Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza Theatre on Mar 16, 2015 at 9:36 pm

The Plaza Theatre was eventually twinned. A Groceteria.com message board about a supermarket in Ridgeview Plaza includes a comment from someone who saw Top Gun at the twin cinema in the mall in 1986. Another comment says that the twin operated as a discount house during its last days, but it doesn’t say when that was.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Powers' Theatre on Mar 16, 2015 at 8:30 pm

The five-week run of Queen Elizabeth in 1912 and the movies shown in 1913 might not have been the only movies at the Powers, though they are the only ones I’ve found mentioned in period publications. There are quite a number of theaters listed at Cinema Treasures that only showed movies intermittently. Though they were never full-time movie theaters, having them listed here doesn’t bother me.

I’ve actually considered submitting the Geary Theatre in San Francisco (the adjacent Curran, also primarily a legitimate house, is already listed) and the Biltmore in Los Angeles, both of which ran a few movies over their long careers (the Biltmore was actually built with a projection booth as part of the original plans, though it was seldom used.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Family Theater on Mar 16, 2015 at 12:34 am

An article in the September 28, 1987, issue of the Hazleton Standard-Speaker said that the Family Theatre closed in 1955.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Southwood Theatre on Mar 15, 2015 at 10:34 pm

A brief history of Trans-Texas Theaters is part of the inventory of the company’s papers at the Austin History Center and can be read online at this link (the collection itself is not available online.) The history says that the Southwood Theatre opened on February 17, 1967, and was designed by architect Leon Chandler.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyceum Theater on Mar 15, 2015 at 7:36 am

The site of the Lyceum was on a tour of Patchgoue that was organized for the town’s centennial in 1993. This is the description from the brochure for the tour (rather large PDF here) which reveals the fate of the theater:

“Turn left onto Lake Street. The apartment building to your right was once the location of the Lyceum Theater. In 1893, this building was a social and entertainment center. It developed into a regular theater with a large stage to the north and the gallery to the south on Lake Street, which was destroyed by fire in the early 1920’s.”
The map in the brochure shows the Lyceum to have been on the north side of Lake Street between Ocean and Jennings Avenues. The apartment building referred to must be one of the two seen a few doors west of Ocean Avenue in Google street view, though in the photo robboehm uploaded the theater building looks pretty wide, so maybe it occupied both lots. Both apartment buildings look as though they’d have been built in the 1920s, so they probably went up not long after the theater burned.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Powers' Theatre on Mar 15, 2015 at 6:36 am

I’ve found no indication that the Powers Theatre showed movies on a regular basis, but the house did run at least some movies. The April 11, 1912, issue of Chicago paper The Inter Ocean said that Famous Players' production of Queen Elizabeth, starring Sarah Bernhardt, was having its American premier at the Powers Theatre. The June 1, 1913, issue of the same publication listed the Powers as one of several Chicago legitimate houses that were then running pictures. Other houses had resorted to vaudeville to get through a slow theatrical season.

Still, the Powers remained primarily a legitimate house. The Moving Picture World of January 15, 1916, had a brief article for which Harry J. Powers was interviewed on the subject of the effect of movies on live theater. Powers said that his house was having an excellent season with plays, and even claimed that the existence of movies had improved business for legitimate theaters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Frolic Theater on Mar 14, 2015 at 10:55 pm

PhilipTM: DonLewis claims a copyright on the scan of the photo he uploaded to Cinema Treasures, so you’d have to get his permission to publish it in a book. However, the scan copyright is independent of any copyright that might exist for the original photo. The lettering of the town’s name at the bottom of the photo indicates that it was a postcard, and it might or might not still be covered by a copyright issued to the original publisher.

If you click Don’s link in his comment of November 1, 2012, you can fetch a large image in which the attraction board under the marquee can be seen to be displaying the movie title When Were You Born? That movie was released in 1938, so I would guess that the photo was probably taken and published no later than 1939. Not all postcards were copyrighted, so this image might have been public domain from the beginning, but if it was copyrighted in 1939 then the copyright would have to have been renewed in 1967 in order to still be in effect.

I don’t think that postcard copyrights were renewed very often, as the business depended on having fairly recent images on the racks. But don’t take that as legal advice. The back of the card would tell if it was ever under copyright, but finding out for sure if any copyright was renewed might be difficult since Don’s card was obviously published long before 1967. Don might know the copyright status of the original. You’d probably have a better chance of getting in touch with him if you send him am message at Flickr than waiting to see if he responds to your comment here. He might not be getting emails notifying him of new comments on this page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Balboa Theatre on Mar 14, 2015 at 9:51 pm

In the heading we have the Balboa listed as demolished, but I’m doubtful that it was. Today the address 2814 Wetmore belongs to Karl’s Bakery & Cafe, but that was not the building the theater was in. The second photo on the PSTOS page for the Balboa shows that the theater was in the building adjacent to the tall structure on the corner of California Street that was occupied by the Rumbaugh-MacLain Department Store.

The caption of this photo showing the Balboa’s lobby in 1929 says that the theater closed on May 12, 1953, and its building was taken over by the adjacent department store. The photo is from the Everett Public Library, probably a reliable source of information.

The department store and the theater’s site are now both occupied by Trinity Lutheran College. I think it’s very likely that the Balboa’s shell (probably including its roof) still exist, though the interior was undoubtedly converted to two floors and the old auditorium floor leveled by the department store. If it had a fly tower, that has been removed. The ramps and lack of doors and the shape of the ceiling in the lobby photo make me suspect that the Balboa had a section of stadium seating at the back of the auditorium. The department store would surely have torn all that out.

As Karl’s Bakery is at 2814 Wetmore, the theater’s address would have been a bit smaller, probably 2010-2012. The college, with its entrance in the former department store, uses the address 2802.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Randolph Theatre on Mar 14, 2015 at 2:26 am

Linkrot repair: The Boxoffice articles mentioned in my previous comment have been moved. The April 1, 1950, article about the remodeling is now here:

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The October 7, 1950, article about theater lighting which is illustrated by a photo of the Randolph Theatre’s lobby is here:

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza Theatre on Mar 13, 2015 at 5:54 am

It’s possible. The trade journals did sometimes just announce a “new theater” when the house was only renovated and renamed, perhaps with a new owner. The Vogue was opened by Wally Johnson, who operated it until 1957.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza Theatre on Mar 12, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Friend being a very small town it’s likely that the Plaza closed in 1940 when a new, 252-seat house called the Vogue was opened. The Vogue’s opening was noted in the November 22 issue of The Film Daily.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lake Theater on Mar 12, 2015 at 7:49 pm

An item in the November 20, 1940, issue of The Film Daily said that Greenville’s new Lake Theatre, then under construction, was expected to open around December 1. The 400-seat house was being built on the site of another theater called the Bijou, but the item didn’t say what had become of the Bijou, so it might only have been a rebuilding of an existing theater. The opening advertisement in the December 22 issue of the Greenville Delta Democrat-Times gave the address as 224 Washington Avenue.

The Lake Theatre built in 1940 lasted only 20 years. The December 18, 1960, issue of the Greenville Delta Democrat-Times said that demolition of the theater was underway, and that Gulf State Theatres would build a new, larger Lake Theatre on the site. Local architect H. E. Norwood was drawing the plans.

The article also indicated that the Bijou had dated back to the silent era and was a reverse theater. Other articles in other issues of the paper indicate that the Bijou was in operation by 1914.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clark Theatre on Mar 12, 2015 at 6:58 pm

The November 22, 1940, issue of The Film Daily had a brief item saying that Doris Meyer and Harry Schwartz had opened their new, 500-seat Clark Theatre at Winchester, Kentucky.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cascade Picture Palace on Mar 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Looks like Warner Film Center let the domain name lapse and it has been taken over by a spam site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Poli Theatre on Mar 12, 2015 at 4:55 am

The June 10, 1916, issue of The American Contractor had this item about the Poli Theatre in New Haven:

“Theater (alts. & add.): $100,000. 3 sty. 150x125. Church St., New Haven, Conn. Archt. Thomas W. Lamb, 644 8th av., New York City, & 112 Water st.,. Boston. Owner Sylvester Z. Poli, 23 Church St., New Haven. Plans to be revised. Brick (fireproof constr.), struct. & orn. iron, gravel rfg.”
The alterations and additions were to a theater that had been built in 1905. This notice appeared in the February 18, 1905, issue of The American Architect and Building News:
“NEW HAVEN, CONN.—J. O. Loughlin, Hartford, has received the contract for the erection of new theater at 23 Church St. New Haven. E. W. Maynard, Arch., 226 Tremont St., Boston. Cost, $90,000.”
Another item in another issue of the same magazine said that the theater was being built behind 23 Church Street, so the office building probably predated the theater. Page 94 of Legendary Locals of New Haven, by Colin M. Caplan, has a c.1905 photo of Poli’s Theatre (Google Books preview.) The house was advertised as Poli’s New Theatre to differentiate it from an earlier Poli’s Theatre in New Haven.

The theater was virtually gutted for Thomas Lamb’s rebuilding in 1917. The only photo I can find depicting any of E. W. Maynard’s original 1905 design is on a postcard that is displayed on this page of a stamp collecting web site. As the card is for sale I don’t know how long the link will last.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 12, 2015 at 12:32 am

This edition of Skip Finley’s “Oak Bluffs Town Column” in the March 6 issue of the Vinyard Gazzette says that the Strand Theatre was opened by Michael J. Keegan in the former Odd Fellows Hall. Keegan’s Strand Theatre at Oak Bluffs was given a rating of “Good” in the 1922 edition of the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety’s annual report.

Four theaters are listed at Oak Bluffs in The New England Business Directory and Gazetteer for 1918, but the Strand is not among them.

The January 6, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News had an obituary for New Bedford exhibitor Thomas J. Charette, and noted that the Strand in Oak Bluffs was one of the houses he operated.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capawock Theatre on Mar 11, 2015 at 11:31 pm

A Capawock Theatre at Vineyard Haven is listed in the 1918 New England Business Directory and Gazetteer.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wilson Theatre on Mar 11, 2015 at 3:38 am

Have you been able to find the double-page opening ad that the Brick and Clay Record article made reference to? Opening ads sometimes list the name of the architect of the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Langley Theatre on Mar 10, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Linkrot repair: The May 3, 1952, Boxoffice article about the Langley Theatre has moved again:

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Apex Theatre on Mar 10, 2015 at 9:34 pm

In 1941, the owners of the Apex were in a clearance dispute with Loew’s, as reported in the July 18 issue of The Film Daily:

“K-B Arbitration Hearing Under Way in Washington

“Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY

“Washington — Arbitration case of K-B Amusement Co., Washington, against Loew’s, Inc. got under way here yesterday, with routine testimony setting the stage for major arguments to come. The K-B Company is contending against clearance the Calvert and Uptown theaters over its Apex Theater, in the same neighborhood.

“James V. Hayes and Robert Sher, former D of J attorneys who worked on the New York consent decree represent K-B Amusement Co. C. Stanley Thompson is attorney for Loew’s while Warner Brothers, an intervenor in case, is represented by Howard Levinson and Harold Berkowitz.

“Apex owners contend that seven days' clearance granted nearby Calvert is unreasonable. Much of yesterday’s testimony concerned real estate values in the neighborhood. Rudolph Berger, district manager for Loew’s, also was called in to testify.”

The K-B Amusement Company was a partnership of Fred S. Kogod and Max Burka. They controlled several theaters in the greater Washington D.C. region.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ambassador Theatre on Mar 10, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Linkrot repair: The December 14, 1935, Boxoffice article about the Ambassador Theatre can now be found at this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Aldine Theatre on Mar 10, 2015 at 8:06 pm

I think the opening date of 1930 for the Pictorial Theatre probably comes from the advertisement shown on this page at Kilduff’s. The Pictorial was showing Mae Murray’s Peacock Alley. The thing is that Mae Murray starred in both the 1930 musical version of the film and in the 1921 silent version, and from the upcoming films in the ad (Dustin Farnum in Iron to Gold, Tom Mix in Chasing the Moon, both released in 1922) it must have been the 1921 version that the Pictorial was showing. The ad most likely dates from 1922, and the Pictorial might have been in operation for a considerable time before that.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wilson Theatre on Mar 10, 2015 at 3:52 am

I don’t think this house was ever actually called the Wilson Avenue Theatre. Brick and Clay Record was published in Chicago, and Chicago had a house called the Wilson Avenue Theatre, opened in 1909. Whoever wrote the item probably just added Avenue to the name of the Youngstown house because he was thinking of the Chicago house when he wrote it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wilson Theatre on Mar 10, 2015 at 3:22 am

A paragraph about the Wilson Avenue Theatre appears in the November 3, 1914, issue of Brick and Clay Record:

“Two Youngstown material concerns, the Youngstown Supply Company and the Youngstown Ice Company, furnished face and hollow-brick for the new Wilson Avenue theater, in that city, and participated in the advertising which marked the opening of the house. The theater is the largest and most up-to-date motion picture house in the city, and the Youngstown papers carried a double page advertisement announcing the opening and featuring the part the various contractors and material men had played in its construction. The two brick concerns had their share of the space, and benefited by the publicity which it afforded.”
Why an outfit called the Youngstown Ice Company was supplying brick I don’t know, but the name was not a typo. It was mentioned in other construction journals of the period. And yes, they also dealt in ice.

The mention of a double-page opening ad for the theater is tantalizing. It must have appeared prior to November 3, but there’s no indication how long before.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alvin Theatre on Mar 10, 2015 at 3:02 am

The Alvin and the Lyric were both operated by the partnership of Hartzell & Pitzer according to their listings in the 1908 report of the Ohio Department of Inspections.

In April, 1908, Hartzell & Pitzer also began operating a house in Youngstown called the Empire Theatre as a burlesque stand.