Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Academy Theatre on Mar 17, 2018 at 5:58 pm

The Academy of Music suffered a serious fire sometime around the beginning of 1926. Repairs were underway, according to this item in the January 23 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“SOON TO REOPEN

“The work of repairing the damage done by fire to the Academy of Music in Newburgh is progressing rapidly and it looks as though the house would reopen within a few weeks. The theatre is one of several acquired by the Famous Players, which also has the Bardavon and the Stratford in Poughkeepsie, as well as the second-run Liberty. There is a stiff fight on in Poughkeepsie for patronage between the Famous Players group and another group of three houses run by George Cohen.”

This web page has a few photos of the Academy (click arrow next to visible thumbnails) including a couple showing the aftermath of the 1956 fire that led to the theater’s demolition.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Downtown Theatre on Mar 17, 2018 at 5:17 pm

The vintage photo shows the marquee over the bay on the right. The other two bays were probably always storefronts. Except for one suite with an entrance on Third Street, access to the offices in the former auditorium is from a parking lot north of the building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bow-Tie Wayne Preakness Cinemas on Mar 17, 2018 at 4:59 pm

If you use the address 19 Preakness Shopping Center at Google Maps, the pin icon fetches up exactly in front of the theater entrance, and you can get this street view.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Downtown Theatre on Mar 16, 2018 at 5:28 pm

This article from the Farquier Times, February 5, 2017, says that the Farquier Theatre opened on January 10, 1931. Pitts Theatres operated the house until 1969, when the chain was sold to R/C Theaters. The house was closed on May 12, 1974. The auditorium, which backed up to Third Street, was subsequently gutted and filled with three floors of offices.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Madison Theatre on Mar 16, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Boxoffice of February 16, 1970, said that Mid-Atlantic Theatres, new owners of the Pitts-Madison Theatre in Orange, Virginia, which had been in operation since 1936, had closed the house on December 31, 1969, due to lack of business. Mid-Atlantic planned extensive improvements at the Pitts Drive-In, which continued in operation on weekends.

R/C Theatres, of Randallstown, Maryland, had bought the sixteen remaining theaters in the Pitts chain in November, 1969. As far as I’ve been able to discover, Mid-Atlantic was a subsidiary of R/C.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orange Drive-In on Mar 16, 2018 at 4:09 pm

The Pitts Drive-In was still in operation in 1970, when the February 16 issue of Boxoffice reported that extensive improvements were planned by the new owners, the Mid-Atlantic Theatre Corporation. Pitts Theatres had been taken over by R/C Theatres of Randallstown, Maryland, in November, 1969. This page at Drive-Ins.org says that the theater was renamed the Orange Drive-In after being taken over by R/C Theatres, and says that it was closed in 1979. Mid-Atlantic appears to have been a subsidiary of R/C.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Embassy Theatre on Mar 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Boxoffice of February 16, 1970, reported that Fabian Management Corporation would not be renewing its lease on the Embassy Theatre in Reading, and that the house would be shuttered on March 31.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plymouth Meeting Mall Twin on Mar 16, 2018 at 3:15 pm

The east wing of Plymouth Meeting Mall— about a third of the entire center, including this theater— was destroyed by a fire on January 10, 1970. Rebuilding took close to a year, and when the theater reopened on December 25 it was as a twin.

Victor Gruen Associates designed the mall itself, but the firm responsible for designing virtually all of General Cinema’s theaters during this period was William Riseman Associates.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Morgan Theatre on Mar 15, 2018 at 4:41 pm

The Morgan Theatre was on the northwest corner of S. Main and W. 7th Street. The site is now part of a public plaza.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Baxter Theatre on Mar 15, 2018 at 4:31 pm

This article from the Baxter Bulletin of May 30, 2014, says that the Baxter Theatre opened on January 3, 1948, and closed on December 21, 1978.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Evans Theatre on Mar 15, 2018 at 4:27 pm

This article from the Baxter Bulletin of May 30, 2014, says that the Evans Theatre opened in 1939, and was located where the Old Tyme Restaurant is today, which is 609 S. Baker Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Baxter Theatre on Mar 15, 2018 at 4:13 pm

The former theater is now one of two buildings on the block occupied by First Security Bank. I’m not sure what the bank uses this building for, as their retail operation for Mountain Home appears to be in the building across Baker Street, but it might contain offices as the south wall has been fenestrated. The distinctive masonry detailing on the facade is still there, though it is now painted gray.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Webster Theater on Mar 12, 2018 at 5:46 pm

In early 1909, E. H. Martin’s son bought the Unique Theatre. A few months later the July 3 issue of The Improvement Bulletin reported that E.H.Martin had begun construction on a new building for the Unique Theatre. As there is no evidence that the Unique ever moved from its original location, I suspect that this project became the first Orpheum instead.

The project was designed by J. R. White, Webster City’s best known architect of the period, who had designed the Martin Telephone Company building in 1904. As Martin had hired White to design at least two projects prior to building the second Orpheum, it seems likely that he would have hired White for that job as well, though I haven’t found documentation that he did. Although the second Orpheum is more ornate than the first, the two buildings have certain elements in common, most notably the oblong, horizontal clerestory windows near the top of each facade.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Isis Theater on Mar 12, 2018 at 4:29 pm

This article from the January 19, 2016, issue of Webster City’s paper, The Daily Freeman-Journal has a fairly detailed history of the Isis Theatre. A. C. Schuneman bought a half interest in the Isis in 1912, and eventually became sole owner. He sold the house to Finklestein Theatres in early 1931.

Although the theater was dismantled in 1954, the building is still standing, the front portion housing a hearing aid center and the rear occupied by seating for the restaurant next door, the Second Street Emporium. The 1990 restaurant expansion included a small banquet facility called The Isis Room, which displays photos of the theater.

The reopening of the rebuilt Isis following the January, 1927, fire was on June 11, 1927.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Isis Theater on Mar 12, 2018 at 3:18 pm

A new organ was installed in the Isis Theatre in 1917, as noted in this item from the March 3 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Webster City, Ia. — A. C. Schuneman, of the Isis theater in Webster City, is installing a new organ in his theater at a cost of $10,000. This theater will open about the 1st of March with Clara Kimball Young in ‘The Common Law.’”
Schuneman was manager of the Isis at least as early as 1914, when he and the theater were mentioned in the February 10 issue of the Webster City Freeman:
“Pictures of Real War.

“Manager A. C. Schunaman [sic] of the Isis theater states that he expects soon to have moving pictures of actual warfare taken in northern Mexico. These films have been widely written of and are taken by the Mutual Film company, whose president made an agreement with General Villa, head of the rebel army in northern Mexico, whereby they are to be taken of the campaign waged against Huerta’s forces and even on the march to Mexico City, if Villa gets that far south. The first batch of films have been received in this country and it is expected that in a week or so will be released to jobbers, who will book them and Mr. Schunaman hopes to be able to get the first group of films for Webster City.”

Schuneman’s career as manager of the Isis lasted at least into 1929, when he was named in an item in the April 13 issue of Motion Picture News listing movie houses that had recently installed sound equipment. The installation at the Isis was a sound-on-disc system.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Mar 10, 2018 at 7:21 pm

This web page has a history of the State Theatre. Construction began in late 1926 and was completed in 1927. The theater and the adjoining Abbott Building were designed by Edwyn Alfred Bowd and Orlie J. Munson of the Lansing architectural firm the Bowd-Munson Company. The Abbott Building survived the theater by more than three decades, finally being demolished in October, 2017, after having been vacant for about ten years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Mar 10, 2018 at 7:09 pm

The October 28, 1930, issue of The State Journal said that the Colonial Theatre had originally operated for several weeks under the name People’s Theatre. The promoters of the project, strapped for funds, had decamped shortly before the house was to open, and Charles Clark, the contractor who had built it for them, rather than let it sit idle, opened and operated it himself as the People’s Theatre while he sought a permanent operator. Two local men, Charles H. Davis and John M. Wilson, leased the house and renamed it the Colonial Theatre.

The same issue of the newspaper carries a courtesy ad from the local Bowd-Munson Company, architects with offices in the Wilson Building, so that must have been the firm that drew the plans for remodeling the Colonial into the Lansing Theatre. Edwyn Alfred Bowd and Orlie J. Munson also designed the State Theatre in East Lansing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Aquarius Theatres IV on Mar 10, 2018 at 4:21 pm

An enormous apartment complex has been built on the site of the Aquarius Theatres IV. For the time being Google’s satellite views still show the theater if you zoom in, but they probably won’t last long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Michigan Theatre on Mar 10, 2018 at 3:31 pm

When the original Italian Baroque interior of the Strand was partly torn out and replaced by the more modern look of the Michigan Theatre in 1941, the architects who handled the job were… John and Drew Eberson. The ornate original facade was simplified at the same time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Mar 10, 2018 at 2:43 pm

The Bijou Theatre originally opened at a location on East Ottawa Street in 1905, but moved into its new quarters in the Oakland Building in 1907. The new house was set to open on Monday, April 8, according to an article in the April 6, 1907, issue of The State Republican (scan at Flickr.) The address of the Oakland Building was 125-129 West Michigan Avenue. If the theater entrance was in the center bay its address must have been 127 W. Michigan.

The location of the Bijou was the southeast corner of West Michigan Avenue and South Capitol Avenue. The 1907 newspaper article mentions some of the theater’s emergency exits debouching onto Capitol Avenue. This web page has a postcard showing the Bijou building, and is captioned “South side Michigan Ave., between Capitol and Washington Aves., Lansing, Mich.” The grassy areas in the foreground were on the grounds of the State Capitol Building.

The fire which gutted and partly collapsed the Oakland Building took place in the early morning hours of December 22, 1923. After the ruins were demolished the 300-room Hotel Olds was built on the site. The hotel building, still standing, has been converted to offices for the State of Michigan and is called the George W. Romney Building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Chief Drive-In on Mar 10, 2018 at 1:08 pm

This weblog post from Preservation Austin credits architect Jack Corgan with the design of the Chief Drive-In. There’s a nice black and white photo of the screen tower, featuring a Texas longhorn painted by Dallas muralist H. R. McBride.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rodeo Theatre on Mar 10, 2018 at 12:55 pm

A telephone directory listing I found online doesn’t give the Rodeo’s exact address, but lists it on West Main Street. I’ve checked Google’s street views of downtown Hartselle, and though a few of the old buildings are the right size to have accommodated a theater, none have any distinguishing characteristics that could identify it as such.

The Rodeo was most likely somewhere in the three block stretch between Railroad Street and Corsbie Street, now a thriving district of restored buildings, many of them housing antiques dealers.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theatre on Mar 9, 2018 at 4:21 pm

This notice in the “Openings” column of the November 29, 1952, issue of Boxoffice was mistakenly dateline Parkville, B. C.:

“The 350-seat Park Theatre, financed by the community, opened October 30.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Drive-In on Mar 9, 2018 at 3:59 pm

The October 18, 1952, issue of Motion Picture Herald had this news from Louisiana:

“Billy Fox Johnson’s Joy in Marksville burnt to the ground, October 9, the same night he and his family were at the opening of their new drive-in, the Fox, in Bunkie, La.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kenmore Drive-In on Mar 9, 2018 at 3:45 pm

The “Construction” column of the November 29, 1952, issue of Boxoffice reported that construction of the Kenmore Drive-In was scheduled to begin on February 1, 1953, with a target date for completion of April 1. There must have been delays, as Drive-Ins.com’s page for the Kenmore says it opened on May 20, 1953, with a double feature of Ma & Pa Kettle At The Fair and Destination Gobi. The theater was demolished in 1985.