Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Victor Theatre on Jan 22, 2018 at 6:31 pm

114 Concord Street is now occupied by Vermillion Office Supply, and the single-story building has an arched parapet of reasonably theatrical appearance, but is rather small. 111 Concord is a slightly wider, two-story building now subdivided into offices. The parapet (indeed the entire facade) is a bit fancier than the one on the building at 114, and now has the name “Place de la Concorde” on it.

It is not obvious which building is older. However, the building at 111 has a slightly larger footprint, and is also tall enough to have had a balcony, and thus is most likely to have been able to accommodate 410 seats.

The theater opened at one or the other of these locations (my guess would be 111 Concord) in June, 1913. The Saturday, June 14, issue of the Abbeville Progress said that A. O. Landry had opened his new Victor Theatre on Sunday night (presumably the previous Sunday, June 8.) The article also said that the building was new construction.

A. O. Landry’s Victor Theatre was listed in the 1914-1915 edition of Gus Hill’s theatrical directory as a ground floor house with 450 seats, playing road shows, vaudeville, and pictures. The stage was rather small, being but 22 feet deep and 37 feet wide, and a mere 20 feet high, reflecting the absence of a fly tower.

Mr. Landry provided capsule reviews of movies for the “What the Picture Did for Me” columns of various issues of Motography in 1917.

“Find a Grave” reveals that A. O. Landry’s father was named Victor, so the Victor Theatre was most likely named for him.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Melba Theatre on Jan 22, 2018 at 4:46 pm

JohnnyC: They weren’t in operation at the same time. The claim on our page for the Melba Performing Arts Center that the New Melba Theatre which opened in 1938 was a rebuild of the old Melba is mistaken. The New Melba was on a different site. The June 9, 1938, issue of the Houston Herald featured an ad for a furniture store “…located in the old Melba Theatre Building.”

A good rule of thumb to follow at Cinema Treasures is that if dallasmovietheatres makes a claim that contradicts an earlier claim made somewhere on the site, it is probably the earlier claim that is wrong.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kuo Hwa 2 Cinema on Jan 21, 2018 at 10:44 pm

Cinematour lists Bridge Theatre as an aka for the earlier Kuo Hwa (aka Edwards San Gabriel/Century) at 330 W. Las Tunas. A comment on our Edwards Century page concurs.

For those wondering about the name, it was most likely named for Yu Kuo-hwa (January 10, 1914 – October 4, 2000) who was the Premier of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 1984 to 1989.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bridge Theater on Jan 21, 2018 at 9:09 pm

The Whittier Narrows earthquake struck on the morning of October 1, 1987, so if that event led to the permanent closure of this theater, the last show must have been run on the evening of September 30.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kuo Hwa 2 Cinema on Jan 21, 2018 at 8:37 pm

The Los Angeles Times listed the Kuo-Hwa Cinema at 250 W. Valley Boulevard.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theatre on Jan 21, 2018 at 8:11 pm

The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists both the Photoplay Theatre and a Lyric Theatre on Market Street in Duncannon.

Harrisburg district news from the July 3, 1948, issue of Boxoffice includes this brief item:

“Robert Moore has been named manager of the Canon Theatre, recently opened in suburban Duncannon.”
Given the date, this might have been either a new theater or the Fox restored and reopened. This is the only instance of the name I’ve found in Boxoffice, or anywhere else. After this, Duncannon’s theater history gets rather confusing. Film Daily Yearbook continues to list the Fox Theatre at Duncannon through 1952. Then in 1953 and 1954 it lists a Markan Theater in Duncannon. The Fox reappears in 1956, and then it’s back to the Markan through 1959.

The Markan Theatre also shows up in The Perry County Times from New Bloomfield, into the early 1960s, but the Duncannon house most often mentioned in that paper is called the Kanon Theatre, which turns up as late as 1963. The name Kanon never appears in the FDY. The Times sometimes mentions both the Markan and the Kanon in the same issue, but both houses seem to have been running movies only intermittently through the 1950s and later, so were not in competition.

Bizapedia lists the Markan Theatre as a fictitious business name filed on June 7, 1950. I don’t know why the name doesn’t show up in the FDY or the local paper until a few years later. I haven’t found a Bizapedia listing for a Kanon Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Greene Theatre on Jan 21, 2018 at 5:37 pm

As dallasmovietheaters noted in an earlier comment, the Crystal Theatre on Traer Street and Ingall’s Opera House on N. Second Street were two different theaters. Both were in operation under those names during the period 1914-1921. The Opera house was an older building, in operation at least as early as 1909, but the Crystal was apparently newly built in 1913. Both were ground floor houses, but the Opera House probably had a flat floor, as the local newspaper mentions dances being held there frequently.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Greene Theatre on Jan 20, 2018 at 8:04 pm

The earliest mention of the Crystal I’ve found in the trade journals so far is this item from Motion Picture News of July 13, 1929:

“Harry Gottlieb, salesman for M-G-M has bought the Crystal at Greene, Iowa. This house was formerly owned by Amos Engalls [sic] who will devote his time to his print shop at Greene.”
Amos Ingalls was publisher of The Greene County Recorder at least as early as 1910. I don’t know when Mr. Ingalls began operating the Crystal, but both the Crystal and the Opera House were mentioned in the March 17, 1915, issue of the Recorder, and the Crystal had been mentioned in the paper in early 1914.

Interestingly, the web site Iowa Opera Houses lists the Opera House in Green as Ingalls' Opera House from around 1914 to 1924. Mr. Ingalls was a busy fellow. He also did a stint as Greene’s postmaster.

I found another photo of the Crystal at Twitter. The building had 1913 on its parapet, so that was probably the opening year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jan 20, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Here is an item about the Capitol from the September 8, 1934, issue of Motion Picture Herald:

“New Capitol Opens In Greeneville, Tenn.

“Considerable local attention was given the recent opening of the new Capitol theatre, in Greeneville, Tenn., operated by the Crescent Amusement Company, of which Tony Sudekum is president. Seating 800, the theatre is modernly equipped.

“The opening ceremony was featured by addresses by John S. Bernard, mayor of Greeneville; Mr. Sudekum, R. L. Baulch, secretary-treasurer; Joe W. Holman, architect. Harry C. Beekner is manager of the new theatre.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about West Theatre on Jan 18, 2018 at 11:51 pm

Back in 1947 when C. E. Means, owner of the Lux Theatre, announced plans to build a new theater in Grants, the October 11 issue of Boxoffice said that the new house was to be designed by Albuquerque architect Gordon Ferguson.

Given the fact that only the walls of the new theater were built until J. C. West completed it in 1959, I don’t know if Ferguson’s original plans were used for West’s completion or not, but he might have been involved in the project at that final stage as he continued to practice in Albuquerque into the 1970s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theater on Jan 18, 2018 at 11:14 pm

A small photo of the Park Theatre can be seen on this page at the auction site Worthpoint. There is also a photo of another of Lehighton’s movie houses, the Classic Theatre, which was on Iron Street at First Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theater on Jan 18, 2018 at 9:24 pm

I’ve come across conflicting reports about a theater in Lehighton built in the early 1920s. Sources from 1922 indicate that the Bayer family, operators since around 1908 of the Grand Opera House in Lehighton, were planning to build a new theater. Notices in The American Contractor gave the location as South First Street. Construction was set to begin in April.

However, the Park Theatre didn’t open until 1923, when a notice of the event appeared in the July 31 issue of The Film Daily. But the theater, though operated by the Bayers, was not on First Street. It was located at 100 S. Second Street, where the building is still standing, the auditorium now housing a bowling alley, and the stage house occupied by a dance school.

The 1922 construction journal notices named the Allentown architectural, engineering, and construction firm the Tilghman Moyer Co. as designers of the Bayers' theater project, but I don’t know if that company’s design was kept when the project was built a year later on Second Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jan 14, 2018 at 4:18 am

The June 9, 1962, issue of The Circleville Herald had an article about the closing of the Grand Theatre. The June 26 issue of the paper said that the building had been sold at auction, the winner being a local bank with plans to demolish the theater and establish a drive-up teller service.

The June 9 article said that the Grand Opera House had opened in 1888. Chakeres Theatres took over operation at the beginning of 1939. The theater was located at the corner of N. Court Street and Pinckney Street.

The advertising truck in the vintage photo DavidZornig uploaded was parked in front of the theater, which is itself out of the frame. A new building for The Savings Bank has been built on the theater’s site and uses the address 118 N. Court Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ralston Theatre on Jan 14, 2018 at 3:45 am

The building’s address is 501-503 Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ralston Theatre on Jan 14, 2018 at 3:41 am

Actually there is quite a bit of information about this theater on the Internet. It was built in 1902 by the Harry Brothers, who operated a hardware store on the ground floor. The Ralston Opera House occupied the entire upper floor. The theater ran movies into the 1920s, but closed before the end of that decade.

After sitting disused for about sixty years, it was bought by Bill Hiser in the mid-1980s, as noted in this article from NewsOK. Hiser began the restoration of the house, but died before it was completed. Despite being listed on the NRHP, the Opera House building is deteriorating and is in danger of being demolished. Local citizens attempting to save it have launched a Go Fund Me site for the project.

This web page has many recent photos of the building, quite a few of them depicting the Opera House interior. The auditorium still has seats in it, though the floor is flat, which was customary in small town opera houses of the period, which were intended for multiple uses. There is no projection booth.

I’ve also found mention of a movie house called the People’s Theatre operating in Ralston in the early 1920s. As the Opera House was open at the same time, the People’s must have been a different theater, perhaps a storefront conversion.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Jan 13, 2018 at 11:43 pm

Google Maps didn’t send their camera car along the block the Roxy was on, but Bing Maps Streetside shows the site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Townline Cinema on Jan 11, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Townline Plaza has been renamed Parkway Plaza, though the access road running in front of the stores is still called Townline Plaza on some maps, and some shops still have Townline Plaza addresses on the Internet while others use Parkway Plaza addresses.

The center is located on the south side of Eastern Boulevard east of Booth Street. Much of Eastern Boulevard is both U.S. Highway 20 and State Highway 5, which is probably why the address we have listed is fetching the wrong location from Google Maps. The entire development was renovated in 2013, which may account for inconsistencies in maps and addresses on the Internet.

I wouldn’t even guess which building the theater was in, or even if the theater building is still standing. But I find that putting the name Parkway Plaza into Google Maps fetches the right general location. The shopping center itself uses the collective address 39 Eastern Boulevard.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Exhibit Theatre on Jan 9, 2018 at 5:01 pm

According to an article in Boxoffice of January 7, 1950, about the closing of the Majestic Theatre, the 300-seat Exhibit Theatre was the first movie house opened by Max Stearn, who opened the Majestic in 1914. The patrons' nickels would get them a show of approximately thirty minutes, featuring three short films. During State Fair Week in 1907, Stearn racked up 34,000 admissions at the Exhibit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Jan 9, 2018 at 4:43 pm

The Majestic’s last show ran on December 31, 1949, according to the article about the theater in the January 7, 1950, issue of Boxoffice. The Majestic claimed to have been the first theater with a rising organ console, but on opening it also featured a 23-piece orchestra.

In its last years, the Majestic ran mostly westerns and action movies. I twas demolished to make way for an H. L. Green five and ten cent store, which has itself since been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Matthews Opera House on Jan 6, 2018 at 4:27 pm

The NRHP registration form for the Spearfish Historic Commercial District says that the Matthews Opera House Block was designed by the Deadwood architectural firm Bartlett & Phillips.

The Opera House was originally slated to have been designed by Deadwood architect Ortho C. Jewett, who had designed for Matthews the heavily rusticated block built at the corner of Hudson Street in 1900. The Opera House was announced in the April, 1901, issue of the building trades journal Stone

"Spearfish, S. D.—Thomas N. Matthews will erect a theater and business building of buff sandstone and steel frame, costing $25,000. 0. C. Jewett, Deadwood, architect.”
Jewett’s death in April, 1902, and the five-year delay in the construction of the project, probably prevented the Opera House from having the same facade as his 1900 building. Bartlett & Phillips chose a more modern Italianate style for their design, which was continued in the 1912 addition to the north (622-630 North Main) which completed the building as it stands today.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rheem Theatre on Jan 5, 2018 at 10:19 pm

The Rheem Theatre will be closing again, with its final showings scheduled for Sunday, January 7, according to this article from today’s East Bay Times. The theater will not be dismantled, for now, in hopes that it can be reopened in the future.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cedar Theatre on Jan 4, 2018 at 11:32 pm

This web page has a photo of the Cedar Lake Theatre, and says that the house opened in 1927 and closed in 1929. The building was demolished around 1977. The address of the Pizza Palace restaurant, located on the site of the theater, is 7704 Lake Shore Drive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jefferson Theater on Jan 3, 2018 at 1:57 am

It’s likely that the Jefferson Theatre was in operation, perhaps under a different name, prior to 1910, and I suspect it was called the Hyde Park Theatre. This item in the January 1, 1910, issue of The Economist said that a theater on 55th Street and Lake Avenue (Lake Avenue was renamed Lake Park Avenue in 1913) was to be enlarged and to have a new stage added. The architect for the $8,000 project was Edwin J. Seipp.

The 1910 Economist item names a John A. Orb as the owner of the theater that was being altered. Interestingly, Orb was a brewer, and in the 1880s had been associated in business with another Chicago brewer, Conrad Seipp. It seems likely that architect Edwin Seipp was related to Conrad Seipp.

The November 12, 1904, issue of the Chicago Eagle carried an advertisement for the Murphy Bros. Theatres. They had the Cream City Theatre in Milwaukee and the Ashland Theatre in Chicago, and also in Chicago the Hyde Park Theatre, 55th Street and Lake Avenue. The new Hyde Park Theatre opened at 53rd and Lake in 1914 must have been the second house of that name.

A preservation web site says that the Jefferson Theater was one of the buildings replaced by the Art Deco Ritz-55th Garage in 1929. If there was a Jefferson Theatre operating in Chicago in the 1940s it must have been at a different location.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about White Palace Theatre on Jan 2, 2018 at 10:25 pm

The White Palace must have been in operation prior to 1910, possibly under a different name. The “Building Permits” column of the January 15, 1910, issue of The Economist noted the planned remodeling and expansion of a theater at 1607-1613 S. Kedzie Avenue. The architect was Alexander L. Levy, eventually to be designer of at least a dozen other theaters in Chicago.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jan 2, 2018 at 10:11 pm

According to the notice in the “Building Permits” column of the January 15, 1910, issue of The Economist, the theater that was to be built at 3110-3112 State Street had been designed by the architectural firm of Ottenheimer, Stern & Reichert.

Henry L. Ottenheimer studied in Paris and apprenticed under Louis Sullivan. His partners were Isaac S. Stern and William Reichert.