Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tygart Valley Cinemas 8 on Jun 13, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Joseph Carunchia was the original owner of Tygart Valley Cinemas. He entered the exhibition business in 1953 and at one time owned the Fairmont Theatre as well as the Twilite and Starlite Drive-Ins. His son Mike Carunchia now operates the Tygart Valley Cinemas.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fairmont Theater on Jun 13, 2016 at 3:45 pm

The September 10, 1973, issue of Boxoffice noted the conversion of the Fairmont Theatre into a triplex. Two of the auditoriums were in operation, and the third was expected to open in October.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Butler Theatre on Jun 11, 2016 at 4:56 pm

The January 13, 1923, issue of The Moving Picture World contained this brief item:

“J. E. Smith, of the Butler Theatre, Tonopah, Nev., was a business visitor in San Francisco just before Christmas.”
The theater had already been around for a long time by then. It was mentioned in the July 12, 1913, issue of the same publication. I’ve found references to the Butler having been in operation at least as early as 1908.

Tonopah boomed into existence with a rich silver strike in 1900, and rich gold deposits were found nearby in 1902. In its early years, Tonopah had three other theaters besides the Butler: the Nevada, the Pavilion, and the Indora, though the Butler (500 seats) and the Pavilion (750 seats) were the only theaters listed in the 1907-1908 edition of Henry’s Official Western Theatrical Guide.

The Butler was to survive the longest, operating into the age of CinemaScope, the wide screen having been installed in 1956, according to the announcement in the August 7 edition of the Reno Gazette-Journal that year.

The third thumbnail down the left side of this web page depicts the Butler Theatre in the 1930s (click to embiggen.)

The Butler Theatre is listed as a 1906 project in David and Noell’s list of known Boller Brothers theater designs. Also on the Boller list for Tonopah was the Nevada Theatre, dated only as “before 1913 (1903?)”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bellaire Theatre on Jun 11, 2016 at 3:34 pm

The mystery is solved. Fixer3 lived in the neighborhood when the Bellaire was in operation, and attended the theater, and says that it was in the building “…on the northeast corner of the first block east of Francis Lewis Boulevard” (which would make it the northeast corner of 207th Street.) That building, now housing the Merrick Charter School, is next door to the building Labadee Manoir is in. The Google street view is now set to the correct location.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bellaire Theatre on Jun 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Fixer3 must be right, which means we have the wrong address for this theater. The building at 207-13, housing the Labadee Manoir restaurant and bar catering business, is not configured like a theater. At the back, seen from 208th Street, it has a low ceiling on the ground floor and apartments above, and that looks original to the building, not a retrofit of an old theater. The building is a bit too small for an 825 seat theater, in any case.

The current Merrick Charter School has to be where the Bellaire was. The school uses a 207th Street address, and its main entrance is there, but a secondary entrance on Jamaica Avenue has the address 207-01 over the door.

A real estate web site says the building was built in 1961, but the structure looks older than that to me, so I would guess that’s the year when it was gutted and rebuilt into a bowling alley.

Also, I don’t think Google Maps will find the correct location while we use the name Bellaire in the address. It fetches Bellaire Place, at some distance south of the theater’s location. The real estate web site says the area is now called Queens Village, and at Google Maps, using the address 207-01 Jamaica Ave., Queens Village, NY 11428 does put the pin icon at exactly the right spot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jun 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm

rivest266’s 1949 grand opening ad shows that this house opened as the Sate Theatre, so it never had the aka Mesa Theatre. That name belonged only to its demolished predecessor.

Also, we have the wrong address for the building. As it was on the same site as the Mesa Theatre, plus the adjacent lot, it had to have been in the 200 block. The current ground floor restaurant in the building, JC’s New York Pizza Dept., uses the address 215 Central Ave. NW.

350 was the seating capacity of the demolished Mesa Theatre. The State had a larger footprint and must have had at least twice that capacity, and probably even more. This was a downtown, first-run house in New Mexico’s largest city, after all.

Albuquerque Theatres Inc., operator of the State, was 50% owned by Karl Holblitzelle’s Texas Consolidated Theatres which was in turn 50% owned by Paramount Publix Corporation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bob Theatre on Jun 8, 2016 at 4:28 pm

In this article from VermilionToday.com, dated May 27, 2011, Charles Sonnier, who was planning an adaptive reuse of the Bob Theatre, says that the house “…was built in 1939 by a Mr. Robinson.” He adds “I think the theatre was shut down around 1961.”

As Sonnier grew up in Abbeville and attended the theater, I think we can accept his usage of Bob Theatre as the actual name of the house in its later years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bob Theatre on Jun 8, 2016 at 3:45 pm

In 1950, the Rex Theatre was renamed the Bob Theatre. This is the story from the “New Orleans” column of the April 1, 1950, issue of Boxoffice:

“F. R. DeGrauw [sic], president of F&R Realty, Abbeville, has leased the Rex Theatre, Abbeville, La., and will operate it under the new name Bob. New sound equipment is being installed and the theatre is undergoing remodeling. Opening date for the 800-seat house has been set tentatively for April 8.”
I’ve found a couple of references to the Bob Theatre on the Internet, but no details about it. A Wikimapia entry has the coordinates rather than the address, but put into Google Maps the coordinates do come out to the address 108 S. Washington Street.

One Internet reference calls the house Bob’s Theatre rather than the Bob Theatre. It’s quite possible that it’s correct. The deGraauw family owned Frank’s Theatre, which appears to have been renamed (from the Dixie) for F. R. deGraauw’s elder son, Frank, so it seems logical that the Rex would have been renamed for the younger son, Bob. Robert deGraauw died quite recently, and his obituary at VermilionToday.com mentions the family’s involvement in the theater business at Abbeville from at least 1927. They also owned the Lafitte Drive-In.

The 800 seat capacity noted in the Boxoffice item seems plausible. This is a good-sized building, as can be seen from Randy Carlisle’s photos, linked in the previous comment.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Amo Theater on Jun 8, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Someone got a license to operate the house later. The obituary of William A. Rennie in the August 15, 1953, issue of The Billboard says that “[f]or the past several years, he has operated the Amo Theatre, Detroit….”

David A. Somerville, commenting on the Amo Theatre page at Water Winter Wonderland says “…it don’t close until around 1955….”

The Amo was also mentioned in an earlier Billboard obituary, that of Solomon P. Flayer, published on June 17, 1944, which said that the late Mr. Flayer “…was the uncle of David E. Flayer, owner of the Amo Theatre, Detroit.”

Odds might be good that some early advertising for the house will eventually turn up, as the August 7, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World quotes Mr. J. Calines, then owner of the Amo, as saying “I certainly believe that much of my success is due to constant advertising.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Egyptian Theatre on Jun 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm

I remember that wide-screen version of Gone With the Wind, though I didn’t see it at the Egyptian. It turned up later at the El Rey Theatre in Alhambra, where I believe they used to to inaugurate their CinemaScope installation. It was the first time I saw that movie and the first time I saw CinemaScope, and as the original framing had been butchered to fit the wide screen it was not a good introduction to either. I would hope that every print of that abomination has been destroyed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 7, 2016 at 8:55 pm

It appears possible that the Capitol Theatre that opened in November, 1946 was a new building. A brief item in The Meridian Tribune of February 8, 1946, said: “Hall again planning new theatre building, having repurchased lot adjoining cafe on north side of square.” The Capitol building is located on the north side of the square. February to November is plenty of time to get a theater built, so we can’t rule out a replacement for the 1934 house unless we find that it was at the same address as the 1946 Capitol.

Another thing I came across is an article in the September 6, 1946 Tribune announcing that the Circle Theatre at the circle in West Meridian would open on September 11. The $45,000 house had been built by D.C. Caraway, former owner/operator of a theater at Clifton. There is no town called West Meridian, and I can’t find anything that looks like a circle on the map. A later issue of the paper had a congratulatory ad on the opening of the Circle, so it did operate at least for a time, though I can’t find any other mentions of it on the Internet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 7, 2016 at 7:55 pm

The Capitol Theatre was opened on November 14, 1934, by independent exhibitors Charles M. Gandy and Harvey R. Harwell. The November 16 issue of The Meridian Tribune said that the opening had been a great success, attracting a full house.

The Capitol must have undergone renovations in 1946, when the October 11 issue of The Meridian Tribune carried a number of ads congratulating Curtis & Hall on their New Capitol Theatre, which was set to open the following day. As different owners were named in this item, it’s likely that the house had recently changed hands.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roselawn Auto Theater on Jun 7, 2016 at 2:19 am

The August 29, 1947, issue of The Press-Gazette from Hillsboro, Ohio, carried a full page ad announcing the grand opening of the Roselawn Auto Theatre the following night. The house was operated by Associated Theatres, of Lynchburg, Ohio.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Vondee Theatre on Jun 5, 2016 at 2:12 pm

The New Vondee Theatre in the vintage photo uploaded by Eastwood was definitely at 109 E. Second Street. The adjacent buildings are still standing (though the theater building has been demolished) and are recognizable (especially the one to the left) in Google street views. My guess would be that the Vondee that opened in 1936 was the one on Second Street, and the Chestnut Street address is for an earlier theater of that name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jonesville Theatre on Jun 5, 2016 at 12:43 am

There is no Main Street in Jonesville today. The theater was most likely located on the thoroughfare that is now called Chicago Street, along one block of which most of the town’s old commercial buildings are situated. As the fire report said that the blaze threatened an entire business block, I think the theater must have been on E. Chicago Street between Maumee Street and Water Street. That’s the only block in town that shows signs of having been pretty solidly built up with commercial buildings at that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jonesville Theatre on Jun 5, 2016 at 12:25 am

The fire that destroyed the Jonesville Theatre took place in the early morning hours of March 11, 1932, according to the report in that days edition of The Battle Creek Enquirer and The Evening News:

“JONESVILLE THEATER DESTROYED BY BLAZE

“Damage Amounts to $60,000 As Flames Threaten Entire Business Block.

“(Special to the Enquirer-News)

“Jonesville, March 11.——An entire block of business structures was threatened early this morning when the Jonesvllle theater was destroyed by fire at an estimated loss of $60,000.

“Fire was first noticed at 1 o'clock this morning after it had gained considerable headway. Fire trucks from Hillsdale, 18 miles west, and from Richman and Allen, nearby towns, were called into action. Firemen got the blaze under control at 7 o'clock this morning and succeeded in confining the loss for the most part to the theater structure. The building was owned by Alf Lane of Jonesville. Insurance amounted to only $4,000, he said.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Jun 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm

The Majestic was on West Second Street, not East Second. Seymour converted to the Philadelphia numbering system at some point, and the Majestic’s modern address would be approximately 216 W. Second. A few landmarks recognizable from the vintage photos on the photo page can still be seen on that block in Google’s street view. The Majestic was just west of the still-standing Masonic Temple. The site is now occupied by a modern building and its parking lot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Jun 4, 2016 at 9:53 pm

This building is the Masonic Temple, still standing at about 212 WEST Second Street. The Opera House was partly on the site of the white building to the temple’s left. Addresses in Seymour have been changed, and the site of the Opera House would probably be approximately at the modern address 216 W. Second.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Vondee Theatre on Jun 4, 2016 at 8:51 pm

A house called the New Vondee Theatre had reopened under new management on May 31 following renovations, according to the July 8, 1974, issue of Boxoffice. However, the item gave the New Vondee’s address as 109 E. Second Street, Seymour. If that address is correct, and it needed renovation in 1974, then the theater must have moved from its Chestnut Street location some years previously, but I haven’t been able to discover when.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alhambra Theatre on Jun 4, 2016 at 8:32 pm

The correct modern address for the Alhambra Theatre building is 219 E. Main Street. It is currently occupied by Sallee’s Family Taekwondo, a martial arts studio. It is not the building currently displayed in the photo or street view for this page.

Here is a vintage photo of the Alhambra, probably from around 1920. Click on the link at the end of the caption to see a photo of the Alhambra after it had been updated with a very spiffy streamline modern front, probably in the 1940s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alhambra Theatre on Jun 4, 2016 at 7:16 pm

The September 16, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the front of the new Alhambra Theatre in Campbellsville was nearly completed, and the house was expected to open soon. The August 26 issue of the same publication had noted that two theaters were then under construction in Campbellsville, the other being a ground-floor house for the Star Theatre, which had previously operated in an upstairs location.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Valley Theater on Jun 4, 2016 at 6:06 pm

The March 6, 1948, issue of Boxoffice said that Morris Smith and Clark Bennett’s new Valley Theatre in Taylorsville, Kentucky, which was virtually completed, had been partially flooded by recent high waters, but the damage being slight the event was not expected to interfere with the contemplated opening date of the house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Music Box Theatre on Jun 4, 2016 at 5:13 pm

MCHarper: In this comment from 2005, Cinema Treasures contributor Broan cites two 1928 Tribune items naming Louis I. Simon as the architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Unique Theater on Jun 3, 2016 at 10:32 pm

An Architectural Inventory Form prepared for the Colorado Cultural Resource Survey in 1981 (PDF here) says that the Salida Opera House was dedicated on January 1, 1889.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fine Arts Theater on Jun 1, 2016 at 10:03 pm

The Mayfield Theatre is listed at 165 Lincoln Street (the former name of California Avenue) in a 1925 directory for Palo Alto and vicinity.

The 1951 remodeling of the Mayfield Theatre was probably occasioned by a fire in 1950. This photo from the Palo Alto Historical Association depicts ruined seats piled in front of the theater, and is dated April 7, 1950.

The Stanford Daily of April 28, 1960, said that the Cardinal Theatre, after a brief closure for renovation in May, would reopen on May 18 as the Fine Arts Theatre. It would be under the same management as the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, also an art house.