Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Nov 28, 2016 at 7:22 pm

A table compiled by downtown Aberdeen historian Don Artz (page 51 of this PDF) does not include any theaters called the Majestic, nor any theater at 215 S. Main Street.

A house called the Lyric, in operation by at least as early as 1916, was located at 216 S. Main, but it never had any other names. The Lyric was still in operation at least into the late 1940s.

The name Princess Theatre was an aka for the house at 12 S. Main Street which opened prior to 1916 as the Cosy (or Cozy) Theatre and last operated as the Time Theatre. So far I’ve found no indications of a second theater at Aberdeen called the Princess.

However, I have found one mention of a theater called the Majestic at Aberdeen. This was in a column in the July 1, 1937, issue of Motion Picture Herald, and it said that the Majestic was being operated by a Mrs. Elfrieda Mass (perhaps a misspelling of Maas) and her husband, and that the author had last visited their theater about four years previously. No address was given, unfortunately, so any aka’s for the house remain undiscovered.

The column also mentioned the Ritz Theatre, operated by A.S. Mannes, and an Astor [sic] Theatre operated by J.P. Hartman. Artz’s table lists Ritz as one of the seven aka’s of the house at 19 S. Main which opened as the Bijou in 1909 and closed as the World in 1957. The table lists Aster (with an e) as one of the four aka’s of the Cosy/Princess/Time.

It’s possible that the Majestic somehow left off of Artz’s table. It’s possible that it was a short-lived house that never had any aka’s at all.

Aside from the Lyric, two theaters from Artz’s table are not yet listed at Cinema Treasures: The Colonial/State at 10 S Main (opened in 1916 and apparently closed around 1927) and the Idle Hour/Rialto at 404 S. Main, opened by 1910, renamed Rialto by 1918, and operating at least into the late 1920s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Time Theatre on Nov 28, 2016 at 5:21 pm

According to a table compiled by downtown Aberdeen historian Don Artz (page 51 of this PDF), the house last known as the Time Theatre was located at 12 S. Main Street. It had opened as the Cosy Theatre, had been renamed the Princess Theatre by 1926 (actually 1916, when it was listed at that address in the city directory), later became the Aster Theatre, and then the Time.

Garrick, State, and Ritz were aka’s of a house across the street at 19 S. Main, which operated under seven different names between opening as the Bijou in 1909 and closing as the World Theatre in 1957.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about World Theatre on Nov 28, 2016 at 3:38 pm

According to a table compiled by downtown Aberdeen historian Don Artz (page 51 of this PDF), the house that was called the Garrick Theatre in early 1926 and became the State Theatre later that year was at 19 S. Main Street, and had earlier been known as the Bijou, then the Strand. After State, the house had three additional names: the Ritz, the Pix, and finally the World.

The house was listed as the Bijou Theatre in a 1916 city directory. According to this web page, this was the third location of the Bijou, the house having operated at two other locations beginning in 1906. In 1909 it moved into the building at 19 S. Main Street, just two doors down from the location at which it had first reopened (15 S. Main) in 1907.

The World Theatre closed in April, 1957. In 1960, the building was converted into a bar. It burned to the ground on July 1, 1973.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Nov 28, 2016 at 2:25 pm

A history of Aberdeen’s business district, The Town in the Frog Pond (PDF here) by Don Artz, includes quite a bit about Aberdeen’s theaters, including the Orpheum.

The Orpheum opened in 1913 as the Aberdeen Theatre, and became the Orpheum in 1914. The house was built by Ben Ward, owner of the adjacent Radison Hotel, to the lobby of which the theater was connected by an indoor passage. From its opening, the theater was operated by Harry Walker, who later gained control of all of Aberdeen’s theaters. The original seating capacity was about 800.

During the 1920s the Orpheum frequently operated as a combination house (one feature film with a few acts of vaudeville on the same bill) but also hosted road shows that came to Aberdeen. In 1914 it also hosted the only summer stock company in the Dakotas.

The PDF to which I linked has a drawing of the Orpheum on page 48. It was a three story building with three bays, the wide center bay featuring a large arch filled with the windows of the upper two floors, surmounted by an arched parapet. The narrower side bays were treated as towers, topped by arched attic floors capped with low domes and short but ornate finials each sporting a flagpole. The overall effect was unusual but not displeasing. I’d consider the exterior style a late manifestation of Art Nouveau, and it was considerably fancier than the interior seen in the photo to which Broan linked earlier.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dixie Theatre on Nov 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm

The Dixie Theatre is undergoing restoration for use as a community center with space for performing arts. Here is the Facebook page for the project.

According to This Rootsweb page, the building, dating from the early 20th century, previously housed an automobile agency and was converted into a theater sometime before WWII. The Dixie closed in the 1970s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elnora Theatre on Nov 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm

In this weblog post, Elnora native Jim Johnson reminisces about the Elnora Theatre. He reveals that the theater was located on Odon Street just south of the town square, and that it showed its last movies in 1956.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elnora Theatre on Nov 27, 2016 at 1:20 pm

The Elnora Theatre was the subject of this brief item in the January 3, 1941, issue of The Film Daily:

“After complete renovation and installation of minor equipment in the Elnora Theater, Elnora, Ind., Bill Floreke [sic] has re-opened the house on part-time schedule. It has been shuttered for several months.”
I have a suspicion that the surname given as Floreke might be a misspelling of either Floerke or Florke. All three are real surnames, but the latter two are far more common.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Auditorium Theatre on Nov 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm

This is not a certainty, but there’s a strong probability that the Auditorium Theatre was the auditorium in a project built by the Fleetwood Volunteer Fire Company in 1928. The project was announced in the January 12, 1925, issue of The Film Daily. The fact that the company gave the announcement to a theater industry trade journal is an indication that they did intend to use their auditorium for a movie house at least part time.

This web page has a history of the fire company, and though it doesn’t mention the facility being used for movies, it does say that “[t]he plans were made reality in 1928, when a building was erected at a cost of $65,000. The auditorium and the lobby have been the meeting places for many civic groups since that time.”

The building is located at the northeast corner of Washington and Franklin Streets. Judging from the Google street view, I believe that the auditorium was in the eastern portion of the building along Washington Street, adjacent to a two-story office block on the corner.

The Zip Code for Fleetwood is 19522.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Beaver Theatre on Nov 26, 2016 at 5:44 pm

The May 23, 1936, issue of The Film Daily said that Browarsky Bros. had ordered the seats for their new Beaver Avenue Theatre in Pittsburgh from A. & S. Steinberg. They planned to open the house in the fall.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sugg Theatre on Nov 24, 2016 at 4:09 am

This item is from the July 6, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald:

“Consolidated Opens New Oklahoma House

“Consolidated Theatres, Inc., subsidiary of the Griffith Amusement Company, recently opened the new Washita theatre, at Chickasha, Okla., containing the most modern equipment throughout, including air conditioning apparatus. George Limerick is manager of the house, which was constructed virtually within the old walls of the Sugg theatre, one of the oldest theatres in southwestern Oklahoma.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ismo Theatre on Nov 24, 2016 at 2:22 am

The only mention of the Ismo Theatre I’ve found in the trade journals is from the October 12, 1937, issue of Motion Picture Daily. The Ismo was then being operated by Southwestern Theatres. Its new manager was named A. C. Wooten. who was replacing Charles B. Hudson.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Midwest Theater on Nov 24, 2016 at 2:12 am

In 1944, the Midwest was one of four Chickasha houses being operated by Griffith Southwest Theatres.The others were the Washita, Rialto, and Ritz, as noted in the April 15 issue of Showmen’s Trade Review.

Although I haven’t been able to pin it down for certain, there is a possibility that Midwest was a new name for an earlier house called variously the Kozy or Cozy, which vanished from the listings some time before the Midwest appeared.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Chickasha Theatre on Nov 24, 2016 at 1:41 am

This brief item from the May 1, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News indicates that the Chickasha Theatre had opened earlier that year:

“Mrs. Phil Isley of the Midwest Film Exchange has purchased a half interest in her father-in-law’s theatre at Chickasha, having bought Mr. Grace’s interest in it. Although the Chickasha Theatre has been running only a month or so, the business has been so favorable that more seats are to be added soon.”
An earlier item in another trade journal had noted the Isley and Grace had bought a building in Chickasha and were remodeling it into a modern movie theater. The Isley family were significant figures in the theater business in Oklahoma, Texas and California for several decades.

Phil and Flora Isley’s daughter, Phylis, enjoyed considerable success as a movie star under her screen name, Jennifer Jones.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sugg Theatre on Nov 24, 2016 at 12:22 am

I now believe that the correct address of the Sugg Theatre was approximately the 110 S. Fourth Street that eferrell01 suggested.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza Theatre on Nov 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Water Winter Wonderland’s page for the Plaza Theatre says that it was also known as the Palms and the Downtown Arts. An item mentioning the Palms in Boxoffice in June, 1959, is cited.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Famous Theatre on Nov 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm

JAYJay: Above the theater name near the top of this page click on “Illinois”; When the subsequent page opens, go just below the map and click on “Demolished”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Boyd Theatre demolition begins on Nov 21, 2016 at 10:46 pm

Ken Roe: makrove and peterstrongs are both spammers. The accounts and all their comments should be expunged.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Coronado Theater on Nov 21, 2016 at 9:14 pm

The web site Chicagology includes the Coronado on its list of nickelodeons. It gives the seating capacity as 850, and says that Louis H. Frank was the owner.

The March 11, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World included the Coronado on a list of seventeen Chicago houses threatened with closure by the city due to their violations of an ordinance prohibiting the operation of theaters within 200 feet of any school, church, or hospital.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Murrette Theater on Nov 21, 2016 at 8:54 pm

An advertisement for the American Theatre Curtain & Supply Co. of St. Louis in the July 6, 1912 issue of The Moving Picture World listed the Murrette Theatre at Richmond, Indiana, as one of the houses in which the company had recently installed a “Radium Gold Fibre Screen.” One of the other theaters advertised included the notation “New House,” which suggests that the others, including the Murrette, were theaters opened prior to 1912 that were being retrofitted with new screens.

An ad for the same company in a later issue of the magazine included this encomium from the owner of the house:

“Omar G. Murray of the Murrette Theatre, Richmond, Indiana, who stands way up in theatre circles in that big state, recently said in a few well chosen words, ‘The best screen in all the world.’ He knows and is proud to do us the honor.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about K of P Theater on Nov 21, 2016 at 6:18 pm

The K of P Theatre opened on March 25, 1908, according to Indiana Memory. The site has a couple of interior photos, here and here. The house was designed by noted theater architect James M. Wood.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theater on Nov 21, 2016 at 1:48 pm

dredmon: The photo was taken from the stage end of the building, so the stone building in the background was not behind the theater but across the street from it. The stone building, First Federal Savings Bank of Frankfort, is still standing at the northeast corner of West Main and Lewis Streets.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Snodgrass Theater on Nov 18, 2016 at 10:14 pm

A few photos of the Snodgrass Theatre building, along with some information about its history and scans of a couple of ads, appear on this web page.

Although the second floor windows of the building were squared off through most of its history, the most recent photo of it shows that they have now been capped by faux arches in a Victorian style. The ground floor looks to have been converted for use as an office of some sort.

The Snodgrass Theatre was built by E.C. Snodgrass, and replaced an earlier and smaller house called the White City Theatre which he had operated at a different location in Scottsboro.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Irvington Theatre on Nov 18, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Since our photo is upside down, here is a whole page of photos of the Irvington Theatre, from the excellent Maryland movie theater web site, Kilduff’s. Unfortunately, all are from the time after the house was converted into a church. I’ve been unable to find any photos from the period when it was still a theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Nov 17, 2016 at 7:10 pm

The recent opening of the Grand Theatre at Lancaster, Kentucky, was noted in the March 7, 1925, issue of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mozart Theater on Nov 17, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Trade journals from as early as 1923 note A. H. Abrams as owner of the Mozart Theatre. The November 11, 1921, issue of Variety filed this item:

“A. H. Abrams, well-known Canton, Ohio, theatre owner, announces erection of his new motion picture theatre in Tuscarawas street E will be started soon after the first of the year. This house will offer motion pictures exclusively and will be modern in every respect.

“Abrams also announces that he expects to get his new legitimate theatre under way sometime during 1922. This house when completed will play Shubert vaudeville, the franchise already having been secured, according to Abrams.”

I’ve found nothing to confirm that Abrams built his legitimate (or vaudeville) theater, so the Mozart must have been the film house scheduled for construction on Tuscarawas Street.