Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 76 - 100 of 9,310 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Oct 8, 2014 at 10:44 pm

The description of the building at 1913 Lakin Avenue in a brochure with a walking tour of Great Bend says this:

“Charles Andress, famous circus man and entrepreneur, built this brick building in 1909. In the winter months, when he wasn’t on the road, Andress managed the Strand Theatre, which continued in business until 1954. Since that time, the space has been used as a retail store.”
The theater trade journals of the period don’t mention a Strand Theatre at Great Bend. There were houses called the Echo, the Lakin, the Regent, and the Elite, which was later renamed the Lyric.

A conflicting report about a theater Charles Andress owned in Great Bend came from the August 1, 1927, issue of The Hutchinson News:

“VETERAN SHOWMAN BUYS NEW GREAT BEND THEATRE.

“Great Bend, Kan., Aug. 1— Charles Andress, veteran Great Bend circus man, now retired, has bought the fine new theatre, how being built here, The State. The name will be changed and it will be known as the Andress.

“Several of tho improvements planned for the theatre but which have been held up because of lack of finances will now be finished.

“A. C. Woolen, manager of the theatre will be retained as manager, R. F. Rickart of Elkhart, Kan., who financed the building of the theatre, last week decided to withdraw from the enterprise.”

The trade journals don’t mention either a State Theatre or an Andress Theatre in Great Bend, either. I don’t know if these two sources refer to two different theaters, or if the history of one theater has gotten muddled over the years. An article saying that the Strand had closed permanently ran in the October 21, 1957, issue of the Great Bend Daily Tribune. That article said that the Strand had opened “…about 25 years ago.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Flag Theatre on Oct 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm

The new theater under construction for the Sproule brothers at 310-312 N. Main Street was designed by the local architectural firm of Smith & English, according to the May 6, 1936, issue of The Hutchinson, Kansas, News.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Aztec Theatre on Oct 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Here is the official web site of the Aztec Theatre. There are a few music events scheduled this month, but fewer for November and December. At least the place is open.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about North Star Cinema on Oct 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

The North Star Cinema was designed by William Riseman Associates. Plans, sections, and detail sheets are in the J. Evan Miller collection of Cinerama Theater Plans at UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Oct 7, 2014 at 9:14 pm

The Palace Theatre in Corpus Christi had a Reuter organ of three manuals and eight ranks, opus 214, installed in 1926. The Reuter Organ Company of Lawrence, Kansas, is still in business. Throughout its history it has made primarily church organs, but there were about fifty installations in theaters, mostly in Texas and Kansas, from 1919 to 1929.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grande Theatre on Oct 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm

The Grande Theatre has been demolished and construction has begun on the site for the new headquarters of the Nueces County Regional Transportation Authority. The Melba Theatre across the street has also been demolished, but for private redevelopment for which plans are indefinite.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Oct 7, 2014 at 6:07 pm

This house originally opened on May 10, 1913, as the Martin Theatre. I don’t know when it was renamed DeLuxe, but the DeLuxe Theatre reopened on March 17, 1923, after being remodeled. Wayne Martin’s original lease was for five years, so the house might have been renamed DeLuxe before the 1923 remodeling.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Diana Theatre on Oct 7, 2014 at 3:35 pm

A full page ad for the Diana Theatre in the April 23, 1948, issue of The Tipton Daily Tribune said that the fire the previous year had virtually destroyed the old theater and building, and that the new Diana Theatre was new construction. The project was designed by the architectural and engineering firm of Johnson, McKinney & Schenck.

An article in the Monday, June 24, 1946, issue of The Tipton Daily Tribune said that Wednesday would mark the 20th anniversary of the Diana Theatre. Nick Paikos, the original owner, was still operating the house. The article said that prior to being remodeled and reopened as the Diana the building had housed the Grand Theatre, but that it had been closed for some time.

The Grand Theatre was mentioned in the April 1, 1922, issue of Exhibitors Herald, which said that it had been bought by Clyde Wilson. Previously it had been operated by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Jackson.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Oct 6, 2014 at 9:14 pm

The July 19, 1929, issue of The Film Daily reported that the Dixie Theatre at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, had been gutted by a fire causing an estimated $30,000 of damage.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theater on Oct 6, 2014 at 7:53 pm

This article from Lehigh Valley Business of May 1, 2014, says that the Palace Theatre building is being renovated for use as a brew pub/restaurant, bakery, and coffee shop. Seat from the theater will be used in the waiting area, and movie posters found in the theater will be displayed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Oct 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm

A list of historic theaters in Iowa prepared in 2009 (pdf here) has this ambiguous line for the address of the Capitol: “193 South Central Avenue or 314 South Central Avenue.” It also gives an alternate name for the structure as the P. A. Leese Building. Here is a photo of the P. A. Leese Building, which is at 193 S. Central Avenue. I’m not sure where the address 314 originated, but it seems an unlikely location for a theater, being on the other side of the railroad tracks from Hartley’s small business district and adjacent to a large grain elevator.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Oct 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm

The Capitol was mentioned in the Iowa “Changes in Ownership” column of the July 1, 1929, issue of The Film Daily: “ Hartley — Capitol, sold to C. A. Sartorius by A. M. Inman.” Mr. Sartorius sent in a couple of capsule movie reviews for the “What the Picture Did for Me” column of Motion Picture Herald in 1934.

Someone named H. Midland was operating a theater at Hartley in 1913 according to the December 27 issue of The Moving Picture World, but the name of the theater was not given. The May 6, 1916, issue of the same publication mentioned a Rex Theatre in Hartley, and it might have been the same house that H. Midland was operating in 1913.

The Capitol might have closed for a while in the 1950s, but must have reopened later as it was advertising in the newspaper at least as late as December 30, 1976.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Oct 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm

The August 12, 1978, issue of The Pittsburgh Press said that the Strand Theatre in Oakland, which had recently closed, was being converted into space for three stores. The total space being converted was 8,500 square feet, so the Strand must have been a good-sized theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cranberry Mall 8 on Oct 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm

The obituary of Squirrel Hill architect Edgar A. Kwalwasser in the August 6, 1998, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that he had designed theaters in six states, but only gives the names of three of them, one of which was the Cranberry Mall Cinemas. Kwalwasser established his practice in 1951 and retired only a few months before his death in 1998.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Manor Theatre on Oct 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm

The obituary of Squirrel Hill architect Edgar A. Kwalwasser in the August 6, 1998, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette listed alterations to the Squirrel Hill and Manor Theatres among his works. The remodeling of the Manor he handled might have been the 1965 project for Stanley-Warner I mentioned in my comment of March 6, 2010, or it might have been the 1978 renovations rivest266 mentioned in the comment of last month, or it might have been both, as Kwalwasser established his practice in 1951 and remained active until April, 1998.

The obituary says that he designed theaters in six states, but only mentions three theater projects by name. The third was the Cranberry Mall Cinemas in Cranberry Township.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Squirrel Hill Theater on Oct 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm

The obituary of Squirrel Hill architect Edgar A. Kwalwasser in the August 6, 1998, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette listed alterations to the Squirrel Hill and Manor Theatres among his works. As Kwalwasser established his practice in 1951, the remodeling of the Squirrel Hill Theatre that he handled might have been the one for Stanley-Warner in 1956, or it might have been a later one.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kings Court Theater on Oct 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm

An article in the October 27, 1979, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentioned in passing that the King’s Court Theatre had been designed by architect Edgar A. Kwalwasser.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garrick Theatre on Oct 5, 2014 at 3:19 am

The only mention I can find of the 8th & Broadway Corp. in the trade journals is this item from the California “Changes in Ownership” column of the July 22, 1932, issue of The Film Daily:

“Olympic (formerly Bards 8th St.) sold to Laurence Cohen by 8th & Broadway Corp.”
The Olympic was on 8th Street west of Broadway, and opened as Bard’s 8th Street Theatre in April, 1927. Lou Bard operated the house, but I don’t know if he owned it outright. It’s possible that the house was financed by someone else.

The lease on the Garrick (and the land under it) was taken over by H. L. Gumbiner in 1921, and he operated the house until having it replaced by the Tower in 1927. In the early 1930s the Gumbiners were operating the Cameo and Broadway Theatres as well as the Tower, but so far I haven’t been able to connect them with Lou Bard. There could have been a business relationship of some sort between them, and if so the Garrick’s organ might have gone to Bard’s 8th Street.

Gumbiner is best known for having built the Los Angeles Theatre in 1930, which is how the Tower’s organ ended up there. The Los Angeles was expensive to build, and Gumbiner’s finances were stretched thin, so moving the organ from the Tower was probably an economy move.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about El Rey Theatre on Oct 4, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Andrew: I don’t recall having seen an organ console in the El Rey when I attended movies there at least a dozen times in the late 1950s and early 1960s. But then I don’t think I ever attended the El Rey prior to the installation of the CinemaScope screen in 1954. The screen was quite wide, and if the organ hadn’t been removed earlier it was probably taken out when the screen was installed.

The only old house in the San Gabriel Valley that I know for certain still had an organ in the 1960s was the Rialto in South Pasadena. I believe it’s still there, but it hasn’t been used since being damaged in a fire in the 1970s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Oct 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm

A lobby display promoting war bonds is the main feature of this 1945 photo from the Pasadena Digital Archive. Not much of the theater can be seen, but it looks as though some remodeling had been done which left the lobby rather plain. The subsequent photo in the stream shows a military band posed in front of the Strand’s curtain, but the most interesting thing is that there appears to be an organ console in the orchestra pit.

Saving the best for last, Pasadena Digital History now has four vintage photos of the Strand available from the Harold A. Parker collection at the Huntington Library:

A 1924 view of a lounge;

a 1924 view of the entrance lobby;

A 1924 view of the auditorium including what could be the same organ console that appears in the 1945 photo;

A 1929 view of the front, the marquee advertising movies starring Vilma Banky and Charley Chase.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Academy Cinemas on Oct 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Bard’s Colorado Theatre looms in the background of this 1927 photo from the Pasadena Digital Archive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tower Theatre on Oct 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Pasadena Digital Archive has uploaded a 1945 photo of a small corner of the Tower’s lobby at Flickr. The interior appears to have been fairly plain at this date, though there’s some fancy trim around a partly-seen doorway. The Roy Rogers display indicates that the Tower was probably then Pasadena’s western theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Family Theatre on Oct 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

The Family Theatre opened on September 2, 1949, according to the grand opening ad rivest266 uploaded to the photo page. The same issue of the Beaver Valley Times that ran the ad also has a courtesy ad congratulating the theater on its opening that was placed by architect Harry L. Widom of Pittsburgh. He must have designed the Family Theatre.

There is now a curb cut in front of the theater and a pair of garage doors where the entrance used to be, but two poster cases remain and there is some decorative tile work on the floor, as well as a patch of bare concrete which must be where the box office stood.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema Centre on Oct 2, 2014 at 9:57 pm

The May 3, 1928, issue of the Beatrice Daily Sun said that the Ritz Theatre would open the following day. The new house would feature a Hillgreen-Lane pipe organ and Spanish decor. The house had an orchestra pit and a stage, and presented vaudeville acts as well as movies vaudeville. The Ritz was operated by United Theatres for less than two years. In 1930, the February 26 issue of The Film Daily reported that the house had been transferred to Fox Theatres, and by April had been renamed the Fox.

The October 5, 1939, issue of the Daily Sun said that Fox Theatres was giving up the house and would move its first-run movies to its Rivoli Theatre. The Fox was then taken over and renovated by local Exhibitor Frank Hollingsworth of the Rialto Theatre. The October 22 issue of the Daily Sun said that the Pix Theatre would open the following day. One of the features of the opening night would be selections played on the theater’s restored pipe organ.

Hollingsworth had intended to operate the Pix as a first-run house, but had difficulty obtaining product. A June 18, 1941, Daily Sun article said that the house had operated only intermittently since being reopened. I haven’t found it listed in the paper later than February, 1942. Hollingsworth eventually filed a lawsuit against Fox and won.

In 1948, the Fox circuit reacquired the long-vacant theater and had it largely rebuilt. As the rebuilt Fox had the same footprint as the original Ritz, the increase in seating capacity from less than 600 to more than 800 was probably accomplished either by raising the roof and installing a balcony, a feature the house had never had before, or by removing the stage and expanding the seating into that area. The expanded Fox Theatre opened on January 20, 1949. By August, 1971, the house had been twinned and was operating as the Cinema Center.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gilbert Theatre on Oct 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm

The January 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World had an item about Hal Kelly, manager of the Gilbert Theatre. The usual policy of the house at that time was to present five acts of vaudeville and three reels of movies, Kelly said.