Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bell's Opera House on May 18, 2016 at 10:15 am

Both Bell’s Opera House and the Orpheum Theatre at Hillsboro were mentioned in an item in the December 12, 1908, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Hillsboro, Ohio.—The Bell Opera House, which only opened with moving pictures on Thanksgiving, reports good business. Only high-class pictures are shown and highclass vaudeville.

“The Orpheum Theater has discarded the old style folding chairs and installed comfortable metal frame high back opera chairs.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wabash Theatre on May 18, 2016 at 10:00 am

Here is a reminiscence about the Wabash Theatre written by former projectionist W.F. Werzner. The theater is presumably still intact and usable, as it was the venue for a variety and talent show, part of the annual Grayville Days event, as recently as September 3 last year, and for a town-wide church service the following Sunday.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avon Theater on May 18, 2016 at 8:10 am

The auditorium of the Avon Theatre has been demolished and its site is occupied by part of the multi-level parking garage that takes up the block from Broughton Lane to State Street and Drayton Street to Abercorn Street. The Savannah Taphouse occupies only the theater’s former entrance building, extending from Broughton Street to Broughton Lane. That is also the space once occupied by the Folly/Band Box Theatre, the small silent era house that the Avon’s entrance building replaced in 1944.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Don Mills Theatre on May 18, 2016 at 7:19 am

Thanks, Chris. Here is the correct link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on May 17, 2016 at 5:27 pm

This post from The First News Junkies mentions that the Ritz is being converted into a hologram theater, but doesn’t give any details about the project. It does, however, have a nice photo of the News-View that I don’t recall having seen previously.

This post from the SFGate is about Dolby Laboratories' demonstration project at the Vine Theatre. I don’t know if Dolby is involved with the Ritz project. It isn’t the only company experimenting with holographic movies.

This Mashable post says that Seoul has four competing theaters presenting holographic versions of Korean pop music concerts, and another hologram theater is opening in Singapore. Their system isn’t very advanced, though. I would hope that Dolby’s experimental system is better, and is the sort of thing that will be going into the Ritz.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dixie Cinema on May 16, 2016 at 10:13 pm

The recent opening of C.F. Morris’s new Dixie Theatre in Holdenville was announced in the July 9, 1926, issue of The Film Daily.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bellaire Theatre on May 16, 2016 at 10:09 pm

The July 9, 1926, issue of The Film Daily said that Sam Baker expected to open his new Bellaire Theatre the first week of August.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Don Mills Theatre on May 16, 2016 at 9:28 pm

A two page article with photos of the Don Mills Theatre appeared in the October 21, 1963, issue of Boxoffice, and can be seen online at this link.

The entire Don Mills Center was demolished in 2005 and has been replaced by a denser, more urban shopping district.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oak Village Theater on May 16, 2016 at 8:59 pm

A couple of photos of the auditorium of the Oak Village Theatre can be seen on this page of Boxoffice, October 21, 1963 (click + sign in toobar at bottom to embiggen, scroll up two pages to read the beginning of the article.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palm Springs Twin One & Two on May 16, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Linkrot repair: The October 21, 1963, Boxoffice article about Wometco’s new Palm Springs Theatre can now be found online at this link (embiggen with + icon in toolbar at bottom, scroll down for second page with two additional photos.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Movie Tavern Brannon Crossing on May 14, 2016 at 9:10 pm

The conversion of the Amstar Stadium 14 into the Movie Tavern Brannon Crossing was designed by the Houston-based architecture and construction firm The Beck Group. Business Wire has a brief article about the project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Movie Tavern Juban Crossing on May 14, 2016 at 9:02 pm

The Movie Tavern Juban Crossing is one of a number of projects designed for the chain by the Houston-based architecture and construction firm, The Beck Group.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garrick Theatre on May 14, 2016 at 8:46 pm

The February 7, 1903, issue of The News Journal of Wilmington said that construction would soon begin on William Dockstader’s new theater at 828-839 Market Street.

The plans for the project had been drawn by the noted Philadelphia architect George L. Lovatt. Lovatt is best known for the many Roman Catholic churches he designed, mostly in Pennsylvania.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Buster Maxwell lamenting the demolition of the Roland Theater on May 13, 2016 at 10:02 pm

If demolition was underway when they were taken, the photos must date from 1976. I see there is an ornate letter “R” on the decorative panel adjacent to the proscenium.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rowland Theatre on May 13, 2016 at 9:57 pm

Buster: As far as I know, the Rowland was the only purpose-built theater in Wilkinsburg. The town might have had some earlier nickelodeon-style theaters in converted storefronts, but they’d have been long gone by the time the Rowland was demolished in 1976.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Joy Drive-In on May 13, 2016 at 8:53 pm

The March 29, 1952, issue of Boxoffice said that the 400-car drive-in under construction at Minden, Louisiana, by W.H. Cobb and Ruth Cheshire was expected to open about April 15.

Though William Cobb had been a partner with New Orleans theater magnate Joy Houck in the Joy Theatre on Pearl Street beginning in the early 1940s, Houck was not involved in the drive-in project. The June 30, 1951, issue of Boxoffice had reported that Cheshire and Cobb had purchased Houck’s interest in Minden’s walk-in Joy Theatre.

Presumably Cobb had Mr. Houck’s permission to also use his name on the new drive-in, as I can’t find any reports of a lawsuit growing out of that use, and the name remained Joy Drive-In until it closed.

Also it should be noted that the web page jimroy linked to says that Ruth Cheshire, who later remarried and became Ruth Lowe, bought out Cobb’s interest in the theaters and operated the drive-in until it closed. There is no mention of Fox Theatres ever having any interest in the theaters in Minden.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rex Theatre on May 12, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Minden’s theater history is a bit muddled and the sources have some conflicting (and probably some erroneous) information, but this web page says that the Rex Theatre on Pearl Street was the first house of that name in Minden, not the second, and that it was taken over by Joy Houck, remodeled, and renamed the Joy Theatre. The page says this happened in the 1940s, but the move of the Rex name had to have been in the 1930s. There are multiple sources indicating that the second Rex was operating by the later 1930s. I’m not sure when the first Rex became the Joy. The house might have been closed for some time before being remodeled and reopened.

Comparing various vintage photos with modern Google street views, I’m sure the page is correct that the Rex and the Joy were the same house, and I believe the correct address of the theaters is 114 Pearl Street (we have the Joy listed at 112, and the Rex at 116.) The vintage photo of the Rex at the top of this page shows that the theater was in a building adjacent to the building in which the historical museum is now located. Though many Internet sources say that the museum is in the Rex building, that is clearly not the case. The subsequent photo on the museum’s web page shows that the museum entrance is in the space that in the vintage photo is occupied by a dry cleaning establishment.

This web page has a ca.1951 photo of the joy and shows that there was a building to the right of it. That was the building at 112 Pearl, which ends at an alley and never had an adjacent building on that side. This web page has a photo of the Joy taken at the same time from a different angle, and the brick pier of the museum building can be dimly seen at left.

The museum’s own web site says that in the 1950s the Joy was next door to the building now occupied by the museum. The building has been remodeled, and the streamline modern front of the Joy replaced by a brick facade. I have no doubt that the Rex and the Joy were the same theater, and their address is 114 Pearl Street. Our pages for the two theaters should be combined.

Also, our vintage photo of the Rex displays advertising for the 1934 Shirley Temple movie Baby Take a Bow, so the Rex was still operating at this location at least that late.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rex Theatre on May 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm

I found one source, an elderly resident of Minden named Juanita Agan, who said in an article published (or more likely re-published) in the October 7, 2015, issue of the Minden Press-Herald that the Brownie was a different theater than the Rex. She recalls “ I remember it as the Scout Theatre, others remember further back when it was called the Brownie Theatre or later it was the Tower Theater.”

The Rex was in a building that was built in 1902 as the First Baptist Church. This Rex was not the first of the name, but the second. According to this web page Edgar Hand owned the original Rex Theatre on Pearl Street. In the early 1940s it was taken over by Joy Houck, remodeled and renamed the Joy Theatre, and Hand moved the Rex to its second location. The page is probably wrong about the time of the move, as there are several sources saying that the second Rex was in operation in the 1930s. The photo of the Rex on this page is dated 1937. A slightly later photo in John A. Agan’s book Lost Minden shows an updated theater, probably in 1939 or 1940, decorated for the local premier of Gone With the Wind (on page 17 of the Google Books preview.)

I’m not sure when the second Rex closed, but at some point it was demolished to provide parking space for the Minden Medical Center.

The address 203 N. Broadway is obsolete. At some point Minden reassigned addresses, and the site of the Rex is now in the 800 block, though I don’t know exactly where. It must have been in the vicinity of a low brick building called the Minden Medical Pavilion, which is apparently an annex to the medical center, but which has a Morrell Street address.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Joy Theatre on May 12, 2016 at 7:32 am

The Joy Theatre closed in 1964, according to an article about the closing of the Joy Drive-In in 1981, which can be found on the web page I linked to in my previous comment.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Joy Drive-In on May 12, 2016 at 7:28 am

Though it duplicates some of the information on the page jimroy linked to, this web page has additional information and includes a scan of part of a newspaper article about the closing of the theater from July, 1981 (difficult to read because the scan is too small.) The final night of operation at the Joy Drive-In was August 2, 1981.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tower Theatre on May 12, 2016 at 7:13 am

113 N. Broadway is the wrong address for the Tower Theatre. According to the caption of a photo on page 21 of Lost Minden, by John A. Agan (Google Books preview) the Tower Theatre was in what is now the 600 block of Main Street. However, comparing the vintage photo showing the Tower with modern street view it can be seen that the theater’s entrance was actually in the building now occupied by the Main Street Barber Shop, at 711 Main Street.

The entrance was quite narrow and the auditorium must have extended behind the adjacent City Drug Store. In satellite view the back of this building has an odd slope to its roof, and I suspect that it might have been partly demolished. I don’t see how it could have accommodated 600 seats if it hadn’t been bigger at one time. It’s possible that the building once extended all the way to Monroe Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Joy Theatre on May 12, 2016 at 6:27 am

There is a ca.1951 photo of the Joy Theatre on this web page, along with a few reminiscences by locals. The rest of the page is mostly about the Joy Drive-In.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cozy Theatre on May 12, 2016 at 6:12 am

Map web sites can’t find a Palton Street in Minden. This web page mentions the Cozy only briefly, even though it is titled “Cozy Theater and Me”, but does say that the theater “…was located behind the stores on back street.” Map sites can’t find Back Street, either, but Lost Minden, by John A. Agan (Google Books preview) says that Back Street was long the name of the street that is now called Broadway Street.

I don’t think the theater’s address would be 112 Broadway, though, as that’s an area where three streets come together and it doesn’t look as though there would have been room for stores with a theater behind them at that spot. Possibly Palton Street was an alley which has been removed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on May 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm

The State Theatre’s entrance was on Beale Street, so its address should be 304 Beale.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Temple Theatre on May 7, 2016 at 1:57 pm

It’s not unusual for a building housing both a theater and offices or other uses to have two architects. J.B. White was a well known local architect in Ardmore, and so would have been a logical choice to handle a major local project, but had probably never designed a theater.

Leonard H. Bailey was an Oklahoma City architect who had experience designing theaters, and was probably brought in by the owners to handle that portion of the project. White, being local, was most likely also the supervising architect who oversaw the construction.