Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Constantine Theater on Jul 8, 2014 at 12:41 am

Mr. Constantine went bankrupt in 1926, and his theater changed hands. This item is from the September 11, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News:

“Albert Jackson, one of the pioneer theatre men in Oklahoma, who sold his theatre in Pawhuska, ‘The Jackson,’ to A. B. Momand early in the year, has again entered the theatre business in Pawhuska, temporarily at least. Jackson was recently appointed receiver of the Constantine Theatre by the Bankruptcy Court, with the understanding that if the theatre becomes solvent, it will again revert to Mr. Constantine.”
The September 25 issue of the same journal had a follow-up item:
“F. B. Pickrel and his associates who own the Majestic, Murray and Mission theatres at Ponca City, have just purchased the Constantine Theatre at Pawhuska, from the bankruptcy court. This sale releases Albert Jackson, who was appointed receiver by the court a few weeks ago. Pickrel will have charge of the Constantine Theatre in addition to the three Ponca City ones.”
The October 7, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News refers to Fred Pickrel’s “Hi-he-kat” Theatre in Pawhuska. Pickrel probably renamed the house the Kihekah not long after buying it. Motion Picture News had ongoing difficulty with the theater’s new name. As late as April 20, 1929, they called it the “Ki-he-kak” Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jul 8, 2014 at 12:25 am

This house was called the Jackson theater for many years before being remodeled and renamed the State in 1928. Here is an item about the reopening from the July 21, 1928, issue of Motion Picture News:

“The Jackson Theatre at Pawhuska, Oklahoma, which has been closed for several weeks undergoing extensive repairs, re-opened last Monday night, under the new name of The State Theatre with Fred Cosman as Manager. This theatre is owned by the Pawhuska Theatre Company, Inc., A. B. Momand, Secretary-Treasurer, and is one of a number of theatres controlled and operated by Mr. Momand.”
Albert Jackson had sold the Jackson Theatre to A. B. Momand and his partners in 1926. Albert Jackson of Pawhuska is listed in the November 8, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World as one of the movie exhibitors who had attended a recent convention in Oklahoma City. Given that the fire insurance map cited in an earlier comment by Lauren Durbin showed that there was a theater at the State’s location at least as early as 1912, it seems pretty likely that it was this house that Albert Jackson was operating in 1913.

The house probably goes back even farther. The December 24, 1910, issue of The Moving Picture World has an ad for movies of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and it says that the Oklahoma and Kansas rights to the films had been sold to Albert Jackson, Jackson Theatre, Pawhuska.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jul 7, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Will, the theater in which Mr. Pickrell (or Pickrel, as Motion Picture News spelled it) installed the organ in 1926 was probably the Constantine. See my comment of today on that page for more details.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Metropolitan Theatre on Jul 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm

The NRHP registration form for the Metropolitan Opera House in Grand Forks says this:

“The architectural classification of the Metropolitan Opera House is late Victorian in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Warren B. Dunnell from Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the architect who designed the Metropolitan Opera House. It is believed to be the only theater Mr. Dunnell designed.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jul 7, 2014 at 1:38 am

My photo link shows the 1909 Grand Opera House that became the Grand Theatre. Neither Wineman’s Opera House nor the Grand Opera House was located in the Masonic Hall. The Historical Society has mistakenly identified the building as the Grand Opera House because of the sign jutting from the corner of the building, but the sign merely advertises the Grand Opera House and its basement roller rink, which was probably down the block. Note that the original typed caption on the photo itself identifies the building only as Masonic Hall, not as the Grand Opera House.

I do now see one mistake in my previous comment. The Grand Opera House was on Fifth Street, not Fifth Avenue, and I believe I have identified its exact location. Part of the front wall with its base, face brick faux quoins, and a short length of stringcourse, is still standing, and can be seen in this Google Street View. The Opera House was on the south side of Fifth Street about midway between Third and Fourth Avenues.

An October 28, 1909, item in the Turtle Mountain Star said that the Devils Lake Opera House was scheduled to open on December 16. When the building was demolished in 1971, the main chandelier from the auditorium was salvaged and has since been installed in a building at Lake Region State College.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jul 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm

It turns out that there were two theaters called the Opera House in Devils Lake, and the one that became the Grand Theatre was this one, which was located on Fifth Avenue and built in 1909. It was demolished in 1971. The 1913-1914 Cahn Guide lists the Grand Opera House as a ground-floor theater with 625 seats in the orchestra, 335 in the balcony, and 90 in the boxes and loge. A history of Devils Lake prepared for the national Bicentennial in 1976 (9.9mb pdf here) says this:

“…the Grand Opera House holds sentimental memories among Devils Lake citizens comparable to those of New Yorkers for the Metropolitan. Its gala opening night, December 16, 1909, featured a New York stage show, ‘Honeymoon Trail’, with a cast of 60 players, which was followed by a grand ball attended by about 200 couples.”
The theater featured a ballroom in its basement, which was later used as a roller skating rink. The history also notes the eventual fate of the Grand Theatre:
“Plagued by financial problems during the depression years, the theatre closed, and the building was sold on September 19, 1946, to the American Legion Post for use as their club house. The last legal transaction was on March 11, 1971, when the building was sold to the Devils Lake parking authority, and the building was wrecked for parking facilities.”
I’ve been unable to discover the exact address of the Grand Theatre, but it was on Fifth Avenue within a block of Fourth Street.

The earlier opera house was originally called Wineman’s Opera House, and was a second-floor theater with but 500 seats. The building, but not the theater, was expanded in 1916, going from the original two-story structure at the corner of Fourth Street and Fourth Avenue to the longer three-story building that survives today as the Opera House Apartments. I’ve found no evidence that Wineman’s Opera House was ever used as a movie theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Krieger Theater on Jul 6, 2014 at 12:52 pm

This article at Dakotafire says that the Krieger Theatre has closed permanently. The operators were unable to afford the conversion to digital projection.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jul 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm

The February, 1912, issue of Motography said: “The opera house at Devils Lake has changed hands and will now be conducted as a motion picture and vaudeville house.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theater on Jul 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm

An ad for Carl Boller & Bro. Architects, in the January 16, 1916 issue of The Wichita Daily Eagle boasted that the firm designed not only the new Palace Theatre but the Crawford and Princess Theatres as well.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Jul 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Carl Boller & Bro., Architects, ran an ad in the January 16, 1916 issue of The Wichita Daily Eagle saying that the firm had designed the Princess and Crawford Theatres as well as the new Palace Theatre, which was opening the following day.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Jul 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Thanks, Chris. It was a temporary name change, then, as the house had returned to its original name by the time the 1921 city directory was published.

The September 13, 1913, issue of The Topeka Daily Capital noted the opening of the Princess Theatre at this address:

“The Princess theater reopened, at the new location, 834 North Kansas avenue, yesterday evening. A special four reel program was given, with additional music. There was a capacity attendance at each performance.”
I haven’t yet discovered the address of the Princess Theatre mentioned in the 1912 newspaper item, but it must have been the same neighborhood as the item specified that it was in North Topeka..

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garrick Theatre on Jul 5, 2014 at 9:59 am

Fargo History provides pages for the Bijou and for the Garrick. The Garrick page says that the expansion of the theater took place at the time it was renamed, in 1915. It also says that the theater was no longer listed in the 1932 city directory, having been replaced by Grant’s Department Store.

Here is another photo of the Garrick, probably from its last year as the eight-story Black Building up the block was completed in 1931.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theater on Jul 4, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Multiple sources, including the Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to, indicate that the plans for the 1925 rebuilding of the Grand Theatre were prepared by Boller Brothers. Not only was a new facade put on the building, but the interior was gutted and rebuilt, allowing an increase in seating capacity despite the removal of the original gallery.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dickinson Theatre on Jul 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm

This photo of the Novelty Theatre is dated September, 1926, which would be shortly after the remodeling by the Boller Brothers that year. The mid-1920s were a busy time for the Bollers in Topeka. Their new Jayhawk Theatre would open in August, 1926, and the Grand Theatre had been substantially rebuilt to their plans in 1925.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Circle Theatre on Jul 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

This item is from the March 29, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News concerns a theater being built at Corona, California, by J. J Cruz:

“Cruz Building at Corona, Cal.

“Construction has commenced on a new theatre on lower Main Street, Corona, Cal., next to the store of J. J. Cruz & sons, and will be conducted by them. Mr. Cruz states that his new playhouse will be ready by July 15, and that he will expend in the neighborhood of $12,000 for equipment. The building measures 120x25 with a stage for stock performances as part of the plans.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Patee Theatre on Jul 4, 2014 at 11:41 am

This brief article about Clair Patee, owner of the Patee Theatre, appeared in the July 12, 1930, issue of Motion Picture News:

“Oldest Showman In U. S., Is Claim Of Clair Patee

“Topeka, Kas. — This may force the line to form to the right, but it is, nevertheless, the claim of Clair M. Patee, owner of the Patee theatre at Lawrence, that he is the oldest exhibitor in the United States. Not only that, but Patee asserts that claim has never been contested.

“‘Colonel’ Patee states he opened a picture theatre in Jersey City, N.J., in 1898, which he claims to be the first in the country. Later he opened the ‘Patee Nickel’ in Lawrence, Kas., in 1903. In 1904 he opened, on Delaware St., in Kansas City, the ‘Nickel Theatre,’ claimed to be the first picture house in Kansas City.

“Patee has never missed an MPTO convention — ‘since they have been having them,’ he adds. He has attended all of the twelve annual conclaves of the Kansas and Missouri unit. He personally published a pamphlet called ‘Facts,’ the sheets of which show publicity in early form. It was a four-page weekly, in which was a queer assemblage of reading matter, fashion notes, home hints, recipes, school news, and — carefully sandwiched in between — facts about the then new picture business.

“In those days, Patee says, the public did not look with a very friendly eye upon pictures. They were in the category of ‘fakes.’ The purpose of ‘Facts’ was to tactfully dispel this idea and to gain favor for the pictures.

“In Lawrence, his home, Patee has been an exhibitor since the ‘Patee Nickel’ was opened in 1903. His house now is called simply the ‘Patee.’ It is different from many houses in that it is on the English plan, with the choice, and highest-priced seats, in the balcony.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Jul 4, 2014 at 9:38 am

The Princess Theatre is mentioned in the May 30, 1912, edition of The Topeka Daily Capital.

As many references to early theaters in Topeka that I’ve found in the trade journals, I have not yet found any mention of a Victorian Theatre. There were houses called the Aurora and the Olympic that converted to movies in 1908, there were theaters called the Majestic, the Isis, the Iris, the Empress, the Cozy, the Best, the Gem, the Earl, and the Hippodrome, but so far no Victorian.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sanford Theater on Jul 3, 2014 at 11:11 pm

The Sanford Theatre opened on September 13, 1926, according to the October 23 issue of Motion Picture News. The theater was in the Spanish Renaissance style, and was originally operated by Fabian Theatres in association with the Stanley Company.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Patee Theatre on Jul 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Here is an additional photo showing the Patee Theatre around the time of its opening in 1913.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Patee Theatre on Jul 3, 2014 at 9:29 pm

The Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to says that the Patee Theatre was built in 1903. However, this page from the Watkins Museum of History says that the house opened by Clair and Vivian Patee in 1903 was at 708 Massachusetts Street, and was originally called the Nickel Theatre.

It was in 1913 that they opened the Patee Theatre at 828 Massachusetts Street. The Patee Theatre was gutted by a fire in March, 1955, and the building demolished later that year. The location of the theater’s entrance is now the site of a pedestrian walkway to a parking lot. The original Nickel Theatre building is now a bookshop.

The page has a slide show with photos of both theaters, but they are all just front views.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Jul 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm

The Princess Theatre was listed at 834 N. Kansas Avenue in the 1921 Topeka City Directory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theater on Jul 3, 2014 at 12:44 pm

The Royal Theatre at Park Rapids, Minnesota, was mentioned in the September 7, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stanley Theatre on Jul 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

This earlier comment by AlAlvarez says that the Stanley was showing movies as early as 1916. Its age, and the fact that it is the only theater listed for this stretch of 7th Avenue, makes it more likely that it was the theater in this item from The American Contractor of July 5, 1913:

“Moving Picture Theater (seating capacity 800): 2 sty. 60x90. $35,000. W. S. Seventh av., nr. 41st st., New York City. Archt. W. H. Hoffman, Empire bldg., Philadelphia, Pa. Const. Engr. Jas. P. Whiskerman, 30 E. 42d st., New York City. Brick. Bldrs. H. P. Wright & Co., 30 E. 42d st., New York City. Excavation finished. Plumbing let to Savoy Plumbing Co., 162 Prince st., New York City.”
W. H. Hoffman was, of course, the senior partner in the Philadelphia architectural firm of Hoffman & Henon, specialists in theater design.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Heights Theater on Jul 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

They usually are, guarina, but for some reason on Wadsworth Avenue it’s back-asswards.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about De Luxe Theatre on Jul 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm

This item is from the July 5, 1913, issue of The American Contractor:

“Motion Picture Theater: 1 sty. 60 x110. $15,000. 404 S. Orange av. Archt. W. E. Lehman, 738 Broad st. Owner H. C. Schneider (builder), 514 S. 14th st., & Edw. A. Kirch (furniture), Market st. Lessee about to sign lease. Architect & owner receiving bids. Brick, buff Indiana limestone, slag roof, galv. iron skylights, cornice, struct. & orn. iron, N. C. pine & cement flooring, white wood trim, tiling, gas & electric fixtures.”
The De Luxe must have been one of the more modest theaters designed by William E. Lehman.