Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Manor Theatre on May 15, 2009 at 4:54 pm

The opening of the Manor Theatre is mentioned in the November 15 and November 22, 1941, issues of Boxoffice Magazine. The exact date is not given, but appears to have been shortly before the 15th. The house was built for Harvey Amusements. 10,000 booklets about the theater were distributed door-to-door in San Mateo to publicize the opening. I wonder if any of them are still around?

By the late 1940s, the Manor was being operated by Blumenfeld Theatres. It was bought by Roy Cooper Theatres in 1961, according to an item published in Boxoffice of August 14 that year.

According to the October 25, 1971, issue of Boxoffice, Cooper’s West Valley Theatres had adopted an all seats 50-cents policy for the Manor, following the lead of the El Camino in San Bruno and several other Bay Area houses operated by Dan Tocchini’s Associated Theatres.

I’ve been unable to find any later mentions of the Manor.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ivar Theater on May 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm

The Ivar did show at least one movie before 1971, when it began running adult films. In March, 1967, the Ivar began the exclusive Los Angeles run of Arch Oboler’s 3-D science fiction movie, “The Bubble.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theater on May 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm

The Palace was sold at auction to Dubonet Realty Co. of Newark for $34,210 late in 1951, according to Boxoffice Magazine, December 15 that year. The house had been owned by Walter Reade. The building’s contents, including projectors, amplifiers, seats, and other furnishings, were sold to SOS Cinema Supply Corp. for a mere $210.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Diamond Cinemas 8 on May 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm

This theatre was designed by architect Thomas Berkes. This list of theaters he designed gives the seating capacity of this multiplex as 1,800.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grande 4-Plex on May 12, 2009 at 11:16 pm

The Laemmle Grande 4-Plex was designed by architect Thomas Berkes, whose Woodland Hills-based firm has been designing movie theaters in California since the 1980s. Here’s a partial list of their theater projects. The Grande is listed as having 800 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Village Drive-In on May 12, 2009 at 8:32 pm

The Village Drive-In was built for the Redwood Theatres circuit in 1952. The concession area, rest rooms, and projection booth were located at the rear of the lot, giving the projectors a throw of 530 feet. The building was of modern rustic design, with brick, stone, and rough-sawn redwood on the exterior, and a split shake roof.

Interiors featured wood panelling and exposed wooden beams. The lot was surrounded by an eight foot high redwood fence in a basket weave pattern. Boxoffice Magazine published a two-page article about the Village Drive-In in its issue of January 3, 1953. The architect for the project was San Francisco theater designer Gale Santocono.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Art Theatre on May 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm

At extreme right in the 1939 USC photo, is that the Burbank Theatre’s vertical sign that says “Mexico” on it? Though the marquee is hard to read, it looks like it says “Peliculas” on the first line.

I checked the city directories for 1938 and 1939, and the Burbank is listed in both (under the “Theatres” section rather than “Motion Picture Theatres” and there is no Mexico Theatre listed for either year. The Burbank is listed under Motion Picture Theatres in the 1942 directory.

Unfortunately the L.A. Library doesn’t have a 1940 directory online, or I’d check that. If the Burbank was a Spanish-language movie house called the Mexico, it must have been for a very brief time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theatre on May 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm

The May 29, 1937, issue of Boxoffice mentioned that Dave Cantor had built the Park Theatre in Highland Park the previous year. In 1937, Cantor was buying the Canoga Theatre from its original owner, Nate Scheinberg.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gold Front Theater on May 9, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Several issues of Boxoffice from 1950 mention the opening of the Gold Front Theatre. The Bowling Alley was apparently pre-existing. A couple of the Boxoffice items say that the theater was “…built over the Gold Front bowling alleys….” The building in the photos does look too old to have been built in 1950, so the theater was probably located in converted retail space. The house opened in June. Boxoffice gives the seating capacity as 780 in some items and 888 in another.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Joyce Theater on May 8, 2009 at 10:17 pm

The Joyce Theatre, which had been converted into western art gallery called the Montana Trails Gallery, was destroyed on March 5, 2009, by a gas explosion which leveled three historic downtown Bozeman buildings and severely damaged others.

Cinematour Forum post on the event.

Bozeman Daily Chronicle article (in case you have to be logged in to Cinematour to see their posts. I can’t remember if non-members can read them or not.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Century's 110-Drive-In on May 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm

As the projectors had probably been installed before the February 2 Ashcraft ad was published, 1956 does seem a likely year for the drive-in to have opened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Boulevard Theatre on May 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm

The Boulevard was being outfitted in mid-1940. The July 6 issue of Boxoffice listed drapes and carpets for the Boulevard among the equipment ordered for various theaters from the Wil-Kin Theatre Supply Co. of Atlanta.

S.A. Lynch, a regional partner of Paramount Theatres, was building the Boulevard, according to another item in the same issue of Boxoffice. The new house was expected to be open later that month.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Century's 110-Drive-In on May 7, 2009 at 6:43 pm

The 110-Drive-In must have opened in 1957, not 1959. An ad for Ashcraft’s Super Cinex projectors appeared in the February 2 issue of Boxoffice Magazine that year, saying that these projectors had been installed at the Century 110 Drive-In.

It was certainly open by September of 1957, as the September 7 issue of Boxoffice carried an item about a promotion at the theater which involved giving away 6,000 barbecued beef sandwiches over a four day period.

The October 19, 1957, issue of Boxoffice ran an article about drive-in concession stands which featured several paragraphs about the operation at the 110 Drive-In, with two photos of its concession area.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tulare Theatre on May 7, 2009 at 5:59 pm

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has a number of drawings by Timothy Pflueger that can be seen on-line, including some depicting the Tulare Theatre. Enter Tulare in the search box. You can also search on Pflueger and then select the resulting “works by” link to see drawings of some of his other projects.

Also, the “firm” listing on this page should show Miller & Pflueger.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on May 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Patsy: Use Google Advanced Search, put in the “site or domain” box, and the date January 03 1942 in the “exact wording or phrase” box. The article about the Grand starts on page 58.

My outgoing email isn’t working, so I’ll be unable to contact you until I get a different client set up. In any case, everthing I know about the Grand came from the online issues of Boxoffice.

There have been a lot of theaters called the Grand in California. but I’ve never been to any of them. Did you have a particular one in mind?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mayfair Theater on May 6, 2009 at 11:40 pm

The Mayfair was the last of Trenton’s eight downtown theaters to close, according to an article Boxoffice Magazine of December 6, 1976, which announced the closing. Vincent Henry was the last manager of the house, and the last movies shown were “Saga In Africa” and “Burnt Offerings.”

This Boxoffice item says that the Henry family had operated the house since acquiring it in 1940, at which time they had changed the name to Mayfair. However, the January 3, 1942, issue of Boxoffice had said that the Hildingers (Charles and Helen) had reopened the former Orpheum as the Mayfair curing Christmas week.

The house had originally opened on March 29, 1922, as the Orpheum Theatre, owned by George B. Ten Eyck. The first feature at the Orpheum was the Coleen Moore film “Come On Over.”

During the 1930s the Orpheum was operated by the William Hunt Theatres Circuit of Wildwood, New Jersey.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on May 6, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I don’t have time to read through all the comments, so pardon me if this information has previously been posted. The January 3, 1942, issue of Boxoffice Magazine ran an article about the recently-opened Grand Theatre in its Modern Theatre section.

From the photos with the article I’d say the Grand was definitely Art Moderne in style, rather than Art Deco. The article identified the architect of the new house as Michael J. DeAngelis. The seating capacity at opening was given as 850. Total cost of the project was a mere $65,000. The original owner was Kenneth Blakely.

An architect’s rendering of the Grand had earlier appeared in Boxoffice’s “Just Off the Boards” feature in the April 21, 1941, issue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Del Oro Theatre on May 6, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Various issues of Boxoffice Magazine indicate that the Del Oro Theatre was not built by United Artists, nor operated by that chain during its early years. Construction was begun in 1941 by Golden State Theatres, but apparently the house was being operated by Albert and William Forman’s United Theatres Circuit later in the 1940s.

An item in the April 16, 1949, issue of Boxoffice said that a $36,000 damage suit against United Theatres and Del Oro manager Jack Keegan was being tried in Nevada County superior court. Mr. Terry T. Whitesides of Grass Valley alleged that he had fallen in the aisle of the theater on September 28, 1947.

I’ve been unable to discover when United Artists took over the house, but they were operating it when it was triplexed in 1975.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Darress Theater on May 6, 2009 at 7:16 pm

There are some interesting discrepancies among various sources of information about the theater and about Mr. Darress. The theater web site has a picture of Charles Darress. Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of May 14, 1979, has an article about recent two theater closings, the State being one of them, and it says that the theater was opened in 1922 by Clare Darress.

Then there’s this page about a landmarked house for sale in Boonton, which says the house was designed by “…Clair Darress, a famous architect of many homes in the area, and creator of the Darress theatre on Main Street.”

Whether Charles, Clare, or Clair, it seems reasonable that, being an architect, Mr. Darress would have designed his theater himself.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Linda Theater on May 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm

The February 8, 1941, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Phil Isley had opened the Bobby Walker Theatre on February 6.

Phil Isley’s daughter, Phylis, is better known by her movie name Jennifer Jones. Bobby Walker’s father was actor Robert Walker, co-star of Hitchcock’s “Strangers On a Train.” Bobby Walker also became an actor, appearing mostly on television. Robert Walker Jr. at IMDb.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Imperial Theatre on May 5, 2009 at 7:48 pm

The January 8, 1955, issue of Boxoffice said that the Imperial Theatre had been reopened after being completely remodeled and refurnished. A new 19x40-foot screen had been installed, along with a stereophonic sound system and acoustical plaster. The house was reseated with American Seating Company’s Bodiform chairs. The new seating capacity was given as 804.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about AMC Tysons Corner 16 on May 4, 2009 at 10:07 pm

The entire Tyson’s Corner expansion, including the AMC cinema, was designed by the architectural firm RTKL Associates.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Serf Theater on May 4, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Checking the 1937 Boxoffice article again, I think it says that 800 chairs were shipped to the Serf Theatre. The scan is very blurry, but the Google cache in plain text says 800. The 1950 reseating thus probably reduced the total capacity to 726, rather than increasing it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Serf Theater on May 4, 2009 at 9:32 pm

The October 9, 1937, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the Graham Brothers Theatre Supply Company of Denver had shipped various items to the new Serf Theatre in Las Vegas, New Mexico. These included 500 seats, 340 yards of carpeting, two blowers and motors, two curtains with tracks and controls, a sound screen, and complete booth equipment.

The Maloof Bros. were apparently the owners of the building, but the house was operated by Fox Intermountain Theatres when it opened, according to the October 23, 1937, issue of Boxoffice.

In its April 15, 1950, issue, Boxoffice said that the Maloof Bros. had closed the Serf Theatre for repairs when it was discoverd that the back wall was sagging. Fox Intermountain must have taken this opportunity to expand the theater, as the November 4, 1950, issue of Boxoffice said that the company had reopened the Serf with 726 seats.

The remodeled lobby featured a wagon wheel chandelier with six brass lanterns, and the walls were decorated with murals depicting the Santa Fe Trail. The auditorium was painted in shades of aqua and turquoise, and the screen had a turquoise velvet curtain.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about North Valley Plaza 3 on May 4, 2009 at 9:09 pm

The August 28, 1972, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that United Artists had opened its U.A. Cinemas I, II, and III on August 4 that year.