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The Polk Theatre was one of a number of movie houses in the region that were altered in 1954 with plans by Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel. These projects were most likely related to the installation of CinemaScope in these houses.
Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel drew the plans for the alteration of the Strand Theatre in 1954.
Alterations to the Rice Theatre in 1954, most likely related to the installation of CinemaScope, were designed by Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel.
Alterations were made to the Cane Theatre in 1954, with plans by Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel. Given the timing, it’s likely the alterations were related to the installation of CinmaScope in the house.
Lake Charles architect John M. Gabriel drew the plans for alterations to the Rex Theatre in Opelousas in 1951. The house was then being operated by the Southern Amusement Company.
The Archives and Special Collections Department of Frazar Memorial Library at McNeese State University contains a collection of drawings by architect John Milton Gabriel. Among them are drawings relating to alterations made to the Bailey Theatre in Ville Platte in 1953. The house was at that time being operated by the Southern Amusement Company. It had earlier been operated by regional exhibitor Robert Lee Bailey, who also had theaters at Bunkie and Tallulah.
According to this list, architect John M. Gabriel designed alterations of the Paramount Theatre at Lake Charles for the Southern Amusement Company in 1950 and 1951.
The October 26, 1916, issue of The Wapanucka Press carried the good news that “…the Magnet Theatre is disinfected daily….”
Forgot the link to Historic Aerials. And now that I think of it, the brick wall over which the piece of equipment can be seen probably is what’s left of the old auditorium wall. The auditorium was wider than the entrance building. The wall was apparently cut down and capped.
The theater’s entrance building remains, but as can be seen in Google’s satellite view the original auditorium has been demolished. Its footprint was quite large, extending most of the way to Dodge Street, and can be seen in historic aerial photos. In one of Allan’s 2015 photos the top of a piece of heavy equipment can be seen beyond a wall. That piece of equipment was sitting where part of the auditorium had been.
The May 9, 1960, issue of Boxoffice featured an article about the remodeling of the Pantages which had been completed the previous year.
I only ever attended the Pantages after this remodeling took place, and have not been back since the restoration done some years ago by Nederlander, so I remember the house looking pretty much like it does in the photos with this article. Even with the proscenium hidden behind the gold curtains and the 55x27 foot screen the auditorium was very impressive.
Very belated linkrot repair: The August 6, 1955, Boxoffice article about the Golden Mile Theatre can now be seen at this link.
I’ve been unable to find the 1978 article about the conversion to a twin, as Boxoffice has moved its archive to a user-hostile web site that is nearly impossible to search from either inside or outside.
An illustrated article about the Absecon Drive-In appeared in the “Modern Theatre” section of Boxoffice, August 6, 1955.
A brief article with two photos depicting the recently-opened family dining room and television lounge at the Chief Drive-In appeared in the May 9, 1960, issue of Boxoffice.
Linkrot re-repair: The May 9, 1960, Boxoffice article about the reopening of the former Melba Theatre as the Capri is now at this link.
Given the number of streamlined cars in this photo it is more likely to have been taken around 1939 than 1929. If somebody has larger version in which the names of the movies on the marquee could be made out, we could date it from those.
The October 23, 1915, issue of The American Contractor announced that the Star Theatre in Ogdensburg would undergo a $5,000 remodeling job. Plans for the project had been prepared by local architect George Edward Wilson. Mr. F. W. Gilroy was the owner of the theater.
Wilson, who lived in Ottawa, Canada, from 1901 to 1908, did sufficient work in Canada to rate a brief entry in the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800 – 1950.
AlanCo4 is correct. The Village Theatre building is still standing, and is now occupied by an event center called The Venue Creekside. It’s a nice little Midcentury Modern building of red brick, set back from the street quite a bit and facing its parking lot. The Village was of modest size- I’d guess no more than about 500 seats as a single-screener.
Although the three arched windows above the entrance and the massy base bear some resemblance to the Romanesque Revival style, I’d say this somewhat eclectic building is predominantly Colonial Revival in style.
In 1923, architect Frank W. Frewen was a partner in the firm of Mountjoy & Frewen with Frederick E. Mountjoy. The firm was best known for the numerous school buildings it designed.
In its biography of architect Rudolph Tietig, the Biographical Dictionary of Cincinnati Architects, 1788-1940 attributes the design of the Strand Theatre to him and his firm of Tietig & Lee, with Walter H. Lee. (Lee’s own rather brief entry in the dictionary lists him as William H. Lee, and a 1909 city directory lists him as Walter L. Lee, but I’m inclined to go with Walter H. Lee, which appears in several reliable sources.)
A Cincinnati city directory published in June, 1910, lists a house called the American Theatre at 531 Walnut Street. As this would be under the Strand’s footprint, I’m wondering if it was an earlier name for the same house or if the American was demolished to make way for the Gaiety. A Gaiety Theatre is also listed in 1910, but at the address 1211 Vine Street.
The Alhambra Theatre was listed at 144 W. Fifth Street in the 1910 city directory. I don’t know if the theater later moved or was expanded or if the building was renumbered.
CinemaTour has three photos of the Park Cinema building taken in 2008, and says the house opened on March 21, 1986. Google Maps indicates that the building is now occupied by two television studios.
The building looks much too large to have had only 375 seats, and General Cinema was building multiplexes with well over 1,000 seats during the 1980s. Is it possible the number is missing a 1 at the front?
A May, 1939, program from the Avon Theatre can be seen on this web page. The page also has a recipe for Cincinnati chili (it has spaghetti in it, a Cincinnati tradition.)
The program has a line reading “A Jackson Theatre” suggesting that it might have been owned by Jerome M. Jackson, a pioneer Cincinnati exhibitor. His obituary in the April 24, 1943, issue of The Billboard said that at the time of his death he owned the Jackson and Lookout Theatres, and served as manager of the Taft Theatre. Earlier in has career he had operated the Lyric Theatre and the Grand Opera House.
An earlier Avon Theatre was listed in a 1910 city directory as being on the north side of Rockdale Avenue off of Reading Road. Rockdale Avenue is several blocks north of the later Avon Theatre.
After taking over the Carrol Theatre in 1918, Jerome Jackson had the house enlarged, per this item from the October 25, 1919, issue of The American Contractor:
“Theater (add.): $12,000. 1 sty. 50x 60. Eastern av. Archt. Oscar Schwartz, 311 Provident Bank bldg. Owner Jerome M. Jackson. McGregor & Reading rd. Brk. walls, mill floor & roof constr. Drawing plans. Ready for bids abt. Nov. 1.”
“Listed 1916-1931. Designed a synagogue in Avondale. A considerable number of drawings from his office are preserved in the Cincinnati Historical Society Library collection.”