Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Zoe Theatre on May 2, 2018 at 11:07 pm

The September 23, 1950, issue of Boxoffice said that the Zoe Theatre had been opened by the Armentrout Circuit. Some of the houses in the circuit were called the Clark Theatre, after founder Clark Armentrout. This house was named for Clark’s granddaughter Zoe, daughter of Russell Armentrout.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rollamo Theater on May 2, 2018 at 9:46 pm

The Rolla Preservation Alliance informs me that the Rollamo Theatre was at 210 W. 8th Street. The drastically altered building is still standing, and now houses a bank.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rollamo Theater on May 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm

The principals of Johnson & Maack were Eugene S. Johnson and Albert C. Maack. The firm was founded in 1929 and became Johnson & Maack & Saunders in 1937.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on May 2, 2018 at 3:03 am

This house probably opened in 1931. That year the May 24 issue of The Film Daily ran this notice:

“Frankfort, Ind. — A theater is to be erected here by Valos and Gregory at an estimated cost of $100,000.”
I haven’t been able to find any opening notices, but Valos and Gregory’s “Roxey” Theatre at Frankfort was mentioned in the June 18, 1934 issue of the Logansport Pharos-Tribune. Their newly-incorporated company, the Cass Theatre Corporation, had just taken over the Paramount and Luna Theatres in Logansport.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rollamo Theater on May 2, 2018 at 2:51 am

This item is from the March 15, 1931, issue of The Film Daily:

“Rolla, Mo. — Construction bids have been received for the erection of the Rollamo here at an estimated cost of $75,000. Johnson & Mack of St. Louis are the architects.”
The July 30, 1931, issue of the Rolla Herald said that work on the theater was being rushed to have it open by August 5, but the August 6 issue of the paper carried no theater news or advertisements. Advertisements had appeared by August 16, however.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on May 1, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Anitem in the April 17, 1931, issue of the Angola Herald said that Mrs. Gladys Brokaw had leased the former Browkaw Theatre on the north side of the square to a Mr. Ellis, who was in the process of building a new theater on Maumee Street next door tot he Hendry Hotel (the Hendry, which burned in 1968, was at the southwest corner of Maumee and Elizabeth Street, one block west of the square.) Ellis intended to use the theater on the square as an overflow house.

Another brief item in the Herald on July 3 said that the former Brokaw Theatre would reopen as the Strand Theatre. The New Brokaw Theatre was still under construction, as was Mr. Eliss’s new house, for which the name Angola Theatre had been chosen. As it turned out, the Angola Theatre never opened. The uncompleted theater building was foreclosed in 1932.

Joe Brokaw was not without a theater during the period between the closing of the old Brokaw Theatre and the opening of the new one, though. Numerous items in the Herald during the period indicate that the Angola Opera House was presenting talking pictures, and that Joe Brokaw was the manager. In fact Brokaw had been operating the Opera House at least as early as 1926, and a DeForest Phonofilm sound system had been installed in October, 1929. The first sound movie presented in Angola was the Marx Brothers first feature film, “The Cocoanuts”.

Joe Brokaw had been in the theater business at Angola at least as early as 1909, when the Steuben Republican was touting the “New Brokaw Theatre” in its issue of December 9. The May 26, 1914, issue of the Herald mentioned “Brokaw’s new theatre”— presumably the house that eventually became the Strand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garden Theatre on May 1, 2018 at 6:12 am

Architect Frederick George Clausen retired in 1914, and it is likely that the 1915 Garden Theatre was designed by his son, Rudolph J. Clausen, who, on his father’s retirement, formed the firm of Clausen & Kruse with Walter O. Kruse.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on May 1, 2018 at 6:11 am

Architect Frederick George Clausen retired in 1914, whereupon his son Rudolph J. Clausen formed the firm of Clausen & Kruse with Walter O. Kruse, so the 1916 remodeling of the Family Theatre should be attributed to Rudolph.

However, as the elder Clausen was Davenport’s leading architect, it’s quite possible that he was the original architect of the house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Douglas Theater on May 1, 2018 at 5:32 am

No date is given, but the records of the American Terra Cotta Company list the Douglas Theatre, 22nd and Sawyer, Chicago, among the projects using the company’s products. The architect was Ralph C. Harris.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Prairie Theatre on May 1, 2018 at 5:10 am

The October 23, 1915, issue of The American Contractor said that a two-story building, 75x162 feet, to house a theater, stores, and offices was under construction at 5746-5752 S. Prairie Avenue. It was one of several projects underway by developers Kusel & Harris. Ralph C. Harris was the architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Atlas Theater on May 1, 2018 at 4:22 am

I believe this was an African American house. A biography of black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux lists one of his movies, “The Homesteader” appearing at Dooley’s Atlas Theatre in Chicago, on 7-8 March 1919.

The records of the American Terra Cotta Company indicate a D. A. Dooley Dixie Theatre at 4711 S. State Street. The theater was fairly wide, so probably covered three narrow lots, 4711-4715. The project was designed by Newhouse & Bernham.

Looking at the satellite view I’m thinking it’s likely that only the front portion of this theater survives, and the auditorium has been demolished. The building as it is now is not large enough to have accommodated a theater of almost 700 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Round Up Theater on May 1, 2018 at 4:03 am

The records of the American Terra Cotta Company contain a number of projects combining theaters and stores and designed for a partnership called Kusel & Harris. So far all of them I’ve come across list the architect of the projects only as Harris.

I don’t know if it was the same Harris who was having the projects built or not (quite a few architects did go into the theater development business), but the architect in question was most likely Ralph C Harris, who is known to have designed a number of Chicago theaters in the 1910s.

One of the projects was for a store at Milwaukee Avenue and Wolfram Street, which was the location of the Round Up. This theater was thus probably of Ralph C. Harris’s design.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cosmo Theatre on May 1, 2018 at 3:29 am

Records of the American Terra Cotta Company indicate that the Cosmopolitan Theatre was designed for Ascher Brothers by the architectural firm of Newhouse & Bernham (Felix M. Bernham.) An item in the August 24, 1918, issue of The Economist said that Henry L. Newhouse was preparing plans for an addition to the Cosmopolitan Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Beach Theatre on May 1, 2018 at 3:26 am

The records of the American Terra Cotta Company indicate that the Beach Theatre was designed by the architectural firm of Newhouse & Bernham (Felix M. Bernham. I believe that Bernham has sometimes been conflated with Daniel Burnham, a much better known Chicago architect of the period.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gardena Theatre on May 1, 2018 at 3:01 am

DeniseGaskellSnuffin was right about the theater being between Vermont and Normandie, not on the corner of Vermont, though not midway between— it was much closer to Vermont. The Film Daily notice uploaded by Ron Pierce gives the location as Gardena and Berendo, which is two blocks west of Vermont.

I also now believe that Denise was correct in her first comment, when she said that the theater building became the location of the Gardena Department Store after closing. The LA. County Assessor’s office says that the department store building was built in 1938, which is when the theater was built. It is the second building west of Berendo Avenue. Denise’s friend who told her that the department store was a few businesses west of the theater might have been right at one time. I suspect that the department store relocated when the theater space became available.

If you take Google’s street view down the alley behind the building you can see to the left of the single rear door that the plaster is separating, in line with the top of the doorway, indicating that there could formerly have been a double exit door at that location. There is also an area at the other end of the rear which looks to have been bricked up, though it is difficult to make out due to layers of paint. That would have been the location of the second pair of rear exit doors. And again, the plaster appears to be separating in a line that would indicate the top of a doorway that has been bricked up.

As for the L.A. Times report from 1945 giving the address of the theater as 1002 Gardena Boulevard, I suspect that it was either a mistake, or the lots along Gardena Boulevard have since been renumered. The address of the department store is 1106 W. Gardena Boulevard. In any case, the building on the northeast corner of Gardena and Vermont is not even in the City of Gardena. That side of Vermont Avenue is in the City of Los Angeles.

So my conclusion is that the Gardena Theatre was in the building now occupied by the Gardena Department Store, 1106 W. Gardena Boulevard, just west of Berendo Avenue. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Apr 30, 2018 at 9:05 pm

The address I found for the Colonial Theatre depicted in the photo above was 803 Superior Avenue. There’s a photo on page 100 of Rockefeller’s Cleveland, by Sharon E. Gregor (Google Books preview.) The caption says it was built in 1902 and opened in 1903 as a vaudeville house that later turned to legitimate theater.

The caption also says the Colonial was designed by the Detroit architectural firm of Mason, Reed, Hill & Painter, although the records of the American Terra Cotta and Ceramic Company just say Mason, Reed & Hill. Both apparently got the name wrong, as a history of Detroit architects says that the firm was Mason, Reed-Hill, & Painter, with George D. Mason, William Reed-Hill, and Walter S. Painter as principals.

Although have found the Colonial mentioned once in The Moving Picture World (the issue of January 3, 1914, when it was running the prestige picture “Traffic in Souls”) it spent most of its history as either a vaudeville or legitimate house. This history of the Colonial doesn’t mention movies at all, but says that the house mounted its last production in 1930, and was demolished in 1932.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eagle Theatre on Apr 30, 2018 at 1:12 am

Becoming a drive-in projectionist at 18 must have been a dream job.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Apr 30, 2018 at 12:56 am

I can’t find the May 9 Boxoffice with the State on the cover, and that link in my previous comment is dead, but this link (while it lasts) will bring up the first page of a three-page article about the house from the July 4, 1960, issue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hellman Theatre on Apr 30, 2018 at 12:53 am

I’ve been burned by Boxoffice moving its archive so many times and having my links go dead that I’m reluctant to do this, but the double page spread about the Hellman Theatre in the magazine’s July 4, 1960 issue has a couple of nice photos I haven’t seen elsewhere, so I’ll take a chance: at Yumpu.com.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Main Street Theatre on Apr 29, 2018 at 3:09 pm

The Main Street Theatre was definitely at 1222-1224 Main Street, at the northwest corner of 13th (John Shea Drive on the Google map.) The theater and adjacent buildings were demolished and a McDonald’s restaurant is now on the site.

The theater was built around 1925, and was listed as the Main Street Theatre in the 1926 yearbook, though local sources say that it was originally known as the Winkler Theater. The building was still standing in 1980, but was gone by 1991.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eagle Theatre on Apr 29, 2018 at 1:52 pm

junglejan2 is correct. We have the wrong address for the Mainstreet Theatre. An inventory of Lexington’s historic buildings made when it was still standing says that the Mainstreet (or Main Street, as it was styled in the Film Daily Yearbooks) was at the corner of 13th (John Shea Drive on the Google map) and Main. A NRHP registration form for Lexington’s historic district says that it was at 1222-1224 Main Street. That would put it almost four blocks from the Eagle building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about East End Theater on Apr 27, 2018 at 9:02 pm

Two different permits were issued for this theater, both for Mr. B. T. Pitts. The first, permit #23923, was issued in 1936 for a theater designed by H. Carl Messerschmidt and the second, permit #24132, was issued in 1937 for a theater designed by Fred A. Bishop. I don’t know what prompted Mr. Pitts to change architects, or if any of Messerschmidt’s design was incorporated in Bishop’s later project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Carillon Theatre on Apr 27, 2018 at 8:20 pm

A permit to alter an existing building at 2820 W. Cary Street for use as a movie theater was issued in 1933.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Venus Theater on Apr 27, 2018 at 8:11 pm

A permit was issued for a theater to be built at 1414 Hull Street in 1924. Mrs. E. A. Thorpe commissioned the project, which was designed by architect Fred A. Bishop.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Theatre on Apr 27, 2018 at 5:56 pm

The New Theatre was taken over by Jake Wells in March, 1919. The New was one of ten Richmond houses Wells controlled during the late 1910s. A history of Jake Wells' theatrical enterprises gives the address of the New Theatre as 206 E. Broad Street, which would place it in the City Center District, not the Monroe Ward.