Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rex Theater on May 1, 2011 at 1:08 am

The January 28, 1915, issue of trade journal Iron Age noted that the J.E. Moss Iron Works had closed a contract to supply 100 tons of structural steel for the new Rex Theatre at Wheeling.

From the Ohio County Public Library, here is a 1937 photo of the Rex.

A 1936 flood sent several feet of water along Market Street, nearly reaching the underside of the marquee of the Rex, as seen in a photo in “The Great Ohio River Flood of 1937” by James E. Casto (Google Books preview.)

From 1962 until 1965, the Rex was the venue from which station WWVA broadcast its weekly live music program, WWVA Jamboree. This web page features photos of the various venues that hosted the Jamboree over the years. The page also says that the Rex was known briefly as the Coronet Theatre, and that it was demolished in the early 1990s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Virginia Theatre on Apr 30, 2011 at 7:55 pm

This history of radio station WWVA mentions the Virginia Theatre a few times. From 1934-1936, and from 1946-1962, the broadcasts of its live music show “WWVA Jamboree” originated from the Virginia. The following excerpt, dealing with events of 1962, indicates the age of the theater and its fate:[quote]“Meanwhile, in the Virginia Theatre, the Jamboree continued to enjoy a surging popularity with both radio listeners and visiting fans. All the while, however, an unseen ‘player’ was lurking in the wings, a questionable character known as ‘PROGRESS’, and its appearance spelled doom for the historic 54 year old theatre that had been home for the Jamboree since 1946. The Virginia was doomed for demolition and the Jamboree would be forced to seek a new location.

“Thus it was, that on a hot Saturday night in mid-July 1962, the old Virginia Theatre curtain fell for one final time on the Jamboree show, bringing to an end a truly memorable period in Jamboree history. The following week, the Jamboree show opened at the Rex Theatre, only a few blocks from the Virginia.”[/quote]80 12th St. is definitely the current address of the Board of Trade Building. As the Court was still operating in 1981, and the Virginia was demolished in (or shortly after) 1962, they can’t be the same theater, and yet quite a few sources on the Internet give 80 12th Street as the address for both the Board of Trade Building and the Virginia Theatre. In fact, the Virginia was next door to the Board of Trade Building, as seen in this photo (you’ll probably have to scroll down slightly) in the book “Wheeling,” by Seán Patrick Duffy and Paul Rinkes (the caption gives the opening year of the Virginia as 1908.) Most likely the addresses on the block were shifted after the Virginia was demolished.

Here’s a picture of the Virginia Theatre in 1937.

At the bottom of this web page is a small photo of the Virginia Theatre, probably from the late 1940s or early 1950s. It’s a night shot, but you can make out part of the Board of Trade Building next door.

Here is an early postcard view of the Virginia Theatre with the upper portion of the Board of Trade Building brushed out. That was a common practice by postcard publishers, which makes postcards less than perfectly reliable as sources of historic information.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pantages Playhouse on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:26 am

Three photos of the Pantages can be seen on this page at the University of Manitoba’s Winnipeg Buildings Index. Photos depicting the 1991 addition to the Pantages, as designed by Stechesen Katz Architects, are available on this page of the same site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:23 am

The Palace Theatre was built in 1912, and expanded and remodeled in 1927-28. Both the original construction and the remodeling were designed by architect Max Blankstein (also architect of the Uptown Theatre in Winnipeg, and father of architect Cecil Blankstein.) The Palace was closed in 1964 and the building was converted to retail use.

The 2002 edition of the Annual Report of the Historical Buildings Committee in Winnipeg (link to pdf file on this page) has a brief article about the Palace, and one photo of the facade.

When Google’s street view camera last went by, the building appeared to have been vacant, with the doors boarded up, but the marquee had the name Palace on it, flanked by the words Five Star on one side and Entertainment on the other, so it might have been used as a nightclub of some sort for a while.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garrick Centre on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:19 am

Whatever is left of the former Garrick Cinemas is now called the Garrick Centre. It is a three-venue live performance facility. Click on the “Venues” link on the left side of their page to see photos of the three auditoriums, with links to seating charts. Venues 1 and 2 each feature stadium seating sections, and look as though they might have been carved from the original theater auditorium, but as I never saw the theater I don’t know that they were. It might be a radical reconfiguration within the original building shell.

If the auditorium survives, though, then the house should be listed as open under the name Garrick Centre. Maybe somebody who attended the Garrick Cinemas could check the photos on the Garrick Center web site and see if they look familiar in any way.

This page from the University of Manitoba’s Winnipeg Building Index gives the original construction date of the College Theatre as 1919. If that’s correct, then the 1928 opening event, described by sam_e in the comment of Feb 5, 2005 at 4:53pm, must have been a reopening following major alterations of some sort.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theatre on Apr 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Ken: My source for the attribution of the Paramount to Stanley & Stanley was this article by Edmonton writer and photographer Lawrence Herzog. His articles (archived here) were the source of most of the information for the various Edmonton theaters I added to the database.

Most likely both firms played a role in the design of the Paramount, but I have no idea exactly what role each took. Stanly & Stanley might have been only the local associate architects, advising the Winnipeg firm on local building codes and overseeing construction (Edmonton and Winnipeg are about 800 miles apart.) Or, Stanley & Stanley might have taken a more active role in the overall design of the building, and Green, Blankstein, Russell & Associates could have been responsible for no more than the theater layout and its details, if they were experienced in what Famous Players wanted in its theaters.

I’ve searched the Internet to see if I could find anything about an ongoing relationship between Famous Players and Green et al., but found nothing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Apr 28, 2011 at 1:22 am

A 1913 book called “Past and present of Wyandot County, Ohio,” by Abraham J. Baughman, has a biographical sketch of Mr. Roscoe C. Cuneo, operator of the Star Theater at Upper Sandusky. The section dealing with the theater says that in 1910 he “…opened the Star Theater, which he has made one of the finest moving picture houses in the city. It is finely equipped, has a seating capacity of three hundred, and the entertainment provided is always high class and interesting.”

I notice that the official web site of the Star Players uses the “re” spelling of the T-word.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oakland Photo Theater on Apr 28, 2011 at 1:19 am

It looks as though either this Kinema was operating after 1917, or there was a second Kinema in Oakland. This web page features a number of theater cards advertising both the Kinema and the Franklin theaters. Only one card, from 1917, gives the location of the Kinema, but the fact that so many list both the Kinema and the Franklin indicates that the whole set came from Oakland (there is also one card from the T& D Theatre,) and they are dated as late as 1920.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Criterion Theatre on Apr 28, 2011 at 1:16 am

At Google Books there is a November 15, 1919, issue of The Moving Picture World with a reference to Tally’s Kinema in Los Angeles, so Thomas Tally was definitely the operator of the house at that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Venetian Theater on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:57 am

The Globe Theatre is mentioned in the August 12, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World: “Albany.â€"B. A. Rolfe, of the Rolfe theater, and C. A. Myers of the Globe have formed a corporation to handle both theaters. The Rolfe will only run two days a week and the Globe every day.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:56 am

The April 12, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World said this: “Seaside.â€"B. J. Callahan has opened the Strand theater here.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Apr 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm

The Palace Theatre was originally E.M. Penney’s Opera House. I’m having trouble tracking down its origin. An opera house was built in Waupaca in the late 1880s, but there’s also a reference saying that it burned down in 1904. The Arcadia Publishing Company’s book “Waupaca” by Kim J. Heltemes (Google Books link) has photos of the Palace both before and after a 1939 remodeling, one of which shows the side wall. Both the facade and the side wall look as though they could have been built in the 1880s. However, I’ve been unable to find any listings for a theater in Waupaca in Julius Cahn’s Guide.

The Farmers State Bank web page that Lost Memory linked to has moved here. It says that the bank “…moved to the old Palace Theatre site at 112 W. Fulton….” in 1966, so it’s possible that the theater building had already been demolished by that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crystal Theatre on Apr 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm

The August 12, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World had this item: “Manitowoc.â€"Roach & Son have sold the Crystal theater to Z. G. Stebbins, who will transfer it to the Paramount service, which he had been running at the opera house.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Vic Theatre on Apr 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I wonder how long the name Capitol lasted on this theater, or if it was used at all? It was definitely called the Orpheum in 1957. In “before” photo used by Boxoffice in its 1958 article about the recent remodeling of the house (at the first link in my previous comment,) the theater has the name Orpheum on its vertical sign, and the feature on the marquee is the 1957 Gregory Peck-Lauren Bacall movie “Designing Woman.” The newspaper ad for the reopening of the house as the Vic (at the lower right corner of the same page) also has the words “Formerly Orpheum” on it, just below the second instance of the name Vic.

It’s possible that there was a last-minute change in plans, of which the author of the 1931 newspaper article datelined Manitowoc was unaware. The article does say that “The canopy sign of the New Capitol will blaze forth in renewed glory tonight, for electricians were busy today equipping the sign with an entire new system of lighting.” Perhaps if the reporter had made a run to Green Bay to check, he’d have seen that the Orpheum sign was being installed instead of a Capitol sign.

The opening feature for the Vic was “April Love,” also released in 1957, so that’s the year the house got that name. Marcus Theatres, according to Boxoffice, had taken over the lease on the Orpheum in 1956.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Francis Theatre on Apr 25, 2011 at 6:38 pm

The Arcadia Publishing Company book “Newberg,” by Tom Fuller and Christy Van Heukelem says that the Francis Theatre opened on November 8, 1941, and closed in 1984. The theater was located in a former meat packing plant that had been remodeled. The earthquake that led to the building’s demolition occurred in 1993. The theater was named for its owner, Ted Francis.

There is currently a Google Books preview of the book available.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Janes Theatre on Apr 25, 2011 at 1:58 am

Water Winter Wonderland has a page for the Janes Theatre, and gives the address as 1709 Janes Avenue. It doesn’t mention Bel Air Theatre as an aka, and the site lists no indoor theaters called the Bel Air, only the Bel Air Drive-In, which was also on Janes Avenue. It says the Janes Theatre operated from 1935 to 1955, and seated “508+”

There is a photo of the building in later years as the Emmanuel Church of Deliverance, and the church is still listed at the theater’s address now. The building was still standing when the Google Street View truck last went by, so it probably still is.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wolverine Theater on Apr 25, 2011 at 1:49 am

The Wolverine Theatre was listed at 118 S. Hamilton Street in the 1915 Saginaw city directory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wolverine Theater on Apr 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm

The October 8, 1918, issue of Michigan Film Review carried an ad for Paramount Pictures which listed theaters in the region featuring Paramount releases. The Wolverine Theatre was one of five Saginaw houses on the list. The other four were the Auditorium, the Dreamland, the Bijou, and the Mecca Palace.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Apr 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm

The edition of “Street’s Pandex of the News” covering events of 1908 listed the following items about the riot at the Star Theatre:[quote]“ â€"Theater (The Star) raided by students because of ejection of student for giving university yell; police attempt intervention but are overpowered; militia summoned. March 16

“â€"Theater riot; arrested students taken thru streets shackled, to court; several released on ball others released on payment of small fines, and others held for trial. March 17

“â€"Arrest of two more students follows attempted theft of cuspidor from hotel; students plead guilty of intoxication. March 18

“â€"Theater riot; release of students petitioned for by business men and others of city on condition of payment of damages and city costs by students. March 21

“â€"Theater riot; trial of rioters begins, president and dean of faculty being among witnesses. March 23

“â€"Theater riot: Student C. R. Rook bound over on $1,000 for trial.
March 26

“â€"Theater riot; fifteen students bound over for trial, under ball of $1,000 each. March 27

“â€"Theater riot; students freed by court upon agreement to pay costs to county and $1,000 indemnity to persons whose property was damaged. May 8”[/quote]

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Apr 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm

The Ann Arbor District Library has a 1930 photo of the Majestic. The caption gives the opening date of the theater as September 19, 1907

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about AMC Classic State 3 on Apr 23, 2011 at 1:36 am

The Maltz Opera House was built in 1876. This book, a history of Alpena published in 1891, has both a brief biography of George Maltz and a short article about the opera house, with a drawing.

Julius Cahn’s Theatrical Guide lists the Maltz Opera House as a second-floor theater seating either 880 or 900, but in the interior photo linked above by Lost Memory the auditorium doesn’t look at all like something from the late 19th century, so there must have been extensive alterations to the theater at some point, probably in the 1920s-1930s judging from the decor. Most likely the original auditorium was demolished and a new, ground floor auditorium built.

The current facade, though of a similar architectural style to the original, shows numerous differences as well, including a substantially different pattern of fenestration (now bricked up) on the upper floors. It’s unlikely that much remains of the original Maltz Opera House, other than parts of the walls.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Apr 23, 2011 at 12:43 am

The Majestic was a Butterfield house at least as early as 1915, when it was advertised in The Michigan Technic, the official publication of the University of Michigan School of Engineering. W.S. Butterfield was listed as lessee, and the house featured two shows of Keith Vaudeville nightly with matinees four days a week. Movies were shown on Sundays. Sunday movies were common in many cities during this era, when state or local blue laws prohibited live performances on the sabbath.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gladmer Theatre on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Volume 4 of Charles Moore’s 1915 “History of Michigan” has a biography of architect Fuller Claflin, and names six theaters in Michigan that he designed, the Gladmer among them. This had to have been the remodeling that took place about 1910, as the original architect of Buck’s Opera House (opened May, in 1873) was E.E. Myers. I’ve been unable to discover who was the architect for the late 1930s remodeling.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gaiety Theatre on Apr 21, 2011 at 3:54 am

Trade Journal The Moving Picture World published the following item in its issue of October 3, 1908:

“Danville, Va.â€"The Gaiety Theater, owned and managed by Mrs. E. R. Shepherd, of Richmond, Va., opened its doors to the public on September 14th, played to standing room the first night and has been turning away business ever since. The building is handsomely fitted up, the decorations being most artistic and restful. The chairs are all of the Hardesty automatic folding and revolving type and the seating capacity 300. The house is devoted exclusively to moving and talking pictures. Jas. F. Jackson, recently of Music Hall, Webster, Mass., has been secured as electrician and operator. He is a licensed operator, a member of F. A. T. S. E., No. 144, Boston, Mass., and he is making some of the crank-turners here sit up and take notice.”
The reference to “talking pictures” must have meant that the house was equipped for the Gaumont Chronophone system, or one of the other early sound systems available in 1908. This page from Silent Era has an extensive list of early sound films.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Athens Theatre on Apr 21, 2011 at 3:35 am

Here is a photo of the Athens Theatre taken in 2009.

If this link works (the web site is in Beta and rather temperamental) you’ll see five large thumbnails showing the Athens. They are supposed to enlarge, but I can’t get them to do so. Maybe it’s not compatible with either of my browsers.