Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about La Tosca Theatre on Dec 14, 2017 at 8:03 pm

The current Google street view shows that La Tosca has now been demolished. The theater and adjacent buildings have been replaced by an apartment complex, a photo of which can be seen at the top of this web page.

As the apartments have already begun leasing, the demolition of the theater must have taken place quite some time ago, perhaps more than a year, but I haven’t been able to find out anything about the event on the Internet. I guess L.A.’s news media just weren’t interested.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elmwood Theatre on Dec 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

chronicler: Thanks for the response and additional information. The mis-attribution of some of Dufour’s work to Cornelius has me wondering if the Rialto Theatre (first Alameda Theatre) in Alameda might also be mis-attributed. Cinema Treasures lists Cornelius as the architect of the Rialto, but the facade bears a strong resemblance to the Elmwood’s, and I can easily picture them being the work of the same designer.

There is a scan of an architect’s sketch of the Alameda on the Rialto’s photo page, but it has no name on it, nor is the source of the photo given, though it is probably from either a theater trade journal or one of the architectural journals of the period. I’ll see if I can find it on the Internet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colorado Theatre on Dec 12, 2017 at 9:07 pm

Actually, the photo just uploaded by DavidZornig does show the Colonial’s sign, in the distant left, just beyond the much larger sign of the Empress, but it is so pale that I doubt anybody could read it if they didn’t already know that it said Colonial.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colorado Theatre on Dec 12, 2017 at 9:03 pm

All but one of the photos currently on this theater’s photo page show the Tabor Grand Opera House during the 1920s, when it was called the Colorado Theatre.

This far smaller house at 1629 Curtis was called the Colonial Theatre. Some time after the Tabor Grand returned to its original name, which was around 1930, the Colonial was renamed the Colorado. This had been done by 1933, but I’ve been unable to discover exactly when.

The Colonial Theatre was in operation by 1916, when it was one of the eight theaters then located on the two-block stretch of Curtis Street between Fifteenth and Seventeenth Street that were mentioned by name in the July 15 issue of The Moving Picture World.

The one photo we currently have that depicts the Colonial is the one uploaded by Ron Pierce on March 30, 2015. It is an evening shot of Curtis Street with the illuminated vertical signs of all the theaters blazing, including, in the distance, the “Colorado” vertical on the Tabor Grand. The Colonial is in the right foreground, next door to the Empress and across the street from the Strand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Guild Theatre on Dec 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm

The Pine Grove Theatre opened in 1915, and the April 17 issue of Motography provided this effusive description of the new house:

“New Hamburger House The new Pine Grove theater on Sheridan road near Broadway, Chicago, which opened its doors under the direction of Alfred Hamburger on Saturday, represents the last word in ideal surroundings for the showing of moving pictures, and is the tenth property of this class under Hamburger direction in Chicago. No theatrical structure here represents more leisurely care in building, or more attention in detail of comfort, or cost for elegance of surroundings. Julius Born, the owner, has taken two years to materialize his ideals in this fine and substantial investment befitting the neighborhood in which it is located. The lighting effects on Sheridan Road are distinctive and a crystal kiosk in front is something new in illuminated placarding of attractions.

“The facade in vitrified brick with gray stone trim is substantial and attractive, and a sweeping cochere with bronze trimmings and glass roof to protect the broad entrance. The lobby of blocked granite, 25 feet wide and 30 feet deep, has at the left a broad green marble staircase leading to the balcony, with newel lights and all ornate metal trimmings of the balustrade in verde antique. The box office, beneath the rise of this solid architectural feature, is in green marble and is completely equipped with automatic ticket printer and bookkeeper-a most complete and ingenious mechanism. The floors are in tarazza Roman mosaic and the light fixtures are all specially designed to comport with the mission design which prevails in the interior The tint of the walls is a dull red, matching the tufted carpets, and the lofty paneled ceiling is in cool greys, giving the interior a warm yet spacious effect. The ventilating ducts and heat radiators are all sunken in the walls, and fronted with classic grills.

“The main auditorium has 400 seats, with plenty of room between rows, and side aisles on all sides. The music-pit has a fine two-manual pipe-organ and a grand piano, while masked behind the heavy ornate trellis of polished gum wood at the sides are all the strange noise producers that make pictures realistic in effect. The picture screen is unusually large, and the floral fresco decoration springing from the heavy grill work and spraying high over the proscenium furnishes a most attractive color note. On either side of the orchestra pit are unique ornaments, stone fonts throwing sheena [sic] of colored ozonated perfumes.

“The balcony is spacious, easy in its inclination and perfect in lines of sight. The projecting room, high up in front of the house, is most complete in its double equipment. The exits are so numerous that the house can be emptied in a moment. The gallery has all its side exits from inclined planes to the iron stairways that web the side walls over the wide cement walks all about the building.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shakespeare Theatre on Dec 11, 2017 at 4:43 pm

The Shakespeare Theatre changed hands at least twice in 1917. The first notice was from Motography of July 14, 1917:

“William H. Maher is going into the theater business with both feet. He has taken over the Shakespeare Theater, 43rd and Ellis, and is said to be eyeing some other desirable showhouses. The Clifton on Wilson avenue, owned by him, must be one of the paying kind, or he wouldn’t be expanding right now.”
The second notice is in Motography, November 3, 1917:
“Marx and Goodman have added another playhouse pearl to their string in the form of the Shakespeare Theater at 941 East Forty-third street. This rapidly growing concern now has control of four fine theaters, all of which are in the big-house class. The new Broadway Strand is a house with a seating capacity of 1,000, which will open in about six weeks. The Orpheus with a seating capacity of 800 seats, is only a block away on Twelfth and Ashland.

“The Marshfield Amusement Company, as these progressive exhibitors denominate themselves, are also the owners of the Marshfield Square Theater, one of the finest houses in the city. It has a seating capacity of 1,800.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elmwood Theatre on Dec 11, 2017 at 3:12 pm

More accurate information can hardly be considered bad news for this web site. However, it might be bad news for the Berkeley Historical Plaque Project, which names Cornelius as the architect. Plaques, unlike words on a web page, are costly to replace. Unfortunately, the BHPP page doesn’t give a source for its claim.

I’m not familiar with the form of Berkeley’s building permits from this period, so I do have a couple of questions. A number of east bay buildings are attributed to Dufour as architect, but he was also a builder. Was his company listed on this theater project’s permit as builder? Is the permit the actual form filled out by the person applying for it, or is it an abstract prepared by a clerk in the city office?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ras Tanura Theatre on Dec 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Linkrot repair: The photo of the Ras Tanura Theatre in Boxoffice of February 4, 1950, can currently be seen at this link (I hope.)

Edit: Well, it doesn’t, and I can’t figure out how to make a direct link to the page at the user-hostile web site Yumpu. Click on the search icon (magnifying glass) below the magazine page scan and put the name ras tanura in the search box, and clicking on the results from that search should take you to the page with the photo on it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ridgemont Theatre on Dec 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm

The Ridgemont was never called the Bathhouse Playhouse. The Bathhouse Theatre group was founded in 1970, and the company’s performances took place in the former bathhouse in Green Lake Park.

After the Ridgemont closed, it was leased for a while in the late 1990s by the Bathhouse group, but only for use as a rehearsal space and as a workshop for building sets. When the Bathhouse group folded in 1999, the Ridgemont Theatre became vacant again and remained so until it was demolished in 2001. The Bathhouse in Green Lake Park was taken over by Seattle Public Theatre in 2000, and continues to operate as a playhouse.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ridgemont Theatre on Dec 9, 2017 at 11:49 pm

This web page from PSTOS has quite a bit of information about the Ridgemont, as well as a few photos, and notes its use in the late 1990s for rehearsals and scenery construction by the Bathhouse Theatre company.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ridgemont Theatre on Dec 9, 2017 at 11:40 pm

The Ridgemont Theatre opened in either late 1920 or early 1921, as noted in this item from the January 8, 1921, issue of The Film Daily:

“New Seattle House (Special to WID’S DAILY) Seattle— ‘The Ridgemount,’ H. W. Bruen’s new residential district theater at 78th St. and Greenwood, was opened recently. This house is equipped with loges and the best in furniture, music and projection equipment.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Venetian Theater on Dec 9, 2017 at 11:34 pm

The supermarket that replaced the Venetian Theatre has itself been replaced by a six-story condominium building with retail space on the ground floor. Street view should be set to the southwest corner of the intersection.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Victoria Theatre on Dec 8, 2017 at 10:51 pm

According to the February 2, 1918, issue of The Dramatic Mirror the Victoria Theatre at Dayton had been destroyed by a fire on January 15. Other sources give the date of the event as January 16.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about RKO State Theatre on Dec 8, 2017 at 10:33 pm

The December 15, 1917, issue of Motography reported that “The Auditorium theater at Dayton was destroyed by fire with a loss of $300,000.” The figure was a bit exaggerated. The next year’s report from the Dayton City Commission said that “The biggest fire during the year was at the Auditorium Theatre on East Fourth Street, with a loss of $70,348.00.”

The report in Motography was probably a bit late as well. The December 6, 1917 issue of Engineering News-Record had this item in its notices of proposed buildings that was probably about the Auditorium:

“Dayton—theater—G. Burrows and Associates plan to rebuild theater recently destroyed by fire. About $250,000. Pretzinger & Musselman, 1155 Reibold St., archts.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Venice Theater on Dec 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm

American Classic Images has this May, 1984 photo of the Venice Theatre. It does look like there could be a bit of smoke damage to the facade, and there might be a boarded up section on the pizza parlor next door, but otherwise the building looks sound enough.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Edwards Cinema on Dec 5, 2017 at 11:42 pm

flatford: Its been a long time since I posted that now-dead link, but I pretty much always tested my links and then fixed them if they didn’t work, so that probably is the right date. Boxoffice published several different regional editions and a national edition of each issue, though, and it’s possible that the copy they had on in 2010 was different from the one they now have on I find yumpu impossible to search either internally or from outside, so I haven’t seen the copy that is there now.

I’m also fed up with Boxoffice, as it has broken its links three times since it first put its archive online. I should probably just delete all my comments with broken links to that magazine in them, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Playhouse Theatre on Dec 4, 2017 at 4:59 pm

The Patio Theatre was originally an airdome, and was in operation by 1926 (a number of modern sources say it opened in 1925.) The advertisement for the house in the April 14 issue of The Tampa Bay Times that year boasted: “PATIO, Central and 19th, Handsomest Open Air Theatre in America”. It’s possible that the 1928 opening that other sources give was its re-opening as an indoor theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Dec 4, 2017 at 4:31 pm

A document listing historic buildings in St, Petersburg says that the 1924 bank building which was converted into the State Theatre in 1950 was designed by Atlanta architect Neel Reid.

Reid’s fine Beaux Arts facade is still intact, but judging from the two interior shots in this web gallery the original interior is gone. It looks like much of Archie Parish’s streamlined 1950 remodeling probably remains.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Vita Theatre on Dec 4, 2017 at 3:43 pm

I believe the building partly seen beyond the theater in the vintage photo is still standing on the southeast corner of North Main and East Grand Street. The Vita must have been on the lot at the northeast corner, now the site a modern building housing RMS Jewelers, at 508 N. Main Street. The gabled house up the hill on the left side of Main Street in the old photo is still standing, too.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Center for the Arts on Dec 3, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Liebenberg & Kaplan worked on the State Theatre in 1935.


Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Arcade Theatre on Dec 2, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Despite numerous Internet sources saying that the Arcade was built in 1908, the name Arcade Theatre does not appear in the Fort Myers News-Press prior to 1915. The only theater names I’ve found in earlier papers are the Court Theatre, which later became the Omar Theatre and then the Ritz Theatre, and was located in the Patio de Leon, and the Grand Theatre, which was at the southwest corner of First and Jackson, and was destroyed by a fire in February, 1915.

According to this 2016 article in the News-Press, the first Arcade Theatre was under construction at the time the Grand burned. It was part of a project that included a number of shops. In late 1916, Harvie Heitman, the owner of the Arcade, rebuilt and expanded the project, including the theater. That was the house that opened in February, 1917.

This article also covers the history of the Arcade, and includes a couple of smallish photos of the theater’s Bay Street entrance, one from the 1920s and one recent.

The Arcade Theatre was rebuilt again in 1938, just about doubling its size, and formally opened on December 20 that year. According to that day’s issue of the News-Press, the plans for the expansion were by architect Roy Benjamin, who was at that time designing all of E. J. Sparks' new and remodeled theaters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mother Lode Theatre on Nov 30, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Link & Haire, original architects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Marlow Theatre on Nov 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm

One of the newspaper articles displayed at the above link says that the architect of the Marlow Theatre was Henderson Ryan. The Marlow was one of several theaters built around this time that featured Ryan’s inclined ramp system for access to the balcony and mezzanine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theatre on Nov 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Henderson Ryan was the architect of the People’s Theatre. The house featured his patented incline ramps for balcony and mezzanine access.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Juno Theatre on Nov 29, 2017 at 7:13 pm

The trade journals give contradictory information about the theater in Juneau. The November 15, 1947, issue of Motion Picture Herald ran this brief item saying “Carl Neitzel is planning one in Juneau, Wis., which has no theatre.”

However the December 2, 1950, issue of Boxoffice has a short article about the remodeling of the Juno, which says this: “Mr. and Mrs. Carl Neitzel, owners of the house for ten years, recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.”

I suppose it could be that the Juno was a replacement for an earlier theater in Juneau that the Neitzel’s owned.