Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rivoli Theatre on Aug 31, 2017 at 5:02 pm

This might be the picture DavidZornig refers to. It is from the book Chippewa Falls: Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Amusu Theatre on Aug 27, 2017 at 6:08 pm

The May 26, 1917, issue of The Billboard listed the 350-seat Amusu Theatre at Jasonville, managed by George Passen, as an independent vaudeville house. A Mr. W. L. Passen was mentioned in the October 11, 1952, issue of The Motion Picture Herald as the seller of the 300-seat Amuzu Theatre in Jasonville. The buyer was named Clay Burnett.

The 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory listed two theaters at Jasonville, called the Aero and the Lyric.

The July, 1911, issue of Motography noted the sale of the Jasonville Theatre at Jasonville for $28,000,

The 1910 report of Indiana’s Department of Inspection listed only one theater at Jasonville, called the Star.

In August of 1918, three issues of The Moving Picture World list two theaters at Jasonville, those being the Crescent and the Empire. I don’t know if the Empire was a short-lived theater, or if perhaps it was a briefly-used aka for the Amusu, which was missing from those lists but mentioned in trade publications both before and after that year.

On the afternoon of July 24, 1914, Jasonville suffered a major fire that destroyed or damaged six blocks of businesses and two residential blocks. Some fifty stores were involved in the conflagration, and the total loss was estimated at $300,000. The fire is believed to have started in a movie house called the Family Theatre, located at 108 Main Street. Formerly called the Airdome, the once-outdoor theater had been given a makeshift wood and canvas roof, which allowed the fire to grow rapidly.

In addition to the Family Theatre, an adjacent building called the Opera House was destroyed, as was another nearby theater called Goldstein’s Opera House. However, newspaper reports from the following day indicate that Goldstein’s, which suffered a loss of $6,000, was also a moving picture theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crescent Theatre on Aug 27, 2017 at 5:28 pm

The Crescent Theatre is listed in the 1916-1917 edition of the Indiana State Gazetteer and Business Directory. Frank Newport & Son were listed as proprietors. I’ve found the Crescent mentioned in The Moving Picture World as early as August 17, 1918.

In 1963, Boxoffice published numerous capsule movie reviews submitted by James Hardy, manager of the Crescent,

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crescent Theatre on Aug 27, 2017 at 4:32 pm

The Crescent and Amusu Theatres were mentioned in the November 23, 1921 issue of The Jasonville Leader.

The 1922-1923 Film Yearbook listed the Crescent Theatre at Jasonville as one of five houses in Indiana and two in Illinois then operated by J. B. Stine of Clinton, Indiana.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clyde Theater on Aug 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm

The Instagram page for the Clyde Theatre has a few photos, including an interesting aerial view and several excellent interior views.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pastime Theater on Aug 27, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Also interesting with regards to the architects, notices of the formation of the firm Braverman & Havermaet published in 1922 give their names as S. Braverman and K. Van Havermaet. The Van does not appear to have ever been used in the firm name, though.

However, a Google search on the name K. Van Havermaet turns up a number of pages in Dutch which make reference to an architect of that name having designed at least one project in the region (a “Huis in art-decostijl….”) in the mid-1930s. As near as I can tell he was based in the Belgian town of Sint-Niklaas. So far I’ve been unable to get Google to open any of these pages, let alone translate them, so all this information comes from the snippets in the search results. I wonder if this was the same K. Van Havermaet? He might have returned to Europe due to the difficulty of getting work in the U.S. in the early ears of the depression.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pastime Theater on Aug 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Actually Braverman would have been only 13 or 14 when the Pastime opened. An advertisement in the February 17, 1929, issue of The Coshocton Tribune, placed by Chacos Bros. Amusement Company, operators of the Pastime, said that the company was celebrating the 21st anniversary of the opening of the house. The events were scheduled for the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, so it was probably one of those dates in 1908 that the Pastime opened.

It’s possible that Braverman and Havermaet’s work on the theatre came as early as 1922. Though it doesn’t name any architects, an item datelined Coshocton in the February 2, 1922, issue of The Moving Picture World said that “Chacos Amusement Company will make alterations and construct an addition to Pastime Theatre.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shoals Theatre on Aug 26, 2017 at 12:45 pm

retroali is correct. The Shoals is open again with a variety of live performances. Website update.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stadium 10 at Northgate on Aug 25, 2017 at 11:05 pm

This web page dated August 1, 2007, says that East Coast Entertainment had just taken over operation of this house from Phoenix Entertainment. Phoenix operated the house for only about a year.

The project had originally been planned for West Virginia-based Marquee Cinemas, but they pulled out of the deal before the theater opened. As Phoenix not only operates its own theaters but also provides management services for other theater owners, I suspect that they were brought in at the last minute with a short-term deal by the owners of the mall after Marquee pulled out.

Either the theater owners or Phoenix probably became dissatisfied with the arrangement, and East Coast Entertainment, a company which operates an amusement park in Myrtle Beach, was brought in to take over the theater. Ten years later, this is still that company’s only cinema. Various reports and theater reviews from around the web suggest that they don’t put much effort into it, and the cinema is now in bad shape.

With major chain competition nearby, this independent probably doesn’t have much power with movie distributors, so it isn’t surprising that the place is getting run down. It has been suggested that the theater is being kept open only as a tax shelter. It seems a plausible claim to me.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Lake Theatre on Aug 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Renaissance Rialto’s web page says the balcony was converted for a second screen in 1981 and that storefronts in the building were converted into screens three and four in 1985.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Embassy Theatre on Aug 22, 2017 at 8:19 pm

This information about the Embassy Theatre is from a PDF published by the Historic American Buildings Survey (link):

“Most of the Main Street theaters were operated by the Panagotacos family. The Panagotacos bought the Presbyterian Church at 416 Main St. In 1912, when the congregation moved to a new building at the corner of Lincoln and Walnut streets. Rather than demolish the church (which had some sentimental value, albeit of a grisly nature, since it had served as a morgue following the 1889 flood), the family built a new facade and marquee over the existing building. The Presbyterian Church thus became the Nemo Theater, This was the longest lived of the Main Street theaters—as the Embassy Theater, it showed movies until summer 1988.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on Aug 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm

Judging from the old photo on David’s link, showing Main Street East from Madison, I suspect that the address of the Avalon Theatre was either 205 or 207 W. Main Street. It appears to have been directly across the street from The westernmost storefront in the Hallan Building, which has the address 206 W. Main. The theater’s site is now part of the parking lot for Union Bank.

I believe the old Monroe Theatre is also mentioned in the “Avalon Theatre” framed history on the same page as the photo, but the text is not clear enough to make out any details other than that the manager of the new theater had also managed the old one.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on Aug 21, 2017 at 10:40 pm

If this house opened in 1929 then it was not the first in town to be called the Monroe Theatre. A Monroe Theater was advertised in the April 8, 1910, issue of the Monroe Monitor-Transcript. The house was also mentioned in the October 14, 1922, issue of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crown Theatre on Aug 20, 2017 at 12:04 am

fawlsbane: The links to the Oklahoma Historical Society from this site have been broken for ages. Try clicking this link, and on the page you reach (if it works) select the link that says “Archives Catalog” and it will open the search page for the photo collection (and some other stuff.) There are over 1,000 results for a simple search on the word theatre (that spelling) and a smaller collection if you use the spelling theater. You can narrow it down by using the name of a city or of a specific theater instead.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Aug 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm

The lot at 316 Broadway is part of the footprint of a modern, block-square building called Seaside Carousel Mall. The mall has been there for over a quarter of a century, so the Strand building was probably demolished sometime before 1990.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Aug 17, 2017 at 3:42 pm

PSTOS has a photo of the Strand, where a Robert Morton organ was installed in 1925.

B.J. Callahan’s Strand Theatre was mentioned in the trade journals quite a few times in the late 1910s an early 1920s. In 1915, Callahan was mentioned in a few publications as operator of a house in Seaside called the Critic Theatre. The Critic had been in operation at least as early as 1912, as it was mentioned in Joseph Gaston’s The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912, published that year.

The April 24, 1915, issue of Motography said that B.J. Callahan had begun construction on a new theater at Seaside. The project must have suffered delays, as the announcement of the Strand’s recent opening appeared in the April 12, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World.

An interesting wire service article about Callahan and his theater appeared in the April 7, 1922, issue of the Santa Cruz Evening News from Santa Cruz, California:

“PATRONS SEE MOVIE, THEN PAY WHAT THEY THINK IT IS WORTH (By International News Service)

“SEASIDE, Ore., April 6.

“A motion picture theatre without a box office is more than an innovation here; it is a big success, after a trial of three months. B. J. Callahan, the movie house owner, remodeled his front, tore out the ticket seller’s cage and installed a glass box between the entrance and the exit, so that patrons could drop into it whatever money they thought the picture was worth on their way out.

“Callahan had strong faith in human nature, and his three-month experience proved it was justified and convinced him that if old Diogenes should visit the local movie house he’d walk on down to the ocean beach after the show and heave his lantern into the sea.

“‘My plan has been a success from the very first day,’ said Callahan. ‘I thought the novelty might wear off, but it doesn’t. Why did I start? Because I had a decided slump in business last fall. I was losing money by keeping open after the summer tourist season slowed down. I hated to close for the winter. I liked the people and had confidence in them. They needed entertainment. I was satisfied if I could just break even.

“‘But let me tell the world something. I am making more money than I did with a regular admission charge. The people pay for what they get. When we show a poor picture the receipts fall down. When a good picture is shown the receipts double.”

A 1949 directory lists B. J. Callahan as owner of both the Times Theatre and the Strand Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Aug 17, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Here is an item from the April 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“OWOSSO, MICH. — Eugene Brewer and Dr. G. N. Finch, who leased the Owosso theater, have remodeled the building and renamed it the Strand. The structure is now a modern theater and moving picture house. New upholstered chairs installed; projecting machines; rotary converter; screen; scenery curtain; heating system, etc. The house has seating capacity of 640.”
An item about the project in the February 15 issue of the same publication had said that the Owosso Theatre was to be remodeled as a ground-floor house at a cost of $15,000. Gus Hill’s 1914-1915 theater directory lists the Owosso Theatre as an upstairs house with 781 seats. The 1909-1910 Cahn guide lists the Owosso Theatre with 822 seats. A 1907 state directory lists the Owosso Opera House, no capacity given, and an 1897 directory lists an 800 seat Salisbury Opera House at Owosso. The 1894 Donaldson guide lists the 800 seat Owosso Opera House.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Aug 17, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Here is another article about the renovations at the Temple Theatre, this one from 2014.

A timeline with the article notes that the house opened in 1937 as the Temple Theatre, was renamed the Strand sometime in the 1940s, and was closed in the 1950s. The Temple replaced the Capitol Theatre, which had burned, on the same site, but the article does not make clear whether it was entirely new construction or just a rebuild within the surviving walls.

Portland Preservation Foundation bought the house in 2013, and restored the earlier name Temple Theatre. The renovations are still ongoing. The Facebookpage has a few photos, including a couple showing the restored marquee.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theater on Aug 16, 2017 at 4:59 pm

The State is currently showing movies on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but nothing is yet announced for September. Five dollar admission, four for children and seniors. They are showing Dunkirk next weekend. Quite a bargain. But so far there is only one showing each night (at 7:30), so don’t be late.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about California Theatre on Aug 16, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Overture San Diego, the mixed use project slated to replace the California Theatre, has been waiting on official approval of its construction plans to begin demolition. The old office building on the corner of 4th and C, which once held the theater’s entrance, will be incorporated into the new project, but the auditorium is to be demolished and replaced by a new building with shops on the lower floors and several levels of parking both above and below, with the new residential tower rising atop that structure.

To me it seems almost adding insult to injury that the vertical “California” sign is to be duplicated on the old office building, and that the grill concealing the above-ground parking area will be decorated with a mural depicting the theater in its heyday.

You can see the plans for the project here. I’m sure the completed project will be an asset to downtown San Diego, but it’s unfortunate that the historic California Theatre will have been sacrificed to build it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Perry Drive-In on Aug 15, 2017 at 5:08 pm

When the Perry Drive-In opened in the summer of 1971, it was one of about a dozen theaters in the independent circuit operated by John H. “Tommy” Thompson, a long-time Georgia exhibitor. About $125,000 had been expended on the project, exclusive of the land, according to a brief item in the August 9 issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dakota Theatre on Aug 15, 2017 at 4:52 pm

The records of the Grand Forks architectural firm Wells-Denbrook Architects (Theodore B. Wells and Myron Denbrook, Jr.) list a 1938 project at Crosby as the Metro Theatre. I’m not sure if it opened with that name or not. Wells was the lead architect of the project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cactus Drive-In on Aug 15, 2017 at 4:47 pm

The Cactus Drive-In was twinned in 1971, and its late July opening was noted in the August 9 issue of Boxoffice. The drive-in had doubled its car capacity with the expansion, and featured improved amenities such as a new, air conditioned concessions stand. The Cactus was an ABC Interstate Theatres operation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crossroads 12 Theatre on Aug 15, 2017 at 4:16 pm

The August 9, 1971, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Crossroads Cinema I and II in Waterloo had recently been opened by St. Cloud, Minnesota-based chain Cinema Entertainment Corp.. The original house seated 540 in Cinema I and 460 in Cinema II. Cinema Entertainment then operated 14 theaters in Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Zelda Theatre on Aug 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm

The records of the Grand Forks architectural firm Wells-Denbrook Architects (Theodore B. Wells and Myron Denbrook, Jr.) list the Zelda Theatre at Grafton, North Dakota, as a 1945 project. Postwar restrictions on building materials could account for the opening of the house being delayed until 1947. The original owner of the Zelda was named Ted Hoffman.

The May 3, 1976, issue of Boxoffice said that Arlo Henriksen, operator of the Strand Theatre in Grafton, had taken over operation of the rival Zelda Theatre from Marvin Agotness.