Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about UA Warner Center on Apr 16, 2010 at 2:00 am

I doubt AlanSanborn is still watching this page, but if anyone else mistakenly believes that the United Artists Westwood Theatre is (shamefully) missing from the Cinema Treasures database, it can be found listed under its later name, the Mann Festival Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bal Theatre on Apr 15, 2010 at 11:18 pm

The Bal Theatre was designed by architect Vincent G. Raney. An article about it appeared in Boxoffice of September 14, 1946. There are four photos. The article mistakenly palces the Bal in Oakland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Santa Clara Theater on Apr 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Boxoffice of July 30, 1938, reported that the Harvey Amusement Company and Gerald Hardy had acquired the Casa Grande Theatre in Santa Clara, and would spend $20,000 renovating it. The house was expected to reopen in August as the Santa Clara Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about West Side Theatre on Apr 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

The information in the comment above by thomas_gladysz is the final piece I needed to clear up the mystery. The West Side Theatre did indeed open as the Newman Theatre, probably in 1936 or 1937.

Southwest Builder & Contractor of March 6, 1936, mentioned plans by architect S. Charles Lee for a theater project at Newman. Boxoffice of December 18, 1937, said that the newly formed West Side Theatre Company was taking over two houses from the Harvey Amusement Company; the land and building of the Newman Theatre at Newman, and the leasehold on the Empire Theatre at Gustine.

I’ve been unable to find an exact opening date for the Newman Theatre, or when it was renamed the West Side Theatre, but I no longer have any doubt that they were the same house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Folly Theatre on Apr 15, 2010 at 12:44 am

In his comment of April 9, 2008, Warren identifies the architects of The Folly as the firm of Dodge & Morrison. The senior architect of this firm, Stephen Webster Dodge, is the subject of this brief biography in a 1908 book, “Flatbush of Today.”

The biography only mentions three theaters designed by the firm, all of them already attributed at Cinema Treasures. The firm’s junior partner, Robert Burns Morrison, didn’t have a biography in the book. Perhaps he didn’t live near Flatbush.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Magnolia Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 1:04 am

Here is a link to the California Index card citing the May 17, 1940, Southwest Builder & Contractor article identifying Clifford Balch as the architect of the new theater to be built at the northwest corner of Magnolia Boulevard and Valley Street. It’s misidentified as the Major Theatre in the caption, but that is the location of the Magnolia Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 1:01 am

The earliest mention of the Liberty I’ve found in Boxoffice is from the issue of July 7, 1935, which mentions the operators as Rudolph Navari and B. L. Stoner. A June 9, 1945, Boxoffice item about the sale of the Liberty to the Camerlo brothers says that Rudy Navari, the seller, had been an exhibitor at Verona for 26 years. I haven’t found references to Navari connected with any other theaters at Verona, so it’s possible that the Liberty was in operation by 1924, though I’ve found no confirmation for this.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eastwood Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:55 am

Ed Blank: I’ve just seen your question (my email service was blocking Cinema Treasures comment notifications for a long time.) I’m afraid I can’t help you. I don’t know Joel Navari, and I’ve never been to Chicago. I did a search for him in the Boxoffice magazine archives at issuu.com, but the last time he was mentioned in the magazine was apparently in 1968.

The last time the Eastwood Theatre was mentioned as far as I can determine was in the issue of February 2, 1970. It’s an item saying that the Eastwood was being demolished. It says that Mrs. Rudy Navari had been robbed at the theater and decided not only to close it but to have the building razed. You can read the item at this link (third item in the farthest left hand column.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Olympic Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:52 am

The Olympic was listed in an ad for Tiffany Productions in Movie Age of December 7, 1929. Exhibitor’s Forum of February 3, 1931, said that A. Buby had taken over the lease on the Olympic from A. Belda. The same magazine’s issue of April 7, 1931, reported that the Olympic Theatre in Verona had been sold at a sheriff’s auction.

The Olympic was listed in Boxoffice of October 9, 1937, among theaters that had been remodeled since the start of the year. The operator at this time was J. Moritz. Max Arnold was operating the Olympic in 1946 when the September 21 issue of Boxoffice said that the house had been redecorated and new drapes hung.

The Olympic was closed for remodeling and the installation of CinemaScope, said an item in the June 11, 1955, issue of Boxoffice. On January 7, 1956, Boxoffice reported that Sam Plutis' Olympic at Verona had been reopened after being dark for several months.

In 1957 the house appears to have gradually sputtered out of existence. The March 30 issue of Boxoffice said that Bill Graner had closed the Olympic, but that it would be reopened by Joe Mazzei. On November 9, 1957, Boxoffice said that Joe Mazzei had closed the Olympic at Verona. I haven’t found the theater mentioned in any later issues of the magazine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:50 am

The Hollywood took a long time to build. Boxoffice noted that fact in its announcement of of July 3, 1937, saying that the opening was scheduled for late October or early November. They had to note the fact again in the issue of July 2, 1938, which said that the Hollywood had by then been under construction for about two years, but that the opening was tentatively scheduled for July 4. There appears to have been a final delay, as Boxoffice of July 23 reported that the Hollywood had been opened “Monday evening.”

The Hollywood was reported to have either 950 or 1000 seats, depending on which issue of Boxoffice you read. The cost of the project was reported as $150,000 or $160,000. The original owners were M. Goldman of Monongahela and his local partner, James Retter, operator of the Grand Theatre in California. On the opening of the Hollywood the Grand was closed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trace Theater on Apr 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm

According to a brief item in Boxoffice of February 3, 1945, the Trace Theatre was to be rebuilt following a disastrous fire which had occurred in December.

The Trace was still in operation at least as late as 1964, when Stephen Abraham was mentioned as the operator in the August 17 issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Edwards Atlantic Palace 10 on Apr 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm

basscott: The old theater you remember was the original Alhambra Theatre, built in 1924, and its Annex, a smaller auditorium added in a former grocery store adjacent to the Alhambra’s lobby in 1940.

After being closed for several years, the Annex was renovated in the late 1960s and reopened as the Gold Cinema. Later the duplex was called the Alhambra Twin Cinemas. The entire complex was demolished after suffering severe damage in the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, and the Atlantic Palace was built on the cleared site.

The original Alhambra Theatre and Gold Cinema are listed at Cinema Treasures under their final name, the Alhambra Twin Cinemas There is also a Cinema Treasures page for the El Rey Theatre.

Here is a link to the August, 1991, Boxoffice article about the Atlantic Palace 10. A color photo of the theater by night appears on the cover of the same issue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alhambra Twin Cinemas on Apr 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm

James Edwards' intention to add a second auditorium to the Alhambra Theatre was announced in Boxoffice, issue of July 23, 1938 (upper right corner.) However, the project was not completed until August, 1940.

Helen Kent’s illustrated article about the Alhambra and Annex appeared in Boxoffice of October 12, 1940.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Redmoor Event Center on Apr 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm

A photo of the Mt. Lookout Theatre appears at lower right of this page in Boxoffice, February 21, 1941. The caption attributes the design of the theater to Cincinnati architects S.S. and George Godley. If correct, this is interesting information, especially in light of hank.sykes' revelation of the involvement of the F&Y company in the project.

The photo in Boxoffice shows a moderne building similar to other theaters built by F&Y during this period. I’ve never been able to find the name of an architect associated with F&Y, though it was certainly a design/build company. The Y in the company name is for Leo Yassenoff, and I’ve always heard that the F was supposed to be the initial of the architect, but now I’m wondering if the Godleys might have regularly done designs for F&Y?

Samuel Godley died in 1941 (on November 2, his 83rd birthday) and was known primarily for his residential designs, but did do a number of larger projects. His biography in the Biographical Dictionary of Cincinnati Architects doesn’t mention any theaters. His son George Godley doesn’t have an entry in the Dictionary.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clune's Auditorium on Apr 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm

To belatedly answer Heidi DD’s question: Yes, I’m sure the program you have is for this Auditorium, before Billy Clune took over its operation. Sparks Berry was manager of the Auditorium during its early years. It seems likely that the April 24 performance in your program took place in 1907. See the newspaper item in the right hand column near the bottom of the page here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Apr 11, 2010 at 7:45 pm

The interior photos of the Roxy show a building that must have been built quite some time before 1939. Note in particular the thin columns under the balcony. Those were characteristic of the late 19th-early 20th century period.

I suspect that the Roxy was an old theater called the Metropolitan that was in operation at the turn of the century, when it was listed in Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide. The Metropolitan later ran movies and was mentioned in Movie Age of May 25, 1929, when sound was installed.

Boxoffice of November 11, 1939, has a brief item announcing that the two theaters at Owatonna had been sold to the Frank Amusement Co. by F. R. Thompson. Most likely Frank gave the house an update and renamed it the Roxy that year. Boxoffice doesn’t provide any confirmation of this surmise, though. Neither of Owatonna’s theaters is mentioned very often in the magazine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Old Orchard Theater on Apr 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Boxoffice devoted three pages to an article about the Old Orchard Theatre in the issue of January 9, 1967. The original single-screen theater seated 1,700. It was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Sidney H. Morris & Associates.

Morris’s firm would later design at least two other projects for M&R Amusements: the Evergreen Theatre in Evergreen Park, and the M&R Twin Drive-In (later called the Wheeling Twin Drive-In) at Wheeling, Illinois.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wheeling Twin Drive-In on Apr 10, 2010 at 11:18 pm

The Wheeling Twin Drive-In (originally called the M&R Twin Drive-In) was built in 60 days, according to this article about it in Boxoffice of June 19, 1967. Additional photos of it are featured in Boxoffice of October 30, 1967.

The drive-in was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Sidney H. Morris & Associates, who designed at least two conventional theaters for M&R Amusements: the 1960 Old Orchard Theatre in Skokie, and the Evergreen Theatre in Evergreen Park, Illinois.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Evergreen Theater on Apr 10, 2010 at 11:16 pm

My previous comment should read Wheeling, Illinois, as the location of the Wheeling Twin Drive-In.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Evergreen Theater on Apr 10, 2010 at 11:10 pm

CinemarkFan: It’s been a long wait, but there are four photos of the Evergreen in this Boxoffice feature of May 17, 1965.

This theater was built by M&R Amusements, and was designed by the Chicago firm of Sidney H. Morris & Associates, who had worked for the M&R circuit at least once before (Old Orchard Theatre, Skokie) and would design at least one more project for them later (Wheeling Twin Drive-In, Wheeling, Michigan.) In its original twin configuration the Evergreen seated 2,360, with 1,320 in the larger auditorium and 1,040 in the smaller.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Antioch 2 Theatre on Apr 10, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Boxoffice of June 19, 1967, displays two small photos of the Antioch Theatre.

NGC received approval from a Federal court to acquire the Antioch and Metcalf theaters in 1968, according to Boxoffice of September 30 that year. The Antioch was mentioned as a Mann theater in Boxoffice of December 12, 1977.

I’ve found the Antioch Twin identified as a Dickinson house in Boxoffice as early as December, 1996, but I’ve been unable to discover when ownership was transferred to that circuit. I haven’t been able to find out when it closed, either. It was still being mentioned in Boxoffice in early 1998.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cine 6 on Apr 10, 2010 at 10:49 pm

A rendering of the proposed Deux Cine, and a small photo of the groundbreaking for the project, appeared in Boxoffice of June 19, 1967. The new house for Corpus Christi Theatres was designed by architects Kipp & Winston.

The Corpus Christi Public Library has two photos of a model of the Deux Cine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Villa Glen Theatre on Apr 10, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I see that the “official” web site is defunct. That site (Bijou Manager) had several pages about several other theaters in Glendale and the San Fernando Valley as well as the page about the Villa Glen.

The information that the building started out as a clubhouse built n 1923 is interesting. That would account for the wooden seats it had, which were mentioned at the now-vanished web site. That site was also the source of the 1978 closing date. It might have been wrong.

Knowing the building’s origin as the Tuesday Afternoon Club has allowed me to track down the name of the architect in the California Index. The building was designed by Alfred F. Priest, who was also the architect of the 1920 Glendale Theatre.

Southwest Builder & Contractor of March 31, 1922, provided the following description of the plans for the club building: “Auditorium and balcony to seat 900, banquet room, parlors, palm room, tea room, library, service department,; Spanish Style … cost $70,000.”

Thanks to Dan M and -DB for helping to fill the gaps in the Villa Glen’s history.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Apr 9, 2010 at 10:09 pm

I’ve come across something about the State Theatre that doesn’t fit in with other pieces of information I’ve found, especially the information from Boxoffice I cited in my first comment of August 12, 2009.

A 1922 issue of the architectural journal Pencil Points ran an article about movie theatres penned by architect Emil M. Mlinar, a former associate of C. Howard Crane. Among the illustrations is a photo captioned “Proscenium of Loew’s State Theatre, Stockton, Cal. Weeks & Day, Architects.” The photo is recognizable as the same theater in the photo from the S. Charles Lee collection to which I linked in the second comment on this page.

So, assuming that the magazine didn’t make a mistake, the State Theatre opened as a Loew’s house, and was designed by the same firm as the Loew’s State in Los Angeles and the Loew’s State in Oakland. I can’t find a Loew’s State listed for Oakland at Cinema Treasures, so either it isn’t listed or it’s listed under another name and is missing the aka. The Fox in Oakland was designed by Weeks & Day, but I’ve never seen anything suggesting that it was ever a Loew’s house.

The volume of Pencil Points with the photos can be seen at Google Books. Here’s the link to the Stockton photo. Scroll up a few pages to see the Oakland photo.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gaiety Theatre on Apr 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm

The recent opening of the Gaiety Theatre was noted in Boxoffice magazine of April 29, 1950. The original operators were the Jeanotte brothers (Leo and Albert), of Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan.

Grande Prairie, then a very small town (with a population of only 2,500 according to one Boxoffice item from 1949— it has over 50,000 now), was already home to the Capitol Theatre, which I’ve found mentioned in Boxoffice as early as 1938. A 1956 item said that the Capitol had installed a wide screen and that it had 490 seats.

In 1962, Ralph Norton, then owner of the Gaiety, purchased the Capitol Theatre, as reported in Boxoffice of February 19 that year.

The photo Chuck linked to in his comment of April 4, 2009, is not the Gaiety but the Jan Cinema, at 9820 100th Avenue. The Jan is still operating.