Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about AMC Mazza Gallerie 7 on Aug 18, 2015 at 9:43 pm

The Mazza Gallery is listed on the web site of architect James Thomas Martino as one of his theater projects, though he lists it as being in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He also has it listed under projects for K-B Theatres, which makes me wonder if he actually designed the Paris Theatre, which this house replaced. He designed several projects each for both K-B and GCC.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Foundry 7 Theatres on Aug 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm

The Foundry 7 Cinemas was designed for K-B Theatres by architect James Thomas Martino.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Movies at Montgomery Mall on Aug 18, 2015 at 9:03 pm

The correct name of the architect of The Movies at Montgomery Mall is James Thomas Martino. It was one of his earliest projects, his practice having been established in 1983. The house was originally operated by K-B Theatres, opening on January 18, 1985, according to Robert K. Headley’s Motion Picture Exhibition in Washington, D.C.. The K-B chain went under in January, 1994, and this house was closed, but it was reopened in March of that year by Cineplex Odeon.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Congressional 5 Cinemas on Aug 18, 2015 at 8:51 pm

The architectural firm of Goenner, Woodhouse & Associates originally designed the Congressional 5 Cinemas. The house was later renovated with plans by architect James Thomas Martino, who designed several projects for K-B Theatres.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bow-Tie Cinemas Harbour 9 on Aug 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

Like the other multiplex in Annapolis, the Harbour 9 was designed by architect James Thomas Martino.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Village Crossing 18 Theatres on Aug 18, 2015 at 7:58 pm

The Village Crossing 18 was designed for Crown Cinemas by architect James Thomas Martino.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bohemia Theatre on Aug 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm

The Bohemia Theatre’s building is currently occupied by the offices of a law firm. The building is on the east side of Ocoee Street (Lee Highway) three doors north of 1st Street.

The banner photo at the top of this web page shows the Bohemia Theatre in the distance. Scroll down through the “B” section of the page for a somewhat closer photo.

Note that although the information with the photo thumbnail gives the operating years of the Bohemia as 1911-1955, the house was clearly still in operation in 1956, per the Boxoffice article about the theater’s 50th anniversary, cited in my previous comment (scan here.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Aug 17, 2015 at 2:56 am

The page needs updated with the aka Warner Theatre, per the 1930 ad rivest266 uploaded. The naming had to have been temporary, though, as we also have a photo of the house with the Strand vertical above a marquee advertising the 1945 release Of Human Bondage, and 1940s era cars in the street. Another photo has John Garfield and Shelly Winters paired on the marquee, and I believe the only movie in which they co-starred was the 1951 release He Ran All the Way.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wonderland Theatre on Aug 17, 2015 at 2:32 am

The September 14, 1907, issue of The Moving Picture World had this news about the Wonderland’s near escape from disaster:

“The inflammable nature of the celluloid used in casting the motion pictures at Jennen’s Wonderland theatorium, on Main street, between Markham and Second, almost started a costly fire at Little Rock, Ark. The deck on which the lantern is operated was the only thing damaged by the blaze except three reels of films. The interior of the building was drenched by the fire department, which promptly answered the alarm, but within an hour or so the show was running as usual. Only three or four spectators were present at the time of the fire, and they had no difficulty in making their escape. The operator of the lantern had stopped the mechanism, but had neither taken away the reel nor shut off the powerful electric light, which is a part of the machine. As a consequence the highly inflammable celluloid films being exposed too long to the blaze of the light, took fire. Ordinarily when the machine is in operation and the reel is swiftly rotated, no part of the celluloid ribbon is exposed to the light long enough to be in danger of catching fire, but for some reason the reel was stopped, and as the light was not turned off, it soon was aflame.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Aug 17, 2015 at 2:12 am

A September 28, 1907 New York Clipper advertisement for the O. T. Crawford Film Exchange Co., headquartered in the Gayety Theatre, St. Louis, listed a house called the Orpheum Theatre, at 511 S. Main Street, Little Rock, as a branch exchange.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stanley Theater on Aug 15, 2015 at 10:33 pm

The caption of a photo of the Stanley Theatre from the Portsmouth Library says that it was located at 5716 Gallia Street in the Sciotoville section, and was listed in city directories from 1922 to 1954.

This link might or might not work. The photo is at Pinterest, a rather boneheaded web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Scenic Theatre on Aug 15, 2015 at 7:58 pm

The Scenic Theatre, an expansion of which was mentioned in the October 15, 1910, issue of the trade journal The Nickelodeon, was improved and reopened following the 1913 flood, only to be severely damaged by a fire in July, 1915. I haven’t discovered if it was reopened again after the fire.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about LaRoy Theater on Aug 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm

The January 12, 1926, issue of The Portsmouth Daily Times had an article about the opening of the LaRoy Theatre the previous night, and said that architect Laurence Millspaugh was among the speakers at the event. The November 19, 1924, issue of the same publication had said that Columbus architectural firm Carmichael & Millspaugh had been chosen to design the new theater to be built at Gallia and Gay Streets.

The firm was founded shortly after WWI. Martin Laurence Millspaugh retired from architecture in 1932 to take over operation of his family’s business, Baltimore silversmiths Samuel Kirk & Son. Carmichael & Millspaugh also drew the plans for the 1926 remodeling of the Robey Theatre in Spencer, West Virginia. I’ve been unable to discover Mr. Carmichael’s first name or initials.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Robey Theatre on Aug 15, 2015 at 7:12 pm

The surname of one of the architects of the 1926 remodeling of the Robey Theatre is misspelled in the “Firms” field. His correct name was Martin Laurence Millspaugh. I’ve been unable to discover Mr. Carmichael’s first name or initials.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Retro Dome on Aug 15, 2015 at 5:54 pm

It might have switched to independent and art films in its later years, but when it opened, the Century 25 would have been a first-run house, just like the other domed suburban theaters being built by the Syufy/Century chain during that period.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about LaRoy Theater on Aug 15, 2015 at 5:44 pm

The LaRoy Theatre opened with a three-manual Bennett organ, opus 952. The fate of the instrument is unknown at this time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Forest Park Theatre on Aug 15, 2015 at 3:51 pm

this undated photo of the Forest Park Theatre shows a Mission style front.

Forest Park was one of the many amusement parks built in the suburban areas of American cities, often by streetcar companies, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The following paragraph is from an Arkansas Times article about Pulaski Heights:

Little Rock streetcar company built Forest Park, a 160-acre amusement park that included a theater, dance pavilion, roller coaster, merry-go-round, bowling alley, roller-skating rink and refreshment stands, at today’s Kavanaugh and University intersection.“
If the Forest Park Theatre closed in 1915 it was probably replaced replaced by a new venue at the park. Issues of The Billboard from 1917 mention vaudeville shows still being presented at Forest Park in Little Rock.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Beacon Theater on Aug 12, 2015 at 11:00 pm

This item from the February 18, 1922, issue of The American Contractor sounds like it could be about the Beacon Theatre:

“Theater (M. P.) Stores (6) & Offices: $150,000. 1 & 2 sty. Main & Grove sts., East Orange, N. J. Archt. Hyman Rosensohn, 188 Market St., Newark. Owner East Orange Amusement Co., Judge J. S. Strahl. pres., 828 Broad st., Newark. Brk. & limestone. Archt. & owner will soon take bids on gen. contr. Drawing plans.”A notice that construction contracts had been let for the project appeared in the March 30 issue of Engineering News-Record.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Don Mills Theatre on Aug 12, 2015 at 4:22 pm

My comment of July 23, 2012, on the Glendale Theatre page says that the Don Mills Theatre was one of the houses designed by Mandel Sprachman, and cites an item from Boxoffice of October 25, 1965, which mentioned the house. It opened around 1963 and was operated by Odeon.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Aug 12, 2015 at 3:04 pm

1915 is both the last year in which I’ve found a Gayety Theatre in Hoboken mentioned in trade publications, and the first year in which I find a Strand mentioned, so that must be the year the house was renamed. An announcement that the Gayety had been sold to an unnamed New York company who planned extensive alterations to the house appeared in the May 8, 1915, issue of The New York Clipper. I found the Gayety mentioned as late as August, 1915, but the Strand was operating by October that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Aug 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Numerous documents, including several photographs, related to the Quartett Club are available online from the Hoboken Historical Society at this web page. A couple of photos depict the building after it was converted into the Gayety Theatre, and one depicts the ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone of the building on October 28, 1891. The description of that photo says that the building became the Gayety Theatre in 1907, and that the apartment house now on the site was built in 1931.

The October 29 issue of The New York Times had an article about the ceremony (online here,) and revealed that the building was built by the Masonic lodge. The formal opening of the club’s new building on December 10, 1892, was announced in the following day’s issue of the New York Press.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Aug 9, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Sanford appears to have renumbered its lots at some point, so the historic address we’ve been using is inaccurate. The Cinema Data Project’s page for the State Theatre says that it was “…close to midtown mall,” which is a modern shopping center on the northeast side of Main Street between St. Ignatius Street and Washington Street.

The Project’s description of the photo in the 1941 MGM report says that it shows the theater in a corner block. Our photo above shows a narrow alley next to the theater. If that was the corner referred to, it must have been St. Ignatius Street, which is still very narrow, though it might have been widened a bit when the mall was built. Internet says that the business in the modern building at that location, Gold Rush Party, is at 882 Main Street, so that’s most likely what the address of the State Theatre would be if it were still standing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Aug 9, 2015 at 1:13 pm

A map of a walking tour of Sanford (PDF here) shows the location of the Capitol Theatre to have been at the northeast corner of Main Street (ME-109) and Water Street (US-202.) However, a photo of the Leavitt Theatre published in 1914 (Google Books scan) shows it to have been a mid-block building. It seems likely that Water Street was realigned at some point, though, so the map could be accurate if that location was once a couple of doors east of the old intersection.

Sanford has apparently renumbered its lots at some point, because the modern building nearest the Capitol’s site (and perhaps directly on it,) a 7-11 store, is at modern address 880 Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theatre on Aug 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm

1,268 most likely comes from a Film Daily Yearbook listing. The FDY was not always accurate, but sometimes it was. The MGM reports were probably more accurate, but the one Ron cited was from 1941, and during the war many large, old theaters covered over their disused orchestra pits and added a couple more rows of seats because business was booming and it was very difficult for chains to get new theaters built due to restrictions on new construction, so it was a cheap way to add new capacity.

Seating capacities tended to fluctuate over the years, anyway (re-seating with larger seats and maybe wider rows, part or all of a balcony being closed off as business declined, seats from the front rows being removed to replace broken seats farther back in the house in theaters that couldn’t afford new replacements, etc.,) and theater operators, for various reasons (such as the union regulation that once required two projectionists in houses with more than 1,000 seats, leading managers to sometimes undercount,) didn’t always give accurate counts, so the exact number of seats in any given theater at any given time is often moot. For these reasons I look at the seat counts at Cinema Treasures as usually being no more than ballpark figures.

As for the demolition date, Ron Newman’s comment of March 28, 2006, cites a September 6, 1982, newspaper article saying that the entire block was slated for demolition to make way for an office building, and the Paramount was the last business on the block that was still open, so the closing and demolition most likely took place in late 1982 or early 1983. The 3-story brick office block on the site now has a very 1980s look.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 8, 2015 at 9:58 pm

Thanks for the detailed post, macoco. I vaguely remember the day-and-date policy of the big chains in Los Angeles, but by the time I was old enough to pay close attention to which theaters were showing what, the big chains were being divorced from the studios. By the time I started going to movies on my own the Chinese had switched mostly to road shows, and all but one of the big downtown theaters were being run by Sherrill Corwin’s Metropolitan Theatres. Some were still first run houses, but the movies they ran were usually city-wide first runs, showing in maybe two dozen or more houses and drive-ins all over town.