman’s work.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Showcase Cinemas Toledo on Nov 8, 2009 at 12:39 am

Boxoffice of January 4, 1965, reported that 1000 invited guests had attended the formal opening of the Cinema Theatre on December 16, 1964. The article said that Cinema 1 had 705 seats and Cinema 2 seated 1,100. The project was designed by architect William Riseman.

The January 15, 1968, issue of Boxoffice listed Redstone’s Cinema 3, with 1,140 seats, among theaters that had been opened in 1967.

The Toledo twin was not unique. An October 5, 1964, Boxoffice item said that Redstone Management was building a twin theater at Pontiac, Michigan, which “…will be identical with other Redstone projects at Toledo, Louisville, Washington, and Springfield, Mass.” All of Redstone’s theaters during this period appear to have been designed by William Riseman & Associates. The same firm designed a number of locations for General Cinema during this period, too, which probably accounts for the similarities noted by CWalczac.

The first item Boxoffice published about this theater, in 1963, gave the address where the project was to be built as 3436 Secor Road. An Internet search on that address today fetches various real estate web sites that say it is a 13 acre parcel of vacant land, being offered for sale at $7,000,000. Has the Showcase been demolished?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Laurel Theatre on Nov 8, 2009 at 12:36 am

An article about the Laurel Theatre appeared in Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of July 2, 1949, and a photo of the theater’s lounge was featured on the cover of that issue’s Modern Theatre section.

Information about the Laurel’s architect, Frederick W. Quandt, is scant on the Internet, but Therese Poletti and Tom Paiva’s book “Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger” contains the interesting revelation that Pflueger’s maternal grandfather was named Frederick Quandt. I’ve been unable to confirm a connection, but it seems possible that architects Frederick W. Quandt and Timothy Pflueger were cousins.

Quandt designed more theaters then the two currently listed at Cinema Treasures (the Stockton Theatre was the other), but I’ve tracked down only two others, and can’t confirm that either of these projects was completed. A June, 1938, report in Architect & Engineer said that Quandt had drawn plans for a theater to be constructed at Sonora, California, by Harvey Amusement.

An article in the Eugene (Oregon) Register-Guard of February 8, 1946, said that theater operator A. West Johnson had gone to San Francisco to consult with architect Frederick Quandt on the final plans for a new theater he would build at Broadway and Charnelton Street in Eugene. Construction was to begin as soon as materials became available.

There’s also a possibility that Quandt designed the Manor Theatre in San Mateo, built in 1941 for Westland Theatres, a company associated with Harvey Amusement. Other houses designed for Harvey or Westland during the 1930s and 1940s might be Quandt designs, but I’ve been unable to find any confirmation for any of them.

If anybody has additional information about Frederick Quandt please share it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about 1863 Cinema on Nov 8, 2009 at 12:32 am

I think I had a comment on this page, too, and it’s gone. It looks as though the comments on the page all got lost in some sort of digital disaster. Blasted computers.


The January 2, 1978, issue of Boxoffice mentions the 1863 Cinema at Smithers, West Virginia, operated by James Kilburn.

It appears that Bill and Al Thalhimer’s Logan Theatres operated the Fountain Theatre for a while in the late 1940s-early 1950s, according to a couple of mentions in Boxoffice. I’ve been unable to find any connection between Logan Theatres and the Fountain in later issues of Boxoffice.

In fact I’ve not found the Fountain mentioned in Boxoffice later than 1955, but it’s mentioned in the May 19, 1931, issue of Exhibitor’s Forum as one of several houses that had recently installed Photophone (or Phototone) sound equipment.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jefferson Theatre on Nov 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Oh, wait. The Paramount is already listed. I just didn’t click the link to the second page of theaters in places called Hamilton. D'OH!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jefferson Theatre on Nov 7, 2009 at 2:19 am

The Cummins photo collection at Lane Libraries has a photo of a demolition site captioned “Future Jefferson Theatre.” It’s dated 1901, so the theater must have been completed that year or the next.

There is also an undated photo of the house as Smith’s Theatre.

The Cummins Collection has pictures of several theaters in Hamilton, most of which are not yet listed at Cinema Treasures. The most glaring absence is the 1931 Paramount, a Rapp & Rapp design.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Emsee Theatre on Nov 7, 2009 at 2:12 am

Boxoffice usually misspelled this theater’s name as Emcee instead of the Emsee that clearly appears on the marquee.

The August 17, 1946, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Emsee Theatre had opened on August 10. Though an earlier Boxoffice report of its construction said it would have 900 seats, the opening announcement said there were 1,062 seats. The Emsee was originally operated under lease by Roy A. Shook. The March 10, 1958, issue of Boxoffice said: “The Emcee Theatre at Mount Clemens is switching to an art film policy and being rechristened the Emcee Art Theatre.” The house was then run by Robert Vickrey’s R&V Theatres.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alpine Four Theatre on Nov 7, 2009 at 2:04 am

A page of Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of October 25, 1971, was devoted to the Alpine Twin Theatre (its original name.) There were a few pictures of the theater. The twin auditoriums each had 325 seats in a continental arrangement. The side walls were curtained, and the back walls were faced with acoustic tile. The project was designed by Mel Glatz Associates.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colby Twin Theatre on Nov 7, 2009 at 2:00 am

The Colby was remodeled in 1971 but apparently not twinned at that time. It was scheduled to reopen on October 27, according to the October 25 issue of Boxoffice, and the opening feature would be “Big Jake” with John Wayne. There were 430 seats. The remodeling project was designed by Mel C. Glatz. I don’t know if Glatz was responsible for the shingled faux-mansard the building now sports, but the brick front with carriage lamps was part of his design.

The Colby Theatre was long run by Don Phillips, who also operated the town’s drive-in and a theater called the Lyric, which dated back to at least 1925 (then being operated by J.P. Phillips) and was open part time at least as late as 1956.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lake Theater on Nov 7, 2009 at 1:33 am

Boxoffice of October 25, 1971, has an item about Lake Theatre operator John Huebel’s intention to build a 296-seat theater next to the Lake. The two houses would have separate entrances, but would share lounge space and concessions area, and would share one box office during most of the year but would use separate box offices during the summer season.

I don’t know if this project was carried out or not, but the Boxoffice item says that the architect for the small theater, Lloyd Borget, had worked with architect Alden Dow on the original plans for the Lake Theatre in 1942, and was the architect for a remodeling of the Lake done about 1967.

I’ve been unable to find any other movie theaters designed by Alden Dow, but he was the architect of McMorran Place, a public facility in Port Huron, Michigan, which includes a small arena, a convention hall, and a 1,157-seat theater used primarily for live events but which is also equipped to show movies. McMorran Place dates from the early 1960s.

I’ve been unable to find any other theaters attributable to Lloyd Borget, either, but he did work for the Houston architectural firm MacKie & Kamrath during part of the period during which they designed several theaters in Texas.

The Lake’s web site is gone, but it now has a MySpace page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Manos Theatre on Nov 6, 2009 at 1:05 am

I’d just assumed that it was a renaming that took place in 1934. The Boxoffice item didn’t give any details, and didn’t mention the name Liberty, but that’s often the case with Boxoffice items.

I found a May 14, 1949, Boxoffice item about the remodeling of the Manos that year, and it said that Victor A. Rigaumont was one of the guests at the reopening, so he was most likely the architect for the project. He did design a number of projects for the Manos circuit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Nov 6, 2009 at 12:34 am

The Electric Theatre was a couple of doors north of the Liberty, in a much plainer building. It is listed at Cinema Treasures under its later name, Glockner’s Automatic Theatre.