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There is an article about the Dattola Theatre in Boxoffice, October 10, 1942. There are four photos, though the scans are a bit fuzzy.
Patsy, Michael DeAngelis was designing theaters in the 1920s. A 1927 newspaper item I came across said that he had then been in business at Rochester (New York) for eight years, so he must have been born before 1900. The most recent newspaper reference to him that I’ve found is from 1975. If he was still living a few years ago he must have been ancient, and if he were alive today he’d surely be getting his name in the papers every year on his birthday.
The dance palace that replaced the Peerless Theatre was called the Grand Terrace Ballroom. When Max Slott reconverted the building to theatrical use in 1937, the project was designed by Mark D. Kalischer. Boxoffice ran this article with photos of the reborn Park Theatre.
A number of sources attribute the design of the Webster Theatre to Hartford architect George Zunner, and others attribute it to both Zunner and Mrs. Shulman. This 1953 Hartford Times article indicates that Pauline Shulman was an interior designer. Her 1960 obituary, to which that page links, says that she was a “…designer and interior decorator of theaters and private homes….” but also refers to her as an “architectural designer”— a term usually applied to people who have designed buildings (usually houses) but who are not licensed architects.
Among the few times Pauline Shulman is mentioned in Boxoffice magazine, she usually appears as Mrs. Joe Shulman. Of note is the October 23, 1937, item which reads, not without a touch of condescension: “Taking it from those who ought to know, Mrs. Joe Shulman is doing an original and attractive job of the decorating at the new Webster, Hartford, and her verbal juggling of beams, joists, etc., is amazing the gentlemen.”
It’s quite possible that Pauline Shulman had considerable input into the style of the theater both inside and out. George Zunner was quite elederly when this very modern theater was built— he had been born in 1863. Mrs. Shulman was considerably younger, and a friend of Le Corbusier to boot. Still, Zunner went on to design at least one more theatre, the Dover, at Dover Plains, New York, in 1948.
Two photos of the Webster illustrate this article about glass blocks in the April 30, 1938, issue of Boxoffice. The article, by Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. executive Guy Berghoff, only contains a couple of paragraphs about the Webster, near the end, but does mention George Zunner as the architect.
The Dover Theatre was opened on March 3, 1948, according to the item in Boxoffice of March 6. There were 725 seats. The owner was Tony (Anthony) Boscardine, operator of the Colonial Theatre at Caanan, Connecticut.
The July 27, 1946, issue of Boxoffice had said that Hartford architects Irving Rutherford and George Zunner were drawing plans for a new theater of about 750 seats in Dover Plains for “A. Boscardini.”
However, in this Boxoffice article from May 4, 1957, then-owner Frank Knickerbocker claims to have built the Dover Theatre (in 1938- probably a mistake.) Some light may be cast on the minor mystery of who originally owned the Dover Theatre by a brief item in Boxoffice of December 3, 1949, which said that Antonio Boscardine and his family had just returned from a tour of Italy. It mentioned his daughter, Mrs. Frank Knickerbocker. Sounds like there might have been some father vs. son-in-law rivalry going on in the family.
The April, 1904, issue of The Ohio Architect and Builder published this item:
“New Theatre Operations are being started on the new theater to be erected in East Liverpool by Messrs. Jas. C. Tallman and Edward J.J. Moore, of this city, and Mr. Charles Peinler of Wheeling. The new playhouse will be erected upon plans embracing all the latest and most up to date conveniences and appurtenances, will be strictly fireproof and erected at a cost of $85,000 to $100,000. The plans for the structure were prepared by Architect Elliott, of Columbus, O., and they will call for a most beautiful structure both exterior and Interior, and when completed will be one of the most beautiful buildings of its kind in this section of the country. The arrangement of the building will be such as to afford the greatest convenience to both patrons and performers and also with a view to its acoustic properties, which will be the equal of any theater In the country. The new theater will be called the Ceramic, the name being suggested by Mr. Taylor, a prominent potter of East Liverpool, in recognition of the great pottery Industries of East Liverpool.”
With regard to the message board quotes posted by Lost Memory above, the Indiana Theatre, built in 1909 as the Murray Theatre, survives as a live theater venue, serving as the main stage of the Richmond Civic Theatre (unfortunately that web site has nothing about the theater itself, but this one does.) The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Murray Theatre. Its architect, Fred W. Elliott, also designed the Ceramic Theatre (demolished, alas) at East Liverpool, Ohio. He also designed a theater at Elyria, Ohio, the details of which I’ve not been able to track down yet.
Several of Richmond’s historic theaters are pictured in this weblog post by Richmond real estate broker Dan Tate. There is one photo showing the State. As I noted above, it was designed by Erwin G. Fredrick.
The Carlton Theatre was the subject of this article in Boxoffice of April 30, 1938. There’s a photo of the narrow and rather plain auditorium, and another depicting the splendid black glass front. The Carlton was designed by the firm of Warweg & Hagel (architect Earl O. Warweg and engineer John Hagel.)
The Studio was opened by Cabart Theatres in 1936. The construction announcement appeared in Southwest Builder & Contractor of November 22, 1935. The installation of sound equipment at the Studio was mentioned in Motion Picture Herald of March 7, 1936.
I finally tracked down the Alto in Boxoffice. The issue of August 26, 1939, has this item: “Construction has begun on a new 1000-seat house, to be called the Alto, being built by Milt Arthur, head of Cabart Theatres.”
At that time Cabart, through its Southside Theatres subsidiary, operated the Balboa, Manchester, and Mayfair theaters in the south Los Angeles area.
Roy Benjamin’s original Italian Renaissance interior of the Riverside Theatre was completely replaced by the Art Moderne style of the Five Points Theatre in the 1949 remodeling. Plans for the remodeling were by Orlando architect F. Earl DeLoe, and the new decoration was designed by Rex M. Davis of the Teichert studios.
The project was the subject of a two-part Boxoffice article by Hanns Teichert, part one in the issue of November 5, 1949, and part two (with more photos) in the issue of December 3, 1949.
The Fox Theatre was designed by Philadelphia architect David Supowitz. It was opened on March 23, 1961, according to an article in Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of March 27.
A few pictures of the Town Hall Theatre are in this Boxoffice article from December 3, 1949. The article calls the style “modern baroque,” but it’s Art Moderne.
This illustrated article about Interstate’s new Forest Theatre appeared in Boxoffice of December 3, 1949. The architects were Pettigrew & Worley.
The Towne Theatre was featured in this two-page spread in Boxoffice, July 3, 1954. One of the first theaters built after the introduction of CinemaScope, it boasted a screen 54 feet wide and 24 feet high. Built for independent operator Melvin J. Fox’s Fox Theatres Inc., the 1,036-seat house was designed by Philadelphia architect David Supowitz.
A Boxoffice item of December 3, 1949, says this: “Vern Hester has sold Tulsa’s oldest operating theatre, the Strand, to provide room for an expanded furniture store. Built in 1909 by L. W. Brophy, Muskogee theatre owner, it was known as the Yale.”
The Strand had been offered for sale in a classified ad in Boxoffice of July 16, 1949. The ad said that it was a 320-seat grind operation with attractive grosses.
The Nortown was one of three theaters pictured in an ad for Poblocki & Sons in Boxoffice, December 3, 1949. Poblocki & Sons built theater marquees and signage, but also designed and erected pre-built theaters, using quonset hut construction. As the Nortown was in a quonset-style building, it might have been one of Poblocki’s pre-built theaters, but this ad, which was for their marquees, doesn’t say it was.
Poblocki & Sons is still doing business, under the name Poblocki Sign Company, and is still designing and building signage for new theaters and restoring signage on old theaters. Their web site is worth looking at. Click on their “Entertainment” link to reach a page with links to pictures of some of their theater signage, old and new.
A photo of a model of the Jordan Theatre was published in Boxoffice, January 5, 1946. The new theater was “…to be dedicated this month” the caption said. The architect of the Jordan was the prolific Victor A. Rigaumont.
A rendering of the proposed Mancuso Theatre at Batavia, drawn by its architect, Michael J. DeAngelis, was presented in the “Just Off the Boards” feature of Boxoffice Magazine January 5, 1946.
The Trans-Lux at 52nd and Lexington was a Thomas Lamb design. A picture of its streamline moderne auditorium was featured in an ad for Anemostat air diffusers that appeared in Boxoffice, January 5, 1946.
The Odeon was another of the Art Moderne theaters designed for the chain by architect Henry Holdsby Simmonds. A Boxoffice item of March 6, 1948, gives the opening date as February 27 that year and says the house seated 962 on the main floor, 228 in the loge, and 300 in the balcony.
Architect Vincent Raney’s rendering of the facade of the proposed Rodeo Theatre was presented in the “Just Off the Boards” feature of Boxoffice Magazine, January 5, 1946. There’s also a head shot of the architect.
Boxoffice contradicts itself. The issue of January 5, 1946, said this: “The inclement weather has delayed work on the rebuilding of the Madison Theatre in Covington, Ky., gutted by fire several months ago.”
Then the March 16, 1946, issue says this: “The Madison Theatre, Covington, Ky., which is being completely rebuilt after total destruction by fire, is now 70 percent completed.”
Gutted, or completely destroyed? You decide.
But while Boxoffice apparently couldn’t be bothered to report on the fire itself (at least I’ve been unable to find such an item,) a renovation of the Madison more than two decades later rated three photos in the November 20, 1967, issue.
Here is an illustrated article in Boxoffice of January 13, 1969, about the 1968 remodeling of the Crest by Famous Players. Apparently little of the original interior of the Belsize remains.
A small photo of the lobby of the Odeon Atwater Theatre from Boxoffice, September 25, 1967.
A view of the lobby from the opposite direction appeared in Boxoffice of January 15, 1968.