Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cedar Theatre on Nov 14, 2016 at 11:23 pm

After examining Google street view I believe Seth is correct about the location of the Cedar Theatre. The building’s current occupant, Community Home Medical, Inc., a medical supply retailer, appears to have thrown the theater building together with an adjacent storefront, and uses the latter’s address, which is 215 S. Cedar. The theater’s front, at 213 S. Cedar, has been closed up and used only for display windows.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oak Theatre on Nov 14, 2016 at 10:37 pm

This item from the Cheboygan Democrat of November 21, 1903, pertains to the closure of the Star Opera House and the intention of the Hancock brothers to replace it with a new theater:

“Manistique’s ‘opera house’ has been sold to the Booth Packing Co., for a fish warehouse, and the place is without a public hall for theatrical entertainments. However, the manager of the old place will have a new opera house ready for Jan. 1, if the people will help him by buying tickets for a grand opening at that time.”
In an article by W. S. Crowe in the June 6, 1951, issue of The Escanaba Daily Press, Crowe says that he and John Hancock built the Manistique Opera House in 1903, so perhaps they did manage to meet their goal of opening the new theater on January 1, 1904. The rather austere facade in the vintage photos suggests that the building was designed by its builder rather than by a professional architect, and it was probably built quickly and at minimal expense, and likely had a fairly plain, utilitarian interior.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oak Theatre on Nov 14, 2016 at 8:17 am

Exterior and interior photos of this house can be seen on page 119 of the book Manistique, by M. Vonciel LeDuc (Google Books preview.) The caption says that Benjamin Gero bought the theater in 1904 (apparently incorrect) and changed the name from Hancock Brothers Opera House to Manistique Opera House. It also says that the house was located next door to the town’s earlier Star Opera House.

Editions of the Cahn Guide from around 1910 list it by the name New Opera House, say that it was built in 1904, and that was a ground-floor theater with 800 seats. The guides list Hancock Bros. as the managers. The 1904 construction date makes it more likely that the newspaper article I cited in my previous comment was correct, and Gero took over the house and renamed it Manistique Opera House in 1908, rather than 1904. Both the article and the photo caption in the book say that he renamed it the Gero Theatre in 1916, when it was converted to a full-time cinema.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Azteca Theatre on Nov 13, 2016 at 2:59 am

This PDF from the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society has two photos, one depicting the Teatro Azteca dated 1988, and a much older but undated photo showing the same building when it housed a theater called the Columbus.

As near as I can discover, the Columbus Theatre opened around 1922 or 1923, and originally served an Italian-American community. That population must not have been large enough to support the theater for long, though, as an item in The San Bernardino County Sun of May 15, 1930, about a real estate deal involving the building, referred to the Columbus as a Mexican movie theater.

The Columbus had its entrance in the first bay of the building, at the corner of 7th Street. I’ve been unable to discover when the house was remodeled and the entrance moved to the center bay, or when it was renamed the Azteca.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about National Theatre on Nov 13, 2016 at 1:06 am

Theodore C. Kistner, architect of the Bush Theatre, was an 1897 graduate of the School of Architecture of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He practiced in his native state for a number of years before moving to California, where he opened his first office in San Diego.

The various firms in which Kistner was a partner over the next few decades specialized in school buildings. As far as I’ve been able to discover, the National was his only movie theater project, though he must have designed an enormous number of school auditoriums throughout southern California.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theater on Nov 12, 2016 at 9:20 pm

The lead architect of the Academy of Music in Kalamazoo was Dankmar Adler, the German-born Chicago architect and engineer who was noted for his knowledge of acoustics. Louis Sullivan was working in Adler’s office as his chief draftsman at the time the Academy was designed and probably had some input into the project, but he did no become a full partner in the firm until 1883.

As Adler & Sullivan, the firm went on to design some 180 projects over the next several years, including Chicago’s Schiller (aka Garrick) Theatre and The Auditorium, one of the most iconic theaters in the United States.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Nov 11, 2016 at 1:30 am

CinemaTour gives the address of the Royal Theatre as 11 Main Street North, and gives it the aka Sherman Theatre. A comparison of the vintage photo of the Royal with the modern Google street view shows the location to be correct. I found the Sherman Theatre at Moose Jaw mentioned in the September 21, 1918, issue of Exhibitors Herald and Motography.

The New Sherman Theatre in Moose Jaw is listed in the 1913-1914 Cahn guide with 1,000 seats and the notation “[t]his theater just building and no details available as we go to press.” The edition also lists the 550-seat City Hall Theatre, managed by W. B. Sherman who is also listed as manager of the new house.

This page of a family history web site says that William Passmore moved to Moose Jaw and opened the Royal Theatre in 1931. He had earlier operated the Globe Theatre in Lafleche, and at one time operated a theater in Esquimalt.

The building that housed the Royal Theatre has been demolished. It’s site is now part of the site of a business sporting the peculiar name “Capone’s Hideaway Motel”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mini Theatre on Nov 11, 2016 at 12:23 am

The Savoy Theatre was operating at least as early as 1912. In that year it fielded a team in the Moose Jaw City League, according to the Baseball Wiki. The Savoy Theatre was mentioned in the April 1, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World.

This photograph from the Moose Jaw Public Library’s collection is dated to the period 1910-1913, and shows a view looking east from High Street West across Main Street to High Street East. In th e left foreground is an excavation where the Walter Scott Building would rise. The Savoy Theatre can be seen beyond the excavation, on the other side of the alley. The site today is a parking lot with a sign reading “Casino Moose Jaw.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Auditorium Theatre on Nov 8, 2016 at 4:31 am

The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building was built in 1894. A vintage photograph of the Baroque Revival style building can be found on page 16 of Honoring the Veterans of Licking County, Ohio:, by Aaron J. and Nathan J. Keims (Google Books preview.) The facade was ravaged by a fire in 1968, but the building was not demolished until 2002, after repeated efforts to have it restored had failed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Nov 7, 2016 at 11:51 am

The November 15, 1919, issue of Motion Picture News had an item about the Rialto in East Akron:

“H. E. Horwitz, owner of the Olympia theatre, Cleveland, has just closed a deal for the purchase of the new Rialto theatre, which is in the course of construction in East Akron, Ohio, directly opposite the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The house, which will cost $250,000 when completed, will have all the latest building and projection equipment, with accommodations for 1200 people.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rodgers Theater on Nov 6, 2016 at 7:03 am

The most recent news I can find about the Rodgers Theatre is on this page of the Rolling Hills Casino’s web site, and is dated January 11, 2016. The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and the Casino Foundation have pledged $100,000 for the theater’s renovation, to be disbursed over three years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pix Theatre on Nov 6, 2016 at 2:26 am

According to this item from the September 4, 1936, issue of The Film Daily, M. G. Lee, operator of the Lee Theatre, was planning a second house for Eufaula. I wonder if it could have been the Rex?

:“Eufaula, Ala. — Plans for a new theater are announced by M. G. Lee, owner of the present theater here. In addition to the new house Lee will air condition and install new seats in the old house.”
An economic downturn in 1937 made this a bad time for a new theater project, and it might have been delayed as a result.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Martin Theatre on Nov 6, 2016 at 1:54 am

This house must have become the Martin Theatre in late 1950 or early 1951, per this notice in the January 8 issue of Motion Picture Daily: “Martin Theatres of Columbus, Ga., has just opened their new 1,159-seat theatre in Eufaula, Ala.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Amusu Theatre on Nov 6, 2016 at 1:33 am

The Amusu Theatre at Eufaula, Alabama, was mentioned in the January 14, 1911, issue of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about DuBois Theatre on Nov 5, 2016 at 11:44 pm

The DuBois Theatre was added to the venerable Commercial Hotel building in 1937. At some point the hostelry was renamed the General Pershing Hotel, and it appears that the theater shared the new name briefly before being renamed the Playhouse. So far nothing (ads, newspaper articles) has surface showing the Pershing Theatre name, so we don’t know the exact period when the name was used.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pastime Theater on Nov 3, 2016 at 3:45 am

Here is an item about the Pastime Theatre from the May 12, 1923, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“A new organ has been installed in the Pastime Theatre at Lewistown, Pa., it supplants the piano which Manager Ikeberney used during the fifteen years of his proprietorship.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Nov 2, 2016 at 9:41 pm

The NRHP Registration Form for the Liberty Theatre notes that the 1939 Streamline Modern remodeling replacing Osterman & Siebert’s original interior was designed by architect Bjarne Moe.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rowland Theatre on Nov 1, 2016 at 1:55 am

Thanks for the update, Nunzio. I’ve found the Regal mentioned in 1929, 1937, and 1946. The earliest mention of the State I’ve found was published in 1946, but concerned the arrival of a new assistant manager at the house in 1940.

A 1937 ad reveals that the Rowland and the Regal were then both operated by Warner Bros., and the 1946 item indicates that the State was a Warner house as well. As the State was not included in Warner’s 1937 ad, it might have been either built or taken over by the chain between 1937 and 1940.

I’ve also come across an item mentioning a movie house called the Doris Theatre operating in Wilkinsburg in 1916. The only earlier Wilkinsburg theaters I’ve found mentioned in the trade publications were the Rowland, 1911, and the Colonial, which was in operation by 1910.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Times Theater on Oct 31, 2016 at 11:49 am

This item from the February 12, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World concerns a change of ownership at the Starland Theatre:

“Meridian Co. Buys the Starland.

“ANDERSON, IND.—The Starland, the largest photoplay theater in Anderson, was purchased from E. E. Martin, of Cleveland, Ohio, by the Meridian Amusement Company, and the new management took charge on January 16th. The Meridian Theater of this city and the Fisher Opera House, at Danville, Ill., are also controlled by this company. The company is composed of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Anderson capital, including G. H. Heine, Judge W. J. Vesey, Arthur Beuke, W. J. Scheiman and F. G. Heine, of Fort Wayne, and J. G. Heller, of this city. Mr. Heller, who is an able manager, now has charge of both of the local theatres. The purchase price is named as $15,000. The seating capacity of the Starland is 547. Some new improvements are being made, including a change in the heating system and the Installation of glass storm fronts. The lobby poster display will be augmented by the installation of some permanent display attachments. The policy of the theatre will include Fox, Metro and Triangle pictures. The Meridian will use Paramount, World and Equitable and both houses will use Mutual Masterpictures. Both houses will open on Sundays, from 1:20 to 7:30 P. M.

“Elmer Howell, who managed , the Starland, will leave. He will be associated with an enterprise in another city in Indiana. The music will be in charge of J. Russell-Robinson Bros.-John C, and they will have charge of the music at both houses. The Meridian company has met with signal success since Mr. Heller has had charge of the company’s interests here and the new accession is no doubt partly due to Mr. Heller’s foresight and business acumen.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Meridian Theater on Oct 31, 2016 at 11:47 am

This page about Anderson’s early movie theaters, from the Madison County Historical Society, says that the Meridian Theatre at 933 Meridian Street was one of several movie houses that opened during the period from 1912 to 1918. It also says that after the first world war, the Meridian Theatre moved to a new location at 1035 Meridian Street.

The first Meridian Theatre was in operation by 1916, when the February 12 issue of The Moving Picture World ran this item:

“Meridian Co. Buys the Starland.

“ANDERSON, IND.—The Starland, the largest photoplay theater in Anderson, was purchased from E. E. Martin, of Cleveland, Ohio, by the Meridian Amusement Company, and the new management took charge on January 16th. The Meridian Theater of this city and the Fisher Opera House, at Danville, Ill., are also controlled by this company. The company is composed of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Anderson capital, including G. H. Heine, Judge W. J. Vesey, Arthur Beuke, W. J. Scheiman and F. G. Heine, of Fort Wayne, and J. G. Heller, of this city. Mr. Heller, who is an able manager, now has charge of both of the local theatres.”

There is a bit more, but it mostly concerns the Starland Theatre, so I’ll post it to the Times Theatre (formerly the Starland) page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Grand Theater on Oct 31, 2016 at 6:37 am

The Coffee Connection still shows up in Google’s street view, but it has closed and has been replaced by a locavore restaurant called Bacon and Eggs.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Grand Theater on Oct 31, 2016 at 6:32 am

The historic address of the Bijou Grand was 53 E. Main Street, but that number is now used for part of the Whiteside Building, a Victorian office and retail block with an ornate cast iron front, part of which can be seen at the left edge of the vintage photo of the Bijou Grand. The Whiteside’s historic address was 47 and 47 & ½ E. Main.

The modern address of the Bijou Grand is most likely 57 E. Main, most recently used for a restaurant called the Coffee Connection Cafe. The tiled pent roof seen in the old photo is now gone, but I suspect that this is the same building the Bijou Grand Theatre was in and it has been given a common front with the adjacent store building on the corner of Colville Street. Satellite view shows that, despite the unified front, the buildings have a masonry wall between them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Globe Theatre on Oct 31, 2016 at 12:33 am

The Ghost sign David uploaded advertised the Tower Theatre “Corner of 8th and Broadway,” which was renamed the Newsreel Theatre in 1949 and kept that name until 1965. But I wonder if the sign might have originally been painted earlier to advertise the Globe when it was called the Newsreel (through most of the 1940s,) and the part of the sign giving the location was later repainted to reflect the change?

The globe decorating the Globe’s marquee was installed, along with the triangular marquee itself, during the period when the house was showing “news of the world,” but it probably suggested the new name of the theater when the newsreel operation was moved to the Tower in 1949.

I’m not sure if my memory is accurate at this late date, but I have a vague impression of having seen the globe on the marquee actually revolving. This probably would have been around 1950 or so, if I actually did see it. There are historic photos of the house in which the globe displays parts of the world other than the Americas. In this 1940s photo on display at the Globe Theatre page of Bill Counter’s “Downtown Los Angeles Movie Theatres” web site, the globe is showing Africa and the near east, with the Red Sea easily identifiable.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Globe Theater on Oct 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

I don’t know how reliable this page is (it is mostly about Ardmore Army Air Field during WWII,) but here is something it says:

“Hershel Gilliam’s Roxy theater in Ardmore has fire. February 3, 1943. Fast Forward Note: The theater was rebuilt and renamed Globe theater by a contestant that submitted the name of the English theater where Shakespeare performed.”
In the current Google street view 7 E. Main Street is a freshly graded dirt lot between a parking lot and an old brick building. It looks like the Globe Theatre building was demolished not long before the picture was taken.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sherman Theatre on Oct 27, 2016 at 11:07 pm

Jack Theakston’s comment notes that the side of the Sherman Theatre was along Water Street, so the address Paint Street and Water Street should fetch the right location on Google Maps.