Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Goshen Theater on Apr 13, 2016 at 8:03 pm

The River Bend Film Festival has transplanted itself to Goshen (I believe it was native to South Bend), and it’s fifteenth annual season was presented at the Goshen Theater on March 31-April 2. The festival’s Facebook page has a few photos with glimpses of the Goshen Theater’s interior.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Opera House on Apr 13, 2016 at 6:38 pm

For much of its history the Opera House was known as the Majestic Theatre. An article syndicated by the Associated Press ran in the January 30, 2006, issue of the Globe-Gazette and said in part:

“DEWITT — Plans have been announced for a major renovation of the Operahouse Theater in this eastern Iowa town.

“The project comes 25 years after residents of DeWitt and surrounding communities raised more than $300,000 to refurbish the former Majestic Theater for movies, live performances and meetings. The 1878 building now is in need of another revamping.”

The name change might have happened as early as 1921, when the January 1 issue of Exhibitors Herald published this item:
“DeNune Buys In DeWitt

“DeWITT, IA.— G. L. DeNune, who operated the Majestic theatre here for a number of years, has purchased the controlling interest in the DeWitt opera house, buying the stock of the Langan interests. He will remodel the house.”

Grover L. DeNune’s death notice in the September 18, 1948, issue of Motion Picture Herald said that he had been an exhibitor in DeWitt for 32 years, and at the time of his death held a half interest in the Majestic. The September 11 issue of the same publication had noted his sale of a half interest in the house to Iowa United Theatres. He must have opened or taken over the original Majestic about 1916. I haven’t been able to discover if the original Majestic continued operation after DeNune took over the Opera House, or when the name was moved from the first theater to the second.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Allen Theatre on Apr 12, 2016 at 5:36 am

According to this 2000 article from The Morning Call, this movie house on New Street opened around 1914-1915 as the Nedson Theatre, and became the New Allen Theatre in 1926, and the Allen Theatre in 1934.

Some confusion might have arisen due the existence of an earlier house called the Allen Theatre, operating in the 1910s, at Second and Hamilton Streets. This earlier Allen Theatre was mentioned in the July 1, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World.

This photo of the Nedson Theatre is dated between 1916 and 1926. The movie advertised on the poster out front might be the 1925 film On Thin Ice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Great Northern Theatre on Apr 12, 2016 at 5:06 am

The partner in Henon & Boyle who worked on the Great Northern Theatre had to be James F., the son of Rowland Boyle, who died in 1911. Here is James F. Boyle’s page at Philadelphia Architects and Buildings.

Here is an item from the June 1, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World about the firm’s participation in a remodeling and expansion of the Great Northern:

“Great Northern Theater Improvements.

“Philadelphia, Pa. — Henon & Doyle [sic], well known architects of Philadelphia, are receiving bids for alterations and an addition to the Great Northern theater, Broad street and Erie avenue. The contract will soon be let and the work of renovation will be rushed forward with all possible speed. This theater is one of the largest moving picture theaters in that section of the city and is patronized daily by thousands of persons.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Imperial Theater on Apr 12, 2016 at 4:34 am

The Imperial Theatre had recently changed hands, according to this item in the July 1, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“The Imperial Theater Sold.

“Philadelphia, Pa. — The large moving picture theater, the Imperial, located at Nos. 217-19 South Sixtieth street, has been purchased by Robert N. Wannemacher from Robert Bloomgarden, for a nominal consideration, subject to mortgages of $72,500. The theater measures 90 by 130 feet, and is reached by a lobby 32 by 72 feet. The new owner has made arrangements whereby William I. Greenfield, will manage the theater.”

The April 4, 1953, issue of The Billboard said that the Imperial Theatre had been bought from Warner Bros. by sports promoter James Toppi, who intended to convert the house into a roller skating rink. Toppi had already converted the Alhambra Theatre, also formerly a Warner house, in South Philadelphia into a roller rink.

The auditorium was gutted and used as a warehouse after closing as a roller rink, according to this PDF documenting a 2003 proposal for renovation of the 60th Street commercial corridor. This project included plans to combine the Imperial and the adjacent buildings on the corner of Chancellor Street into a family recreation center which would include a restored roller skating rink in the theater’s auditorium.

The buildings on the corner have since been demolished, so some other plan must be developed, but so far the project remains in limbo. The Imperial’s building is apparently still standing, for now, but a close view of Google’s satellite photo shows greenery growing on the roof, a sure sign of advancing decay. The window of opportunity for salvaging this building will soon close.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Beverly Cinema on Apr 11, 2016 at 4:28 am

Ron, did you find any ads for the New Globe Theatre, which this web page says operated at this address for a single season in 1951? As it was devoted to a revival of Yiddish theater, it’s possible that it advertised only in the Jewish press.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Odeon Theatre on Apr 11, 2016 at 4:02 am

In 1907 a Mr. H. E. Vestal opened a 250-seat theater called the Lyric in Ada. I’m reluctant to submit a page for it because the last references to it I’ve found are from 1913, which means it could have been an earlier name for the Odeon. In 1914, Mr. Vestal joined the Ohio Board of Moving Picture Censors, working out of Columbus, and by 1915 he was its chairman, so it’s possible that his official duties led him to give up exhibition, and his theater changed hands and names around that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Frauenthal Center for the Perfoming Arts on Apr 9, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Linkrot repair: The American Seating Co. ad with the photo of the Michigan Theatre auditorium in Boxoffice of June 7, 1952, is now at this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eagle Theatre on Apr 9, 2016 at 3:02 pm

The nightclub called Industry that occupied this former theater has been replaced by a nightclub called Elektricity. A very few of the photos in the club’s Facebook album show a bit of the walls in the background, but the only one I’ve found that gives a decent view is this shot of the stage, which shows some of the detail of the Moorish style proscenium arch.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Nusho Theater on Apr 4, 2016 at 2:29 am

The Nusho was one of four Mangum theaters that changed hands in 1930, according to this item in the June 2 issue of The Film Daily:

“Mangum — Empress and Nusho, sold to Mangum Th. Ent., Inc., by Sam Fringer; Rialto, sold to Pat Duffy by Duffy & Wallace; Temple, sold to Mangum Th. Ent., Inc., by Sam Fringer.”
The Empress Theatre had been around since at least 1916. Mangum had a lot of theater names in the 1910s and 1920s. I’ve found references to the Electric and Lyric (1910), the New Dime on N. Oklahoma Avenue (1914), the Woodrow (at least 1914 into the early 1920s), the Happy Hour, opened October 2, 1915, on the north side of the square, The Yale (1915), the Blue Bird (late 1910s), and the Strand, opened September 27, 1922, at the southwest corner of the square. There might also have been houses called the Palace, the Star, and the Majestic, but the references to them I’ve found are a bit vague.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Theatre on Mar 30, 2016 at 9:52 pm

dallasmovietheaters: A timeline of Harold Spitznagel’s works on the web site of the firm he founded, TSP, says that the only movie house he designed was the Hollywood Theatre in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Cinema Treasures page.) This theater of the same name in Sioux City must have been designed by someone else.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empress Theater on Mar 30, 2016 at 8:37 pm

Well, the Empress Theatre in the photo currently displayed above was definitely on Pierce Street, not Jackson (my apologies to dallasmovietheaters.) I’ve found another photo of it in a PDF (very large file which also has some photos of the Orpheum.) The photo is dated 1912-1915.

I can think of three possibilities: 1) The name Empress was used on two different theaters, this one and the one on Jackson Street; 2) the theater on Jackson Street was given a different name than the one originally planned; 3) the Jackson Street theater project was never completed.

The name Empress was undoubtedly chosen for the lessees of the Jackson Street project, the Sullivan & Considine circuit, who used that name for most of their houses, and the circuit began to collapse around the time this project was getting underway, so either the second or third possibility is pretty likely.

As even the existence of the 1914 theater on Jackson Street is now moot, we should probably use the address dallasmovietheaters found for the Empress Theatre on this page. Also, the name of the architect of the Jackson Street project should be removed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empress Theater on Mar 30, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Unless more than one Sioux City house used the name Empress, your source must be mistaken, dallasmovietheaters. A “100 Years Ago” feature in the April 13, 2014, issue of the Sioux City Journal (here) cited a 1914 article saying that the cornerstone of the old Central School had been unearthed during demolition of the structure to make way for the new Empress Theatre, which was to be built on the school’s site.

This web page says of the Central School: “In 1868, the city’s first brick schoolhouse was erected on the east side of Jackson Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets.” Thus the Empress must have been in the 400 block of Jackson Street.

I don’t know what was at 308 Pierce Street, but I now wonder if it could have been the Colonial Theatre, the owners of which were building the Empress? It’s possible that correspondence regarding the project was sent under the name Empress Theatre, but using the address of the Colonial, which is probably where the owners of the theaters had their office. We don’t have the Colonial listed at Cinema Treasures, though it was to have been converted into a movie house after the Empress opened. I’ve never found an address for the Colonial.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema Alley on Mar 30, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Well, the new link sort of works. It goes to the right location, but when the page opens all I see is asphalt. I had to pan the view upward to see the buildings.

Here is a bird’s-eye view from Bing Maps. It gives a view of the alley, but you can’t see the front wall of the building where the poster case is.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema Alley on Mar 30, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Rats! Let’s see if this one works.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema Alley on Mar 30, 2016 at 3:49 am

The gym that was built in the space once occupied by Cinema Alley, mentioned in the comment by dondoubleu3 on August 18, 2010, must be the Retro Fitness, at Toms River Mall, 1214 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08753. This Google street view shows the alley next to the gym, down which the theater’s entrance must have been. On the front wall to the left of the alley’s entrance is a case with two posters in it. I wonder if the case could be what’s left of Cinema Alley?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Mar 27, 2016 at 1:38 pm

I didn’t even notice the extra L in Nickellette. Nickelette was standard just about everywhere the name was used, and it was pretty popular name for nickelodeons. But our page used to say Nicolette, which I believe is a street in Minneapolis.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Mar 26, 2016 at 9:47 pm

The Lyric is mentioned in the June 5, 1915, issue of Motography:

“The Lyric theater at Youngstown is now under new management. James Thomas has assumed control of the play house, and same will be entirely renovated and remodeled under his direction. Among the innovations at the Lyric are a new ventilating system and free mineral spring water for all patrons. First class pictures will be shown.”
In 1907, the annual report of the state’s Department of Inspections listed the Alvin and Lyric Theatres in Youngstown as properties of the partnership of Hartzell & Pitzer. The Alvin was already in operation, but the Lyric had not yet received a permit to open. An item datelined Youngstown, April 16, in a 1908 issue of Variety said that Hartzell & Pitzer had begun presenting burlesque at the Empire Theatre in Youngstown, and that they also operated a string of smaller theaters in the region.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Mar 26, 2016 at 9:46 pm

4000 sounds like it might have been a typo for 400. The Lyric was a nickel theater, so I wouldn’t expect it to have been very large.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gem Theater on Mar 26, 2016 at 2:55 pm

And the Glenn Theatre, opened in 1910 as the Colonnade, was at 520 Hampshire, so for a time there were three small theaters in a row, with the Savoy in the middle. I wonder if there are any photos of the row somewhere?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Barnsdall Theatre on Mar 26, 2016 at 3:13 am

Listing a theater under its final name is standard at Cinema Treasures, unless the house only operated for a short time under the later name. If this theater’s run as the Roxy was brief, then more people are apt to remember it as the Barnsdall, but if it operated as the Roxy for at least a few years then the listing name should probably be changed. I haven’t checked the FDY’s to see how long after 1950 it was open.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gem Theater on Mar 26, 2016 at 2:58 am

This house might have been called both the Savoy and the Gem at various times, but there were houses of those names operating simultaneously in Quincy at one point. A book called Quincy and Adams County History and Representative Men, published in 1919, tells of Peter E. Pinklemann, a transplant from Philadelphia, who “…bought four theaters in Quincy, and now owns the Gem, the Savoy, the Princess and the Family, all popular and well patronized houses, furnishing a large share of the daily entertainment and amusement for Quincy people.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Quincy Theater on Mar 26, 2016 at 2:29 am

The Quincy Theatre has been demolished. It was on part of the parking lot between the 7-story bank building at 529 N. Hampshire and the WGEM building at 513 Hampshire. The Illinois Digital Archives has two later photos of the house, both apparently taken after it closed, as the poster cases are empty and the building looks Rather decayed.

First photo.

Second photo.

There is also this photo dated 1915, when the house had a more ornate front.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Theater on Mar 26, 2016 at 2:28 am

The May 15, 1910, issue of The Nickelodeon said that the Bijou Theatre in Quincy would be conducted as a motion picture theater during the summer months. The Bijou opened on January 16, 1905, according to the caption of an early 20th century photo of Hampshire Street at the Illinois Digital Archives. The photo is supposed to include the Bijou, but I certainly can’t make it out.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Mar 26, 2016 at 1:42 am

The Nickelette (correct spelling) Theater was in operation by 1909, when this advertisement ran in the May 29 issue of a local newspaper.