Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Sep 7, 2018 at 2:01 am

This item is from the May 20, 1916 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“C. C. Baker, owner of the Strand theater, Britton, South Dakota, was seen by me at the convention. Mr. Baker built the Strand theater last year. It seats 300 people, and General Film Company’s service and miscellaneous features comprised of V-L-S-E, World and Fox makes are offered his patrons. The regular program costs 10 cents and the feature program 25 cents. Mr. Baker has the only theater in his home town, which has a population of 1,000 people. He is doing very good business.”
C. C. Baker was mentioned in the July 12, 1913, when he was elected treasurer of the newly-formed Motion Picture Exhibitors League of South Dakota. Theitem didn’t give the name of his theater, but the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists Britton with the “Dreamland Theatre and Opera House.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Barrymore Theatre on Sep 6, 2018 at 7:49 pm

A report for the South Dakota Department of Insurance covering the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920, listed Emmert’s Theatre in Alcester as having paid the require $5.00 public building license fee for that period. The Emmert Theatre was also on the list for the fiscal year ending in June, 1930.

The New Barrymore Theatre at Alcester is advertised in the December 4, 1930 issue of The Hawarden Independent from Hawarden, Iowa, a few miles east of Alcester, so the name change likely came in 1930.

However, it’s probable that the New Barrymore was in a different building than the Emmert Theatre had been. This item appeared in the July 7, 1930 issue of the Independent:

“Alcester Will Have New Theatre

“The business men of Alcester have organized an association known as The Greater Alcester Association, Inc. and will build a new theatre, work on which was started this week. The sum of $25,000 has been raised by the Alcester people for the erection of the building which has already been leased to Fred Elfine of Bloomfield, Neb. T. F. Thompson of Beresford is in charge of the building of the structure.”

The June 8, 1933 issue of the Independent reported that the Barrymore Theatre had suffered a major fire the previous Saturday night (June 3.) The building, still owned by the Greater Alcester Association but then under lease to a Mr. Harry Lind, would be rebuilt as soon as possible, the article said.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Sep 6, 2018 at 6:22 am

The Strand must have been right around the corner from the Ritz Theatre, which was also at the southeast corner of Person and Dick Streets at 101 Dick.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fine Arts Theatre on Sep 6, 2018 at 6:19 am

Here is an item about the Strand from the July 18, 1946 issue of The Film Daily:

“Asheville, N. C. — The new Strand Theater building, which has been under construction for some time, is expected to be completed sometime in August. The new house, when completed, will have a seating capacity of 750 persons. It will be operated by H. B. Meiselman, of Charlotte.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Sep 6, 2018 at 4:23 am

The July 18, 1946 Film Daily had this item: “Ft. Walton, Fla.— The Star, new 400-seat theater, opens this week. Neal Robinson of Crestview, part owner, will operate it.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Sep 6, 2018 at 3:08 am

A 1943 city directory places the Ritz at 101 Dick Street, which was probably right on the southeast corner of Person Street. The neighborhood has been redeveloped and streets realigned, that part of Dick Street and part of the theater’s site having been replaced by a small, triangular park, and the rest of the theater’s site must have been under what is now a street called Otis F. Jones Parkway.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Noble Theatre on Sep 5, 2018 at 7:32 pm

The Noble Street Theatre began as an upstairs theater, but was rebuilt and expanded as a ground-floor house in 1909. The July 14 issue of The American Architect had this item:

“ANNISTON.-Architect Oakley, Montgomery, has prepared plans for the renovation of the Noble Street Theater so as to make it a ground floor theater.”
Editons of the Cahn guide starting in 1909-1910 listed the house as the New Noble Theatre. I haven’t found it listed in earlier Cahn guides. I’ve also been unable to find a first name for architect Oakley, and the only other project I can find on the Internet that was attributed to him is the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee, also built in 1909.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Theatre on Sep 5, 2018 at 7:31 pm

This PDF is a masters thesis, dated 1976, by Robert A. Ellis of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. It is titled “The Bijou Theatre: 1909-1949” and has quite a bit of detail about the Bijou and its history.

Ellis gives the name of the Bijou’s architect only as Oakly of Montgomery Alabama. The only other reference to this architect I can find on the Internet is an item from the July 4, 1909 issue of The American Architect which again refers to him only as “Architect Oakley, Montgomery.” Perhaps he went by only the one name professionally, like Liberace.

Interestingly enough, the 1909 item said that Oakley had prepared plans for the renovation of the Noble Street Theatre in Anniston, Alabama, as a ground-floor house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alger Theatre on Sep 4, 2018 at 9:40 pm

Vincent G. Raney designed the Alger Theatre. He was also the architect for a remodeling of Merle Alger’s other Lakeview house, the Marius Theatre, that same year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Centre Theatre on Sep 4, 2018 at 8:17 pm

TCM’s Ben Hur page says there were sneak previews in Denver, Dallas, and San Diego. They don’t give the names of the theaters, or the dates, but the Center would have been a likely choice. The reels would have been flown to Denver, then to Dallas, then to San Diego, then taken back to Culver City.

The Center’s ad for that day probably would have announced a sneak preview that night, but the name of the film would have been withheld, since that’s the point of a sneak preview— the audience (except for studio employees sent to observe audience response) wouldn’t know in advance what they would see. It might have been mentioned in the paper the next day, though.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rex Theatre on Sep 4, 2018 at 1:36 am

A photo of the Rex Theatre appears on page 37 of a booklet commemorating Hunboldt’s 150th anniversary (scan at issue.com.) The caption says the house opened as Sharp’s Theatre in 1925, was renamed the Capitol Theatre in 1929, and became the Rex in the 1930s. It closed in the mid-1950s.

The November 25, 1925 issue of Motion Picture News ran a belated notice mentioning a visit to Atlanta by “…J. P. Sharp of Humboldt, Tenn., whose new theatre will open on November 1st….”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Neighborhood Theater on Sep 4, 2018 at 12:09 am

The Astor was not opened until 1948. The April 2, 1948 issue of The Film Daily has this item:

“CHARLOTTE, N. C, has a new theater. It’s the Astor, converted from a store building, and operated by the Colonial Theaters Corp. of Valdese, N. C. Modernized, in every respect, the house seats 446.”
The 1950 FDY listed the Astor Theatre in both their “Negro Theaters” section and the main theaters listing for Charlotte.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Vista 3 Theatres on Sep 3, 2018 at 11:12 pm

The earliest announcement about the Vista Theatre might have been this item from the July 3, 1937 issue of The Film Daily:

“New $50,000 Iowa House

“Storm Lake, Ia. — George Norman, owner of the Empire Theater, will erect a new $50,000 house, seating 600.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paradise Theatre on Sep 3, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Even more information appears: This weblog post by Doug Taylor says that the house did open as the Paradise in 1937, but the structure as designed by Benjamin Brown included remains of a gutted earlier building that had housed the Kitchener Theatre, opened as a movie house in 1909.

This post from blogTO says that the Paradise, now under renovation, is slated to reopen later this year as an upscale multi-use event facility, with movies as part of the mix.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paradise Theatre on Sep 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm

If the name Paradise Theatre appears only in 1944, this house must have operated under a different name earlier. This real estate listing (the property has sold, so the listing is likely to vanish soon) says that it was built in 1937, and was designed by architect Benjamin Brown.

The project was noted in the July 3, 1937 issue of The Film Daily:

“$40,000 House for Toronto

“Toronto, Ont. — A new $40,000 Theater and stores are to be erected at 1006 Bloor St. W. United Bricklaying Co., Ltd., of 276 Palmerston Ave., are general contractors.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about King Opera House on Sep 3, 2018 at 10:02 pm

The remodeled and renamed Bob Burns Theatre opened in 1937, as noted in this item from The Film Daily of July 3:

“Bob Burns Theater Opens In Arkansas

“Van Buren, Ark. — The new 615-seat Bob Burns Theater here opened with the current Bob Burns picture, ‘Mountain Music.’ M. A. Lightman, president; and M. S. McCord, secretary-treasurer of Malco Theaters, Inc., were present. Exterior of the building is in white with a marquee indirect lighting sign in front. The name ‘Bob Burns’ and a large ‘bazooka’ are in neon. Harry Vise is manager.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Midway Theater on Sep 3, 2018 at 9:54 pm

The Midwest Theatre was slated to open on August 1, according to this item from The Film Daily of July 3, 1937:

“Mid West’s Bethel Contract

“Cincinnati — New theater of Earl Hewitt at Bethal is being completely equipped by Mid West Theater Supply Co. with seats, projection and sound equipment. House will open on Aug. 1.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shores Theatre on Sep 3, 2018 at 9:48 pm

The Shores Theatre first appeared in the FDY in 1939, but was probably opened by 1938. This item from the July 17, 1937 issue of The Film Daily is probably about the Shores:

“Detroit — New theater building to seat 1,000, plus four stores — already leased — is to be erected by newly formed Joy Theater Corp. at a cost of $100,000, at Nine Mile and Mack Roads in St. Clair Shores, northeastern suburb.

“Project is based upon a year’s study of the location by George W. Sampson, former owner of the Dawn Theater, and former premium distributor, who is president and general manager of the company. C. E. Daniel, contractor, is vice-president; and J. E. Foster of the Commonwealth-Commercial Bank, is secretary-treasurer.

“House will be modernistic with Chinese red macotta front with blue background. Bennett and Straight, theatrical architects, are completing plans.”

The original Streamline Modern style of the Shores was characteristic of Bennett & Straight’s work in the late 1930s. At some point, probably in the 1970s, the original facade was disfigured by the removal of the small entrance tower and the addition of a fake mansard to the second floor. A ca. 1944 photo is among those that can be seen at Water Winter Wonderland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gateway Theatre on Sep 2, 2018 at 10:52 pm

The Rex was one of two movie theaters listed at Albion in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. The other theater was called the Lyric.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ainsworth Theatre on Sep 2, 2018 at 10:40 pm

This item is from the January 1, 1938 issue of Motion Picture Herald:

“Roy E. Syfert operates the Ainsworth theatre at Ainsworth, Nebraska. He is also the undertaker for that community, and if you will go to his theatre he will undertake to show you a good picture and you will undertake to express your appreciation for the courtesy shown.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theater on Sep 2, 2018 at 10:28 pm

The Royal Theatre, Main and 2nd Streets, was the only theater listed at Ainsworth in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theater on Sep 2, 2018 at 9:00 pm

The Lyric is listed in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. This web page has a scan of a December 14, 1967 newspaper article about the closing of the house, with two photos.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Sep 2, 2018 at 8:11 am

The Altoona Tribune of March 18, 1921, said that the rebuilt Capitol Theatre building was designed by the local architectural firm Hersh & Shollar.

It should be noted that Frank Austin Hersh and Frederick James Shollar formed and disbanded their partnership more than once. From 1904 to about 1916 the firm was called Shollar & Hersh, and after a hiatus of a couple of years, they re-formed the firm but called it Hersh & Shollar. Thus Altoona’s Olympic Theatre of 1914 was designed by Shollar & Hersh, but the 1921 rebuild of the Capitol was by Hersh & Shollar.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about MarJo Theatre on Sep 2, 2018 at 12:39 am

This item is from the March 4, 1939 issue of Motion Picture Herald:

“John Lee has started construction of a motion picture theatre at Ephrata, Wash., 20 miles from the site of the Grand Coulee Dam. The house, which is to cost $20,000, will accommodate 350. Mr. Lee has theatres at Soap Lake, Quincy and Neppel, Wash., and at present is operating a theatre in the Ephrata locality.”
The document (now gone from the Internet) cited in my previous comment said that the MarJo opened in 1940, so the project must have suffered some delays. Lee’s earlier theater at Ephrata, mentioned in the Herald item, is also noted in my previous comment.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Nifty Theatre on Sep 1, 2018 at 10:07 am

By the way, the PDF I linked to has a nice interior photo of the Nifty’s auditorium. It’s quite a handsome room, with some nice detailing very characteristic of the 1910s. No reclining seats, though. Sorry, kids.