Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Victoria Theatre on Mar 30, 2014 at 11:51 pm

The house that would become the Victoria Theatre was the subject of an item in the March 15, 1913, issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer. The item said that plans and specifications for a brick store, office, and theater building, 57x140 feet, to be built at the southwest corner of Pico Boulevard and Berendo Street, had been filed on March 7. Frank L. Stiff was the architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hippodrome Theatre on Mar 30, 2014 at 8:23 pm

In 1913, the Adolphus Theatre was extensively altered with the addition of a 700-seat, steel and concrete cantilevered balcony. The April 12 issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer said that the project was being designed by architect Otto Jansson, which was probably a misspelling. The 1910 Yearbook of the Los Angeles Architecture Club spells his name Janssen. As he was then treasurer of the club, its spelling was probably right.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Joy Theatre on Mar 30, 2014 at 7:40 pm

The Olympus Theatre, which was in operation by 1914, was most likely the project which the April 26, 1913, issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer described as “…a 2-story brick theater building for M. Minkus at 2014 E. First St., plans by George E. Lubin.” The item went on to note that contracts for the project had been let. Other items noted that the new theater was to have about 800 seats, and the building would be 50x148 feet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Adams Theatre on Mar 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm

The May 3, 1913, issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer said that architect A. C. Martin was preparing plans for a 1-story, 50x150 foot brick building to house a moving picture theater and two stores, to be built on the south side of Adams Boulevard between Harvard Boulevard and La Salle Avenue. That has to have been the Adams Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 30, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Charlie_Brown1 and stagehand113: the second Strand Theatre, at 13 W. 10th Street, has its own page at Cinema Treasures, being listed under its current name, the Erie Playhouse.

Ken: the photo currently displayed depicts the second Strand, not the original one.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Moneta Theatre on Mar 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm

As recently as 2010, a live music venue called the Moneta Theatre was in operation in Sweetwater. It was at 105 Morris Street East, which is the storefront in the middle of this block-long building. It is currently the location of Ole Glory Antiques. I haven’t found any early documentation that was the actual location of the original Moneta Theatre, but CinemaTour uses that address for it, and a couple of items in The Advocate & Democrat, the local newspaper, referred to the modern music venue as the “…historic Moneta Theatre in downtown Sweetwater.”

The Moneta Theatre was in operation by 1917, when it was offered for sale in this ad from the October 6 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“EXCELLENT INVESTMENT— Theater seating 220, two machines, rectifier, large five-piece Wurlitzer orchestrion. In town 3,000; no competition; three large industries; also Tennessee Military Institute. High class trade, good patronage from neighboring towns and country. Reference, any citizen. Lowest price, $2,250.00. Moneta Theater, Sweetwater, Tenn.”
The later Gay Theatre was located on the west side of the short block of Main Street north of Morris Street, so it was very near the Moneta’s location.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Moneta Theatre on Mar 29, 2014 at 4:48 pm

The theater that got the Reproduco was probably not called the Booth Theatre. It was probably called either the Moneta Theatre or the Gay Theatre. Items in trade journals in 1926 and 1927 say that a Greeneville-based company called Booth Enterprises operated the Moneta Theatre in Sweetwater. The trades name several theaters operated by Booth Entrprises, but none of them are called the Booth Theatre. Reproduco probably had the name of the company rather than the name of the theater on its paperwork for this sale.

A September 4, 1926, item in Motion Picture News said that Booth Enterprises planned to build new theaters in Greenville, Newport, and Sweetwater. The new Greenville house, the Palace, did get built and opened in 1927. I haven’t found anything else about the other two projects, but a Sweetwater tourist brochure (PDF here) says that a movie house called the Gay Theatre was built in Sweetwater in 1929, and operated until the Cherokee Theatre was built at another site in 1953. The Gay Theatre might have been the Booth Enterprises house.

The brochure says that the Gay Theatre was on part of the site now occupied by the Sweetwater branch of Regions Bank. The bank is at 401 N. Main Street. The theater might not have had that exact address, but the block is only about 200 feet long so it would have been very close to that number.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cherokee Theater on Mar 29, 2014 at 4:08 pm

A tourist brochure (PDF here) says that the Cherokee Theatre was built in 1953. It replaced an earlier house called the Gay Theatre, which had opened in 1929 at another location.

The brochure doesn’t mention it, but as late as 1927, Sweetwater had a movie house called the Moneta Theatre, which dated back to the 1910s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Mar 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Chances are that there was no house called the Booth Theatre in Greeneville, or in Sweetwater. A company called Booth Enterprises operated theaters in Greeneville and other eastern Tennessee towns in the 1920s, and I suspect that Reproduco was using the company’s name, not the names of individual theaters, on its paperwork for the transactions. I’ve come across the names of several theaters operated by Booth Enterprises and none of them were called the Booth Theatre.

In 1926, Booth Enterprises were operating the Princess and Liberty Theatres in Greenville. In 1927 they demolished the Liberty and built the Palace Theatre on its site. They were planning to build a new theater on Main Street, after which the Princess, also on Main Street, would be redecorated, but I don’t know if the new Main Street house was ever built. The Princess was still operating in 1936 when it was taken over by Tony Sudekum’s Crescent Amusement Co., but it was being operated by Parrott & Hendron Amusement Co. by then, and I don’t know if Booth Enterprises existed any more in 1936.

The Reproduco might have been sent to the new Palace Theatre, or it might have been sent to the Princess, or, if Booth’s new theater on Main Street did eventually get built it might have been sent there. There is also the possibility that the Princess was remodeled and renamed the Capitol after Crescent took it over. The Film Daily Yearbooks might offer some clue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theater on Mar 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Here is an item from the September 4, 1926 issue of Motion Picture News:

“Booth Ent. Acquires Three More in Tennessee

“E. M. Booth, president of Booth Enterprises, Greenville, Tenn., has announced that plans are being materialized for the building of new theatres in Greenville, Newport and Sweetwater, Tenn. Booth Enterprises already have theatres at these points and have recently taken over the Grand at Lenoir City and the Moneta at Sweetwater. Other houses in the chain are the Princess and Liberty at Greenville, Lyric at Jonesboro, Gay at Newport and Jefferson at Jefferson City.

In 1927, The Film Daily ran this item in its issue of July 20:
"Booth Firm Building Two

“Greeneville, Tenn.— Construction is well under way on the Palace, located on the site of the old Liberty and scheduled to open about August

“The building is being erected for the Booth Enterprises. Its opening will not effect plans for the theater to be erected on Main St., which will also be under Booth management. After the opening of the latter house, the Princess, also on Main St., will be redecorated. E. A. Booth of Greeneville is president of the company which controls besides the theaters in Greeneville, five other Tennessee theaters: the Lyric, Jonesboro; Gay, Newport; Jefferson, Jefferson City; Grand, Lenoir; and Moneta at Sweetwater.”

The recent opening of the Palace Theatre in Greenville was noted in the September 12, 1927, issue of The Film Daily.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Zephyr Theater on Mar 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm

The April 11, 1941, issue of The Film Daily had this item about the Zephyr Theatre:

“Abington, Va. — Fire completely destroyed the 18-months-old Zephyr Theater recently. House was owned and operated by the Lincoln Theater Co. of Marion, and was built at a cost of some $55,000.”
The Zephyr must have opened in late 1939, and was probably rebuilt and reopened before the end of 1941, though I haven’t found any confirmation in the trade publications.

A ca.1955 photo of Main Street on page 13 of Abingdon, Virginia, by Donna Akers Warmuth and Donna Gayle Akers (Google Books preview) shows the marquee of the Zephyr Theatre on the building now occupied by Zephyr Antiques, which is at 270 W. Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 28, 2014 at 11:56 am

According to this article by Jim McKee in the Lincoln Journal Star, by 1911 there were two movie houses called the Elite Theatre on O Street; the Elite No. 1 at 1329 and Elite No. 2 directly across the street at 1330. He notes that the Elite No. 1 became the Strand and the Elite no. 2 became the Palace. When the Strand was converted into a grocery store (he doesn’t say what year,) the name Strand was moved to the former Wonderland Theatre at 1308 O Street.

McKee also mentions a few other theaters that operated on O Street in downtown Lincoln over the years. If I’ve followed the article correctly there were eight theaters on O Street, most of which underwent name changes. We currently have the Capitol and the Kiva/State/Bourbon listed, and the Bijou/Orpheum/Rialto/Varsity (but without its aka’s.) Missing are the Colonial/Husker, the Magnet, the Elite no. 2/Palace, the Wonderland/Strand, and a 1905 house called the Lyric which is now one of the auditoriums of the Lincoln Grand multiplex.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lincoln Grand Theatre on Mar 28, 2014 at 11:52 am

According to this article by Jim McKee in the Lincoln Journal Star, one of the auditoriums of the Lincoln Grand Theatre is located in a building at the northwest corner of 12th and O Streets which, in 1905, housed the Lyric, Lincoln’s first movie theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Granada Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 10:56 pm

The theater at 1044 Temple Street was included in the Motion Picture Theatres section of the 1915 and 1917 city directories, but was listed only under the name Mansdorfer W. H. in 1915. By 1917 it was listed as the Owl Theatre.

Although the building has been demolished so it can’t be checked in the records of the County Assessor’s office, I think that the Granada was probably this proposed theater that was mentioned in the October 12, 1912, issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer:

“BRICK THEATER—The Milwaukee Building Co., 317 Wright & Callender Bldg., has prepared plans and has the contract at $13,127 for the erection of a 1-story brick theater building on Temple St. near Beaudry Ave. for D. S. Kornblum. Concrete foundation, 50x140 ft., enameled glazed brick front, Silveroid roof, marble and tile lobby, staff work, tile cornice, ornamental iron grilles, steel I beams, plate and leaded glass, pine and birch trim, plumbing, electric wiring.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mission Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Here is the announcement of plans for the Mission Theatre in the September 21, 1912, issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer:

“MOVING PICTURE THEATER—Clyde J. Cheney, 727 Story Bldg, is preparing plans for a l-story brick moving picture theater to be built on Moneta Ave. between Fortysecond Place and Forty-third St. for George E. Van Guysling. It will contain an auditorium seating 620 and two small store rooms. Dimensions 50x120 ft.; plastered front with glazed tile trim. composition roof, steel beams, tile and marble lobby, plate and prism glass store fronts.”
Oddly, no theater is listed at the Mission’s address in the 1915 city directory, and in the 1917 directory it is listed under the name Darnell, R. E., presumably the name of the owner or operator of the house. It is finally listed as the Mission Theatre in the 1918 directory. Directories from 1913, 1914, and 1916 are not available.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Barbara Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 6:40 pm

I think that the Woodlawn/Pictorial/Barbara Theatre was probably built in 1912, and was this project listed in the September 14 issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer:

“BRICK THEATER—Fred E. Edmison, 5419 S. Vermont Ave., has secured a permit for a l-story brick store and theater building which he will erect at 147 E. Santa Barbara Ave. for himself. Cost $5000. Dimensions, 42x116 ft.”
I know the address doesn’t quite match up, but the lots on the north side of MLK Boulevard (former Santa Barbara Avenue) are nowhere near 116 feet deep, which means Mr. Edmison’s theater had to have had its long side on the boulevard, and would probably have covered addresses through 151. The building would have been at the northeast corner of MLK Boulevard and Wall Street, and the store would probably have been at the corner, at 147, putting the theater entrance farther east.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dreamland Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm

The Dreamland Theatre is listed at 3021 S. Main Street in the 1915 city directory, so the County Assessor’s office was wrong about this building having been built in 1917, unless something happened to the original building and it was rebuilt that year. I suspect it’s most likely that a document reader (human or digital) misread 1912 as 1917.

The Dreamland was most likely this project noted in the August 24, 1912, issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer:

“BRICK STORES AND THEATER—Archt. J. T. Zeller, 203 Currier Bldg., has completed plans and is taking bids for the erection of a l-story brick building to be erected at Main and Thirty-first Sts. for N. J. Sanders, 3025 S. Main St. It will contain four stores and a moving picture theater seating about 800. Concrete foundation 100x88 ft., glazed brick facing, steel beams and columns, composition roof, plate glass store windows, metal frames and sash and wired glass, galvanized iron skylights, stucco theater front, pine trim, plumbing, electric wiring. The site is now being cleared.”
The stores with their plate glass windows have been walled up, but otherwise the building remains pretty much as described in 1912.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Did he conflate the Grand with the second Orpheum in 1910, or was this house actually called the Grand for a while? If it was, it had to have gone back to Orpheum by 1918 as I’ve found references to the Orpheum dating from that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oaks Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm

I found a later item in Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer that gave the address of the 1912 theater project in Pasadena as 87 N. Fair Oaks. As the Oaks was at the corner of Holly Street, there wouldn’t have been room for another theater next to it, so 87 N. Fair Oaks must have been its address in 1912. Fisher’s Theatre was reported in insurance industry publications of the period as having suffered a fire on January 5, 1911, so it must have opened in 1910 at the latest.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Teatro Hidalgo on Mar 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Notices in issues of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer in June, 1912, said that architect John E. Kunst designed a new theater that was part of a project underway at 369-373 N. Main Street. The theater was an addition to a building at 369 Main that was being remodeled.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oaks Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 2:24 pm

As the quote matnhornmann cited indicates that this theater already existed and the Pasadena Playhouse took it over, we know that it probably dates from the 1910s or earlier. I’ve come across a reference to a house called Fisher’s Theatre on North Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena, operating in 1912. There is no address for it, but I wonder if it was the same house as the Oaks? The June 15, 1912 issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer said this:

“ALTERATIONS—Archts. Buchanan & Brockway, 65 N. Raymond Ave., are preparing plans for remodeling Fisher’s theater on N. Fair Oaks Ave. to conform with the building ordinance. The work will consist of installing an automatic sprinkler system. fire doors, brick wall between the stage and auditorium, and changes in the wiring system. Cost about $2500.”
If Fisher’s Theatre was not the same house that later became the Oaks, then there had to have been another theater on North Fair Oaks Avenue, but I’ve never heard of any others being there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Victor Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm

This house was listed as the Royal Theatre in the 1915 and 1917 city directories. It was probably the theater that was built in 1912 by F.L. Spaulding, as noted in the June 15 issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer:

“THEATER—F. L. Spaulding, 1460 Dana St., has taken out a permit for the foundation for a moving picture theater which he will build at 1716 S. Main St. for himself. The theater which has been leased to the Globe Amusement Co., will seat about 900. There will be two store rooms. Concrete foundation, 60x140 ft., brick walls, stucco front, composition roof, dome covered with galvanized iron, steel beams and columns, marble and tile lobby, ornamental plaster ceiling in theater, plate glass store fronts, pine trim, electric wiring, plumbing. Cost about $25,000.”
I don’t have access to city directories for 1913 and 1914, so I can’t be positive that this project was built, but if it wasn’t then somebody soon built a theater on this site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 11:53 am

This house didn’t become the Savoy until sometime in the 1940s. The Savoy Theatre that got the Wurlitzer organ in 1923 was a different house, at 3rd Avenue and C Street. It was a legitimate house for most of its history, but it was on the Pantages vaudeville circuit for a while, which is probably when the organ was installed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyceum Theatre on Mar 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

Google’s street view on this page is six blocks too far west. The Lyceum was actually at the northeast corner of E. 3rd Avenue and F Street, and Google street view won’t be able to show it as the intersection was obliterated by the construction of the Horton Plaza shopping center.

Work on the mixed-use building that included the Lyceum Theatre began in the spring of 1912, as noted in this announcement from the May 25 issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer:

“San Diego—The Charley Concrete Construction Co. has started excavation work at the northeast corner of Third and F Sts. for a 5 story and basement Class A hotel, theater and store building for Chaffey & Cobb. The building will cover a ground area 100x100 ft. and will be of reinforced concrete construction, the Chaffey patent system to be used. The first floor will contain six stores, a theater and the hotel lobby, and the upper floors will be divided into 168 hotel rooms with private baths. The theater will be 60x100 ft. and will accommodate 1000 persons. The building will be modernly equipped throughout and will cost about $125,000. Plans by Archts. Hamilton & Smith Bros. American National Bank Bldg.”
As built, the building only had four floors, not the five originally planned. Hamilton & Smith Bros. designed at least three other theaters in San Diego, but I haven’t been able to identify them yet. Early San Diego Theaters indicates that there was a theater called the Gaiety on this site in 1909. It was apparently demolished to make way for the Chaffey & Cobb project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Starland Theatre on Mar 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm

An announcement about plans to build this theater were published int he November 9, 1912, issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer:

“BRICK THEATER AND STORES—F. L. Spaulding, 1460 Dana St., has been awarded the contract at $23,930 for the erection complete of a 1-story brick store and theater building at North Broadway and Workman Sts. for the Huntington Land & Improvement Co., Pacific Electric Bldg. Plans by G. B. Campbell, 744 Pacific Electric Bldg. The building will contain a theater seating about 800, leased to the Globe Amusement Co., and five store rooms. Dimensions 110x165 ft. Concrete foundation, cream pressed brick facing, composition roof, steel beams and columns, cement floors. plate and prism glass windows, galvanized iron skylights, wired glass, metal lath ceiling, stucco front on theater, galvanized iron dome, marble and tile lobby, plumbing, electric wiring.”
I have checked the back of the building at Broadway and Workman in Google Street View, and I now suspect that the auditorium has indeed been demolished and replaced by a parking lot. The existing structure is not 110x165 feet. Also, the rear of the part of the building that the theater entrance was in has a large recess that has been walled up, and that was probably once the entrance to the theater’s auditorium.