Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 29, 2015 at 10:14 pm

There is a photo of one of the Majestic Theatres in Memphis on this page of The Moving Picture World for April 8, 1922. It is a close shot showing from the soffit of the canopy down to the patterned floor. I don’t know if there’s enough there to tell which Majestic it was, so I’m linking it here as this house might have had the name around 1922.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colorado Theatre on Mar 29, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Colorado Theatre was an aka for the Tabor Grand Opera House from 1922 to about 1930. Clearly the 1920s listings were for the Tabor/Colorado/Tabor, but I don’t know if the FDY listings (cited in my previous comment) for a smaller house in the 1930s were errors or if they indicate that the name Colorado Theatre was moved to another house.

Assuming that the name was moved after the Tabor reclaimed its original name, we would need an address for the later Colorado to find out if we already have it listed at Cinema Treasures under yet another, later name. Until then I guess this page is sort of in theater limbo. Does anybody have any clues about this mystery house?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tabor Grand Opera House on Mar 29, 2015 at 7:24 pm

The extensive remodeling of the Tabor Grand Opera House as the Colorado Theatre in 1921-1922 was the work of Denver architects Fisher & Fisher (brothers William Ellsworth Fisher and Arthur Addison Fisher.) Arthur R. Willet of New York was the decorator, but a number of Denver artists were involved in the project.

The rebuilt house opened on February 27, 1922, with the Colleen Moore feature Come On Over. The 71x134-foot auditorium had 2,526 seats, making it the largest moving picture theater in the Rocky Mountain region. The April 1, 1922, issue of The Moving Picture World described the house:

“With its remarkable $50,000 Robert-Morgan organ, its excellent concert orchestra — the largest theatre orchestra in Denver — its beautiful mezzanine floors, its marble staircases, its complete picture projecting equipment, its many entrances and exits, its colored floodlights, its fixtures and furniture, its lovely draperies and curtains, its mural paintings, its ushers in uniform and other interior splendors cause the Colorado to rank with the greatest theatres of New York, Chicago or California.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Mar 29, 2015 at 7:23 am

The earliest reference to the Capitol Theatre I’ve found in the trade publications comes from a notice in the August 30, 1919, issue of The Music Trades, which said that the largest organ ever built by Wurlitzer had been installed in the house. The latest mentions of the Capitol I’ve found came from 1935.

The building the New Theatre was in looked to date from the 1920s or earlier. It can be seen just beyond the Regent Theatre in this postcard view that dates from around 1960. I think Roger might be right about the Capitol having become the New Theatre, as the next building on the block is at 55 Broad, and in the vintage postcard it doesn’t look especially theater-like, while the New Theatre building does.

I don’t know what to make of the 1951 listing of the Capitol except that, if it comes from the Film Daily Yearbook’s “Circuits” section, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s wrong. The “Circuits” listings are the most unreliable part of the book. I’ve found many houses listed in it long after they had closed or had been renamed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fine Arts Theater on Mar 29, 2015 at 7:19 am

You can see the marquee of the New Theatre just beyond that of the Regent Theatre in the postcard photo uploaded to the Regent’s photo page by RickyRialto. Ben Hur on the Regent’s marquee dates the photo to about 1959-60. The New Theatre’s building looks like it was built long before 1941, though the earliest mentions of the house I’ve found in the trade publications come from that year.

This 1975 photo of the Regent from American Classic Images shows the marquee still on the New Theatre building, but covered with the sign for a retail store. I’m not sure if the building has since been drastically altered, or demolished and replaced by entirely new construction.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Mar 29, 2015 at 6:09 am

The entrance to the Regent Theatre was at 43 Broad Street, now the location of the Zarah Furniture store.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Mock Theatre on Mar 28, 2015 at 10:19 pm

The function should be listed as church, though there appears to be a thrift shop (perhaps operated by the church) in one of the storefronts flanking the entrance.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rose Theatre on Mar 27, 2015 at 9:55 pm

The correct spelling of the architect’s surname is Pehrson. Gustav Albin Pehrson was born in Sweden in 1882 and immigrated to the United States in 1905, ultimately settling in Spokane. He practiced architecture there from 1913 until his death in 1968. The September 3, 1993, issue of the Spokane Spokesman-Review devoted almost a full page to Pehrson, which can be read online at Google News.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about ACT Theatre on Mar 26, 2015 at 1:42 am

It turns out that the 1921 project for the Rivoli Theatre Corporation was not the Rivoli Theatre, but the Hempstead Theatre. An ad for a stock offering by the Rivoli Corporation in the February 10, 1921, issue of The Hempstead Sentinel (PDF here) gave the location of their project as Fulton Street, almost opposite the Long Island Railroad depot. The Hempstead opened on April 29, 1922, so there was no significant delay in the company’s 1921 project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hempstead Theatre on Mar 26, 2015 at 1:39 am

The Hempstead Theatre was built by the Rivoli Theatre Corporation. An ad offering stock in the company appeared in the February 10, 1921, issue of The Hempstead Sentinel (PDF here.) An item in the April 28, 1921, issue of Engineering News-Record revealed that the architects Reilly & Hall were originally connected with the project:

“N. Y., Hempstead—Theater and Stores— Rivoli Theater Corp., c/o Reilley & Hall, archts. and engrs., 405 Lexington Ave.. New York City, having sketches made for 2 story, 80 x 200 ft., brick and stone, concrete foundation, here. About $250,000.”
Although I’ve been unable to find any period source noting a change in architects from Reilly & Hall to Eugene DeRosa, neither have I found any later items mentioning Reilly & Hall in connection with the project, so it’s quite possible that either the owners (or Reilly & Hall themselves, if they were too busy) did hire DeRosa to do the final design.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fine Arts Theater on Mar 25, 2015 at 11:42 pm

An ad in the November 29, 1922, issue of Freeport’s The Daily Review gives 78-80 Main Street as the address of Forman-Hutcheson Corporation, dealers in Packard and Oakland automobiles (PDF.) The August 22, 1927, issue of The Nassau Daily Review made reference to the new State Theatre “…now under construction at Main street in the Forman-Hutchinson [sic] building….” By 1928 Foreman-Hutcheson was advertising its location as 84 Main Street, so it had moved next door. This photo from December, 1926, shows their new building under construction next door to the original showroom and garage that later became the State Theatre.

The Fulton Theatre at Fulton and Main Streets is advertised in the April 24, 1923, issue of the Hempstead Sentinal, but without a street number. As 78-80 Main was then still occupied by Foreman-Hutcheson, the Fulton had to have been an earlier theater than the State. An ad for the Fulton Theatre in 1912 says that the house would be showing Sara Bernhardt’s movie Queen Elizabeth on October 31, so this was probably the theater built around 1910 on the site shown in the “incongruous image” Ed Solero linked to.

The State Theatre built in 1927 was a different house than the Fulton Theatre, which was located farther south.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Berwick Theatre on Mar 25, 2015 at 8:38 am

A report of the September 23, 1933, fire that destroyed the Strand Theatre in Berwick appeared in the September 25 issue of The Kane Republican from Kane, Pennsylvania. The article said that the building was owned by the P.O.S. of A., so it could well have been the old Opera House with a new name.

The article also said that nearby buildings suffering damage from water and smoke included the Palace Theatre, so the Palace and the Strand were different houses very close together, possibly adjacent. The Strand was back in operation by 1935, but I don’t know if it was a new theater on the old site or if the name Strand had simply been moved to the nearby Palace Theatre.

I’ve found two notices of theater construction in Berwick, one in 1916 and one in 1919. No theater names were attached to either item, but one of them might have been the Temple Theatre, in operation in 1943 and located on W. Front Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Seville Theatre on Mar 24, 2015 at 1:37 am

This article about Owensboro’s theaters from the Theatre Historical Society says that the Seville was on the southeast corner of 3rd and St. Ann Streets. It opened in 1931 and closed in 1955. The site is now occupied by a mirrored glass building that houses PNC Bank.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Queen Theatre on Mar 24, 2015 at 1:13 am

The March 16, 1915, issue of Variety had this notice:

“The Old People’s, Owensboro, Ky., has been leased by George Bleich, who will renovate the house and open at an early date with vaudeville and pictures. The house will be renamed.”
The January 5, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World had a brief item saying that “[t]he Queen theatre, Owensboro, Ky., has gone out of business as a result of the war tax.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theater on Mar 24, 2015 at 12:03 am

The January 15, 1920, issue of Manufacturers Record noted the contracts that had been let for the project at Greenville, Mississippi, for the People’s Theatre Company. It also noted that Carl Boller had acted as consulting architect on the project for J. R. Scott & Company.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bleich Theatre on Mar 23, 2015 at 11:35 pm

The current introduction says the Bleich was down the street from the Strand Theatre, but it was actually a couple of doors from the Empress. A picture at the bottom of page 28 of Owensboro, by Terry Blake and David Edds, Jr. (Google Books preview) shows the Bleich between the Central Trust Co. building to the right, and on the left a one-story building that was between the Bleich and the Empress.

The Bleich Theatre was in operation by 1922, as it was only Owensboro house listed in that year’s Cahn guide, which said it offered both movies and legitimate stge productions. The Bleich Theatre was most likely the project noted in the January 15, 1920, issue of Manufacturers Record which said that a building at Owensboro, 45x134 feet, was being remodeled as a theater for George Bleich. W. R. Gatlin was the architect for the project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about TWO Empress Theatre on Mar 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

This web page has an article about the Empress Theatre from the Owensboro Messenger Inquirer The article is not dated, but was posted on the web on October 18, 2012. There is a vintage photo of the theater and a modern photo of the marquee with the name TWO on it (the acronym for Theatre Workshop of Owensboro.) The “Venues” page of TWO’s official web site calls it the TWO Empress Theatre (TWO also mounts shows in Trinity Center, a former church.)

The Empress showed its last movie on January 19, 1989, and Goldie’s closed at the end of 2008 when its owner retired, so our current introduction is mostly obsolete.

The Empress Theatre was designed by architect W. R. Gatlin, who also designed the Princess Theatre in Hopkinsville.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Mar 23, 2015 at 9:38 pm

This web page has a brief history of the Princess Theatre. It was called the Photoplay Palace when it opened in 1911. The Moderne facade is the result of reconstruction following a major fire in 1942. The Princess closed in 1972.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kentucky Theatre on Mar 23, 2015 at 9:01 pm

This web page says that the Kentucky Theatre was directly across the street from the Princess Theatre. The house opened as the Rex Theatre on November 28, 1912. It closed at the end of the silent era and was reopened eight years later, in 1937, as the Kentucky Theatre. The Kentucky ran its last movie on October 13, 1956. The building is now occupied by Blue Streak Printers, 116 E. 9th Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loop Theater on Mar 23, 2015 at 8:13 am

Here are a few paragraphs about the Telenews Theatre from the January 5, 1940, issue of The Film Daily:


“Chicago — Latest advances in motion picture theater equipment are incorporated in the new Telenews Theater recently opened here by its owners and operators, Midwest News Reel Theaters, of which Herbert Scheftel of New York City is president.

“House has RCA sound, Simplex projectors, and American Seating Co.’s Bodiform chairs. Approximately 400 of the latter are installed on the main floor of the auditorium, and 200 in the balcony.

“A Westinghouse air conditioning system is used, Perey turnstiles, and Stanley Bigelow carpets supplied by Marshall Field Co.

“The theater has a unique front and marquee, White Way Co. lighting, plus clear cut screen effect and excellent acoustics.

“Marshall Field supplied the furnishings for the rest rooms. Equipment contract was executed by National theater Supply.

“Shaw, Naess and Murphy were architects.”

The first Telenews Theatre opened in San Francisco on September 1, 1939, just in time to show newsreels of the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany. The timing helped make the theater a tremendous success, and the company rapidly expanded to other cities. Not surprisingly newsreel theaters flourished during the war and early post-war years, but went into decline with the arrival of television, which could bring breaking news into people’s homes. Still, a handful of newsreel houses hung on into the 1960s, usually by pairing newsreels with feature-length documentaries.

Charles F. Murphy, who had no formal training in architecture, founded the firm of Shaw, Naess & Murphy with architects Alfred P. Shaw and Sigurd Naess in 1937. Murphy had previously been personal secretary to architect Ernest Graham, of the firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, successors to D. H. Burnham & Company. Shaw and Naess had also been with the firm, Shaw having been a junior partner since 1929.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Webbo Theatre on Mar 22, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Oops. I didn’t see OCRon’s comment with the address before or after I posted my comment last night. The reason I think the theater was at the southern end of the long building instead of the northern end where Chase Drugs is now is because of the configuration of the windows and the columns between them.

In the vintage photo there is a single column on the right and it looks like there are more windows beyond it. If you check Google street view you can see that there is a set of double columns between the northernmost three bays and the southernmost six bays.

The theater couldn’t have been under the northernmost bays because the building ends at the corner. It couldn’t have been under the middle three bays because the double column is north of them, and there’s only the single column north of the theater entrance in the vintage photo.

The theater had to have been under the southernmost three bays, just south of the storefront that has the modern address 313 above the door, visible in street view. The two storefronts flanking the theater entrance must have had the addresses 307 and 311, so the theater would have been at 309.

You can’t really see it in Google satellite view, but the bird’s eye view from Bing Maps shows some really bad damage to the theater building, namely two big holes in the roof above where the stage would have been. Even though the nine bays of the facade all match, it looks like the theater was built separately from the rest of the building. It has brick walls rather than concrete, and a somewhat different roof line. My guess is that the double column was in the middle of the original six-bay building and the theater section was added later (though it could have been the other way around.) The northern six-bay section is in good condition, but I doubt the theater building will last much longer if it doesn’t get immediate repairs.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theater on Mar 22, 2015 at 8:13 am

The “New Theater Openings” column of The Film Daily for July 2, 1938, said that the 500-seat State Theatre in Borger, Texas, had opened on June 10. The house was reported to have cost $60,000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Vale Theatre on Mar 22, 2015 at 8:11 am

The “New Theater Openings” column of The Film Daily for July 2, 1938, listed the 800-seat, $100,000 Vale Theatre at Cashmere, Washington as having opened on June 23.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clinton Theatre on Mar 22, 2015 at 8:03 am

The “Theaters Under Construction” column of the July 2, 1938, issue of The Film Daily listed the Clinton Theatre in Los Angeles as a 750-seat project for operator C. W. Blake. The $75,000 house was expected to be completed by August 1. It was designed by architect Raphael A. Nicolais.

Raphael Nicolais had earlier designed at least one theater in Fort Worth, Texas, but by 1929 he was practicing from an office on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Center Theatre 1 & 2 on Mar 22, 2015 at 7:24 am

The Center Theatre was listed in the 1963 city directory.