Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 126 - 150 of 9,711 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roosevelt Theatre on Dec 29, 2014 at 12:01 pm

The 1939 photo linked by tkpepper on November 19, 2008 is now at this link. It shows only a sliver of the theater, but ROOSEV can be seen on the marquee. I’m still looking for a photo that would show the house with its earlier aka of Triangle Theatre.

Mary Mallory has used to recent controversy over the movie The Interview as an occasion to recall the hounding of the 1921 German film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from the screens of Los Angeles. Her tale of near-riot at Miller’s Theatre, and of the American movie industry’s fear of competition from German films, can be read on this page at Larry Harnisch’s web site, The Daily Mirror.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avenue Theatre on Dec 29, 2014 at 10:53 am

The Avenue Theatre was certainly still there when Google’s camera car last passed by. The marquee remains over the former theater entrance, and you can see the back wall of the auditorium with its two emergency exit doors on the south side of Third Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Dec 29, 2014 at 2:39 am

This item appeared in the April 5, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“South River, N. J — Bids have been received for a one-story moving picture theater designed by Alexander Merchant, 363 George Street, New Brunswick, N. J., for George Allgair, South River. The building will measure 45 x 120 and cost $8,000.”
The Star Theatre in the vintage photo above has “Allgair Building” on its parapet. Despite the “one-story” in the item, and the two-story building in the photo, I suspect that this project was the Star Theatre. The theater itself was probably without a balcony.

The September 26, 1913, issue of the New Brunswick Daily Home News mentioned the New Star Theatre on Ferry Street. Issues of the paper from 1912 had mentioned the Star Theatre being on Main Street, so this house replaced an earlier theater of the same name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empire Theatre on Dec 29, 2014 at 2:34 am

The February 6, 1915, issue of the South Amboy Citizen featured an announcement that the New Empire Theatre would open to the public on Monday, February 8. The theater was not yet finished, but the remaining work was not expected to interfere with the shows. A March 16, 2002 item in the paper said that the Empire Theatre’s grand opening had been held on March 25, 1915, and that the theater had burned in April, 1950.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stocking Avenue Theatre on Dec 28, 2014 at 6:29 pm

The earliest mention I’ve found of plans for the Stocking Avenue Theatre are this item from The Moving Picture World of September 4, 1915:

“E. M. Brown, of Grand Rapids, Mich., will at once commence the erection of a new theater on Stocking avenue. It will be 40 by 90 feet, one story high, of brick- construction, seating 500. The architect is Pierre Lindhout.”
An October 9 item in the same journal said that Brown had received a permit for construction of the house.

This web page has a brief biography of architect Pierre Lindhout. It says that there were once eleven theaters of his design in Grand Rapids and claims that the Wealthy Theatre “…is the sole surviving example of this work.” As the Stocking Avenue Theatre’s building is still standing, the authors of the page must mean that the Wealthy is the only theater of Lindhout’s design that is fully intact and still in operation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wealthy Theatre on Dec 28, 2014 at 6:22 pm

This web page has brief biography of architect Pierre Lindhout (the correct spelling.) It says that here were once eleven theaters of Lindhout’s design in Grand Rapids, but claims that the Wealthy is the “…sole surviving example of this work.” However, I found the still-standing Stocking Avenue Theatre attributed to Lindhout in the September 4, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World, so they must mean that the Wealthy is the only theater of Lindhout’s design that is still in operation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Dec 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm

The October 9, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture Worldpublished this description of the recently opened Strand Theatre:


“Special to Moving Picture World from Midwest News Service.

“THE Strand Photoplay Corporation has opened the new Strand theater, at Flint, seating 540. The plans were made from the ideas of Lester E. Matt, secretary-treasurer of the company, who with Mrs. Delia Matt, vice-president, controls four-fifths of the stock. It is of fireproof material. The entrance is in mahoganized birch and the walls and facade are of stucco. The auditorium is in cream and white. The semi-indirect lighting system is used. A three-piece orchestra will furnish music. Lester E. Matt will be manager, A. J. Abbenante, musical director; Albert Brogan, operator; B. M. Berts, assistant operator, and Miss Stella Johnson, cashier.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Family Theater on Dec 28, 2014 at 2:27 pm

The Family Theatre was opened in 1907 in a building remodeled from a Presbyterian church. The architects for the project were the local firm of J. F. Alexander & Son. This web page has pictures of dozens of the firm’s works, including one of the Family Theatre. They also drew the plans for the remodeling the old Grand Opera House (later the Dryfus Theatre) in 1901.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Shortly after the opening of the Majestic, trade publication The Billboard ran this item headed “Another Theater” which mentions other houses operated by Caille & Guthard as well as four other theaters then operating or soon to be operating in Wyandotte:

“Wyandotte. Mich., Jan. 28.—With the opening of the new Majestic Theater here this city of 12,000 people is fast becoming one of the greatest theatrical towns of its size in the country. The new Majestic, owned by the same firm controlling the Majestic, Fine Arts, Knickerbocker, Norwood, Grand River and other Detroit theaters, is a fine one. The new house is beautifully decorated and cost, completed, about $50,000. The house seats 1,300 people, and will play high-class moving pictures at 10, 15, 25 and 35 cents. The same firm controls the Marx Theater, offering motion pictures and vaudeville. In addition to the Majestic and Marx theaters Wyandotte boasts of three other theaters. These are the new Temple, recently completed at a cost of $20,000; the new Lincoln, a $15,000 house, now under construction, and the Wyandotte Theater, a small house.”
The small Wyandotte Theatre on the list is not the house of that name listed at Cinema Treasures, which originally had 1,200 seats and opened in 1938.

There is a possibility that the Temple Theatre on the list was in the Odd Fellows Temple, built in 1911 and later converted into a Masonic Temple before finally being converted to a performing arts space now called the James R. DeSana Center for Arts and Culture. However, the DeSana’s web site doesn’t say anything about the building having been a movie theater at any time, nor have I found any other sources indicating that it was, so that’s only speculative.

I’ve found no other mentions of the Lincoln Theatre. There is of course always the possibility that either the Lincoln or the Temple was an earlier name of the house that was in operation by 1928 as the Rialto Theatre. Local newspaper archives might have some clues, if someone has access to them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Glenwood Theatre on Dec 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Here are fresh links to the March 20, 1967, Boxoffice article about the Glenwood Theatre:

Page one

page two

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Texas Theatre on Dec 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

Here is something I originally posted on the Ritz Theatre page, but as that page has to be about the second Ritz and the article is about the destruction by fire of the first Ritz it belongs on this page. The article was from Boxoffice, probably December, 1938, but I failed to note the issue date:

“$50,000 Loss to Ritz at Waxahachie After Fire

“DALLAS— Robb and Rowley’s comparatively new Ritz Theatre in Waxahachie is a mass of total ruin after a fire thought to have originated in the balcony. The house had just recently been remodeled. Nothing was saved and the loss is around $50,000.

“Additional loss was a new and late model sound equipment stored in the Ritz building, which equipment was about to be installed in the Empire, ‘B’ house. ‘A’ bookings will be shown in the Empire temporarily, it was said.

“R&R officials have been extremely busy discussing plans for a new theatre, details of which were not made known at this time.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Texas Theatre on Dec 26, 2014 at 11:23 am

This web page has a detailed history of the Texas Theatre, including all of its previous names. Here is the gist of it, with the important dates and name changes:

A movie house called the Theatorium first opened in part of the building on February 15, 1907. In 1908-1909, it was expanded, and reopened on January 18, 1909, as the Majestic Theatre. In 1912 it was renovated and reopened on July 31 as the Dixie Theatre. By the mid-1920s the house had been expanded again, this time upward to add a balcony. Operation of the theater was taken over by Robb & Rowley in September, 1927.

The Dixie Theatre closed in September, 1934, and the interior of the building was gutted and completely rebuilt. The house was reopened as the Ritz Theatre on November 23, 1934. This was the first time since construction of the building in 1887 that the facade was also completely remodeled. Four years later the Ritz Theatre was destroyed by a fire on December 3, 1938.

At the time of the fire the conversion of a building at the southwest corner of Franklin and College Streets into a theater was already underway, and when that project was completed it was opened as the Ritz. When the rebuilding of the first Ritz was completed it was reopened as the Texas Theatre on March 31, 1939.

The Texas suffered another significant fire on February 15, 1942, and was rebuilt again, reopening on May 1. Both the 1939 and 1942 rebuilding projects were designed by the Dallas architectural firm of Houston & Smith.

Since May, 2009, the Texas Theatre has been owned by the City of Waxahachie.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theater on Dec 26, 2014 at 10:57 am

The Ritz in the photo currently displayed above is the first Ritz- the former Dixie Theatre that later became the Texas Theatre. The photo should probably be moved to the Texas Theatre’s photo page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theater on Dec 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

This web page has a very detailed history of the theater on the north side of the square. It says that that house was called the Ritz from November 23, 1934, until it was destroyed by a fire on December 3, 1938. It was then rebuilt and reopened as the Texas Theatre.

In the meantime, another theater that was actually under construction on the south side of the square (a conversion of an existing building) at the time of the fire was opened as the Ritz. The second Ritz was on Franklin Street at the southwest corner of College Street, and must have opened in early 1939.

The page also says that both the rebuilt Texas Theatre and the second Ritz Theatre were designed by the Dallas architectural firm of Houston & Smith.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about RKO Orpheum Theater on Dec 25, 2014 at 8:03 pm

To rather belatedly respond to hanksykes question of March 14, 2012, regarding the Century Theatre, I found this item in the November 11, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Exit Cincinnati’s Century Theater.

“Cincinnati, Ohio. — The Century theater at Peebles corner, which has been at various times used with some success as a picture house, with interims of vaudeville, is to be turned into a public market, according to plans which have been perfected by local interests with capital behind them. The Century has been idle for the past two years, in spite of its apparently fine location, right at one of the busiest suburban corners in the city, its proximity to the popular Orpheum being largely responsible for its failure to prove a success. It was built in 1909 for use as a moving-picture house by John J. and Edward Ryan.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Dec 25, 2014 at 7:29 pm

The original Star Theatre was apparently replaced by a new house in 1916. The November 11, issue of The Moving Picture World had this story:

“PADUCAH. Ky. — Joe Desberger, of Desberger Brothers, operators of the New Star theater, is very much pleased with results obtained by the new house in the few weeks that it has been in operation. With a seating capacity of 470. and playing six days a week, the concern is making money, but, unlike conditions in most of the smaller cities in Kentucky, this house is getting fifteen to twenty-five cents for all of its good features, including Pickfords, Clarks, Youngs, Chaplins, Pearsons, Sweets, Baras, etc. No show is for less than ten cents, and by getting higher prices for the better shows the management has created a demand for high class features until to-day people are calling up and asking when a good feature is coming. In fact the higher priced films are the ones which are bringing attendence as well as shekels. While there is no real law against operating theaters in Paducah on Sunday, public sentiment has been so strong against it that the exhibitors have tactfully operated but six days for a year or two.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Dec 25, 2014 at 5:24 pm

So far I’ve found that, along with the Antique, the Wonderland and Lyric were still in operation in 1916, and that all three were then owned by the Papayanakos brothers, who went on to long careers as exhibitors in the upstate region.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Temple Theatre on Dec 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm

The Temple Theatre was advertised in the Cortland Standard at least as early as 1912. It was one of two theaters in Cortland, the other being the Cortland Theatre, which was most likely the former Cortland Opera House, which was in operation by 1900.

In 1919, the Temple was operated by D. S. Burnham who, according to the July 12 issue of The Billboard, had just taken over the Cortland Theatre from the Dillon Brothers.

The Temple was being advertised in the local newspaper as Schine’s Temple Theatre by April, 1933, but the Schine name had not yet appeared in the ads for the house in March, 1932.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Schine's State Theater on Dec 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm

The December 1, 1930, issue of the Cortland Standard had an ad saying that the grand opening of Schine’s State Theatre would take place on December 4.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Berwan Theatre on Dec 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Hello, Ferretman.

Can you tell me if I was correct in my guess that the Berwan Theatre was on the triangle between Euclid, Maple, and Clark Streets? Or better still, do you know the theater’s exact address?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Little Theatre on Dec 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

The Little Theatre was older than we thought, and might have operated under yet another name prior to being the Europa. All I’ve found is this line from the April, 1912, issue of Motography: “Plans have been prepared by A. L. Forrest, architect, for a new theater to be erected at 523 Howard street, Baltimore.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Dec 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm

The August 21, 1909, issue of The New York Dramatic Mirror said that there were five movie houses at Watertown, all doing well. They were the Antique, the Bijou, the Lyric, the Star, and the Wonderland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Amsterdam Opera House on Dec 24, 2014 at 12:09 pm

The Neff Opera House was built in 1880, construction beginning on April 28, according to an article in the March 23, 1944, issue of the Amsterdam Evening Recorder. The theater suffered a major fire in 1896, which the May 22 issue of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported had done $30,000 of damage, with $5,000 dollars damage to the adjacent Warner Hotel.

Leon H. Lempert was designing theater auditoriums as early as 1880, though he billed himself as a scenic artist rather than an architect, but he didn’t establish his architectural firm until 1885, so I don’t know if he designed the Neff Opera House of 1880, its replacement of 1896, or both. He must have designed the rebuilding at least, or it wouldn’t have been on his 1906 list.

The Opera House was closed in 1925 and converted into space for M. Lurie’s Department Store. It had last been operated by the Keith circuit, and was apparently last called the Amsterdam Theatre. An article about the project appeared in the May 1, 1925, issue of the Amsterdam Evening Recorder:


“Lurie Company Begin Reconstruction of Building of Which It Has Long Lease.

“Contractor McGibbon today began tearing out the interior of the Amsterdam theatre, the old opera house on East Main street which will be remodeled into a department store for M. Lurie & Co. The Keith interests, lessees for several years, this morning turned over their lease to the Luries, who about a year ago secured a lease from the McClumpha estate for 50 years. This lease includes the entire building, Warner hotel, theatre and stores, the occupants of which have since been the tenants of the Luries, now located on the corner of East Main and Railroad streets in the Corey building, over the ownership of which there has been much litigation between Edward C. Klapp and Mrs. Catherine Dealy.

“The last decision of the courts in this matter declared that lease issued to the Luries by Mrs. Dealy to be void. At the time that they leased the McClumpha building it was stated that eventually they would remodel it for a store on a larger scale than their present building, and it is this work that is now in progress.”

Vintage photos of the Warner Hotel and Opera House Block show a four story building in the Second Empire style, with the fourth floor under a mansard. The Opera House abutted the hotel, which was on the corner of Hamilton Street, but the modern building on the Opera House site does not (the hotel building has lost its fourth floor but is still there.) The modern building is not deep enough to have housed the theater, so the auditorium at least, and probably the entrance building as well, has been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Dec 23, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Here is an item from the February 27, 1915, issue of The American Contractor:

“Elmira, N. Y.—Theater: Archt. Harry S. Bair, Vandergrift bldg., Pittsburgh, Pa. Owner Strand Theater, Elmira. Plans in progress.”
An issue of Variety later that year said that ground had been broken for the Strand Theatre at Elmira on March 15, and that the house was expected to open by September 1.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Van Curler Theatre on Dec 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm

The Van Curler Opera House is on a list of theaters designed by Leon H. Lempert & Son that was published in the 1906-1907 Cahn guide.