Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 126 - 150 of 11,100 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garden Theatre on Jan 13, 2017 at 11:41 pm

An item in the May 6, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World said that Elwyn Simon, proprietor of the Family Theatre at Adrian, Michigan, had taken over the Star Theatre there and changed its name to the Garden Theatre. Extensive improvements were planned for the house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Family Theatre on Jan 13, 2017 at 10:22 pm

In the mid-1910s, the Family Theatre was operated by Elwyn M. Simon, whose clever promotional techniques were lauded in this article from the December 4, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“New Family Theater at Adrian, Mich., Big Success

“Manager E. M. Simon Shows Imagination in Putting On Special Features — Is Making His Picture Theater a Valuable Asset to His Community.

“ONE of the livest exhibitors in the southern part of Michigan is E. M. Simon, of the New Family theater, Adrian. He is using big-town ideas in a city of about 10,000 and is making a big success of his theater, which only goes to prove that methods employed in the large theaters in the large cities can be carried out just as successfully in the smaller theaters and in the smaller cities.

“For instance, in connection with ‘Madam Butterfly,’ produced by Jesse Lasky and released through the Paramount, Mr. Simon used incense from his stage; distributed chrysanthemums to the ladies, served tea at both the matinees, and gave his house a typical Japanese atmosphere. Movable serving tables were used for serving the tea; girls dressed up as Japanese maidens passed around the tea. The ‘color’ and ‘atmosphere’ given this production was even better and superior than in some of the larger cities. Everybody in Adrian was talking about ‘Madam Butterfly’ and the result was capacity business during the two days it was shown.

“Mr. Simon recently formed the New Family Children’s Drama League. He gave free performances in the morning on Saturdays for children only. The entertainment usually consisting of a travel picture and a comedy. So popular did these free shows prove that he has found it necessary to give two and three performances in the morning. It was operated like this. He picked out one banker, one clothing merchant, one jeweler and one drygoods dealer, who distributed the tickets. There was no charge. The object in distributing the tickets in this way was to get the leading merchants interested. When other merchants saw how popular the Drama League was becoming, they asked Mr. Simon what was necessary to become a member. Mr. Simon then told them the charge was $10 per year and that they could distribute a certain number of tickets each week. Every leading merchant in Adrian is now a member of the league, which is doing a great deal of good for the boys and girls of that city. It costs about a few dollars for lights, film, etc., every Saturday, but the publicity and advertising we derive from the free shows is worth it.‘”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Globe Theatre on Jan 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm

This announcement about the Globe Theatre appeared in the October 24, 1912, issue of Engineering News:

“G. Morton Wolfe, Arch., 638 Ellicott Square Bldg., has completed plans and is receiving bids for the Globe Theater building, 70x150 ft., to be erected at Main and West Ferry Sts., by the Sherman Amusement Co., Charles S. Sherman, Pres. Cost, $50,000.”
George Morton Wolfe also designed the Circle Theatre in Buffalo and the Strand Theatre at Erie, Pennsylvania.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Theatre on Jan 10, 2017 at 2:04 am

The Bijou was mentioned often in issues of The Billboard around 1908. It was then operating as a combination house, with movies and vaudeville.

In 1913 the Bijou got an entirely new front featuring “…tile, mosaic entrance, prism glass, metal sign, etc….” according to the June 7 issue of Construction News. The project was designed by local architect George Issenhuth.

Issenhuth was also the architect of the Opera House at Ellendale, ND, which was built in 1908 and is still standing and in use, but I’ve been unable to determine if it ever operated as a movie house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Washington Center for the Performing Arts on Jan 9, 2017 at 2:10 am

The September 20, 1924, issue of The Moving Picture World gives the opening date of the Liberty Theatre as August 30. The Moore Amusement Company house featured vaudeville and pictures:

“Governor Hart made a speech of welcome at the Olympia opening, and after the show dancing was enjoyed on the stage by out of town guests. The Liberty will house Ackerman and Harris vaudeville and feature pictures. It is under the direction of Jensen & Von Herberg. H. T. Moore is manager of the Moore Amusement Co.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Historic Everett Theater on Jan 9, 2017 at 2:04 am

The opening of the Everett Theatre was noted in this item from the September 20, 1924, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“The magnificent new Everett, costing over $250,000, opened on August 29 to capacity audiences. The house is the last word in modern theatre construction, and is not equaled anywhere on the Pacific Northwest for beauty and comfort. Pilz & Swanson are owners. D. G. Inverarity, well known theatrical manager and showman, is house manager. Of particular interest was the fact that the opening shows were accomplished absolutely without a hitch of any kind, as though the house had been running for weeks.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hollywood Cinema North on Jan 9, 2017 at 1:51 am

The September 20, 1924, issue of The Moving Picture World said that “[a] new theatre, to be known as the Hollywood, is being erected at College Hill, a suburb of Cincinnati, by the Hollywood Theatre Co., of which Thos. Corcoran, a Cincinnati manufacturer, is at the head.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gralyn Theatre on Jan 9, 2017 at 1:38 am

This article about the Gralyn Theatre appeared in Exhibitors Herald of January 3, 1920:

“New Gouverneur Theatre Contracts for Fox Films

“Special advices from its exchange office at Buffalo, N. Y. inform Fox Film Corporation that a contract has been closed with J. Claire Carpenter, who is building a beautiful motion picture theatre in the city of Gouverneur, N. Y.

“Mr. Carpenter plans to make his new house which will be called ‘The Gralyn,’ the last word in modern theatre design and construction, fitted with every possible comfort for his patrons. Work has started on the structure the last week in August, and according to reports of the contractors, the building will be ready for official opening on January 15 next.

“No definite decision has been made regarding the screen production which will be used to open The Gralyn, but among several big season successes now under consideration is the William Fox adaptation of Longfellow’s ‘Evangeline’ a classic of the screen. Present indications point to a decision in favor of ‘Evangeline’ and Fox’s Buffalo exchange is working with this in view. Mr. Carpenter, an enterprising showman who knows thoroughly the film field and its possibilities, has signed a contract covering the entire Fox output for the coming year.

“Judging from the plans of Mr. Carpenter, The Gralyn will put Gouverneur conspicuously on the film map. The owner has several distinctive ideas on operation of a combination stage and screen theatre. The film industry will look forward with interest to the progress of this exhibitor.”

This web page from the Gouverneur Museum has a photo of the Gralyn Theatre’s projector, which is among the museuem’s holdings. The accompanying article says that the house closed in 1989 and was demolished in 2000. There is also a link to a 1981 photo of the house at American Classic Images.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gralyn Theatre on Jan 9, 2017 at 1:08 am

Here is another PDF, this one featuring a page from the November 3, 1999, issue of the Gouverneur Tribune Press. There are three photos of the theater, but not very well reproduced. Still, it’s possible to tell from a photo of the auditorium that it was considerably wider than the building that still stands at 119 E. Main Street.

The article says that the roof of the auditorium had partly collapsed the previous year, and that the deteriorating structure would probably soon be demolished. This must have taken place. The 1920 auditorium must have been added behind an existing store building, still standing, which became the theater entrance. It is rather narrow and looks like it dates from the 19th century. Google’s satellite view shows a grassy field behind the building and its neighbors, which would have been the site of the demolished auditorium.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gralyn Theatre on Jan 9, 2017 at 12:50 am

An article about the Gralyn Theatre starts on page 8 of the July, 1988, issue of The Quarterly, published by the St. Lawrence County Historical Association (PDF here.) It includes one 1988 photo of the front, and a few smaller photos of decorative details in the house. The Gralyn opened on January 30, 1920, and in 1922 was taken over by James Papayanakos, whose family controlled the theater for the next few decades. As of 1988 the theater was open only Friday through Sunday.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theater on Jan 9, 2017 at 12:22 am

The Rialto Theatre was mentioned in the September 20, 1924, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“A big electric sign made its appearance in front of the new Papayanakos house in Potsdam during the past week. Harry Papayanakos will manage the house, which will be known as the Rialto.”
Members of the Papayanakos family still operated the Rialto at least as late as 1952, when Peter Papayanakos was mentioned as its manager in the April 12 issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Legion Theater on Jan 8, 2017 at 11:41 pm

The September 20, 1924, issue of The Moving Picture World mentions this theater:

“The American Legion post in Wayland certainly deserves much in the way of complimentary expression. Through the sale of stock, the Post has erected a beautiful building which provides quarters for a picture theatre itself, rooms for meeting purposes, the village library and a restroom.”
The project had been built within the previous two years, as indicated by this notice in the March 11, 1922, issue of The American Contractor:
“Center (community): $50,000. 2 sty. & bas. 60x150. Wayland, N. Y. Archt. Carl Ade, 344 East av., Rochester. Owner Theodore R Van Tassel, Post of the American Legion, Thos. Capron, pres., Wayland. Gen. contr. let on percentage basis to A. J. Wordein, Elizabeth St., Dansville, N. Y. Work starts abt. Mar. 20.”
Architect Carl Ade, who died in 1962, specialized in school buildings, designing over 350 of them in New York State. As far as I know, this was the only movie theater of his design, though he did work with Grand Rapids architect E. Eugene Osgood on the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, though most likely only as supervising architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Massena Theatre on Jan 8, 2017 at 7:53 pm

The Massena Theatre was at 65 Main Street. The building has lost its marquee and looks a bit worse for wear, but is still standing, with the storefronts adjacent to the theater entrance still in use.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Jan 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm

The September 20, 1924, issue of The Moving Picture World had this item about the Rialto:

“Thomas E. Shean, a well known lawyer in Massena, who is erecting a house to be known as the Rialto in the Pine Grove section of the village, expects to open within the next few weeks. The seats will be in place within two weeks.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mattoon Theatre on Jan 8, 2017 at 6:32 pm

CSWalczak’s link is dead. I can’t find an exterior shot of the theater, but this photo of the stage might be the one that went missing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Euterpa Theatre on Jan 7, 2017 at 11:30 pm

The Euterpa Theatre is mentioned in a few issues of the Altoona Tribune and the Altoona Mirror between September, 1915 and January, 1917. I can’t find it mentioned in any of the trade journals of the period, though. It might have been a short-lived house, or might have undergone a name change.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Jan 4, 2017 at 8:20 pm

This story from the Olean Times Herald of October 10, 2015, concerns the Palace Theatre’s vertical sign which was saved from the demolition and has since been in storage.

The article says that the Palace opened on February 19, 1917.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Washington Theatre on Jan 2, 2017 at 5:12 pm

A Facebook photo album for the Washington Theatre, with 100 photos and scans of articles, can be seen at this link. The information in the articles clarifies the theater’s history.

The “second” Washington Theatre, opened on December 21, 1923, was actually just a new auditorium constructed behind the 1910 theater building, and at right angles to the original auditorium. The long, narrow lobby noted in the article cited in my previous comment ran through the 1910 building, and the remainder of the original auditorium was converted to retail space. The airdome next door was not closed, but continued to operate during the summer at least into the late 1920s.

Although the Facebook album doesn’t extend to the period of the fire, it seems very likely that the Streamline Modern entrance at 1349 19th Street dates from the 1946 post-fire remodeling designed by Leo F. Abrams. It was this entrance, not the second auditorium of 1923, that occupied part of the site of the former airdome.

As part of the original theater building was used until 1945 as the entrance and lobby for the new auditorium of 1923 it now seems unnecessary to have a separate page for the original theater built in 1910, but we could add to this page the architects of the 1911 expansion, Charles Pauly & Son, as noted by RetroMike in his comment of June 14, 2011. It’s possible that the firm designed the original theater of 1910 as well.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Washington Theatre on Jan 2, 2017 at 3:37 pm

The September 1, 1923, issue of The Moving Picture World ran this brief article about the second Washington Theatre, then under construction in Granite City:

“Granite City, Ill., Theatre to Seat 3,000, Cost $250,000

“The New Washington Theatre, Nineteenth and E streets, Granite City, 111., will open on the evening of October 5 when a big benefit performance will be put on for its owner-manager, Louis Landau, Jr. The theatre will cost approximately $250,000 and will have 3,000 seats in the parquet and balcony. It will be among the finest amusement houses in Southern Illinois.

“Landau plans to play both pictures and vaudeville. The house will have a stage 65 feet long and a proscenium arch with an opening 35 by 50 feet. The lobby and arcade will measure 18 by 154 feet. There will be several rest rooms for the ladies, smoking rooms for the gents and checking stations, etc. He also is installing a three-manual organ and plans to enlarge his orchestra.”

The claim of 3,000 seats must have been considerably exaggerated, if the reported capacity of 1,750 in the November, 1945 newspaper article about the fire, cited in a comment by kencmcintyre on November 8, 2008, was correct.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tokay Theatre on Jan 1, 2017 at 4:18 pm

The address of the Tokay Theatre was approximately 725 Robert Bush Drive West. The theater building is gone, but the modernistic building on the far left corner of the intersection in the vintage photo is still standing. The building directly across the street from the theater’s site is numbered 724.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Preston Airdome and Theater on Jan 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm

The Airdome is long gone, but the Preston Theatre building, much altered, now houses an art gallery and artist’s studio.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Franklin Theatre on Jan 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm

The December 4, 1920, issue of The Moving Picture World said that a Franklin Theatre at Franklin, Virginia, was being run by a Mr. M. H. Eppstein of Richmond, Virginia.

It is possible that this theater was replaced in 1921, though I’ve found only one notice about the project, this from the February 26 issue of The American Contractor:

“Suffolk, Va.—Theater (M. P.) & Playhouse: $25,000. 1 sty. 55x90. Franklin. Va. Archt. Riddick & Breeden, Suffolk. Owner Franklin Amusement Corp., J. A. Pretlow, pres., H. H. Eppstein, mgr., Franklin. Sen. contr. let to E. C. Smith, Franklin.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wilson Theatre on Jan 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm

The September 2, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World had this item about the Acme Theatre:

“J. J. Barrett Buys the Acme. St. Louis, Mo.—James J. Barrett, of the Chippewa and Knickerbocker theaters, has added the Acme, on 1417-19 Cass avenue, to his string of amusement houses and is getting it in readiness to open within a few weeks. The Acme seats 800 persons, and it is being treated to a set of new furnishings and equipment. Mr. Barrett has made a huge success of his other two houses, and the same system of management will prevail at the Acme.”
The reference to new furnishings and equipment suggests that the house had already been in operation for some time. The 800 given as the seating capacity might have been a typo for 300.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Dec 31, 2016 at 4:42 pm

If the Strand was the only theater opened at Oconowomoc in 1921,, then it was probably this project noted in the December 25, 1920, issue of The American Contractor:

“Theatre, Office & Store Bldg.: $25,000. 2 sty. & bas. 68x115. Oconomowoc, Wis. Archt. A. C. Clas. 205 Colby Abbott bldg., Milwaukee. Owner Oconomowoc Theatre Co., H. E. Welch & Philip Binzel. Oconomowoc. Mas. to J. L. Stanage, 144 Oneida St., Milwaukee. Carp. to Gunder Anderson, Oconomowoc. Fdn. in.”
Alfred Charles Clas, previously of the noted architectural firm of Ferry & Clas, had an independent practice in Milwaukee from 1912 to 1932.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cameo Theatre on Dec 31, 2016 at 4:06 pm

This web page has three stories about small towns in Virginia, the last of them being Exmore. It says that the Cameo Theatre opened in 1938 with the Katherine Hepburn-Ginger Rogers film Stage Door. The house closed in the late 1950s.

The building is now occupied by a company called New Ravenna Mosaics, which bills itself as a designer of handcrafted mosaics in glass and stone. The ultimate goal is to restore the Cameo for use as the company’s main showroom.