Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Starette Theatre on Jun 12, 2018 at 4:40 am

A theater operated at 1331 Broad Street from 1914 to 1949, according to the NRHP registration form for the Newcastle Commercial Historic District (1329 is now the address for the entrance to the building’s upstairs. The building was erected as an annex to the larger Jennings Building to the east, and the upstairs space was originally probably accessed through that building.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Jun 12, 2018 at 12:26 am

The November 3, 1917 issue of The Moving Picture World said: “OSSIAN, IA. — Majestic theater is being remodeled and will be reopened under the name of Princess.”

Ossian had an 350-seat Opera House, built in 1893 and still in use after having been renovated and converted into a Knights of Columbus facility in 1956. I don’t know if it ever served as a movie theater.

Ossian did get a new movie house called the Ossian Theatre in 1939 or 1940, noted in the January 6, 1940 issue of Boxoffice as “…the first new house in this town in 10 years.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mound Theater on Jun 11, 2018 at 11:57 pm

The Mound Theatre first appears in the FDY in 1949, when it is listed with 240 seats. Theaters are not listed by city in the 1948 FDY, but earlier Ocheyedan had a house called the Princess Theatre, listed with 165 seats in 1947 and with between 150 and 200 seats in various previous years. The Princess was in operation at least as early as 1917. I’ve been unable to discover if the Mound was the Princess expanded, but it must have been in operation by 1947, and possibly as early as 1946.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Theatre on Jun 9, 2018 at 11:55 pm

The address is 115 W. Second Street, directly across the street from the Washington Theatre at 116.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Maysville Opera Theatre on Jun 9, 2018 at 11:53 pm

The address is 116 W. Second Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garrick Theatre on Jun 8, 2018 at 7:43 pm

The February, 1890 issue of construction trade journal Stone said that the $80,000 theater being built at St. Paul for Jacob Litt had been designed by Oscar Cobb.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about College Theatre on Jun 7, 2018 at 10:02 pm

Here is a peculiar item from the “Canadian Notes” column of the April 21, 1917 issue of The Moving Picture Weekly:

“The Garrick Theatre, College and Bovercourt [sic] Road, is Toronto’s newest house, or rather one should say one of Toronto’s oldest houses made new. As a matter of fact the Garrick has been nameless ever since its construction, it being built but never operated. However, one of the local theatre syndicates has secured it and is remodelling and equipping the house to open very shortly. There is no doubt that it will present a most attractive appearance”
The May 4, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World also mentions the Garrick in Toronto:
“The Garrick, Toronto, has been secured by A. L. Hall of Montreal.”
The same journal mentions the Garrick again in its issue of June 8, 1918:
“The Garrick theater, College and Dovercourt road, Toronto, has again changed hands. The new owner is W. C. Wright, a veteran theater man. Mr. Wright has not been engaged in any theatrical enterprise for the past twelve years.”
I’ve found no later mentions of the Garrick, but the College Theatre is mentioned in this item from The Moving Picture World of September 6, 1919:
“The Aliens are getting ready to open new theatres in half a dozen different Canadian cities. Four new houses are nearly completed in Toronto alone, these being the St. Clair Theatre in the North End, Parkdale Theatre in the West, Beach Theatre in the East and College Theatre, near Dovercourt and College streets.”
Given the location of the Garrick and the College, and the fact that there seems to have been no overlap in their operation, the question that naturally arises is was the College a rebuild of the Garrick? While the interior of the College does look like something C. Howard Crane would have designed, the exterior bears a resemblance, and that only passing, only to his United Artists Theatre in Chicago. Perhaps he had to work with an existing building and lavished the Allens' limited money on the interior?

I’ve been unable to find any construction journal items about either the Garrick or the College, so there is no clue to their comparative sizes, nor have I found any photos of the Garrick. Still, it’s an interesting possibility that they were the same house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ohio Theater on Jun 7, 2018 at 6:53 pm

There is a photo of the Ohio Theatre on page 75 of the Arcadia Publishing Co. book Tell City, by Chris Cail, published in August, 2017 (Google Books preview.) The caption says the building later became a church and was demolished following a fire.

The caption also says that Edward Jones financial advisors has built a new building on the site, and indeed in the current Google street view of 439 Main there is a foundation for that building newly laid. It looks like the only building in the vintage photo still standing is the narrow, single-floor storefront just to the right of the theater, which in street view now appears to have an antiques shop in it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema 66 on Jun 7, 2018 at 6:16 pm

This house has been renamed Cinema 66, and has a new web site. The old web site is still up, but has become some sort of movie-related link farm.

An old Buzzfile listing has a Tell City Twin Cinemas located in the Highway 66 Plaza shopping center, so that must have been the name of this house before it was quaded. It was in operation by 1991, and probably earlier. This line from an article by Tell City native Scott Saalman probably refers to this former twin: “Opened in 1948, my beloved Swiss Theater never had a chance once the 1978 movie ‘Superman' flew across the twin screens of a newly opened cinema.”

That suggests a likely opening year of 1978 for this house, and a likely closing of the Swiss Theatre not long after.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Swiss Theater on Jun 7, 2018 at 5:22 pm

The Swiss Theatre opened on July 27, 1948, according to the July 31 issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Swiss Theater on Jun 7, 2018 at 4:49 pm

The Swiss Theatre was at 1030 Main Street. The building is recognizable only from its situation and its size. The front has been remodeled and covered with vertical siding painted grayish blue, and an overhead door has been installed at one end. The set-back brick building to the left of the theater in the vintage photo is still there, as is the conifer growing in the parkway at the right. Otherwise it would be impossible to tell that this building once housed the Swiss Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Quickway Theatre on Jun 7, 2018 at 1:47 am

Chester is a puzzle. For one thing, there are two towns in New York called Chester, the other being in Warren County, and Orange County, where this Chester is located, also has a village called Chester.

The bigger puzzle is that the November 24, 1951, issue of Boxoffice has a photo purporting to be of the Paramount Theatre in Chester, New York, designed by Michael DeAngelis, but Wikipedia tells me that in 1950 Chester’s population was only 2,878, and the Chester in Warren County was even smaller, so neither was likely to have a theater as spacious as the one in the photo.

John Lewis’s 1994 photo of the Quickway Cinema at CinemaTour shows a fairly large and rather plain building, but one that might have been built around 1950. Could it possibly have been the Paramount, as improbable as that seems? I suppose it’s more likely that Boxoffice just put the theater in the wrong town.

As joemasher said back in 2005, the theater’s building has been converted into a two-floor office building, but with some stores on the ground floor. The section that had the theater entrance in John Lewis’s photo looks like it is still there, but extended and filled with shops. The address of the Quickway Shopping Center is 69 Brookside Avenue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cine 539 on Jun 6, 2018 at 11:43 pm

According to this page at the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, the conversion of the building that had been the Montreal Auxilliary Bible Society into the Gaiety Theatre in 1909 was designed by architects Charles A. Mitchell and Daniel J. Crighton. The short-lived firm of Mitchell & Crighton lasted from 1907 to 1909, but produced two theaters, the other being the Idealograph Motion Picture Theatre, on Notre Dame Street West near Guy Street, also a 1909 project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Coliseum Theatre on Jun 6, 2018 at 7:52 pm

This item from the June 2, 1923, issue of The Moving Picture World is about the first Coliseum Theatre:

“Gross Will Attract Floating Population

“When W. D. Gross of Juneau, Alaska, was in Seattle recently he made arrangements with B. F. Shearer, Inc., for the complete equipment and furnishings, lighting effects, etc., for his new Coliseum Theatre in Ketchikan.

“Gross will have one of the finest houses on the coast. It will cost in the neighborhood of $85,000 and will seat 1,000. The theatre will be planned somewhat like the Liberty Theatre of Seattle, with a ramp going up to the mezzanine floor where it divides, circling to the balcony. Plans are by R. H. Rowe, architect of Seattle.

“A novel feature is the fact that Gross has ordered three large electric signs. The third is to be erected where it will shine from a high position out over the bay, the direction in which the theatre fronts. Ketcikan is a great anchorage for fishing fleets, and Gross wants to attract the ‘floating population.’”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Jun 6, 2018 at 3:37 am

Engineering News-Record of October 23, 1919, said that Loew’s Enterprises planned to spend $150,000 for alterations to the Palace Hippodrome Theatre in Seattle. This seems to have been about the standard amount Loew’s spent on refitting the big old theaters it acquired during this period. Plans for the project were, as usual, prepared by Thomas Lamb’s firm.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Promised Valley Playhouse on Jun 6, 2018 at 3:30 am

In 1920, this house was known as Loew’s Casino Theatre. A biography of vaudevillian Ted Healy says that he appeared there August 9-15, 1920. A notice in the October 23, 1919 issue of Engineering News-Record said that Loew’s Enterprises planned to spend $150,000 on alterations to the Casino Theatre in Salt Lake City. Plans for the project were by Thomas Lamb.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Papineau Theatre on Jun 6, 2018 at 3:01 am

Also, it is no longer in use as a bingo hall. The Papineau Theatre is now the location of a recreation center called Zero Gravite climbing & yoga (web site with a couple of photos showing a bit of surviving architectural detail.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pigalle Theatre on Jun 6, 2018 at 2:47 am

A thumbnail biography of architect Daniel John Crighton on this web page says that the Strand Theatre was built in 1912.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Papineau Theatre on Jun 6, 2018 at 2:43 am

The January 1, 1921, issue of Moving Picture World had this to say about the Papineau Theatre:

“Papineau Theatre Will Soon Open in Montreal

“Montreal, Quebec, will soon have another new moving picture theatre when the Papineau opens February 1 by the United Amusements, Ltd., which already operates the Regent Theatre. The Papineau will have 1,600 seats. The equipment includes two Simplex projection machines and a Wurlitzer organ. Programs will be changed twice weekly and prices will range up to 28 cents.

“Mr. Ganetakos is the managing director of the company and E. F. McMahon is the secretary-treasurer. E. Cousins is president and I. Crepeau, vice-president. These men hold similar positions in the Independent Amusement, Ltd., which operates the Strand and Moulin Rouge theatres, Montreal.”

The Papineau Theatre was designed by architect Daniel John Crighton, according to a mini-biography of him (in French) on this web page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sanger Theater on Jun 6, 2018 at 2:28 am

Also, there was definitely an earlier house also called the Sanger Theatre. It was mentioned in an ad for the Typhoon Fan Company in the January 1, 1921, issue of Moving Picture World.

The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory listed four theaters in Sanger: The Bell Theatre, 1172 Seventh Street; the Opera House; the Orpheum, Seventh Street; and the Theatorium, corner of Seventh and N Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sanger Theater on Jun 6, 2018 at 1:37 am

An August 27, 1936 item in The Fresno Bee said “… the remodeled Sanger Theater Seventh and O Streets will soon be ready for occupancy” so it must have been referring to the 1936 project for William Gustine. Gustine is mentioned as operator of the Sanger Theatre in quite a few issues of the Bee, including this one.

But I don’t know what to make of the location Seventh and O Streets. The Bee writer might just have been off by a block. But whether we’ve got the right location or the newspaper did, I’d say it’s safe to assume the Sanger Theatre opened in 1936.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about California Theatre on Jun 5, 2018 at 10:03 pm

The last event at the California Theatre must have been the program of two silent movies with accompaniment from the California’s Wurlitzer organ on June 24, 1990, noted in this item from The Los Angeles Times of May 8 that year:

“That’s all, folks! Los Angeles theater organist Gaylord Carter will make his farewell appearance on the California Theatre’s mighty Wurlitzer on Sunday at 2 p.m. With the imminent demolition of the historic building, the local Theatre Organ Society has slated only three more programs, including the grand finale on June 24. Carter, who is remembered by old-timers for providing the opening and closing theme music to the 1930’s ‘Amos 'n’ Andy' radio programs, will accompany two Harold Lloyd films, ‘Hot Water’ (1924) and ‘For Heaven’s Sake’ (1926).”
Until coming across this item I’d been unaware that the California’s organ was still in the theater and operational as late as 1990. I’ve been unable to discover any details about the organ, or what became of it when the theater was demolished later that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyceum Theatre on Jun 5, 2018 at 8:44 pm

Even though first opened in 1907, the Lyceum did not make it into the 1914-1915 American motion Picture Directory, indicating that it was probably not a significant theater. I suspect this to be one of those cases in which a neighborhood nickelodeon-style house was later expanded by having a new auditorium built at the rear (the 1920 project by Reid Bros.) and the original auditorium converted into a lobby and perhaps some commercial space.

Historic aerial photos of the neighborhood show the Lyceum’s large auditorium at right angles to the entrance building. The new auditorium looked to be about 90 feet wide and 140 feet long, and there was a small stage house probably sufficient to accommodate some modest vaudeville acts. The original theater building was about 50 x 90. The Lyceum was still standing in a 1956 aerial view, but was gone in a 1968 aerial, replaced by the parking lot for the new shopping complex that backed up to San Jose Avenue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Coliseum Cinema on Jun 5, 2018 at 1:23 am

This item, complete with misspellings and the wrong name for the theater, is probably about this house, and is from the May 12, 1923, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Partridge and Morrison are building a new house in Tilamook, Oregon.– It will be called the Tilamook, will seat 750 and cost approximately $80,000. Frank Hyde, a local architect, drew the plans. B. F. Shearer, Inc., of Seattle, has charge of equipment, decorating and lighting of the house.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jefferson Theatre on Jun 5, 2018 at 1:04 am

The May 26, 1923 issue of The Moving Picture World said that the Jefferson Theatre in Springfield had been designed by local architect H. L. Sprague.