Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dietrich Theater on Jan 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm

JKR Partners is now called JKRP Architects (the firm was founded in 1984 as J.K. Roller Architects.) While several cinema projects are featured on their redesigned web site, the Dietrich Theatre is unfortunately not among them.

The photo currently on display was uploaded by wsasser back in 2012, but he didn’t provide any annotation with it. As the newest movie on the marquee, The Mummy Returns, was released in 2001, I’d surmise that the photo was taken around the time the house reopened that year, and the people depicted were connected in some way with the event.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Diamond Theatre on Jan 16, 2016 at 1:28 pm

Blaney’s New Orleans Lyric Theatre was mentioned in the February, 1909, issue of Pan-American Magazine. The house was one of several operated by the prolific author and producer of melodramas for both stage and screen, Charles E. Blaney.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about South Side Theatre on Jan 16, 2016 at 10:16 am

Ah, so it was that issue of the News that had the typo. No wonder I was unable to find other references to Hair’s theaters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trianon Theater on Jan 14, 2016 at 10:30 pm

The October 31, 1912, issue of The Tradesman, a Chattanooga-based publication later to be renamed Southern Hardware, noted that a permit to construct a $10,000 movie theater in Birmingham had been issued to H. M. Newsome.

The opus list of Louisville organ makers Henry Pilcher’s Sons includes an entry for opus 778, a two manual, ten rank organ installed in a theater in Birmingham for H. M. Newsome, February, 1913. Probably the Trianon.

The installation was also mentioned in a classified ad for Pilcher’s Sons in the October 25 issue of Moving Picture World that year. The ad said that other recent installations included organs for the Hippodrome Theatre in Dallas, the Queen Theatre in Galveston, and the Vaudette Theatre in Atlanta.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pantages Theater on Jan 14, 2016 at 1:50 am

Linkrot repair: The October 22, 1955, Boxoffice article about the remodeling of the Roxy is now at these links:

Page one

Page two

Page three

Page four

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Jan 13, 2016 at 2:08 pm

The town of Jewell spells its name with a double “l” at the end. In early publications it is sometimes referred to as Jewell Junction.

Here is evidence of an earlier theater in Jewell, which might or might not have become the Strand: the October 14, 1916, issue of Motography mentions the Isis Theatre, which had just been purchased by George Peterson, manager of the Grand Theatre at Story City. An item in the December 9 issue of the same publication said that Peterson had bought a lot where he intended to erect a new building for the Isis.

The Strand was almost certainly located on the two block stretch of Main Street between Carmichael Street and Edwards Street that contains virtually all of Jewell’s old business district. Of all the buildings on the street, the one that looks most like it might have been a theater at one time is the one at 712 Main, which houses the Axis Lanes bowling alley. This building housed a bowling alley by the 1960s, and though later long abandoned it was renovated and reopened a few years ago. The building looks to date from the 1910s, which is when the Strand would have been built if it was originally the Isis Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Belcourt Theatre on Jan 13, 2016 at 8:34 am

Linkrot re-re-repair: The July 8, 1963, Boxoffice page with photos of the recently remodeled Belcourt Theatre is now at this link on the magazine’s web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riviera Theatre on Jan 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm

The furniture showroom is apparently gone. Here is the web site of the Area Stage Company, the live theater group founded in 1989 which moved into the Riviera Theatre in 2008. They still call the venue the Riviera Theatre and still use the theater’s original address.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Horstman Theatre on Jan 10, 2016 at 3:16 am

I’m wondering if we have conflated two different theaters on this page. A 1955 photo of the Horstman Theatre appears on this web page and shows a building that is still standing, though missing its top floor, and it is next door to the address 105 W. Yoakum Avenue, which is occupied by a cafe called Sandy’s Toddle Inn. The Horstman Theatre’s address must have been 107 W. Yoakum.

The caption of the photo says that this house was called the Chaffee Pullman Theatre when it was bought by Charles Horstman in 1921. He renamed it the Horstman Theatre in 1931. These dates are also noted in the 2009 obituary of Bernice Montgomery, Charles Horstman’s daughter. The caption also says the Horstman Theatre operated into the early 1960s.

The description of the Empress Theatre I found and cited in my previous comment described a three-story building, and the Pullman/Horstman was in a two story building. We also got the address 105 Yoakum somewhere, although that isn’t the current address of the building the Horstman was in. I’m thinking it’s possible that the Empress/Paramount and Pullman/Horstman might have been two different theaters that were next door to each other, at 105 and 107 Yoakum.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Missouri Theatre on Jan 8, 2016 at 1:01 pm

The site prefers the terms vertical or upright in the description when you submit a new theater, but I doubt if there is a moderator who is going to go through all the comments on the site and give demerits to anyone who has used the term blade in them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Theatre on Jan 8, 2016 at 4:14 am

Architect Beelman spelled his first name in the English style, without an “e” on the end: Claud.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theater on Jan 8, 2016 at 3:13 am

kkdeda: Thanks for providing us with the correct spelling of the name McGhie. With that information I’ve been able to find quite a few references to the McGhie (or McGhie’s) Theatre, including one that reveals that it was designed by Carl Boller. As the project was designed in 1904, it was one of Boller’s earliest theater projects. This item is from the July 2 issue of The Columbus Weekly Advocate:

“Carl Boler [sic], the theater architect of St. Joseph, Mo., was here Monday with completed plans for McGhie’s new opera house, which were entirely acceptable to Mr. McGhie, and Mr. Boler will now go ahead with the specifications, so that contractors may bid on the work. Mr. McGhie has 125 seats for sale yet for the opening night, which must be sold to insure the immediate beginning of the work. A first-class opera house would be a good thing for the town and the town must in a small degree help Mr. McGhie to assure its success.”
The Weekly Advocate of December 1, 1904, reported that the formal opening of McGhie’s New Theatre had been a great success. It didn’t give the exact date of the late November event.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crystal Theatre on Jan 6, 2016 at 6:08 pm

George K. Jorgensen (the most common spelling of his surname in the trade publications) was mentioned in quite a few items in the trades of the 1910s. He had control of several theaters. This item is from the May 25, 1912, issue of The Moving Picture News:

“Confirmation of recent rumors of a consolidation among the moving picture shows in Galveston came Monday, April 22d, with an announcement of Geo. K. Jorgensen, proprietor of the Crystal Vaudeville, Crystal-Majestic Vaudeville and Crystal moving picture shows here, as well as the Crystal theatres in other cities. The announcement of Mr. Jorgensen was co-incident with the dispatch announcing that at Austin there had been granted the charter of the Galveston Theatre Company of Galveston with a capital stock of $15,000. The incorporators of the new corporation are G. K. Jorgensen, I. A. Walker and A. L. Scudder.

“The moving picture shows taken in by the new corporation, Mr. Jorgensen announced, are the Casino, the Vaudette and the Leader, which have been purchased from the interests represented by E. H. Hulsey. The earnest money has been paid down and the deal is to be formally closed at once.”

Another interesting item appears in Motography of June 3, 1916:
“G.K. Jorgensen is building a new theater at Galveston, to be known as the New Crystal Palace. The new house will cost about $6,000.”
David Welling’s Cinema Houston: From Nickelodeon to Megaplex says that Jorgensen, who had previously toured fairs and carnivals with his own projector and collection of films, opened his first nickelodeon in a rented storefront at 410 Main Street in Houston on January 1, 1907. He sold the enterprise at a profit one month later and moved to Galveston where he opened the first Crystal Theatre with an investment of $180.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about UA Movies @ Regency on Jan 5, 2016 at 4:14 am

Thanks for the clarification, Anthoney.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ava Family Theatre on Jan 5, 2016 at 4:06 am

The new Avalon Theatre opened in 1955. The source for this and the information in the previous comment is a timeline of Ava’s history that was published in the 2009 Chamber of Commerce Community Guide (large PDF here.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ava Family Theatre on Jan 5, 2016 at 3:54 am

This house was never called the Wilson Theatre. The Wilson was located on the east side of the town square, opened in 1925, and was renamed the Avalon Theatre in 1939, after being rebuilt following a 1938 fire. I haven’t found the year of opening for the new Avalon Theatre, but it was probably when the old house on the square closed, which was 1954.

The Avalon Theatre closed in 1972, though it was reopened for a few months in 1986. In 1995 the Pettits sold the Avalon, and it reopened on March 31 as the Ava Live Theatre. By 1999 it was apparently showing movies again, though live music was also presented sometimes. I haven’t found in which year it was renamed the Ava Family Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on Jan 5, 2016 at 3:52 am

A timeline of Ava’s history that was published in the 2009 Chamber of Commerce Community Guide (large PDF here) gives additional information about this theater. It suffered a major fire in 1938, and was rebuilt and reopened the following year and renamed the Avalon. It closed in 1954.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Jan 5, 2016 at 3:41 am

A timeline of Ava’s history that was published in the 2009 Chamber of Commerce Community Guide (large PDF here) says that the Star Theatre opened in 1943, but also says that it was located one half block north of the northeast corner of the town square. If that’s correct then it must have been on NE 2nd Street, not Washington Avenue. It was operated by the Pettits, who also had the Avalon Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on Jan 4, 2016 at 3:01 pm

An article in the May, 1997, issue of the Douglas County Historical Society Journal (PDF here) says that the Wilson Theatre, located on the east side of the square, opened in 1925 and was originally operated by Henry S. Wilson and L. H. Pettit. A 1935 Sanborn map shows the theater in the second building south of Washington Street, which is currently occupied by a furniture store on the ground floor and the Ava Martial Arts Academy upstairs. The theater had a balcony.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Music Hall Theater on Jan 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Here’s an item from the November 7, 1939, issue of The Portsmouth Herald:

“Blaze At Farmington, Me. Farmington, Me.. Nov. 17 (AP)-Despite a strong wind, firemen prevented the spread of a fire early today that left the Music Hall block in the center of Farmington virtually a brick shell. Loss was estimated by Fire Chief Victor Huart at $25,000. The slate-roofed building on Broadway contained a vacant theater over a chain grocery and Mrs. Erland Hardy’s restaurant.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about University Theatre on Jan 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Also, here’s some link rot re-repair:

Main floor lounge of the University Theatre as depicted on the cover of the July 2, 1949, issue of Boxoffice.

The illustrated article about the University in the “Modern Theatre” section of the same issue:

first page

second page

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about University Theatre on Jan 4, 2016 at 12:56 pm

The History Press is part of the Arcadia Publishing Company, which publishes mostly books of vintage photos with a little bit of text to pad them out. In my experience, most of their books do have at least a few inaccuracies, and some of them have many, and there are probably many more errors that I didn’t even notice.

Between them the two divisions of the company publish about 900 books a year, and their primary focus is not history but nostalgia, for which there is huge market. I don’t think their books will ever provide the degree of historical accuracy that one would expect from, say, a University press, though some are clearly better researched than others. Still, the pictures are nice to have, so I’m glad the company is publishing them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lisbon Theatre on Jan 1, 2016 at 7:55 pm

The Cinema Data Project lists three theaters for Lisbon, Maine, the Lisbon, the Empress, operating around 1922-1923, and the Nordica Central, open by 1921 and operated by Famous Players in 1928 and 1929. It’s possible that the Lisbon was one or the other of the two earlier houses remodeled and renamed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theater on Jan 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Various sources indicate that an 800-seat house called the Pecos Theatre opened at Fort Stockton in 1941. Small photos of the Pecos in high school yearbook ads show a two-story building with a streamline modern front. An article in the January 22, 1942, issue of the El Paso Herald-Post said that the Pecos Theatre had been the most expensive building project in Fort Stockton in 1941, with a construction cost of $13,500. As that seems a bit small for an entirely new building of that size in 1941, I suspect that the 800-seat Pecos was in fact a rebuild of the 800-seat Grand in the old theater’s shell. The Pecos operated until it, too, was destroyed by a fire in early January, 1976.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Queen Theatre on Jan 1, 2016 at 6:51 pm

This early notice which was probably about the project that became the Grand Theatre appeared in The Moving Picture World of March 11, 1916:

“Fort Stockton, Tex.—Edwin and Arthur Hoefs of Pecos have closed a deal with H. H. Butz and James Rooney for a 40-foot front lot in Fort Stockton, on which they will erect at once an up-to-date opera house.”
The project was also noted in the April 22 issue of Music Trade Review, though that publication described it more modestly (and more accurately) as a motion picture theater costing $6,000.