Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 6, 2011 at 1:39 am

The entry for the firm Brinkman & Lenon in the AIA’s Historical Directory of American Architects lists the Strand Theatre building among their works. Fred A. Brinkman was one of Kalispell’s leading architects for many years, operating his own practice before establishing a partnership with Percy H. Lenon.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Mar 6, 2011 at 1:21 am

A PDF of a walking tour of Kalispell from the Montana Historical Society has information about the Liberty Theatre. The Liberty was designed by local architect Marion Riffo, and opened on January 24, 1921. The first movie shown was “Humoresque.” The house had an organ, but the text doesn’t say what kind.

The original owner of the Liberty was Marius Anderson. Anderson Theatres eventually operated other houses in Kalispell as well: the Strand Theatre, the Gateway Cinemas, and the Midway Drive-In. The family-owned company was sold in 2000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pella Opera House Theatre Center on Mar 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Julius Cahn’s guides list this as a second floor house. While many such theaters did run movies for a while during the first two decades of the 20th century, most of them didn’t operate as movie houses for very long. Patrons preferred the newer theaters that had their auditoriums on the ground floor.

I’ve been unable to discover the original architect of the Pella Opera house, but the plans for the renovation begun in 1988 were by Wetherell Ericsson Architects, the successor firm to Wetherell & Harrison, designers of many of the classic movie theaters in Iowa.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre Iowa Center for the Performing Arts on Mar 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Plans for the restoration of the Ritz Theatre were done by the Des Moines firm Wetherell Ericsson Architects. The successor firm to Wetherell & Harrison, designers of many theaters in Iowa, Wetherell Ericsson merged with RDG Planning Design in 2007. RDG’s web site has this page about the Ritz. They give 2012 as the expected year for the completion of the project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Mar 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm

This house is open again under its old name, the Lyric Theatre. Google Showtimes and other web sites say that “Just Go with It” is playing today at 2:00 and 7:00 PM.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm

The entrance of the recently remodeled Strand Theatre was pictured on the cover of Boxoffice, April 7, 1958.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Mar 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm

This theater was still called the News-View as late as 1954, when the August 21 issue of Boxoffice said that operator John Wolfburg was renting the house to packagers of television shows during the morning hours. The packagers used the showings primarily to promote their offerings to advertising agencies, prospective sponsors, and TV station programming directors, and the viewing public was admitted for free to provide an audience.

I have no memory of the house as the News-View, but I’m sure it had become simply the New-View by the early 1960s. The earliest mention of it under that name I’ve found in Boxoffice is from November 28, 1966, which mentions that operator Harry Wineberg was running “Born Free” at the house.

The nomenclature for this theater is a bit complex. Note in this ca.1950 photo (the same one linked above by ken mc, and misidentified by the web site as being in New York City) that the hyphenated name “News-View” is on the facade in large letters. At the top of the marquee is a small sign in script reading “Tele-View” and the marquee says “Newsreel Theatre.” It’s possible that the “Tele-View” signage was added only in 1941, after the Tele-View Theatre east of Vine Street was converted into the Hitching Post Theatre. The News-View and Newsreel Theatre signs were thus on the house at the same time, rather than being two different aka’s. All the old references to the house I’ve found call it the News-View Theatre (though usually without the hyphen) rather than the Newsreel Theatre.

The exterior features of the News-View building remained pretty much the same into the 1970s. The Ritz facade and marquee actually date from the mid-‘70s remodeling of the house by Pussycat Theatres. The Ritz Theatre page at Historic Hollywood Theatres has a small photo dated 1972 showing that the only significant changes from the ca.1950 photo were the removal of parts of the signage: the “S” from the name on the facade and the “Tele-View” sign, and the replacement of the marquee’s “Newsreel” with “New-View.”

Boxoffice mentions the New View frequently from 1970 through 1973, and never hyphenates the name, but I recall seeing it hyphenated in the ads and listing in the L.A. Times. It was certainly hyphenated on the theater’s signage.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Massac Theatre on Mar 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm

The URLs have been changed for the weblog posts by Michael Allen that I linked to in my previous comment:

Post about the New Merry Widow Theatre in St. Louis.

Post about the Massac Theatre.

I’m still trying to track down any confirmation of the surmise that Jack Shawcross was the architect of the Massac Theatre, but so far no luck.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kiowa Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Kiowa being a very small town, this was probably its only theater and thus the house that Boxoffice of January 30, 1954, reported had been damaged by a fire and explosion which “…ripped the box office off the front and broke windows.” The fire was brought under control within thirty minutes, so the building must have survived and been reopened. The theater had been built five years before, the item said, and had cost $30,000. The owner-operator was named Fred Collier. Unfortunately, Boxoffice doesn’t give the name of the theater.

This item is the only mention of Kiowa I’ve found in Boxoffice but, as this theater had been opened in 1948 or 1949, I’d surmise that it was most likely a replacement for an earlier, probably much older, theater, which was either closed or demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about LaVerne Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I’ve found a single mention of the Laverne Theatre in Boxoffice. The issue of February 9, 1952, said that owner Paul Covey had installed a new Glascreen screen and Peerless Magnarc lamps in the house.

Boxoffice did not capitalize the v in the theater’s name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Filmarte Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 6:04 am

David James’s book “The Most Typical Avant-Garde” says that this theater became the Filmarte in July, 1928.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gaiety Theatre on Mar 3, 2011 at 6:00 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 4:13 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 6:39 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 4:36 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 4:32 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 4:30 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 6:54 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 6:40 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 6:29 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 6:26 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 8:00 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 7:53 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 7:15 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 6:20 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.