Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm

There was a State Theatre in operation in Hartford by 1945. This item appeared in the January 2, 1946, issue of Film Daily:

“Hartford, S. D. — Herbert I. Stearns has purchased the State here and the State in Hurley, S. D.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

Have we got the addresses of the State and Hartford Theatres reversed, or is it the names and histories? Internet says that the Hartford American Legion post is at 120 N. Main Avenue. Google Street View shows the address 119 next to the door of the Senior Citizens Center across the street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alta Theatre on Jul 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm

The December 6, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the New Alta Theatre in Pendleton, Oregon, had opened on September 6 that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Iowa Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

The June 13, 1930, issue of The Film Daily said in an item datelined Fort Dodge that “Bruno Pierce is managing the new Iowa here, recently opened by the Rivola Co.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Jul 19, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Indeed, This is Cinerama had been running at the Broadway Theatre in New York for seven months, since September 30, 1952, and at the Music Hall in Detroit for more than a month, beginning March 23, 1953, before it opened at the Warner Hollywood on April 29, 1953. The fourth Cinerama installation was at the Warner Theatre in New York, to which the movie moved after playing 36 weeks at the Broadway. Chicago’s Palace Theatre got the fifth installation, and the movie opened there some three months after its Hollywood opening. Cinerama was rolled out very slowly. By the end of 1953, there had been only ten installations.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm

The Capitol Theatre opened on January 12, 1927, according to the theater’s history on this web page. The listing in the Buechner & Orth papers was for the year of design and construction, not the year of opening. Henry Orth was probably lead architect on the project, as Charles Buechner died in 1924.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Unless something happened to the original building, or the name was moved to a different house, the Strand Theatre dates to 1916. Here is an item from the July 16 issue of The Moving Picture World


“A. F. Powers, of the Decorators Supply Company, has closed a contract for the ornamental plaster decorations and lighting fixtures for the Strand theater now being erected at Fort Dodge, Iowa, by Messrs. Julius & Awe.

“The decorations of the Strand will be carried out according to the designs furnished by the proprietors. The theater will seat about 700, and will be of strictly fire-proof construction. The auditorium will be ventilated with a modern air washing apparatus. The interior of the auditorium will be carried out to represent an Italian garden effect, with semi-direct electric bowls suspended from arches between the wall pilasters. The wall pilasters and proscenium arch will be of caenstone.

“The foyer and lobby will be of ornamental plaster marble and mosaic floor. The prevailing color of the auditorium will be French gray and ivory, with electric fixtures in ivory and antique gold. The entire front of the building will be covered with an artistic electric sign and display lights.”

The Strand Theatre changed hands in 1917, as reported in the September 1 issue of MPW:
“Fort Dodge, Ia. — D. B. Lederman, manager of the Des Moines Laemmle Film service, has purchased the Strand theater in Fort Dodge from Messrs. Julius & Awe.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm

The Rialto Theatre changed hands in 1925, according to the November 7 issue of Motion Picture News:

“The Rialto theatre at Fort Dodge, formerly owned by William Johnson has been added to the string of A. H. Blank. It has not yet been anounced [sic] who will manage the theatre for Mr. Blank.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cameo Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 11:19 am

The “Theaters in Construction” column of the February 3, 1926, issue of Variety had this item:

“Jersey City. — (also stores, offices) $200,000. Ocean avenue. Owner, Cameo Theatre, Inc., 221 Ocean avenue. Architect, C. H. Ziegler. Policy not given.”
C. H. Ziegler was also the architect of the Orient Theatre in Jersey City.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orient Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 11:17 am

Unless the Orient Theatre operated in more than one location, it existed before the 1920s. This item is from the January 29, 1916, issue of The American Contractor:

“Jersey City, N. J.—Moving Picture Theater: $22,000. 1 sty. Archt. C. H. Ziegler, 75 Montgomery st. Owner Orient Theater Corp.. Wm. A. Higgins, pres., 27 Monticello av. Fdn. started. Gen. contr. let to the Jersey City Constr. Co., 75 Montgomery st.”
The style of the brickwork on the facade of this theater was popular in the 1910s, so I’m inclined to think that Our Lady of Sorrows Church is the movie house built by the Orient Theatre Corp. in 1916. $22,000 would have been adequate for construction of a theater of this size before construction costs rose following the U.S. entry into WWI in 1917.

The October 21, 1916, issue of The New York Dramatic Mirror said that the Orient Theatre in Jersey City had opened on October 7. The new moving picture house was being managed by John E. Moody.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riverside Theatre on Jul 18, 2014 at 10:23 pm

A number of Maud Humphrey’s illustrations can be seen on this web page. She illustrated a number of children’s books as well as drawing advertisements. Mellin’s Baby Food was among her clients.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Iris Theatre on Jul 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm

A letter from A. C. Russell of the New Iris Theatre, Velva, North Dakota, was published in the October 13, 1923, issue of Exhibitors Herald. Velva’s movie house was called simply the Iris Theatre when a letter from its earlier operator, L. K. Sivertson, was published in Motography of January 13, 1917. That letter was dated December 26, 1916.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lake Theatre on Jul 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm

The April 1, 1954, issue of Motion Picture Daily said that the Lake Theatre in Powers Lake, North Dakota, had recently been equipped for CinemaScope movies.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about AMC announces massive reseating project on Jul 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

The diagram in the article says the new seats are 60 inches wide. Sixty inches is five feet! They look to be a couple of feet taller than they are wide, too- I’d say about seven feet from floor to top of seat back. Gerry Lopez must be a giant. In the photo he looks to be almost as wide as the back of the seat he’s in, and his head extends above the top of it. So if the CEO of AMC is ten feet tall and weighs about seven or eight hundred pounds, it’s no wonder they think they need to re-seat their theaters. Maybe they should just hire a smaller CEO and save their money.

LOL Wall Street Journal. When did their graphics department get so innumerate? It should be obvious to anyone with a sense of proportion that the rows are five feet deep, not the seats five feet wide.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Comet Theater on Jul 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm

The Vernon Theatre was originally a project of the Dusenbury brothers. This item is from the February 7, 1914, issue of Motography:

“J. W. Dusenbury has taken out a building permit for the erection of a moving picture theater on Mount Vernon avenue, near Twentieth street, Columbus, to cost $30,000.”
A follow-up item appeared in the May 2 issue of the same publication:
“The new picture theater built by the Messrs. Dusenbury in Mt. Vernon avenue, Columbus, is now nearing completion and will be opened to the public shortly. It will be called the Vernon. Its capacity is 1,000.”
An early report on the project appeared in the September 13, 1913, issue of The American Contractor:
“Moving Picture Theater: 2 sty. & bas. $15,000. Mt. Vernon av., nr. 20th st. Archts. Dawson & Holbrook, Outlook bldg. Owner J. W. Dusenbury, care Southern Theater. Architects are receiving figures on foundation. Brick, terra cotta, tile lobby, composition roof, galv. iron cornice, pine finish & floors, struct. & archt. iron.”
Dawson & Holbrook also designed the downtown Columbus house that was long known as the Knickerbocker Theatre, and might have planned the conversion of the old Grand Opera House on State Street into a movie theater around 1914.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gayety Theatre on Jul 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

This house was built in 1914 and opened as the Empress Theatre. This PDF with data from the Library of Congress Historic American Buildings survey was prepared shortly before the front of the building was demolished in 1980. The document notes Horace L. Chapman as the owner of the building prior to 1919, but says that it was built in 1915-1916.

It also says that the architect is unknown, but the Internet provides evidence that the theater was designed by the firm of Dawson & Holbrook. Here is an item from the April 11, 1914, issue of The American Contractor:

Columbus, O.—Theater. Store & Flat Bldg. (seating 1,300): 3 sty. & bas., providing for 8 sty. later. 80x187. $80,000. High & Cherry Sts. Archts. Dawson & Holbrook, Outlook bldg. Owner Horace L. Chapman, Wyandotte bldg. General contract to J. W. Heckert, Ruggery bldg. Excavating. Architect desires bids at once on plastering.“
Currently, Amazon has on sale a 1915 print ad from the O. W. Ketcham Terra Cotta Works, and the ad features a photo of this house, captioned "Empress Theatre Building, Columbus, O. Dawson & Holbrook, Architects.” Here is a link (though it is probably temporary.) Amazon doesn’t say what magazine the ad was published in, but it might turn up at the Internet Archive or Google Books eventually.

Architects Dawson & Holbrook designed at least one other built theater in Columbus, the Vernon, and in 1914 they were selected to design a new theater to be built on the site of the Grand Opera House on State Street, though it appears that he opera house was merely renovated around that time, and I haven’t been able to discover if the plans for that project were done by Dawson & Holbrook.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Jul 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm

John Siebrand, operator of the New Grand Theatre, submitted capsule reviews to Exhibitors Herald in the early 1920s. This one was published in the December 31, 1921, issue:

“The Passion Flower, with Norma Talmadge. — Good picture, but does not please the Norma fans. — John W. Siebrand. New Grand theatre, Northwood, N. Dak. — Neighborhood patronage.”
He was more pleased with the public response to another movie which he reviewed in the January 21, 1922 issue:
“Lahoma, an Edgar Lewis production. — A real blue ribbon feature of the west in the making. Went over like a landslide. Pathe has a number of winners like this one. — John W. Siebrand. New Grand theatre. Northwood. N. Dak. — Neighborhood patronage.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Woodland Theater on Jul 16, 2014 at 11:55 am

The Woodland Theatre building is located at 549 Park Street. LoopNet has a recent street view. At some point the theater entrance was moved from the center of the front, which has a pediment, to an adjacent storefront, but the old marquee was left in place.

The only vintage decorations left on the facade are a few medallions and a pair of thin, engaged Solomonic columns in a false portico on the second floor, but it looks like it might have been a very pretty little building at one time, perhaps of Spanish or Italian Renaissance style.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shaw-Hayden Theatre on Jul 16, 2014 at 10:49 am

Here is a bit more in formation about the Shaw-Hayden Theatre, from the “Contracts Awarded” column of the August 9, 1919, issue of The American Contractor:

“M. P. Theater & 4 Stores & Lodge Room: $100,000. 3 sty. 110x114. Hayden av. nr. Shaw av., East Cleveland, O. Archt. W. S. Ferguson, 1900 Euclid bldg., Cleveland. Owner Shaw Hayden Amusement Co., J. F. Bruce, pres., 315 Ardenall av., East Cleveland. Gen. Contr. J. E. Chrustlan Co., 1307 St. Clair av., Cleveland. Mas. & carp, by gen. contr. Htg. let to Martin Elec. Co., Illuminating bldg., Cleveland. 1st sty. mas.”
Architect William Stanley Ferguson designed at least three other theaters in the Cleveland area.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dunn Theatre on Jul 16, 2014 at 1:15 am

There was also a Colonial Theatre, which was later (or earlier- I haven’t been able to discover the correct order) called the White Way Theatre, located at 106 E. Broad Street. It’s mentioned in the PDF I linked to in my first comment.

As for the theaters on Wilson Avenue, it’s possible that there were two (at 112 and at 114-116) or maybe there was only one theater with three different names and its address got shifted over the years. The PDF makes it clear that the parking lot south of Robert’s Jewelers is where the Dunn Theatre was located.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Jul 15, 2014 at 2:25 pm

The recent opening of Louis R. Lurie and Howard J. Sheehan’s Rialto Theatre in Eureka was noted in the July 12, 1918, issue of Variety. Lurie and Sheehan also owned the Rialto Theatre in San Francisco.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about American Theater on Jul 15, 2014 at 11:23 am

The American Theatre was completed on April 6, 1912, after 85 days of construction. The house was the subject of a brief article in the October 5, 1912, issue of The Moving Picture World. The structure was framed in concrete and steel, with brick curtain walls. The stage, with a fifty-foot fly loft, was large enough to accommodate legitimate productions as well as vaudeville. Half the seating capacity was in the balcony, which featured the same luxurious appointments as the main floor. The house boasted an $8,000 pipe organ to provide musical accompaniment to the silent movies.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Jul 15, 2014 at 10:59 am

According to this web page, the Liberty Theatre was installed in the Mantle Block, an office and retail building at 14-20 W. Main Street built in 1892. The Mantle Block was designed by architect H. M. Patterson, who later moved to Los Angeles and designed the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.

The Mantle Block is still standing, occupied by part of the Piccadilly Museum of Transportation Memorabilia and Advertising Art. It’s an interesting Romanesque Revival building with a few Gothic touches. As the theater opened in 1916, more than a decade after Patterson moved to Los Angeles, it’s unlikely that he had anything to do with the alterations for the theater. The entire building is still standing, even though the theater was dismantled long ago.

Exactly when the house was dismantled I don’t know, but it was presenting movies and vaudeville at least as late as 1933, and in 1935 it was hosting weekly wrestling matches, according to various items in the Butte Standard.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dunn Theatre on Jul 15, 2014 at 9:04 am

First Citizens Bank is on the odd-numbered side of the street. The Dunn Theatre had to have been on the lot just south of where Robert’s Jewelers is in the current Street View. Robert’s is at 112 S. Wilson.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dunn Theatre on Jul 14, 2014 at 10:26 pm

This PDF describes historic buildings in Dunn’s downtown, and it says that the Dunn Theatre was adjacent to the north of the Wellons Mercantile Building, which is at 120-124 S. Wilson Avenue. The theater was where the parking lot is now. The theater’s address was probably 116-118 S. Wilson.