Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hamilton Movie Theater on Aug 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm

After acquiring the house from Smalley’s Theatres in 1934, the Schine circuit had this theater completely remodeled and renamed it the State Theatre. Two photos of the State illustrate this article in the June 1, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald. The plans for the project were by architect Peter M. Hulsken.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Astor Theatre on Aug 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Three photos of the Trans-Lux Theatre illustrate this article in the June 1, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tower Theatre on Aug 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm

A three-page article about Detroit’s Tower Theatre appeared in the June 1, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald. A scan is available from The Internet Archive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Aug 6, 2014 at 2:05 pm

A photo of the lobby of the Grand Theatre in Terre Haute appears on this page of the May 4, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald. The lobby had recently been redesigned in a modern style featuring Carrera Glass, Pittsburgh Glass Company’s competitor to the better-known Vitrolite brand of glass tiles.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Banner Theatre on Aug 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm

The Banner Theatre originally opened around 1910. In 1934 the house was bought by Abe Gumbiner who had it remodeled in a Streamline Modern style, with plans by architect Mark D. Kalischer. Two pages about the project, with before and after photos, appeared in the May 4, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Family Theater on Aug 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm

The Alhambra Theatre had been converted into a fruit store before it was reopened as the Harris Family Theatre in the 1930s. The Alhambra is on the left side of Penn Avenue in this 1928 photo. If the building still exists it must be the one occupied by the Rent-A-Center midway between Centre and Sheridan Avenues.

The May 4, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald featured this full page of before and after photos of the Harris Family Theatre. The Art Deco-style renovation was designed for the Harris Amusement Company by architect Victor A. Rigaumont.

The Alhambra Theatre was in operation by 1915, when it was mentioned in the August 4 issue of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Buflo Theatre on Aug 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm

The Buflo Theatre was still in operation at least as late as October 8, 1959, when it was showing Face of a Fugitive starring Fred MacMurray and Dorothy Green.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pix Theatre on Aug 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

The October 8, 1940, issue of Motion Picture Daily has an item that must be about the Pix Theatre:

“A new 350-seat house is being built at Buffalo, Mo., by Shields Wilson, operator of the Camden at Camdenton, Mo. Buffalo also has the Nu Buflo, operated by C. C. Rhodes of Warsaw, Mo.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pix Theatre on Aug 5, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Internet says the County Courier News is at 206 W. Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ogden Theatre on Aug 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm

The 1915 ad linked by kencmcintyre says that the Marlowe Hippodrome Theatre was at 63rd Street and Stewart Avenue. The Hippodrome at 63rd and Ashland (or Marshfield) was a different house. I found a 1915 reference to a business at 1621 63rd in the Hippodrome Building, which would put it pretty close to the corner of Marshfield.

The West Englewood/Ogden must have been the proposed theater in this item from The American Contractor of October 4, 1919:

“ $600,000. Marshfield av., S., 6301-11. Brk. Theater: Owners Ascher Bros., Consumers bldg. Mas. Reidenour & Erickson, 535 E. 47th. Archt. H. L. Newhouse.”
6301-11 Marshfield would be at the southeast corner of Marshfield and 63rd. Items in the same journal later that year indicate that contracts had been let and construction was underway before the end of 1919. An item in the August 28, 1920, issue of the Forest Park Review said that Ascher Bros. new Englewood Theatre at 63rd and Marshfield was expected to open by January 1, so by that time the project would have taken more than a year to complete.

I’m not sure if the old Hippodrome was just extensively rebuilt or was demolished for Ascher Bros. West Englewood Theatre. One possibility would be that Ascher Bros. acquired several lots along Marshfield Avenue behind the Hippodrome and built an entirely new auditorium there, cutting a new lobby through the existing building to 63rd Street.

Ascher Bros. had opened the Columbus Theatre on Ashland just off 63rd in 1915, but it was only half the size of the Ogden. Most likely they found business too brisk for the smaller house and built this theater to replace it. The Columbus was closed in 1926.

In 1927, the West Englewood Theatre was one of three south side houses that Ascher Bros. sold to the National Theatres Corporation, according to an item in the March 1 issue of Suburbanite Economist. The others were the Colony, at 50th and Kedzie, and the Highland, at 70th and Ashland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theater on Aug 4, 2014 at 10:08 am

Thomas Lamb was the architect of the Youngstown Palace.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ohio Theatre on Aug 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm

A biographical sketch of George J. Schade says that “[a]fter leaving the coal business in 1914, Schade opened and managed the Schade Theater, located on West Market St. in Sandusky.” The house most likely opened before the end of 1915. The July 24, 1915, issue of The American Contractor ran this item:

“Sandusky, O.—Motion Picture Theater & Commercial Bldg.: 2 sty. & bas. 44x188. $30M. Archt. H. C. Hunt, 411 Columbus av. Owner Geo. J. Schade, 922 Tiffin st. Gen. contr. let to Geo. Feick & Co., 420 Decatur st.”
Schade operated the theater until 1930, when it was leased to Warner Bros. The site at 207 W. Market Street is now part of a parking lot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Nebraska Theatre on Aug 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm

The 1912 photo currently displayed above probably belongs to this theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about San Toy Theater on Aug 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm

The San Toy Theatre in Reading had an M.P. Möller theater organ, Opus 3087, installed in late 1920. The January 3, 1921, issue of the Reading Times said that the recently-installed organ was attracting many new patrons to the house. The first organist for the San Toy was Harry Baird. In 1927, the instrument was being played by Mabel Stoudt according to the November 10 issue of the Times.

The May-June 2006 issue of a Reading Area Community College publication, the Front Street Journal, had a feature article about Front Street which said that the San Toy Theatre opened in August, 1914, and closed in 1933. The theater was designed in an Oriental style.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Aug 3, 2014 at 11:13 am

An article in the May 2, 1913, issue of the Reading Times said that Frank Hill had opened the Lyric Theatre at 806-810 Penn Street in 1910.

The June 29, 1914, issue of the paper said that the Moller organ just installed in the Lyric would be dedicated on July 4. It was a three manual instrument with 850 pipes, and had taken four weeks to install. It was the same style of organ that had been installed in the Vitagraph and Strand Theatres in New York City and the Stanley Theatre in Philadelphia.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Aug 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm

An item about the Times Theatre in the “Theater Changes” section of the April 9, 1938, issue of The Film Daily says that the house (under construction at the time) was owned by the Crystal Amusement Company. I’ve found references to the company in trade publications of the 1910s and 1920s, too, and there was a Crystal Theatre operating in Braddock at least as early as 1908, when it was frequently mentioned in The Billboard and Variety. At least as early as 1910, the company also operated a movie house called the Family Theatre.

There were quite a few theaters in Braddock in the 1910s and 1920s. I’ve found references to a house called the American, operating at 1616 Braddock Avenue in 1916, a Knickerbocker Theatre operating in 1917, and theaters called the Braddock, the Grand, and the Colonial operating around 1922-1923, along with the Crystal and Family, both still open at that date.

I haven’t been able to discover a definite address for the Crystal Theatre itself, but the company was located at 860 Braddock Avenue according to an item in The American Contractor of June 17, 1922, and the offices might have been the theater building. Aside from the American, which I found mentioned only once, I have no idea where any of the others were. The 1922 Contractor item was about the contract being let for a new theater at 640-646 Braddock Avenue for the Crystal Amusement Company. If that project was completed it might have been the Braddock, Grand, or Colonial.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Belmar Theater on Aug 2, 2014 at 2:18 pm

The 1963 photo of the Belmar Theatre’s marquee can now be seen at this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Aug 2, 2014 at 2:12 pm

The April 3, 1920, issue of The American Contractor had this item about alterations being made to the Colonial Theatre:

“Theater (colonial, alt. & ext.): $150.000. 203 Bleeker St., Utica, N. Y. Archt. E. C. Horn & Son, 1476 Broadway, N. Y. C. Owner Wilmer & Vincent Theater Co., Walter W. Vincent, pres., 1415 Broadway, N. Y. C. Archt. will take bids on gen. contr. Finishing plans.”
E. C. Horn & Sons did quite a bit of work for the Wilmer & Vincent circuit during this period.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Aug 1, 2014 at 9:12 pm

The April 3, 1920, issue of The American Contractor said that the contract had been let for the Liberty Theatre:

“Theater: 1 sty. & balcony. 60x120. Cor. 5th av. & 8th St., New Kensington, Pa. Archt. Harry S. Bair, Vandergrift bldg., Pittsburgh. Owner Liberty Theater Co., New Kensington. Gen. contr. let to T. C. Danner, New Kensington.”
A document prepared for the nomination of the New Kensington Downtown Historic District to the NRHP says that the Liberty Theatre opened on May 2, 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Aug 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm

A document prepared for the nomination of the New Kensington Downtown Historic District to the NRHP says that the Ritz Theatre opened in 1922.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empire Theatre on Aug 1, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Architect J. S. McIntyre’s first name was James. If this house didn’t open until September 11, 1922, there must have been some serious delays during construction. The April 3, 1920, issue of The American Contractor said that McIntyre was then taking bids on the Empire Theatre project in New Bedford.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Aug 1, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Articles about the opening of Wilmer & Vincent’s new State Theatre appeared in the April 12, 1926, issue of the Harrisburg Telegraph. One of them noted that the new theater had been designed by E. C. Horn & Sons.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Centre Theatre on Aug 1, 2014 at 5:46 pm

This article from the Sidney Herald of June 2, 2009, at the time the Centre Theatre was sold, tells the history of the house and the Suckstorff family’s 77-year involvement in the theater business in Sidney.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Aug 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm

An article about the sale of the Centre Theatre that was published in the June 2, 2009, edition of the Sidney Herald says that the Princess Theatre was opened by Carl Brattin in 1915.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Aug 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I’ve had to reconsider the location of the Roxy. The article I cited says that the Isis was “down the street” from the Princess, and it turns out that the Princess was on N. Central Avenue, not E. Main Street. That means that the Roxy was probably next door to the south end of the bank building, in a building at 108 S. Central that was occupied by a a barber shop and a payday loan company called Cash Montana at the time the current Google street view was made.