Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about MarJo Theatre on Oct 7, 2016 at 9:55 pm

The latter part of this PDF has an article about the history of Ephrara’s theaters, with information from an interview with Mary Lee, who started the Lee circuit with her husband John in 1936. The article says that the Marjo (they don’t hyphenate it) Theatre opened in 1940.

The Lees' first venture into the business was taking over an older theater called the Kam in 1936. They renamed the house the Capital (this is the spelling used in the article. “Capitol” is used far more frequently for theaters.)

The article is accompanied by a few photos, one of which depicts the Marjo, and two of which are of the Lee Theatre, which John and Mary opened in 1952.

The 1914-15 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory lists a theater at Ephrata called the Kaminski Opera House. I think it might have been the theater that was later called the Kam which the Lees renamed the Capital.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Acme Theatre on Oct 7, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Unfortunately, the history on the Acme’s web site has some inaccuracies, and they are at least partly my fault. If you check the comment I made on this page on November 5, 2010 (the very fist comment on the Acme) you’ll see that the current operators of the Acme copied and pasted parts of their history from that comment. Part of their information probably also came from our original description of the Acme, contributed by Chuck sometime before November 5, 2010.

Our original description said that the Acme was the same theater as the Wayne, but from the later comments by vbridgers and NightHawk1 we were able to determine that the Acme was not the same house as the Wayne. The description has been corrected, and we now know that Wayne Theatre was the original name of the house that later became the Center Theatre and was last known as the Variety Theatre. The Acme was not listed in the 1928 Goldsboro directory, and probably closed around that time, when new, better equipped theaters were being opened.

The opening year is a bit problematic. Historic sources indicate that there was an Acme Theatre operating in Goldsboro at least as early as 1908, but I haven’t been able to determine if it was at 111 S.W. Center Street or somewhere else. In 1916, the house was either moved to a new building at 111 S.W. Center, or the old theater at that location was rebuilt and expanded. I’ve been checking the sources available to me and will post the information as soon as I can find something about it.

My apologies to everyone using the site for my part in perpetuating the earlier misinformation posted on this page. Cinema Treasures strives to provide accurate information, but when much of the information is crowdsourced, and is pieced together from diverse, often fragmented sources on the Internet, some errors are likely to creep in.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Acme Theatre on Oct 6, 2016 at 11:23 pm

The “Motion Picture Supplement” of the 1921 Cahn guide lists the Acme Theatre, Goldsboro, as a 500-seat house showing “R.&P” (Road shows and Pictures.) The stage was 55 feet wide and 26 feet deep, with a height of 35 feet, which was on the small side for a road show house, but Goldsboro only had a population of 11,296, so it couldn’t be expected to have supported a larger theater, or a full time stage house.

There are multiple mentions of the Acme in moving picture trade journals of the period, including The Moving Picture World and Motography. For many years it was managed by H.R. Mason, who is mentioned in trade journals at least as early as 1908, as is the Acme itself. In 1918 Mason was also operating the Rex and Crystal Theatres in Goldsboro, as noted in an ad for Triangle Distributing Corporation’s moving picture service in the February 23 issue of Motography.

The March 26, 1912, issue of the Goldsboro Daily Argus ran an item noting that:

“Mr. H. R. Mason president of tho Great Southern Feature Film Company will personally present at the Acme Theatre Wednesday and Thursday this great feature picture that has brought forth undivided praise from the press and the pulpit of all Protestant denominations.”
The highly praised film that Mason presented was called A Victim of the Mormons, and a synopsis in the article reveals that it is about a nice Protestant girl who is sweet-talked by a Mormon preacher into going with him to Utah. Presumably she gets some sister wives out of the deal, but I guess the paper didn’t want to publish any spoilers.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rex Theatre on Oct 4, 2016 at 6:51 pm

I’ve found two earlier theater names in Keota. One of them might have been an aka for the Rex. A “Twenty Years Ago” feature in Boxoffice of November 20, 1948, says that “O. H. Smith has opened the Community Theatre at Keota. Recently the Rialto there, formerly operated by W. D. Tarkington, has been closed.”

This item from the April 7, 1928, issue of Motion Picture News notes the beginning of what turned out to be Mr. Tarkington’s brief career as an exhibitor in Keota::

“W. D. Tarkington is reported to be taking over the Miller Theatre at Keota, Oklahoma, and the Empress Theatre at McCurtain, Oklahoma, from Lester Miller.”
In the early 1950s the Rex was operated by someone with the surname Johnson, but I’ve been unable to discover their first name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fulton Theater on Oct 3, 2016 at 1:21 pm

An Orpheum Theatre was operating in Cuba as early as 1916, when the May 20 issue of The Moving Picture World ran a brief notice that the house had suffered a small film fire that was extinguished by placing a galvanized box over the projection machine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Oct 3, 2016 at 1:12 pm

A house called the Colonial Theatre was in operation at Fort Wayne prior to 1916, when this notice appeared in the May 20 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“The Colonial Improvements.

“Ft. Wayne, Ind. — The Colonial was closed for two weeks while repairs were being made. Manager H. C. Heisler said that improvements would be made rapidly and that the patrons of the theater would not be kept away long.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theater on Oct 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

The May 20, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World ran this notice:

“Covington, Ind. — The Lyric, Covington’s newest moving picture theater, is open. The theater played to capacity business the first week, and much favorable comment was aroused because of the beautifully appointed interior of the picture house.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Oct 3, 2016 at 12:13 pm

A line near the end of this Facebook post says: “In 1960 the Strand Theatre on the SE corner of 6th and Main was razed.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Showplace 3 on Oct 3, 2016 at 2:55 am

Theodore Charles was operating a house called the Moon Theatre at Vincennes at least as early as 1916, when it was mentioned in the September 2 issue of Motion Picture News. CinemaTour lists the Moon Theatre at 505 Main Street. The Showplace 3, at the other end of the block, opened as the New Moon Theatre, and was later renamed the Moon Theatre, rather than the other way around.

The book Vincennes, 1930-1960, by Richard Day, Garry Hall, and William Hopper, says that the New Moon Theatre opened on December 14, 1939 (Google Books preview.) The book also indicates that the original Moon Theatre, which opened as a vaudeville house called the Red Mill in 1908, continued to operate as the Moon Theatre at least into 1941.

Numerous articles from local sources in 2015 and 2016 indicate that plans are afoot to renovate the New Moon Theatre building, though probably not for theatrical use. A new roof has stabilized the building, which had suffered water damage, and mold removal has been undertaken.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theater on Oct 3, 2016 at 1:30 am

I’ve found conflicting information about the Princess Theatre.An article in the September 2, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World has this story:

“THE Princess, Troy, Ala., owned by Ramsay and Cranch, and managed by J. G. Cranch, was built in 1914, and soon became the amusement center of its locality. The theatre stands on a plot measuring thirty-two by ninety feet, and is described by the owners as being the ‘best naturally ventilated house in that part of the country,’ where ventilation is a prime consideration during the summer months. An indirect lighting system has been installed in the Princess to shed sufficient glow for finding the seats without interfering with the light on the screen.

“The Princess has a seating capacity of 280. A Power’s 6-A projector is the machine in use, with a Mirroide screen. The length of throw is seventy-five feet. A three piece orchestra and a Berry Wood electric piano furnishes the music for the exclusive showing of features. Usually about five shows, five and ten cents, with a ten cent admission at night, consist of the daily performances.

“The lobby is made to serve as an effective advertising adjunct, with a full display of posters in brass frames. The theatre is located in the business district.”

However, according to the nomination form of the Troy Downtown Historic District to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, the theater in the Masonic Temple operated under three names: it opened as the Royal Theatre on June 5, 1912, in 1915 it became the Walton Theatre, and at an unknown date it became the Princess Theatre, operating under that name for fourteen years.

This article from the Troy Messenger says that the Masonic Temple was built in 1892, and was designed by architect Enoch Crites.

A final bit of conflicting information about the theater itself is that a list of Wilby-Kincey houses published in the January 5, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald lists the Princess as a 350 seat house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Sep 29, 2016 at 5:35 am

The July 9, 1921, issue of The Moving Picture World said that Joseph Shverha planned to enlarge and improve his theater at Lewistown:

“LEWISTOWN, PA.— Joseph M. Shverha has plans by John B. Harmon, 48 North Queen street, Lancaster, for interior alterations and an addition, 8 by 25 feet, to one-story moving picture theatre, to cost $25,000.”
The July 9 issue of the same publication noted that Joseph Shverha, or the Rialto Theatre, Lewistown, was among the Pennsylvania exhibitors attending a recent convention in Minneapolis.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theatre on Sep 29, 2016 at 4:58 am

An item from the March 4, 1922, issue of The Moving Picture World was published rather late, if the item from The Joplin Globe suggesting that the Crane Theatre was already under construction in November, 1921, as cited in my previous comment, was correct:

“CARTHAGE, MO.— W. S. Crane has plans by A. C. Michaelis, 325 Miners Bank Building, Joplin, for four-story brick theatre, 100 by 150 feet, to be erected on East Third street, to cost $50,000.”
The Crane Theatre would have been one of the last projects designed by architect A. C. Michaelis, who was killed during the construction of Joplin Memorial Hall in 1923.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Broadway Theatre on Sep 29, 2016 at 3:45 am

The opening date found by dallasmovietheaters is a strong indication that this brief item from The Moving Picture World of March 4, 1922, is about the Broadway Theatre:

“COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA. — Broadway Building Company has plans by J. C. Jenson, 305 West Broadway, for theater, to cost $130,000. Address R. B. Wallace, secretary.”
“Jenson” is probably misspelled, and the architect of the Broadway was most likely J. Chris Jensen, a Danish-American architect sufficiently well known in Iowa to warrant this Wikipedia page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Huron Theatre on Sep 24, 2016 at 12:11 pm

An item about the Desmond Theatre appeared in the November 26, 1921, issue of The American Contractor:

“Theater ("Desmond”; seat. cap. 1,270): $200,000. Military av., nr. Pine St., Port Huron. Archt. Geo. Harvey, 201 Huron st., Port Huron. Assoc. Archt. C. Howard Crane, Elmer Geo. Kiehler & Cyril E. Schley. 400 Huron bldg., Detroit. Owner Port Huron Theater Co., J. W. Fead, pres., Port Huron. Gen. contr. let to Charron & Riddell, Port Huron.“

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Showplace Cinemas on Sep 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm

The notice that the Showplace Cinemas in Martinsville had closed appeared on the theater’s Facebook page as recently as September 16, 2016. A comment on the final post reveals that the last shows were on September 11.

Other comments, as well as the architectural style of the building, indicate that the Showplace was in operation by the mid-1970s. The theater spent its last days as a discount house with a $3.00 admission price for regular movies and $5.00 for 3-D films.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Undated photo courtesy of E Scott Davis. on Sep 17, 2016 at 9:39 pm

As the last line of the sign on the wall reads “GRAND OPENING JUNE 28” I think we can assume this photo was made in June, 1929. The workman on the ladder appears to be putting letters on the marquee, so this might well depict the afternoon of the opening night.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alvin Theatre on Sep 15, 2016 at 8:40 pm

This very long web page mostly about Steubenville’s Grand Theatre also his this bit of information: “…William J. Curn Sr. brought the first nickelodeons to Steubenville and… owned and operated three – the Rex, the Alvin and the Minerva….” The 1913 Steubenville directory listed the three houses: The Rex at 517 Market St.; the Alvin at 349 Market St; and the Minerva at 110 S. Fourth St.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cleve Theatre on Sep 12, 2016 at 7:57 pm

1750 is also the address displayed on the building itself in Google street view.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about N K Theater on Sep 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm

The Temple Theatre was mentioned in this item from the January 21, 1911, issue of The Nickelodeon:

“Carl Ray, who has purchased the Temple theater in Muskegon from A. J. Gilligham and E. M. Smith, is now in control of all the theaters in that city, including the three moving picture houses.”
There is no Market Street in Muskegon today, which is why Google Maps is defaulting to the town of Whitehall, some distance north. I suspect the street name has been changed, but I don’t recognize anything resembling any of the vintage photos on the photo page among the few, pathetic scraps that remain of downtown Muskegon.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pompano Theatre on Sep 11, 2016 at 3:08 pm

The Pompano Theatre was located on NE First Street at the corner of Fourth Avenue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Sep 10, 2016 at 2:37 am

A Kimball theater organ, blower serial number C608, was installed in the Olympic Theatre in Monessen in December, 1914.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Marquis Theatre on Sep 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Unfortunately, Google has removed that particular image from its online collection of Life Magazine photos. However, there are photos of the Marquis courtesy of the ever-dependable Bill Counter. Here’s the page for the Marquis at his Los Angeles Movie Palaces web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crown Theatre on Sep 8, 2016 at 2:07 am

The stretch of Main Street on which this theater was located was renamed Michigan Avenue long ago.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Sep 8, 2016 at 2:04 am

Here is an item about theaters in Jackson, including the Majestic, from the November 24, 1917, issue of Motography:

“Two of the most interesting spots in Jackson, Michigan, are the Majestic and Colonial theaters. These are owned and operated by the Majestic-Colonial Theater Company, Inc., of which W. S. McClaren is manager. The Majestic, advertised as ‘The Theater Beautiful,’ plays Vitagraph, Selznick, Metro, World and K. E. S. E. pictures and the best road attractions. It was formerly a $30,000 legitimate house but it took to pictures at 10, 15 and 25 cents with Mr. McClaren’s management to start the people that way. Mr. McClaren uses a splendid orchestra of ten pieces and an organ at the Majestic and girl ushers, with girls also on the doors. The Colonial, called ‘The Pride of the East Side,’ was the first suburban house of the city, built three years ago. It seats 300 and is doing good business.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Sep 7, 2016 at 9:00 pm

CStefanic: The most recent thing I can find about the project is on the Ritz Theatre page at Bill Counter’s web site. He has a photo of the new signage, which reads “FilmOn.TV Hologram”. They intended to launch in August, but have apparently missed their target.

We have the name Newsreel Theatre listed as an aka for this house, but it was called the News-View (hyphenated just like that) throughout its history as a newsreel house. The name Newsreel Theatre was on the marquee from the day the house opened, but was not the name of the theater, just an indication of the theater’s programming. In fact the ends of the marquee had the plural “Newsreels” rather than the singular “Newsreel” on them.

There is an aka that is missing from out list, though. When the house converted to feature films the “S” was removed from the name on the facade and the letters adjusted to read “New-View” which is what the house was called until it became the Pussycat. The “Tele-News” (the name of the chain) that had been on the marquee was removed, as was the word Newsreel, replaced by New-View. This page at Bruce Torrence’s Hollywood Photos web site shows the New-View as it looked until it was converted into the Pussycat.