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The Palace Theatre had not been demolished when Google’s street view camera last passed by, nor when the satellite view currently displayed was made. As far as I know it is still standing today. The building runs along the east side of Coal Street, stretching the entire block from Bertsch Street to Patterson Street. Google Maps shows only the view from Patterson Street, where the large stage house sits. Half a dozen photos from the John Lewis collection, including views of the entrance, can be found on this page at CinemaTour.
The location, as well as the size and shape of the building and its architectural details, which include a tapestry brick front, very popular in the late 1910s and early 1920s, indicate that the Palace Theatre was this project noted in the “Contracts Awarded” column of the July 1, 1922, issue of The American Contractor:
“Theater & Hall Bldg.: $100,000. 3 sty. 50x150. Coal & Patterson sts., Lansford, Pa. Archt. John T. Simpson, Essex bldg., Newark. Owner Panther Valley Amusement Co., Vincent Quinn, pres., Lansford. Brk., limestone trim. Gen. contr.. mas. & carp. wk. let to King Lumber Co., Charlottesville, Va.”
An article in the August 8, 2001, issue of Allentown daily The Morning Call said that it would be at least a month before the remains of the former Victoria Theatre in Lansford would be removed. The theater building, long used for the storage of automobile tires, had partly collapsed on July 13 that year.
The article said that the theater building had been a “century old” at the time of the collapse. That means it must have been the old Lansford Opera House, the only large theater in the town during the early years of the 20th century. The opera house was in operation by 1908, as it was listed in the 1908-1909 Cahn guide, and was also mentioned in issues of The Billboard that year. The Opera House was still listed in the 1922 Cahn guide. The earliest reference to the name Victoria Theatre I’ve found is from 1932, and I’ve not yet found the house mentioned under either name between those years.
CinemaTour has about eighty photos of the Victoria from the John Lewis collection, showing the house both before and after the collapse. Thumbnails are at this link.
The ad rivest266 just uploaded was published on April 7, but other articles in the same issue of the Anniston Star, as well as the ad itself, give the opening date of the Lyric Theatre as Monday, April 8, with the first show being a matinée starting at at 2:30.
Another article in the paper says that the architect, R. L. Benz, who had but recently moved his business to Anniston, also acted as the contractor on the project.
If this twin didn’t open until February 19th, 1972, there must have been some sort of construction delay. The August 23, 1971, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Eric Brookhaven Theatres I and II were expected to open around Thanksgiving (early November.) The auditoriums were each to seat about 700.
The August 23, 1971, issue of Boxoffice said that the Stanley Theatre building in Selinsgrove had been sold and the theater dismantled. The house had closed earlier that year. The item gave the address as 6 N. Market Street. If that’s correct, then the theater has been demolished. The site is now occupied by a commercial building that resembles a Victorian house, but is clearly of fairly recent construction.
The Boxoffice article named Charles Ulrich as the original owner of the Stanley Theatre. A 1919 publication of the State of Pennsylvania listed building plans approved during the month of October by the Bureau of Inspection, and a motion picture theater for Charles P. Ulrich at Selinsgrove was among them. The architect was listed as William Douden. This might have been among Douden’s last projects in Pennsylvania, as in 1920 he closed his office in Millersburg and reestablished himself in Union, South Carolina.
Internet reveals that James S. Maurer was operator of the Park Theatre from at least as early as 1964. Ads for the theater from that year indicate that at least part of the time it was a live burlesque house. Other sources called it an art theater, but I think they were using the term euphemistically (meaning that it presented “adult” fare during that time period.)
This rather large PDF contains a scrapbook of clippings related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and among them are a couple of items pertaining to the appearance at Maurer’s Park Theatre of an exotic dancer using the stage name Jada. Jada had purportedly been Dallas night club owner (and assassin of JKF assassin Lee Harvey Oswald) Jack Ruby’s girlfriend.
Also in the photo Rob uploaded, at the right, is a partial view of the Orpheum Theatre after it had been converted for use by the Monongahela Power Company.
The second to last photo on this web page shows the entrance to the Moore Opera House sometime after the introduction of talking pictures. The marquee advertises “Vitaphone Presentations.”
At this link is a clearer version of the early postcard photo of the Orpheum I linked to in the previous comment (click photo to enlarge.)
Thanks for the correction, link0612. I wasn’t aware that the two companies used different coloring styles.
Gerald DeLuca’s link to the 1948 Boxoffice article about the opening of the Rex is dead. The article is now at this location. It has no photos, unfortunately.
The text above a picture of the Orpheum about halfway down this web page says that the house opened on May 1, 1913.
In its early years, the Orpheum was operated by Jack Marks, who also operated Clarksburg’s first movie house, the Star Theatre, and later opened Moore’s Opera House. From 1922 until closing, the Orpheum was operated by Claude Robinson, of Robinson’s Grand Theatre.
After giving up the Orpheum, Marks took over an early house on West Main Street, originally called the Odeon and later the Bijou, and renamed it Marks' Orpheum, which he operated until his death in 1952, so Clarksburg had two houses with the Orpheum name from 1922 until 1929. Marks also built the Ritz Theatre in 1927.
The last photo on the page I linked to shows the Ritz, directly across Pike Street from the Monongahela Power Company Building which has a parapet identical to the Orpheum’s in the earlier photo. As the photo dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s, I believe the power company building must have been the Orpheum building remodeled, in which case the theater was not demolished in 1929, but merely dismantled and the power company offices built in its shell.
The page for the Concord Theatre at the Cinema Data Project has excerpts from a 1974 newspaper article about the theater, including several quotes from long-time operator Theresa Cantin.
Also, click this hyperlink to reach Paul Brogan’s 2014 article about the Concord. There’s also a slide show with five photos.
This page of the Ogunquit Playhouse website says that the first performances were presented in 1934 in the building on Shore Road,which had previously been a garage. The Ogunquit Playhouse moved into its present home on Route 1 in 1937. As the MGM report that Ron cited says that the Ogunquit Square Theatre opened in 1939, the old playhouse must have been dark for a couple of years before being converted for movies. (This page also has the photo robboehm referred to in the previous comment.)
The news that the Ogunquit Square started life as a legitimate theater, coupled with the satellite view of the building at Google Maps and the Bird’s Eye view at Bing Maps (much clearer than Google’s satellite) convinces me that the entire theater building is still standing. There is a tall structure at the back of the building which I thought looked like a former fly tower, but as I had thought the theater had opened as a movie house only I concluded that it might be a later addition, or even part of an entirely new building built on the theater’s site. Now that the theater’s origin as a legitimate house is known, it’s clear that it’s all still there, but converted to other uses.
If this house didn’t open until 1969 then it could not have been one of the projects Warren G. Sargent designed for Roth Theatres in 1954.
The Ogunquit Square Theatre page from the Cinema Data Project gives the location as “Water St., Shore Rd.” I’m guessing that means the street name was changed (the only other thing it could mean is that the theater was at the corner of Water St. and Shore Rd., and there is no Water Street in Ogunquit today.)
There’s no address of 5 Shore Road today, either, The description cited by Cinema Data says the theater was in a one-story brick building. I think it might be the building that is now occupied by a retail shop called the Barrel Stave (15 Shore Rd.) and two other shops with higher addresses, though that building currently has no resemblance to a theater. The theater building might or might not be gone.
The Magnet Theatre building suffered a fire in March, 1977, according to this page from the Claremont Firefighters Association. There are no details, and the two photos were taken from down the block, but it looks to have been a significant fire and it probably led to the demolition of the building.
Architect George O. Garnsey was born in 1840, so he was in his eighties when he designed the Lyric Theatre. He died in 1923.
The March 12, 1921, issue of The American Contractor said that architect G. O. Garnsey of Chicago had drawn the plans for a theater that was being built at Lapeer by George F. Smith.
There does not appear to be a Park Street in Richford. The Cinema Data Project says that the Park Theatre was on River Street.
This photo of the Park Theatre is undated, but the posters out front look like they might be for the 1921 film The Cheater Reformed.
The building was unusual for a theater, featuring a large gabled end facing the street, the peak of the gable dropping into a short hip. The theater entrance was in a flat-roofed addition on one side, with a fan light above the marquee that sheltered two pairs of double doors. The building was covered in narrow clapboards.
While it’s possible that the building has been remodeled into something unrecognizable, there is no building like it to be seen in Google street view today, so I suspect that the Park has most likely been demolished (perhaps burned, as it appears to have been a wood framed structure.)
Film historian Mary Mallory, writing at Larry Harnisch’s weblog The Daily Mirror, has posted as part of her “Hollywood Heights” series a long (and very interesting) article about art director and costume designer Max Rée in which she mentions in passing that he was responsible (apparently sometime around 1930) for upgrading and redecorating the Mason Theatre.
Rée, who trained as an architect, was one of the movie set designers who had considerable influence on architecture and design in general during the period. Photos of the Mason’s interior from the 1930s must show Rée’s work.
Unfortunately many of the links posted in earlier comments on this theater have gone dead, but fortunately many of the photos they displayed have been preserved at Bill Counter’s Historic Los Angeles Theatres web site, and can be found on his Mason Theatre page.
Thanks, Chris. I must have misspelled Washington when I searched for the theater.
DavidDymond is thinking of the King Square Cinema (singular) which was called the Odeon from 1966 to 1984. It was the King Square Cinema from 1984 until closing in 1996. The Paramount, renamed Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 in 1979, must have been renamed Kings Square Cinemas after the other house closed.
I wonder if this might have been the same house later known as the Washington Theatre and Airdome? It was mentioned in the October 12, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World, which said: “BELLEVILLE, ILL- Arthur Esberg has taken over the management of Washington Theatre and Airdome.” Belleville also once had an airdome called the Lyric.
The Princess Theatre in Ottumwa was also mentioned in the August, 1918, issue of Theatre Magazine, so it predated the Benson Block by several years.
The December, 1909, issue of The Reporter, a trade publication for the granite and marble industries, said that following the annual meeting of the Hardwick Granite Manufacturers Association, the crowd was entertained with movies and music at the Idle Hour Theatre, courtesy of the owner of the house, George H. Bailey.