Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dixie Theatre on Jun 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm

The description says that the Strand/Paramount was built next door to the Dixie, but we have the Paramount listed at 1312 26th, which would be a block away and on the opposite side of the street from 1407 26th.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gulf Theatre on Jun 20, 2017 at 1:16 pm

The partners in the firm of Shaw & Woleben were engineer Hobart D. Shaw and architect Dean P. Woleben.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Jun 18, 2017 at 2:41 am

Along with several depressing photos of the Palace in decay, this web page has a color photo of a corridor (probably in the mezzanine) when the splendid Spanish Baroque decor was still intact. But parts of the building must be in danger of imminent collapse.

Looking at the building from 8th Street in Google street view, the advanced decay of the brick wall of the auditorium is all too visible. There are even some shrubs and what appear to be at least two small trees growing from the tops of the walls. That is the very last stage of decay before a wall just crumbles. The time when the Palace can still be saved is very short, if it has not in fact already run out. I don’t know how long ago Google’s street views were taken.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Saratoga 6 on Jun 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm

The report on theater construction in 1975 that was published in the May 3, 1976, issue of Boxoffice listed the 1,544-seat Saratoga Six opened at San Jose by American Multi Cinema.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Valley Cinemas on Jun 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm

The report on theater construction in 1975 that was published in the May 3, 1976, issue of Boxoffice listed a house at Los Banos called Cinema I & II, opened by Tom Graff. I wonder if that could have been this theater?

I also wonder of the Tom Graff mentioned was the attorney who was a long-time environmental activist in the central valley and state director of the Environmental Defense Fund. He might have built the theater as an investment.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stuttgart Twin Cinema on Jun 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm

The report on theater construction in 1975 that was published in Boxoffice of May 3, 1976, listed a 200-seat house in Stuttgart called the Cinema which had been opened by a Dr. John Miller. Could that have been the origin of this theater?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Carmike Other Center 7 on Jun 13, 2017 at 3:24 pm

The report on new theater construction in 1975 that was published in the May 3, 1976, issue of Boxoffice listed a house (mistakenly listed in Little Rock) called the Other Center Twin, opened with 500 seats by an outfit called Theatre Presentations. I think it might have been the origin of this multiplex.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about UA Cinema City 7 on Jun 13, 2017 at 3:14 pm

If this house was in the Breckenridge Village shopping center, then it was probably the quad that UA opened in 1975. That project was listed in the 1975 new theater construction report that was published in Boxoffice of May 3, 1976. The report didn’t say if it was entirely new construction or a remodeling/expansion of an earlier house, but UA was building a lot of new quads in the mid-1970s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza 5 Theatres on Jun 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm

The report on new theaters built in 1975 that ran in the May 3, 1976, issue of Boxoffice listed The Plaza, a 700-seat triplex at Yuma opened by Great Western Theatres.

The May 20, 1975, issue of The Yuma Daily Sun said that a benefit premier would be held Thursday night (May 22) with a showing of The Four Musketeers. The Friday night grand opening would feature The Great Waldo Pepper in one of the larger auditoriums and The Godfather Part II in the other. The small, 120-seat auditorium would open with A Woman Under the Influence.

Judging from street view, it looks like the building had an addition at one point, on the W. 15th Place side, so the two additional screens that brought the total to five were probably in that. I don’t know what the final seat count was.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Mall Theatres 1,2,3, 4 on Jun 13, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Looking at the opening day schedule, it strikes me that one of the four auditoriums simply might not have been ready for use yet. Back in single-screen days if there was a construction or equipment-related delay, the theater’s opening would have to be postponed, but with this quad the grand opening could have been done on schedule with three screens while the workers finished up whatever had to be done in the fourth auditorium.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Flicker Shack on Jun 13, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Commemorating this vanished theater, the Sedona Public Library now presents a free film series called Flicker Shack Movie Mondays, screened in the library’s Si Birch Community Room.

Opened on August 21, 1975, the rustic style, 300-seat Flicker Shack was Sedona’s first movie theater, though by that time the town and surrounding countryside had been used as the location for more than a hundred movie productions. Boxoffice featured an illustrated article about the Flicker Shack in its issue of February 16, 1976.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cahaba Twin Theatres on Jun 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm

The Cahaba Twin, operated by Cobb Theatres, was listed in the May 3, 1976, issue of Boxoffice as being among the 285 new theaters built in the U.S. in 1975.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plainfield Theatre on Jun 13, 2017 at 12:51 pm

The Plainfield Opera House (also known in its early years as the Woodman Opera House) has not been converted to housing. The ground floor theater space was last occupied by a bar which closed in 2006, and the upstairs appears to have been vacant at least as long.

Last year the building was threatened with demolition, but the Plainfield Village Board entered an agreement last fall with the building’s owner since 2011, Matt Makaryk, who plans a multi-year renovation project to convert the theater to an event center and the upper floor to living quarters for himself and his family. The roof must be replaced and the damaged back wall repaired by November of this year or the village will probably order demolition.

This article from the Stevens Point Journal of May 9 this year includes video and a slide show revealing how badly decayed much of the building is. About the only remaining trace of the Opera House’s time as a movie theater appears to be the old projection booth.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dixie Theatre on Jun 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm

It looks like there has been redevelopment north of Hampton Avenue, the old grid of streets being replaced by a housing project. The Dixie, being odd-numbered, must have been on the west side of Jefferson between Hampton and 22nd, but I was wondering if the Sanborn map showed it being at or near the corner of 22nd Street, or if it was closer to Hampton.

This must have been a very lively entertainment district at one time, with the Lincoln, Moton and Dixie Theatres all within a short distance.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dixie Theatre on Jun 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm

wsasser: Where was the Dixie in relation to Hampton Avenue on the Sanborn map? Currently the highest number on the block is the Food Tiger Market on the corner of Jefferson and Hampton, and its address is 2115 Jefferson.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Jun 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm

The April 17, 1931, issue of the Brainerd Dispatch reported that the new Palace Theatre would open on Wednesday, April 22. The interior of the new, 475-seat showhouse would feature “…English architecture on the atmospheric type, a colorful arrangement of drapes, views of bungalows and blue sky ceiling effects….” The Palace, like the recently rebuilt Paramount Theatre, was designed by the firm of Liebenberg & Kaplan.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theatre on Jun 12, 2017 at 4:25 pm

A more reliable source than the one I cited earlier indicates that the Park Opera House actually opened on December 2, 1901. It was designed by Duluth architect John J. Wangenstein. The house was remodeled in 1914, reopening as the Park Theatre on May 18.

A more extensive remodeling, including a new, larger entrance, was carried out in 1919, with an October 19 reopening. A severe windstorm on June 8, 1920, caused significant damage to the building, and the Park Theatre remained dark while repairs were made, not reopening until September 1.

By the late 1920s both of Brainerd’s theaters were being operated by Finkelstein & Ruben, who planned an extensive remodeling of the Park. When Paramount Publix took over the F&R interests in 1929, the project was undertaken by that circuit instead. The 1929 remodeling gutted the building, eradicating all trace of John Wangenstein’s 1901 interior, though the old fashioned exterior remained largely intact. The renamed Paramount Theatre opened on December 31, 1929.

The Paramount was taken over by Baehr Theatres in the late 1940s, and was closed in September, 1985. The Burlington Northern Railroad, owners of the land on which the Paramount stood, agreed to lease the theatre to the Brainerd Lakes Arts Center Incorporated in 1986, but the plans to renovate the theatre once again came to nothing. Despite having been listed as an historic site by the Minnesota Historic Sites Survey in 1971, the Paramount was demolished in April, 1994.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Brainerd Theatre on Jun 12, 2017 at 2:42 pm

The Brainerd Theatre closed in December, 1985, and the building was remodeled for use as a roller skating rink. It was Brainerd’s last downtown theater, the Paramount having closed in September, 1985.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about El Rey Theater on Jun 12, 2017 at 12:55 am

The El Rey’s Facebook page lists no events since a concert on February 10. I don’t know how long it’s been since they ran a movie, but I’m quite sure the place does not have any digital projection equipment.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Jun 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Street view is currently set too far to the right. Historic photos of the Hippodrome/Liberty show its entrance in the rightmost bay of the once-three story, now two story building housing J.K. Jones Financial Network. Here is a photo from the 1950s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plymouth Theater on Jun 10, 2017 at 9:28 pm

The Deisler Theatre’s building, though somewhat altered, is still standing at the northeast corner of E. Main and Portner Streets. Mr. Deisler was still operating his theater in 1927, when the following item appeared in the January 7 issue of Motion Picture News:

“What is believed to be the most unusual method of theatre operation in Ohio, if not in the entire country, has been found at Plymouth, Ohio, where Reuben Deisler operates a small, but up-to-date house which bears his name. Deisler, a man in middle life, is sightless, having been blinded in a railroad accident some years ago. Although he has lost his sight, he has not lost his vision, as evidenced by the fact that, despite his handicap, he acts as cashier, seldom, if ever, making an error in giving out tickets or making change. He likewise personally attends to all bookings, billing, advertising, and the general business of the theatre. His wife is projectionist and a good one, at that.”
A notice about Mr. Deisler’s theater project appeared in the January 9, 1915, issue of The American Contractor:
“Picture Theater (seating 250): 1 sty. 25x70. $60M. Plymouth, O. Archt. Frank B. Hursh, 43 Glenwood blvd., Mansfield. Owner Reuben Deisler, Plymouth, taking bids. Postponed until spring.”
Mr Deisler died in 1928, and the theater was taken over by Ed Ramsey. An article in the August 11, 1963, issue of the Mansfield News-Journal said that Ramsey operated the house for many years as the Plymouth Theatre. By 1963 the building was being used as a laundromat, but Ramsey was still in the theater business as owner and operator of the Plymouth Drive-In.

Architect Frank B. Hursh began practicing in Mansfield in the 1890s. I’ve found references to a number of churches and private houses of his design, including one house listed on the NRHP, but so far no other theaters of his design have come to light.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jun 10, 2017 at 6:12 pm

I’ve come across a few references saying that, in its later years, this house operated for a while as the President Theatre. None of them reveal the years during which this name was used, but the name must have been changed by the time the new Orpheum Theatre was opened in 1927.

The name Orpheum has a rather convoluted history in Seattle. Prior to 1908, John Considine was operating an Orpheum Theatre in Seattle, but it did not present Orpehum Circuit vaudeville until that year, when Considine entered into a contract with Martin Beck, head of the circuit. Under that agreement, Sullivan & Considine, who operated their own low-priced vaudeville circuit in the region, would provide a theater in Seattle for the Orpheum Circuit, to be booked and managed by Orpheum, though Sullivan & Considine controlled 60% of the stock in the Seattle Orpheum Company.

Orpheum vaudeville was then presented at Considine’s Orpheum briefly, until the new Coliseum Theatre was opened in 1909. Orpheum Shows continued at the Coliseum until the Orpheum at Third and Madison opened. Not long after that event, the Sullivan & Considine circuit entered a period of turmoil, brought on by overextension and by the increasingly erratic behavior of the firm’s New York partner Timothy Sullivan, who was suffering from tertiary syphilis and was committed to a mental institution in 1912.

Sullivan’s death in 1913 was followed by legal wrangling over his estate, further weakening the Sullivan & Considine circuit, which soon collapsed. Considine’s 1908 agreement with Orpheum was ended in 1915, but a one-year contract with the newly-formed Orpheum Theatre & Realty Company allowed Orpheum Circuit shows to continue at the house into 1916. In that year the circuit’s shows in Seattle were moved to the Alhambra Theatre, and the following year to the Moore Theatre.

The Orpehum Theatre & Realty Company came under the control of the New York Life Insurance Company, and when the Orpheum Circuit attempted to use the Orpheum name at the Alhambra and then the Moore, the new owners of the Third and Madison house filed and won a lawsuit prohibiting the use of the name Orpheum at those or any other houses. The Orpheum Circuit did not regain control of its name in Seattle until the mid 1920s, at which time they built the final Seattle Orpheum, opened in 1927 on Fifth Avenue.

Interestingly, the first post-Orpheum tenant of the Third and Madison house in 1916, the Wilkes Players, a repertory company, moved to the Alhambra Theatre in 1917 when Orpheum vaudeville was moved to the Moore, and the Alhambra was then renamed the Wilkes Theatre.

The final use of the lavish 1911 Orpheum prior to its demolition in 1949 was as a storage warehouse. A photo of the auditorium taken during that period shows that architect William Kingsley’s ornate Renaissance-Baroque interior was still intact and appeared to be in good condition.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema Detroit on Jun 10, 2017 at 4:13 pm

The 3rd Avenue location of Cinema Detroit is still open. The Midtown neighborhood, adjacent to Wayne State University, is one of the most rapidly regenerating areas in Detroit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema Detroit on Jun 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm

A new page needs to be created for the new location of Cinema Detroit using the information in Trollyguy’s comment. The house on this page, the Burton Theatre/Cass City Cinema, is currently closed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Jun 5, 2017 at 3:09 am

A photo of the Regent Theatre in Erie appeared on page 4 of the November 20, 1920, issue of the regional trade journal Pittsburgh Moving Picture Bulletin (link.) The caption notes recent improvements to the house costing $22,500, so it had probably already been in operation for some time.