Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Los Gatos Theatre on Jan 9, 2009 at 11:47 pm

The most recent reference to a Premier Theatre in Los Gatos I can find is an item in Boxoffice Magazine, November 20, 1937.

Items from various issues of Boxoffice in late 1950 mention the Los Gatos Theatre celebrating its ninth anniversary. Apparently, this house was part of a small circuit operated by A. Blanco, taken over by partners William B. David and Bruno Vecchiarelli in 1941, according to an item in the September 13 issue of Boxoffice that year. The name change to Los Gatos must have been made about the time David and Vecchiarelli took over the house.

William B. David was still the owner of the Los Gatos in 1974. The September 9 issue of Boxoffice that year ran an item headed “Los Gatos Reconstruction Expected to Start Soon”, relating that the Los Gatos Theatre had been damaged by a fire which had spread to its attic from an adjoining building. The building suffered water damage as well. David was quoted as saying “It looks as though there will be two theaters instead of one.” Thus 1974 is the likely date of the twinning of the Los Gatos.

The article doesn’t mention it, but I’d surmise that David did the design for the reconstruction and remodeling himself, as he was the designer of many Northern California movie houses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about El Rancho Theatre on Jan 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Plans for the El Rancho Theatre were announced in the July 16, 1949, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The architect was named Howell Ewald.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theater on Jan 9, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Here’s an item from the July 10, 1948, issue of Boxoffice Magazine:

“The New Turlock Theatre at North Broadway and Olive Streets in Turlock was opened recently. Built at a cost of $120,000, the theatre is owned by United California Theatres and replaces the old Turlock which burned about two years ago.”

It sounds like it was completely new construction, given the price tag.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on Jan 9, 2009 at 11:00 pm

The June 14, 1952, issue of Boxoffice Magazine has the following information about the Crest, under the headline “El Centro Fox Opens After Remodeling:

“EL CENTRO, CALIF.— Fox West Coast reopened its Crest, 1100 seat house formerly known as the United Artists, Thursday (12)…. The house was closed for a month for a $100,000 remodeling job.”

Cinema Treasures has a page for a United Artists Theatre in El Centro, listed at 721 W. Main Street. There’s apparently a duplication here.

The United Artists was originally designed by Walker & Eisen, with Clifford Balch associated. Plans for the theater were mentioned in the June 5 and June 19, 1931, issues of Southwest Builder & Contractor.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Saratoga Theater on Jan 9, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Though the magazine gives the location as Los Gatos, I’m sure the brief item in the April 29, 1950, issue of Boxoffice is about the Saratoga Theatre in Saratoga:

“Mason Shaw, manager of the Saratoga Theatre, Los Gatos, held a first anniversary party with refreshments served at the theatre.”

It probably refers to the theater’s first anniversary, though I suppose it might have been the manager’s first anniversary.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fairview Theatre on Jan 8, 2009 at 11:01 pm

The Fairview reopened as the Fairview Twin on December 23, 1978, according to an article in Boxoffice Magazine, January 9, 1979. Each of the two auditoriums had 300 seats. Metropolitan Theatres expanded their Cinema Theatre, also in Goleta, at the same time, and it reopened as the Cinema Twin earlier that December.

The day before the Fairview Twin opened, Metropolitan opened their new Plaza del Oro Twin in Santa Barbara.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema Twin Theaters on Jan 8, 2009 at 10:50 pm

This house reopened as a twin in December, 1978, the same month Metropolitan reopened the Fairview Theatre as a twin and opened their new Plaza del Oro Twin in Santa Barbara. The opening day for the Cinema Twin was December 23.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theater on Jan 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Lots of references to a Mrs. Elaine S. George of the Star Theatre, Heppner, Oregon, appear in various issues of Boxoffice through the 1950s. But the latest item about the Star that comes up in Boxoffice searches is one from June 25, 1962, saying that a fire had destroyed the theater and the Elks Club upstairs, with the loss estimated at $250,000. “Water in the theatre, owned by Elaine George… was 14 to 16 inches deep when the roof fell in.” Maybe Elaine rebuilt?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Delman Theatre on Jan 7, 2009 at 11:09 pm

With regard to Sswank’s comment just above, this web page with an inventory of items relating to Arch B. Swank Jr. contains the following reference:

Smith, Raymond F. and A.B. Swank Jr., Architects
“Delman theater, Dallas.” Architectural Record 105:84-7 (Jan. 1949). Illus, plans, diags.

An item in the January 12, 1946, issue of Boxoffice Magazine, headed “New Dallas Theatre for Delman Circuit” says that architect Raymond F. Smith was preparing the final plans for Delman’s first theater building project in Dallas, to be called the Delman Theatre, and that construction was scheduled to begin within 90 days. However, the location the article gave for the project was Lemmon Avenue and Schley Street, confirming JGarland’s comment of August 11, 2008, above.

The December 13, 1947, issue of Boxoffice contains a brief item saying that I.B. Adelman and Harry Sachs were allowing an Episcopal congregation to use their new Delman Theatre in Dallas for services until the congregation’s new church was completed. The opening of the Delman must have taken place in 1947, then, and the architects apparently were Raymond F. Smith and Arch B. Swank Jr, not W. Scott Dunne. Dunne did design the earlier Delman Theatre in Houston, though.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elgin Theatre on Jan 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm

The Elgin turns out to have been Canada’s second dual-auditorium theater, according to an article in the April 5, 1947, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The article announced that Twentieth Century Theatres, a Toronto company allied with Famous Players, was planning to add a second auditorium to their Elgin Theatre in Ottawa. But the article also mentioned that a second auditorium was already under construction at the Allen Brothers' Hollywood Theatre in Toronto, and was expected to open shortly.

Three dual-auditorium theaters are known to have already been opened in the United States by that time- two in 1935 and one in 1941. However, these three, and the Hollywood in Toronto, were all operated under a policy of showing the same program in both of their auditoriums. The intention of the operators of the Elgin was to show an entirely different program, consisting of foreign language movies and special attractions, in the new auditorium. The Elgin was probably the first movie theater in the world to do this.

The Boxoffice article gives the seating capacity of the original Elgin as 800, and the capacity of the “Little Elgin” (as it was then being called) as 350.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Theatre on Jan 7, 2009 at 6:37 pm

This was Canada’s first dual-auditorium theater, according to an item in Boxoffice Magazine, April 5, 1947. The item was actually about the Elgin Theatre in Ottawa, the expansion of which was then in the planning stage. The second auditorium of the Hollywood was already under construction at that time, and was expected to open soon. The second auditorium of the Elgin opened on December 31, 1947.

Three dual-auditorium theaters are known to have been built in the United States by 1941. All of these, and the Hollywood, opened with a policy of showing the same program in both of their auditoriums. The first dual-auditorium theater known to have opened with a policy of showing different programs in each auditorium was the Elgin.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Blue Mouse Theatre on Jan 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm

If the Blue Mouse was not demolished until 1958, it had gotten a three-year reprieve. Boxoffice Magazine published an announcement in its September 10, 1955, issue that the theater was being razed to make way for a parking garage.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza de Oro Theatre on Jan 6, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Metropolitan’s Plaza del Oro Twin opened on December 22, 1978, according to an item in the January 8, 1979, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The new house had 300 seats in each auditorium, and the Spanish-style building was designed by Santa Barbara architect Don Sharpe. Oddly, the magazine describes the lobby decor as following a “…Gay Nineties theme.” An unusual feature of the theater was having the lobby situated between the auditoriums, to eliminate the bleed-through of sound so common in multi-screen theaters.

Metropolitan actually opened four new screens in the Santa Barbara area that December, as the circuit’s newly-twinned Fairview and Cinema Theatres in Goleta re-opened that month.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Airport Drive-In on Jan 6, 2009 at 10:57 pm

The Airport Drive-In at Goleta would be “…completed and ready for an opening any day now,” according to an item in the April 7, 1951, issue of Boxoffice Magazine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tiffany Theater on Jan 6, 2009 at 10:35 pm

The April 11, 1966, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Harold Goldman and Robert Lippert planned to have their new Tiffany Theatre operating by late May of that year. The first movie theater on the Sunset Strip, the new art house had 400 seats, arranged in the continental style. The interior of the theater was designed by Ben Mayer, and the new facade and marquee were designed by Heath & Company. The building itself dates from 1935, and had already undergone extensive alterations in 1955.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema Twin Theaters on Jan 6, 2009 at 10:03 pm

The December 7, 1964, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the 740-seat Cinema was being built for Metropolitan Theatres. The architect was Carl Moeller. The new house was to be managed by George D. McKenzie Jr., who would also continue to manage Metropolitan’s adjacent Airport Drive-In. The single-screen house was equipped to show 35mm and 70mm movies.

The April 5, 1965, issue of Boxoffice said that the opening of the Cinema had been set for April 6.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fairview Theatre on Jan 6, 2009 at 9:35 pm

As I said in my comment just above, Thorpe Associates were the architects for the 2006 expansion and remodeling of the Fairview.

Now I’ve found an item in the January 10, 1966, issue of Boxoffice Magazine which reveals that the original architect of the Fairview was Robert Kleigman. Construction was set to begin in March, 1966, with an opening target of mid-June. The eighth Santa Barbara County theater operated by Metropolitan Theatres, the Fairview opened as a single-screener with 750 seats, and was equipped to show 35mm and 70mm films on its 72-foot screen.

I don’t know yet if Kleigman designed any other theaters, but he was the architect of Metropolitan Theatres Corporation’s headquarters building in Los Angeles, completed in April, 1966.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Washington Theatre on Jan 6, 2009 at 8:38 pm

From the July 31, 1937 issue of Boxoffice Magazine: “A thirty-day shutdown has been ordered for the Washington Theatre, Pasadena. Crown City Theatres, operating the house, has planned a $20,000 improvement budget, which will include a new floor, marquee, seats, and other items.”

That was a considerable sum for 1937.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jax Jr. Cinema on Jan 6, 2009 at 7:59 pm

From Boxoffice Magazine, December 10, 1949: “LITTLETON, N.H.— A building to house a 900 seat theatre… will be constructed to replace the one containing the Premier Theatre which burned here, according to Jack Eames…. Plans for the new building now are being drawn by W. Chester Browne Associates, Boston architects.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Britton Cinema 8 on Jan 5, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Unless the original theater at this location was demolished to make way for the 8-plex, it opened as the single-screen Britton Theatre in 1956. Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of September 10, 1955, carried an item about the planned theater, which was designed by architect James E. Casale. At that time, it was intended to have a seating capacity of 1,800. I haven’t been able to find any items about the actual opening, so I don’t know if it was built to that size or not.

The original Britton was apparently triplexed by the early 1970s. The various photos of the Cinema 8 at Cinema Tour, as well as the satellite view from Google Maps, lead me to suspect that the original theatre is still there as the nucleus of the 8-plex.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theater on Jan 4, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Steve.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Glen Theatre on Jan 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm

The August 13, 1949, issue of Boxoffice Magazine announced that the Dickinson Circuit would take over the Show Theatre on September 1. It also said that the Show had originally opened in September, 1947. Dickinson intended to remodel the house and give it a new name. It was to be operated as a first-run theater. Seating capacity was given as 876.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theater on Jan 4, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Before the 1949 remodeling, the Fayette had been called the Paramount. The new owner, Edwin P. Brown, was also the operator of the Soisson Theatre. This information is from an item in the August 13, 1949, issue of Boxoffice Magazine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lund Theater on Jan 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm

The August 13, 1949, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the new Lund Theatre in Carmichaels had opened on August 5th. The new theater was adjacent to the previous Lund Theatre, which was to be closed and converted to a storeroom. The new building was 60'x140' and had a 28'x30' stage. The seating capacity of the new house was given as 800. The proprietors were named as John Lund and his son, Werner “Fuzzy” Lund.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paris Theatre on Jan 4, 2009 at 7:37 pm

When this theater opened, Boxoffice Magazine’s headline writer apparently conflated the location of the theater with the town its owners lived in. Under the headline “Opens Redwood City Paris” in their August 21, 1961, issue is a brief item saying that Jean Renoir’s “Picnic On the Grass” had been the opening attraction at the new “…Paris Theatre and espresso house….” The owners were named as Mr. and Mrs. Harold Snyder, of Redwood City.