Comments from LouRugani

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LouRugani commented about Strand Theatre on Apr 8, 2016 at 11:33 pm

(KENOSHA EVENING NEWS – Friday, September 3, 1920)


New Movie Shrine on Howland Avenue Starts Operation on Saturday


A new shrine for the “silent drama” is to be opened in Kenosha on Saturday when “The New Strand”, one of the theatres now being operated by the heirs of Charles Pacini, and located at 210 Howland avenue, will start operation after having been closed for several weeks for extensive remodeling and redecorating. The plans for the new theatre were made by the late Charles Pacini several months before he was killed. He purchased the lease for the theatre, formerly known as the Crystal, and let contracts for remodeling and redecorating, all of which were practically completed at the time of his death.

The theatre has been made over completely. Starting with the new façade, a beautiful entrance to the movie house and continuing throughout the entire interior of the theatre, it has been transformed completely.

Beauty Marks Decoration

The interior of the theatre has been beautifully redecorated in soft tints that have completely transformed the playhouse. Pretty wall lamps have been installed to carry out the decorations. New furniture for the theatre and a new piano have been installed to make the house up-to-date to the last feature. In the mechanical line an entirely new machine has been installed with new electrical connections which assure the patrons of the theatre the best service that can be secured.

In announcing the opening of the “New Strand”, Willard Welch, the manager of the Charles Pacini Amusements, emphasized the fact that the new theatre would be part of the Pacini theatres and would show the same class of pictures which are shown at the Majestic and Butterfly theatres. Their contracts include the latest releases from many of the largest film companies in the country.

“The Glorious Lady”

The opening picture will be Miss Olive Thomas in “The Glorious Lady”.

(Thanks to Al Westerman for his exhaustive research.)

LouRugani commented about Lyric Theater on Mar 28, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Step inside the Lyric Theatre today, and you might feel as if you’re encased in a small, glittering jewel box. The 102-year-old theater fairly glows with historic charm, adorned by elegant plaster cupids, burnished wood, smooth marble and shimmering gold paint. Chandeliers hang from the ornately stenciled ceiling. Opera boxes curve in graceful arcs. Thick blue curtains shelter a stage that once welcomed stars such as Mae West, Sophie Tucker, the Marx Brothers and Milton Berle.

But it wasn’t always this way. The Lyric — built in 1914 as an intimate vaudeville house with pin-drop acoustics — spent decades in downtown Birmingham as a dark and crumbling ruin. The building’s essential structure remained strong, made of concrete and steel. But the theater at 1800 Third Ave. North existed as a shadow of its former self. Its heyday long past, the Lyric sat in silence — damaged by water and weather, prey to the ravages of time. “When we first got here, it was like King Tut’s tomb,” says Brant Beene, executive director of Birmingham Landmarks, a nonprofit organization that owns the Lyric. “It was really a sight to see.”

Birmingham Landmarks, which acquired the Lyric in 1993, spent more than 20 years figuring out how to revive the theater — and just as important, making sure enough money was raised to pay for such a massive project. Painstaking craftsmanship was required to bring the Lyric’s visual beauty back to life, along with a full-scale overhaul of crucial operating systems such as lighting, plumbing, heating and air conditioning.

In January, audiences saw the result of an $11.5 million restoration as the Lyric reopened to the public as a performing arts center. Three variety shows featuring local entertainers were sold out Thursday through Saturday, marking the theater’s triumphant return.

“I’ve had so many sleepless nights, and I’m sure Brant does, too,” says Danny Evans, board chairman of Birmingham Landmarks and a prime mover behind the Lyric’s revival. “The Lyric was abused for many years, but she’s a strong old girl. … For this to be complete, in spite of some naysayers who kept asking, ‘When are they going to do it?,’ is a great joy to me.”

Talk to organizers who’ve prompted the theater’s rebirth, and you’ll hear detailed accounts of feasibility studies, grant proposals, architectural renderings, preliminary plans, fund-raising efforts, tax credits and more. Some might call it a long and difficult journey, with many stops and starts. Evans, who was there from the beginning, prefers the analogy of building blocks slowly sliding into the proper spots. As he tells it, Birmingham Landmarks never intended to take on the Lyric when the organization was formed in 1987. However, the nonprofit’s basic mission — to save historic buildings — nudged the group in that direction when the Lyric became available a few years later.

According to Evans, Birmingham Landmarks was created for one purpose: to ensure the survival of the Alabama Theatre, a 1927 movie house that was facing bankruptcy. At the time, Evans and a piano-playing friend, Cecil Whitmire, were especially concerned about the theater’s Wurlitzer organ, a majestic instrument that was integral to the building’s history. Birmingham Landmarks bought the Alabama, assumed its debt of $680,000 and made that theater — across the street from the Lyric at 1817 Third Ave. North — the nonprofit’s primary focus. Evans helmed the board; Whitmire managed the theater. Under their leadership, the Alabama began to thrive.

The Lyric was something of an afterthought, purchased in 1993 from the Newman Waters family, along with a companion office building that stretches to 1806 Third Ave. North. The family, which had owned several movie houses in the Birmingham area, set a price of $10, essentially offering the Lyric as a gift. “It was a just a remnant of the vaudeville house it used to be,” Evans recalls. “It had a bad roof. The windows were falling out. It had been abused and used for many things, including selling beauty supplies. All that was dumped in our laps. We were able to get enough money to put a new roof on it and fix the windows, enough to keep it from deteriorating further. … We began doing feasibility studies on the Lyric. We did early architectural renderings and plans in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. In the middle 2000s, interest rates rose and the economy started tanking. We kind of moseyed along like that until 2008 or 2009.”

Although Birmingham Landmarks had a vision for what the Lyric could be, it faced a formidable challenge. The once-pristine theater had been through many structural changes since the glory days of vaudeville, first transformed into a movie house during the early 1930s. That period ended in 1958, when the hardest times hit. The Lyric closed, reopened for a few years in the 1970s as a revival house and had a brief run as a porn theater. The building was shuttered in the 1980s and left to decay.

“The Lyric was so well-built, it wouldn’t fall down,” says Beene, who joined Birmingham Landmarks in 2009. “The cost to demolish a building like that is so great, there wasn’t much talk about making it a parking deck. But nobody wanted to buy it. Nobody knew what to do with it.”

Whitmire, who died in 2010, often said fundraising for the Lyric was more difficult than it had been for the Alabama Theatre, mostly because the vaudeville generation had passed away. Potential donors lacked an emotional connection to the century-old building, he said, and cherished no fond memories of seeing live shows there.

Beene was hired by Birmingham Landmarks to combat such perceptions, kickstart the Lyric’s finances and stir community participation in the project. After Whitmire’s death, he moved into the executive director role and has overseen the Lyric and Alabama theaters ever since. “I think Cecil and Danny had to swim upstream for about 20 years, because things were moving away from downtown,” Beene says. “At one time, the Alabama Theatre was the only thing downtown. After Birmingham Landmarks was formed, it took 10 years, maybe 11, to get the Alabama to where they wanted it to be. They inherited the Lyric in ‘93, and the Alabama was only half-done at that point. The focus was on the Alabama. It seemed almost impossible, at least to Cecil, to raise the money they needed for the Lyric. And the Alabama was his first love. The Lyric didn’t have an organ. When he died, right at that time period, Railroad Park and lofts and Regions Field and all those things were starting here. I came in and caught the wave.”

As more fundraising, another feasibility study and a mountain of paperwork ensued, Beene sensed a shift in public attitudes about the Lyric. Millennials began to take notice, gushing over tours of the building led by volunteers such as Glenny Brock, then editor of Birmingham Weekly. Articles in that alternative publication, particularly those written by reporter Jesse Chambers, championed the theater and pointed to new life for the old vaudeville house. Brock, who later became outreach coordinator on the staff of Birmingham Landmarks, says her first visit to the Lyric in 2008 made her a believer. It led her to participate in cleanup sessions at the theater — pulling up carpet, scraping paint, mopping floors, removing dead birds and bat droppings. It also inspired her to spread the word about the Lyric and its potential — in print, online and in person.

“The Lyric, to me, was such a beautiful ruin,” Brock says. “The outside of the building, for much of my life, was very plain, like a brown cardboard box. It became a personal mission; I wanted to see it succeed … Most of my role, as this title implies, is making sure people know about the Lyric. Basically, I just tried to get everyone to love that place as much as I did.”

Others involved in the Lyric’s renaissance, such as lead fundraiser Tom Cosby, relied on the simultaneous pull of art, history and economics. Cosby joined the team in 2012 as a paid consultant for Birmingham Landmarks, after 35 years with the Birmingham Business Alliance and its predecessor, the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. Although he’d intended to retire, Cosby quickly became enmeshed in the mission to save the Lyric, using his experience, contacts and knowledge of Birmingham’s power players to get the job done. Spearheading a new “Light Up the Lyric” campaign that was launched in March 2013, Cosby raised more than $7 million for the theater in just nine months. A sparkling new marquee was installed that September, celebrating the campaign and symbolizing the Lyric’s future.

Eventually, Cosby raised more than $8 million via 89 donors — individuals, corporations and foundations — that contributed $10,000 or more. After historic tax credits were secured, the Lyric’s restoration fund reached $11.5 million. “The Lyric is a unique and beloved cause,” Cosby says. “I don’t know in my heart if (the donors) did it because they were such arts patrons — maybe they were — but I think they realized we needed a downtown for this area to thrive. … Places like the Lyric have absolute power and a sense of place. This is what separates Birmingham from a suburban strip mall.”

Executive director Beene — who’s been known to wax poetic about the Lyric, comparing it to a vintage instrument — also regards the theater’s revival as a no-nonsense economic development project. “We can’t afford to have a museum,” Beene says. “That’s not what we can do. From the start, I’ve said that we have to have an operating business for this to work.”

If his hopes for the Lyric are realized, the 750-seat theater will bring more people downtown, spurring growth and renewal that spreads for several blocks, transforming the area into a vibrant entertainment district. At the same time, Beene envisions the Lyric as a potent booster for civic pride.

“This is a place for all of our community to use, to share and to appreciate — not just as the past of Birmingham, but as the future of Birmingham,” he says. “We think that’s very important. … This gives people something to be proud of, something that’s unique, something to come home to. I want people to grow up at the Lyric. I want parents to bring their kids. I want youngsters to come there and see things. I want boyfriends to bring their girlfriends, and girlfriends to bring their boyfriends, and propose to them and get married on the stage. I want people to be swallowed up by the Lyric and enjoy it.”

That theme — the idea of “making modern memories” at the Lyric — comes up in conversation with all four of these key players, as Beene, Evans, Cosby and Brock continue their quest to make the theater shine again. Others who’ve become invested in the Lyric’s rebirth — board members, donors, volunteers, staffers and more — are likely to feel the same.

The restored Lyric Theatre opened to the public with three variety shows featuring local performers on Jan. 14-16, 2016. The task is far from finished. Beene, for example, can tick off a wish list for the Lyric that includes a green room, rehearsal spaces, expanded dressing rooms and a replica of the original box office. The adjoining office building? It hasn’t been touched yet.

Birmingham Landmarks also owns a building next-door to the Lyric that formerly housed the Majestic Theatre, a vaudeville competitor during the early 1900s. Two floors are empty, Beene says; the ground floor is home to Superior Furniture.

“We’ve got lots of dreams, but they’ll have to wait,” says Evans, the board chairman. “We need to get all the kinks worked out at the Lyric.” Ask Evans to retrace his steps back to 1993 and take a big-picture view, summing up how the Lyric was saved, and he responds without hesitation. The most important thing, he says, was taking an initial leap of faith. “The catalyst was when we decided to do it,” Evans says. “We didn’t know how to do it, and there was a lot of bumping into walls. But we made the decision to do it.”

Beene offers another perspective. “With heart,” he says. “That’s the short answer. If you put all the pieces together, it was timing, hometown people and others with a vision to know what the Lyric could be.”

LouRugani commented about Market Square 4 Cinemas on Mar 23, 2016 at 8:51 pm

The building was opened as a Topps Department Store in the mid-1960s, which closed by the early 1970s. As part of several mini-mall proposals within, the MARKET SQUARE Cinemas led the way and opened in the late 1970s; the builder and first owner-operator was Frank Carmichael, Jr. of Kenosha – the architect was Charlie Rice of Racine, Wisconsin – and then the MARKET SQUARE was leased to Doug Porchetta of Milwaukee. The comfortable rocker seats were acquired from a closed theater in Michigan. In about 1990, two more smaller auditoria were added, totaling four in all. When the building was purchased by Kenosha County for office purposes, the cinemas still continued to operate for some years because of the unbreakable lease. When that lease expired, the county wanted the space, and the MARKET SQUARE Cinemas passed into fond local history.

LouRugani commented about Town Theatre on Mar 11, 2016 at 6:08 pm

The TOWN Theatre was opened in 1938 and was destroyed by a tornado in October, 1955.

LouRugani commented about Grafton Theatre on Feb 22, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Grafton’s only in-town movie theatre was on Bridge Street between 11th and 12th Streets. It opened on April 28, 1949. The GRAFTON Theatre had 530 seats. It closed in 1951 and was unsuccessfully reopened in the 1960s.

LouRugani commented about Keno Drive-In on Feb 15, 2016 at 10:20 am

It’s very well done … but they list the wrong name on the theatre.

LouRugani commented about Uptown Theatre on Feb 11, 2016 at 4:14 pm

On the positive side, the chaser mechanism kept the bulbs off for fractions of a second. With modern technology I’m sure the LEDs could be made to be not only tungsten-color-correct but, more importantly, avoid the sudden harsh On/Off that gives away LED bulb usage. They’re even making LED Edison-look “carbon” bulbs now.

LouRugani commented about Uptown Theatre on Feb 10, 2016 at 5:49 pm

They’re 11-watt S-14 sign bulbs.

LouRugani commented about Northern Lakes Theatre on Jan 25, 2016 at 5:57 pm

The NORTHERN LAKES was called the HAPPY HOUR Theatre in the early 1920s.

LouRugani commented about Modjeska Theatre on Jan 23, 2016 at 9:12 am

Modjeska Theatre hopes for March opening By Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel – Jan. 23, 2016 Milwaukee’s Modjeska Theatre, which has been undergoing cleanup and renovations for the past two years, plans to reopen in March.

But the theater, a longtime fixture on the city’s south side, initially will not show films.

Instead, it will host mainly concerts and other live events before eventually adding movies to the lineup, said Jesus Nanez, who will help operate the Modjeska, 1134 W. Historic Mitchell St.

“Our vision is that it will be a multiuse venue,” said Nanez, a part owner of Modjeska Theatre Co., which is leasing the theater portion of the building.

The two-story building, including the theater and retail storefronts, is owned by Modjeska Theatre Project LLC, an affiliate of Mitchell Street Development Opportunity Corp., a nonprofit group.

That group in 2014 began removing garbage and debris from the theater, while raising money to renovate the building. It has been closed since 2010.

The group’s members initially planned to open the Modjeska in fall 2014. The work, including fundraising, has taken longer than expected, said Nanez, a commercial broker with Kesselman Real Estate.

However, he said, “There’s definitely been a lot of progress.”

Most of the cleanup work is done. The stage has been altered to open up the orchestra pit. Also, the heating and power systems are being upgraded, Nanez said, and the sprinkler system is being repaired.

Once the building has heat and the power is fully operating, work can more easily proceed on painting the interior and doing plaster repairs. Some of that work has already occurred, he said.

Those initial projects will cost around $200,000. A full restoration of the Modjeska would cost an estimated $5 million, Nanez said.

The restoration, which could include financing through state and federal historic preservation tax credits, would include exterior renovations, such as a new marquee. Engberg Anderson Architects has been providing volunteer work for that possible redesign, he said.

“The historic renovation is definitely some years away,” Nanez said. “We need to get open and get the ball rolling. … I don’t have a Pabst Theater standard of what it should look like.”

Another future project includes removing the bottom floor seats.

Those seats, which are likely over 30 years old, are in poor shape, he said.

They will be replaced with removable chairs and cocktail tables to create cabaret seating. The second-floor seats will remain.

“We will be able to accommodate large banquets with a one-of-a-kind venue,” Nanez said.

Attracting live events creates a revenue source for the Modjeska, said Nanez, a professional musician who has relationships with show promoters. His gigs have included drumming for the Milwaukee group Vic and Gab.

The theater will seek a tavern license so it can serve beer, wine and cocktails at live events, Nanez said. While a regular film schedule isn’t part of the near-term plan, the Modjeska could host the Milwaukee Short Film Festival this September.

Last year’s festival was held at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St., and drew around 1,000 people over two days, said Bill Quirmbach, co-director. He said a final decision for the 2016 venue will likely be made in April.

“We’re very encouraged” by the prospect of locating at the Modjeska, Quirmbach said. He said the festival would bring its own projection and sound equipment, sparing the theater that expense.

Nanez said the Modjeska also might eventually convert one of the retail storefronts into an attached bar and restaurant, similar to Bay View’s Avalon Theater, which reopened in 2014.

“It’s really got great potential,” he said.

The Modjeska opened in 1925 and was used for both films and vaudeville performances. It stopped regular movie showings in 1989.

Two years later, the building was sold to Stewart and Diane Johnson, who started the Modjeska Youth Theatre Company. Their nonprofit group staged amateur productions such as “Annie” and “West Side Story.”

Also, the theater was used for professional shows, including performances by David Byrne, Alice in Chains, Gregg Allman, Rob Zombie, Nanci Griffith, Marilyn Manson and They Might Be Giants.

In December 2006, the Johnsons sold the theater for $450,000 to Modjeska Theater Project, a partnership between the youth theater company and Mitchell Street Development Opportunity Corp.

But the youth theater company’s revenue couldn’t cover its expenses, and that group folded in April 2010. That left Mitchell Street DOC with the building.

The Modjeska’s renovations are among a series of nearby new real estate investments.

They include the conversion of the former Goldmann’s Department Store, 930-932 W. Historic Mitchell St., into the new home of the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center; the upcoming conversion of the historic Hills Building, 906-910 W. Historic Mitchell St., into a new Milwaukee Public Library branch and 57 market-rate apartments, and next weekend’s opening of Mitchell Street Marketplace, a neighborhood grocery at 1101 W. Historic Mitchell St.

LouRugani commented about Hudson Theatre on Nov 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm

The HUDSON Theatre was at 205 Locust Street in Hudson, Wisconsin and closed on July 30, 1984, leaving Hudson without a movie theater for the first time in more than 75 years until December, 1989 when the new Southside Cinema 4 opened (later expanded to nine screens and renamed Hudson Cinema 9). In the early 1900s, Hudson had two theatres, the GEM at 501 Second Street and the THEATER DELIGHT at 220 Locust Street. The GEM didn’t last long, but the THEATER DELIGHT survived under the leadership of A. Johnson and later L.H. Clark. In 1917, Clarence “Showhouse” Mickelson purchased the THEATER DELIGHT and by 1921 built the REX Theatre building at 220 Locust Street which evolved into all the later theatres in Hudson.

In 1938 Mickelson sold the REX to J.G. Heywood of New Richmond and E.L. Peaslee of Stillwater; they renamed it the HUDSON and operated it until 1947 when they sold it to Arthur and Ethel Peterson of Kenyon, Minnesota. Their son-in-law Alfred J. Bergmann managed the HUDSON until moving to Ashland in 1961 when his son-in-law Harry Swanson (1943-1984) took over for the next decade or so. In 1969, the HUDSON Theatre building was sold to the State Bank of Hudson (later Wells Fargo Bank). At some time in the early 1970s the HUDSON was sold to Mark Pallas, who in July 1976 sold it to Henry Sampson, Paul Zipf and Don Buchholz (the latter managing) until 1982, when the HUDSON was sold to Hudson native Steve O'Connell who closed it on July 30, 1984. O'Connell said “Up until that time, our only competition were single-screen theaters in neighboring towns like River Falls, Stillwater or New Richmond.” Stillwater got a six-screen theater in the early 1980s, giving the HUDSON more competition. (The Stillwater theatre later was the victim of fancier theatres in nearby Oakdale, Woodbury and North St. Paul.)

“If a theatre wanted to run a new blockbuster beginning on opening weekend, the numbers were vicious,” O'Connell said. “For example, we would have had to pay maybe $5,000 to $10,000 up front. During the first week or two, the Hollywood studio would take 80 percent of the take. During the third and fourth week they would take 70 and then maybe 60 percent. In a community like Hudson, however, it was tough to keep a movie four weeks. And, if after four weeks I had taken in only $3,000 or $4,000, I was stuck. New movies were just too risky. I opened one of the first releases in Hudson in a couple of decades. It was one of the Superman movies.”

Steve praised competitor Stan McCullough of River Falls, who had an advantage over other theatres in being a film agent. “Stan was a great guy and was a great businessman. He was a booker who had control over 30 or 40 theaters so he could get copies of new releases.” He said McCullough tried to convince him to book “ET” for opening-weekend release. “He knew it was going to be a blockbuster when blockbusters really existed. Now everything is a blockbuster — for about a week. I should have taken Stan’s advice on ‘ET.’” The HUDSON finally ran “ET” 12 weeks after it opened in River Falls and still had a good three-week run. “We usually ran movies that were fairly safe. After three or four weeks we knew if they were successful and we could get them at a more attractive percentage. Always know that Hollywood studios are going to get the most money. That’s why selling concessions has become such an important part of the theatre business.”

He said theatre owners are often referred to as glorified popcorn vendors. “No one knows if a theater is going to make it on a movie when they pay such a premium to get a new movie,” and that studios keep precise records on every theatre across the country.

“I enjoyed my days in the theater business, however,” O'Connell said. “I remember if a movie was a little short I’d run a cartoon before the movie. People loved that because in the old days there was always a cartoon first.” the HUDSON was charging about $2 to $2.50 in its final days. At the time, the Twin Cities theaters were charging $4 or $4.50. “You’d be surprised how some people wouldn’t come to our theater because they thought we were showing an edited version of the movie because we didn’t charge as much.”

The Hudson Theatre Building was demolished to allow a bank expansion. With it went some of Hudson’s connection to the golden years of Hollywood.

LouRugani commented about Majestic Theatre on Nov 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm

The MAJESTIC Theatre opened on March 20, 1914 by David Burke with a Mary Pickford feature and the play “Quo Vadis” in eight acts. Its front was mission brick with 13 electric lights. Dark oak covered the outer lobby which had a natural wood foyer. A French beveled mirror was at the exit. There were 320 seats, a 12' x 20' stage with a 12' x 14' proscenium and three drops portraying a street, a garden and a parlor. The booth was 8' x 10'. At its opening there was also a ballroom, bowling alleys and a separate stage for class plays and community events, all closed by the 1940s. A dairy promotion allowed free admission to those bringing in enough red handles from Pleck’s milk.

In September of 1925 the MAJESTIC added 225 seats and had a total of five bowling alleys. The stage was enlarged, dressing rooms were added, projection lenses were replaced and a new organ was installed. The Wednesday evening shows offered glassware along with the five-cent admission.

Algoma’s MAJESTIC Theatre was demolished for the rebuilding of the Community State Bank.

LouRugani commented about RKO MAINSTREET (Bate, National, Orpheum) Theatre; Racine, Wisconsin. on Nov 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Nothing was ever built on this site afterwards.

LouRugani commented about DAVIDSON Theatre; Milwaukee, Wisconsin. on Nov 16, 2015 at 8:31 pm
LouRugani commented about Virginian Theatre on Nov 6, 2015 at 10:35 pm


The added matinee, not a regular feature of the house and some of the poster work responsible for the turnout.

Plays Extended Engagement on a Third Run – Campaign Results in First Capacity Houses in Months

The Virginian Theatre, Kenosha, Wis., played to capacity for three days and in response to popular enthusiasm held the show over for a fourth, as a result of a campaign complete in every detail of modern exploitation methods.

The efficacy of the campaign may be judged from the fact that the Virginian hung out its S. R. 0. sign for the first time during the summer on the opening night of a icture that was playing its third run in the town.

The feature attraction was “The Sheik;” the campaign was carried out by Mrs. Lillian Collins, who directs the Virginian, with the assistance of R. C. Gary, Paramount exploiteer.

The campaign opened with teaser ads run for two days in the Milwaukee Journal. These read: Girls take notice Rudolph is coming! Romance will be found here next when you see Rudolph make love to Agnes. And on the second day the ads announced the play dates of “The Sheik” at the Virginian. The newspaper, which has wide distribution in Kenosha, printed a reading notice.


The Paramount exploiteer then started to concentrate on the people of the town. He obtained the privilege of posting signs on the window of a hotel on the main street. These announced that on the opening night autographed photographs of Valentino would be given free to the ladies attending.

The next inducement offered was a booklet entitled “What I Know About Women” by Rudolph Valentino. This offer was for the second night. Shortly after the posters announcing this latter gift were displayed, the theatre began receiving telephone calls for the booklet and it was estimated that over 300 requests of this nature had been received over the telephone before the evening performance. The booklets were enclosed in an envelope stamped “For Married People Only.” The booklet was about two inches square when folded. On the front cover was the title “What I Know About Women” and on the back the name of the theatre. Inside were two clean, white, blank pages. PEOPLE OF KENOSHA— GREETINGS FROM RODOLPH VALENTINO PRICES 25 & 10 WESTERN UNION TELEGRAM Hollywood Calif July 23 1922

Mrs Lillian K Collins Manager Virginian Theatre
Kenosha Wis

Believe The Sheik to be one of my best picturee Stop Hope my Kenosha friends like my photograps stop hope to have the pleasure of spending a day at Kenosha this fall 3 with best wishes RODOLPH VALENTINO

FreeTonight 1000 booklets “What I Know About Women,” by Rodolph Valentino


We endorse this picture to be a great and unusual production and evidences the remarkable ability of Rodulph Valentino “The Screen’s Greatest Lover” and popular celebrity. Manager— VIRGINIAN THEATRE


Kenosha Folks Captured and Carried Away ASK YOUR FRIENDS — THEY SAW IT. That’s what happened to the countless hundreds who saw RODOLPH VALENTINO “The Screen’s Greatest Lover” IN “THE SHEIK” A PARAMOUNT SPECIAL.

NOTE: — This is the last time this screen sensation will be shown in Kenosha. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT — DON’T MISS IT!

“WHAT I KNOW ABOUT WOMEN” By Rodolph Valentino This Booklet Given Free to the First 1,000 Ladies Attending the Virginian Tonight ^-Come Early and Get Yours.

Two-column ads were liberally used for a week previous and during the run of the picture.

LouRugani commented about Orpheum Theatre on Nov 6, 2015 at 10:18 pm

September 16, 1922: Kenosha’s East Indian Organist

Turbaned Player Attracts Much Attention at Console of Orpheum Organ Saxe Brothers' Orpheum Theatre in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Dr. Hyland Elman Slatre-Witson, East Indian organist, at the three manual Barton Orchestra Organ.

About ten years ago Dr. Slatre-Wilson returned to the United States with the internationally famous Dr. John Alexander Dowie of Zion City, Illinois. Dr. Dowie at that time was building the Zion City tabernacle and planned to install one of the best pipe organs in the United States to be used in connection with a large choir and extensive musical festivals. Dr. Slatre-Wilson was placed in charge of the organ selection and installation and himself designed one of the best cathedral organs in the United States, which even now is a famous feature of Zion City. The organizatibn and establishment of the great Zion City Choir, whose singing has brought pleasure to hundreds of thousands in dozens of cities, was also a work of Dr. Slatre-Wilson.

Moving to Kenosha, Wisconsin, Dr. Slatre-Wilson founded the Conservatory of Music, which he conducted with great success, until the opening of the Orpheum when he took his place at the console of the organ installed there. The combination of Dr. Slatre-Wilson’s musical skill and the versatile three manual organ has captivated Kenosha’s music loving movie goers, and the Orpheum is crowded daily and nightly. The melodies pouring from the dozens of throats of the Barton organ in response to the touch of Dr. Slatre-Wilson’s gifted fingers is a revelation.

In explanation of the intricate improvisations and tonal gradations with which Dr. Slatre-Wilson delights Orpheum audiences, he modesty gives great credit to the divided manual. “I was greatly surprised,” he says, “to find that in spite of the fact that more tonal combinations and a richer expression are possible than I have ever been able to find heretofore, I was able to play it readily on sight, without a minute of study and I find it a constant inspiration in my daily striving to gain further mastery of organ playing.”

Much interest has been aroused in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by the appointment of Dr. Hyland Eiman Slatre-Wilson to preside at the big three manual Barton orchestral organ installed in Saxe Brothers' half-million dollar Orpheum Theatre.

Dr. Slatre-Wilson is one of the best educated musicians in the United States. His education was begun in the public schools of Syracuse, New York and continued at the college of the City of New York, the State University of New York and under such masters of music as Leschetizky, Marescalchi, Consolo, Vitale and others in piano, violin, voice orchestration and composition.

From his youth Dr. Slatre-Wilson took up the study of the organ and at the age of fifteen became city organist of the All-India University of Bombay, India, his native land. For the succeeding few years he was one of the leaders of the Bast Indian musical world. He organized the 150 piece Emin D'Nalyh Orchestra, named after him. (Emin D'Nalyh is Dr. Slatre-Wilson’s family name.)

LouRugani commented about Virginian Theatre on Nov 6, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Fuller’s Orchestra (piano, banjo, saxophone and drums) was the musical ensemble. Helena Stemm accompanied film programs.

LouRugani commented about KENOSHA Theatre; Kenosha, Wisconsin. on Nov 6, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Aisle Two, the most-used entrance into the auditorium.

LouRugani commented about Kenosha Theatre on Nov 6, 2015 at 6:58 pm

This isn’t the KENOSHA Theatre …

LouRugani commented about Lion Theatre on Nov 1, 2015 at 7:48 pm

The 1-½ story 24x125' LION Theatre was built by Gust Tompary (3004 S. Park Ave) for owner Louis A. Katsera 0f 1708 W. 18th Street. The architect was A. B. Mills of 2341 Milwaukee Ave.

LouRugani commented about New Rex Theater on Nov 1, 2015 at 7:20 pm

This was a 50x150' 1-story theatre building built for owner C. J. Moe by Grossman & Proskauer of 117 N. Dearborn Street.

LouRugani commented about Ideal Theatre on Nov 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm

The architectural firm was Hall and Westerlind of 179 W. Washington Street. The builder/owner was a Mr. Edelman. Cost of construction: $15,000.

LouRugani commented about Park Theater on Oct 30, 2015 at 9:14 pm

The July 20, 1912 CONSTRUCTION NEWS lists a 1-story 100x60 theatre under construction at 6906-14 N. Clark owned by Tagney and Hudson with Edward Benson of 3204 N. Clark as architect and a seating capacity of 288.

LouRugani commented about Premier Theatre on Oct 30, 2015 at 6:56 pm

The July 20, 1912 CONSTRUCTION NEWS said the building measured 24x138, the owner was Max Nichol at 1170 Milwaukee Ave., and the architect was M. F. Strauch of 1435 Diversey Parkway. G. C. Schmitt was the general contractor, of 5825 Henry St., Austin.

LouRugani commented about Terrace Theatre on Oct 30, 2015 at 4:33 pm

The July 13, 1912 CONSTRUCTION NEWS said the 4-story 130x160 AVENUE Theatre building was built by scrap-iron dealers Israel and Samuel Lanski of 2117 S. Jefferson St. to also include a pre-leased Chinese restaurant, Turkish bath and bowling alleys. The architect was Bishop & Co. Seating was listed at 1,500.