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The Historic Hawaii Foundation has this information on their web page about the local newspaper, the Honolulu Advertiser:
“Although not its first home, the Advertiser was located in the W.W. Dimond building on King Street, between Fort and Bethel Streets, until 1913. (W.W. Dimond & Co. sold home furnishings. In 1936, the King Theatre was built on the site, now a multi-story parking garage).”
That’s a grim replacement for the pleasant building that housed the Filmarte. The new building is probably bad for the mental health of people who have to look at it every day.
The theater’s name comes from the SModcast, a weekly podcast by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. They replaced the p in podcast with the initials of their surnames and came up with SModcast, and thus SModcastle.
Here are two photos of the Isis from a 1913 issue of the trade Journal The Moving Picture World. The pictures are rather small, but the interior photo gives an idea of just how big this theater really was. For such an early movie house the place was vast.
The September 25, 1901, issue of the Paducah sun said that the Kentucky Theatre had been designed by Paducah architect William Brainerd.
An article in the March 9, 1904, issue of the Paducah Sun said that Brainerd had just returned from Henderson, Kentucky, where James English (manager of the Kentucky) was contemplating building a new theater. I’ve been unable to determine of this project was ever carried out.
The July 9, 1904, edition of the Sun said that William Brainerd had been hired to design a new opera house at Owensboro, Kentucky, and that it would be “…a similar plan to the ‘Kentucky’ of this city….” So far I’ve been unable to discover if this theater was built either. If the Owensboro and/or Henderson projects were carried out, they are either not listed at Cinema Treasures or are missing their aka’s.
Here is a small photo of the Rex in 1913, from the trade journal The Moving Picture World.
The original East Broadway Theatre opened as a movie house in April, 1908, and originally seated 300. It was the third movie theater in Louisville. According to an article about the house in the July 5, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World, the house was rebuilt twice over the next few years, expanding its seating capacity first to 500 and then to 700. During its five years of operation, the theater had not missed a single performance despite the alterations to the building, and despite a fire that had destroyed the stage area.
At the time the article was published, architects Joseph & Joseph were working on the plans for another major remodeling which would more than double the size of the theater. The operators had acquired an additional 15 feet of frontage to expand the existing 30-foot wide building.
This is where it gets a bit tricky. I’ve been unable to find any articles explaining the delay in the project, or why the Broadway as completed in 1915 was considerably smaller than the project as planned in 1913. I’m not even sure the new theater was at exactly the same location as the original, which the magazine gave only as Shelby Street and Broadway (the theater today is much closer to Logan Street, at the other end of the block.) Is the existing Broadway Theatre an entirely new building, or is it the final remodeling of the original East Broadway Theatre? We won’t know until additional information surfaces.
In the meantime, here’s a small photo of the original East Broadway, ca.1913. It looks nothing like its successor.
Trade journal The Moving Picture World for August 2, 1913, had this to say about the conversion of the Walnut Theatre into a movie house:
“The Walnut Theater, Louisville, will shortly open as a moving picture theater, according to a recent announcement. The Gus Sun Theatrical Company, of Cincinnati, is the power behind the project, it is said. Twenty-five and fifty cents will be the fees, and the way In which this announcement is received by the Louisville public will be watched with a good deal of interest by exhibitors and others interested in the business. It is the plan of the Sun people to show only high class feature films, running from five to seven reels in length. This also is an Innovation in Louisville. Whether the public prefers the lengthy subjects to the short single reels has been a subject of discussion among exhibitors for some time, and the reception accorded the Walnut policy will be noted carefully. Women as ushers, cashiers, ticket-takers and other employees will be a feature, and about the only man around the theater will be the manager. The attaches will be attired in natty uniforms.”
A book called “Maryland’s Motion Picture Theaters”, by Robert K. Headley, says that the first Willou Theatre opened in a former harness shop in 1908, and that the Bijou was also in operation by that year. The 1918 opening date Jack Coursey mentions for the New Willou must be when the theater was renamed. Headley says that the State was opened by Durkee Enterprises in September, 1927.
Headley also says that the City Opera House, on Union Avenue, had exhibited movies by 1908; became a full time movie theater in 1917; burned and was rebuilt in 1921, and ran movies as late as 1929, when it was leased by Durkee.
Possibly, Durkee leased the rival house in order to shut it down and thus eliminate their State Theatre’s competition.
The original architect of the Wildey Theatre was George H. Kennerly. Four years after the Wildey was built, Kennerly formed a partnership with architect Oliver W. Stiegemeyer. The firm of Kennerly & Stiegemeyer operated from 1913 to 1931 and designed several theaters.
The recent renovation of the Wildey was handled by the St. Louis architectural firm Trivers Associates, in association with the local firm of Henderson Associates Architects.
Trivers Associates, architects for this project, also handled the restoration of the Moolah Temple Cinema in St. Louis, and (in association with the local firm Henderson Architects) the renovation of the Wildey Theatre at Edwardsville, Illinois.
For what it’s worth, I’ve found a single source indicating that the architect of the Colonial Theatre was George N. Page, then working in Clarence Blackall’s office. In 1902, Page moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he opened the firm of Blackall & Page. Partner Blackall remained in Boston. The firm was listed in Cleveland directories as late as 1913, according to this web page from Cleveland’s Landmark Commission.
The source that attributes the design of the Colonial to Page is the trade journal The Ohio Architect, Engineer and Builder, in an article in the issue of September, 1911. Here is a quote:[quote]“The firm of George M. Page and J. W. C. Corbusier was formed in November, 1908, as the outgrowth of the firm of Blackall & Page.
“Both these gentlemen had their early training in the Mechanics' Institute at Rochester. N. Y., Mr. Page beginning his architectural work in Buffalo and going from there to New York City and thence to Boston where he became identified with that greatest of theater
experts, C. H. Blackall. While there he designed the famous Colonial Theater of Boston. He then came to Cleveland where his work has since become so well known.”[/quote]Given the fact that there is only this source for the attribution of the Colonial to Page, I’d be reluctant to remove the design from Blackall’s credits, but considering how busy Blackall’s firm probably was at the time, and the fact that he was willing to open a Cleveland office with Page in charge as his partner, only two years after the Colonial was built, it does seem plausible that Blackall could have let Page handle this important commission.
I wonder if the Nuluna Theatre was a replacement for, or a remodeling of, the Luna Theatre, two photos of which appeared in the January, 1912, issue of the trade journal The Ohio Architect, Engineer and Builder?
The issue featured a portfolio of the works of Sharon architect E.E. Clepper, and in addition to the Luna photos there were photos of two other Sharon theaters he had designed. There was one photo of the Alpha Theatre, a house that featured Keith vaudeville, and two photos of the Thomas Theatre, one exterior shot and two interior views.
At this time, neither the Alpha nor the Thomas is listed on Cinema Treasures. The trade journal article has no information about any of the three theaters.
Here’s an item from the trade journal The Ohio Architect, Engineer and Builder, issue of February 6, 1917. Datelined Dayton, it probably refers to this theater:
“Architects Shenk and Williams are preparing plans for a theater to occupy the site of the old Baptist church on Main St. to be built for both pictures and drama, the cost of which will be $250,000. It will have a seating capacity of 2500 and will be built for the Dayton Theater Building Co., just organized by F. H. Rike, Charles W. Dale and others. Contracts will be awarded about the 15th of March.”
Schenck & Williams (Harry I. Schenck and Harry J. Williams) was one of Dayton’s leading architectural firms during the 1910s and 1920s. I haven’t found any other theaters attributed to them, but they designed many other major projects.
In 1891, the B. F. Sturtevant Co., makers of heating and ventilation systems, put out a book displaying drawings of many of the buildings in which their equipment had been installed. One of these was the Ogden Opera House. The brief text accompanying the drawing gives the name of the architect of the opera house, S.G. Whitaker.
After the Orpheum became part of a vaudeville circuit in 1909, though it might have presented full stage shows occasionally, this would probably have been done infrequently and only for short runs— a week, or even just three or four days. The way vaudeville circuits were set up, with most of the circuit’s acts booked for 42 straight weeks of traveling from town to town, there wasn’t much flexibility in the schedules of the theaters.
Traveling road productions of popular plays and musicals might have been presented at Ogden’s Orpheum, if the town had available no other large theater capable of hosting them, but the house most likely ran combination shows of vaudeville and movies most of the year.
By the mid-1910s virtually all vaudeville theaters outside the major cities had become combination houses, offering continuous shows with four to six live acts and a feature film. Once in a while a major all-vaudeville show with ten or more acts might be presented in smaller cities, but those were special occasions. In a market the size of Ogden it would have been primarily combination shows year-round for most of the period during which the Orpheum was part of a circuit.
I’m not sure how long Loew’s operated this theater, but it became a Loew’s house in 1917. A brief item in an issue of The Moving Picture World that year said that Loew’s had opened the Lyceum in Memphis as a vaudeville and picture house, pending construction of the projected new Loew’s house in that city. I’ve been unable to find any later mentions of the Lyceum in connection with Loew’s. The circuit might have dropped the Lyceum when the Palace and State were opened.
The book Zanesville has a photo of the Liberty Theatre, and the caption gives the address as 13-15 S. Fifth Street, and the opening date as October 13, 1927.
The Liberty was a very handsome building, with a facade that featured ornate detailing in what must have been terra cotta (the style is not Art Deco, by the way, but more an eclectic Renaissance Revival with strong elements of the Rococo.) It’s possible that the terra cotta was actually made in Zanesville, as fired clay was for many years the city’s leading industry.
The Liberty was not as wide as the Quimby Theatre across the street, but probably had a frontage of at least 60 feet, and it was tall, with the cornice at least 40 feet above the street. It was an imposing structure. If the interior was anywhere near as good as the facade, it must have been splendid.
I found another photo in the Zanesville book which shows N. Fifth Street in the 1930s, and the Opera House building has a vertical sign that says Imperial, so that name belonged to this house by then. It’s possible that it became the Imperial as soon as the Liberty name was moved in 1927.
This theater might have had one or more other names between the time it was the Liberty and when it became the Imperial. Zanesville had an Imperial Theatre located on Main Street operating as early as 1916 and still open in 1927 when the Liberty name was moved. The Name Imperial continued appearing in local newspaper ads into the 1930s, but I’ve found no address for it prior to 1948, when it was located in the former Opera House. The year this theater became the Imperial remains a mystery.
Google Books has a preview of the Arcadia Publishing Company’s Images of America series book Zanesville, which features photos of this theater as the Schultz Opera House, the Imperial, and the Variety.
The address of the Orpheum was 61 N. Fourth Street, according to a 1952 Zanesville newspaper article. The building is still standing, and was to have been auctioned off this month according to an article in the September 6, 2010, issue of the Zanesville Times Recorder.
The name New Liberty Theatre begins appearing in Zanesville newspapers in September, 1927. If, as Walter Kussmaul says in the description (and I have no reason to doubt his memory) the Liberty was across the street from the Cinema 1 (which was at 30 S. Fifth), then it had a two-digit, odd-number address on South Fifth Street.
An outfit called the Ohio Finance Company had multiple ads in Zanesville papers during the late 1920s, and gave its address as “10 South Fifth Street Opp. New Liberty Theatre.”
The first Liberty had been on North Fifth Street, but had an even number. It must have been the theater mentioned in Bob Jensen’s comment above that had the organ installed in 1920. That house operated under other names for many years after the new Liberty opened.
The address currently given for this theater is not that of the former Quimby/State Theatre. The newspaper article ken mc quoted in his comment of Sept. 19, 2009, says that the Quimby/State was on South Fifth Street. The Arcadia Publishing Company’s book “Zanesville” has photos of the theater as the Quimby and as the State, and gives the address as 30 S. Fifth.
The address Chuck found for the Cinema 1 at 17 or 19 N. Fifth must have been another theater of the same name, operating at a different time. The 1973 article ken mc quoted on July 8, 2009, says that the former State was by then called the Cinema 1.
There is a photo of a Colonial Theatre at the Connecticut History Online web site, but the text gives the address as 23 Atlantic Street, Stamford. The date given for the photo is 1922.
CWalczak is right. Had Billy, Don, and Billy not submitted this theater I would not have come across it while I was actually looking for another Syracuse theater. The listing provided a starting point for my research. I might never have found out that the theater even existed had it not already been listed here.