Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 176 - 200 of 11,182 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Linda Lea Theatre on Feb 1, 2017 at 6:18 pm

vienna: I’m getting a fatal exception when I try to use the link you posted. I’m wondering if the photo was this one? I only get three results when I search the LAPL database with “Linda Lea” and that’s the only one that actually gives a good view of the building, albeit when it was the Arrow Theatre.

I’m trying to puzzle out which Main Street theater you attended in the early 1970s that might have resembled an opera house. The only two old legit houses still standing by then were the Burbank Theatre and the Follies Theatre. The actual first opera house in Los Angeles was the theater listed here as the Grand, which was opened in 1884 and demolished in the late 1930s, but the Burbank, opened in 1883, was a large legitimate theater for many years before being converted to L.A.’s leading burlesque house, and the Follies, a bit smaller than the Burbank, opened in 1910 as the Belasco, and also became a burlesque house for many years. I believe both finished their days with x-rated movies.

There was also the large and very ornate California Theatre, opened in 1918 as a combination vaudeville and movie house, which later became a Spanish language movie theater and finally became part of the adult movie Pussycat chain. I’m not sure when the California closed, but it was demolished in 1989. I think the California is the most likely candidate to have been the theater you recall attending in the 1970s, as it was mostly intact up to the end, never having been extensively remodeled.

In 1970 there were also two good-sized early movie houses still operating on Main Street: The Optic, which remained in business with x-rated fare through the 1970s, and the Regent which, against all the odds, has survived and recently been renovated and reopened for live events, mostly musical. I believe all the other theaters still operating on Main Street in 1970, the Linda Lea excepted, were small storefront houses unlikely to be mistaken for once-grand theaters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rivoli Theatre on Jan 30, 2017 at 10:22 pm

The Rivoli had two entrances; one on Baltimore Street, and the other facing War Memorial Plaza on Fayette Street. This photo uploaded to our photo page by elmorovivo shows the Fayette Street entrance, while this photo uploaded by Granola shows the Baltimore Street entrance.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Broadway Theatre on Jan 30, 2017 at 2:52 pm

The Sun article rivest266 found says that architect Benjamin Frank designed the 1916 theater that replaced the 1913 house on the site that had been ruined by fire in January, 1916.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Auditorium Theatre on Jan 30, 2017 at 12:52 am

The May 26, 1900, issue of The Engineering Record carried a notice soliciting construction bids for a 3-story auditorium, office and store building in Middletown, PA., for the Middletown Market Company. The project was designed by Harrisburg architectural firm W. O. Weaver & Sons.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Smyrna Theatre on Jan 28, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Back when we were conflating the Smyrna Theatre with the old Smyrna Opera House, Cinema Treasures member kencmcintyre linked on the Opera House page to three photos of this house on his Photobucket. He isn’t around to move the links, so I’ll make new links here:

Back wall of auditorium

Screen end of auditorium


Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Smyrna Opera House on Jan 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Here is the web site of the Smyrna Opera House. A history page says that the walls of the two lower floors survived the 1948 fire, but the top floor and decorative tower were unrepairable and were demolished. The two surviving floors were roofed over, leaving a flat-roofed, two-story structure, but when the building was renovated a few years ago the mansarded third floor and tower were reconstructed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Smyrna Theatre on Jan 28, 2017 at 5:52 pm

The current occupant of 106 W. Commerce Street is Painted Stave Distilling, producers and purveyors of spirits. The building houses their production facility, tasting room, and an event venue which can be rented. Their web site includes some current photos and a brief history of the theater.

The closest thing to a vintage photo is a shot of the screen end of the auditorium that appears to be from just before the remodeling into a distillery. The screen was long gone, but some of the original decorative detail (far more Streamline Modern than Colonial Revival) remained at that time. In the current photos the interior bears no resemblance to a theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Matsonian Theatre on Jan 28, 2017 at 5:05 am

The Matsonian Theatre was in a different building than the Isis. Articles in The Caldwell News prior to the opening of the new house called it the Isis Theatre, but an item in the Friday, February 14, 1930, issue of the paper, which also carried an article about the opening the previous Monday (Feb. 9) announced a contest to name the new theater. Another front page article said that the Isis Theatre’s former location in the Barnett Building was being remodeled to accommodate a Piggly Wiggly grocery store.

An item in a January issue of the paper had said that Mrs. C.W. Matson, who had taken over operation of the Isis Theatre, had leased a building formerly occupied by a Buick dealership and would remodel it as a new home for the theater. The opening of the new house also marked the debut of talking pictures in Caldwell.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clermont Theatre on Jan 27, 2017 at 2:02 am

This weblog post, which features some splendid photos of the terra cotta detail of the Clermont’s facade, says that the facade is to be the only part of the building saved. A seven-story building will replace the theater itself.

The article says that the house opened in 1909 as the Garibaldi Theatre, closed in 1911, and reopened as the Clermont, which it remained until closing in 1945.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about NorView Theatre on Jan 23, 2017 at 8:58 pm

Thanks, John. I was sure we had the wrong address for the theater.

The portion of the building that housed the theater entrance must have been that part that now has a storefront with red brick on it. 6162 is the most likely address.

The captioned version of the photo uploaded by wsasser says: “From 1945 to 1954, the Norview movie theater was one of the main attractions of Sewells Point Road.” Those years of operation suggest that the house never converted to CinemaScope.

I can’t read the name of the first movie on the marquee in the photo, but the second feature, West of Sonora, was released in March, 1948, according to IMDB. “B” westerns such as that had a short shelf life, so that’s probably the year the photo was taken.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pix Theatre on Jan 23, 2017 at 1:27 am

The Avenue was being operated by Milwaukee movie theater pioneer Henry Trinz when it was mentioned in the November 4, 1916, issue of Motography, which described the house as a “Neighborhood theater, catering to a middle class.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Delaware Cinema on Jan 22, 2017 at 5:42 pm

The principals of Wright, Porteous & Lowe were George Caleb Wright, his son William Caleb Wright, Alfred John Porteous, and C. Charles Lowe, Jr.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Delaware Cinema on Jan 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm

davidcoppock: Muncie is the county seat of Delaware County, Indiana.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Time Community Theater on Jan 22, 2017 at 12:55 pm

The Time Community Theatre’s web site has been reconfigured and our link is dead. This URL works.

The web site appears to be infrequently updated, and lists no events. People looking for event scheduling would do better to check the theater’s Facebook page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Imperial Theatre on Jan 22, 2017 at 12:48 am

The Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society’s brief entry for the Imperial Theatre says only that it had a Smith organ installed in 1924. The organ’s fate is unknown.

The September 1, 1917, issue of Motography had this brief item about the Imperial:

“Miss Myrtle Stedman has been appearing at various picture theaters along an itinerary that was mapped out for her some time ago. The Imperial Theater at Great Falls, Montana, is the last picture institution to show its patrons this celebrated actress in the flesh and on the screen for the same dime. Miss Stedman’s musical comedy experience make her an excellent entertainer on the stage as well as on celluloid.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fairyland Theater on Jan 22, 2017 at 12:13 am

Thanks for the map, Ron. The L.A. library now has a directory for 1916, and it lists the Fairyland at 1126 W. 24th. As the lot next door on the map is 1128, 1126 must have been the same lot the 1922 theater is on. And as the County Assessor’s records say the building at 1122 was built in 1921, it must have been a replacement for the original Fairyland on the same site.

The original Fairyland was probably a storefront nickelodeon, opened in 1915 and demolished in 1920 or 1921. The rebuilt Fairyland was the house now listed at CT as the Velaslavasay Panorama.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Jan 21, 2017 at 4:04 pm

A notice that Sidney E. Aftel and Edward Thal had formed a partnership was published in the March 6, 1913, issue of The Iron Trade Review. The pair had worked together at least once previously, though. The July 31, 1912, issue of The American Architect noted that they had designed a three-story Toledo building to be erected for The Jewish Educational League. Aftel and Thal had separate offices at that time. I can’t find any other pre-1913 collaborations. It’s likely that the Columbia Theatre was designed solely by Aftel.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Jan 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm

I’ve heard nothing about the status of the hologram project at the Ritz, nor can I find anything new about it on the Internet. I suspect that the technology is not advancing as rapidly as its promoters hoped. It might be along time before the Ritz opens with its new format, if it ever does.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Jan 19, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Here is an excerpt from an article by Christine U'Ren for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival blog:

“‘Miss Fan Bourke, who will be remembered by Mutual fans as a particularly attractive member of the Thanhouser stock company, has changed her vocation,’ wrote Mutual’s magazine Reel Life [Jan. 8, 1916]. ‘She is now running a "votes for women” motion picture theater, the Princess, in New Rochelle, N. Y.…’ Bourke managed the theater as a neighborhood concern with a focus on films suitable for families. With pianist ‘Miss Julia Miller, also a former Thanhouser actress,’ Bourke hosted special events and gave personal appearances—local patrons enjoyed comparing the onscreen Miss Bourke with the real-life version.

“‘The interest of suffragists was won by the theatre at election time. Miss Bourke had the lobby of her theatre hung in suffrage colors and banners.

“‘…in two months’ time she has worked the Princess up from a house about to be closed to one in which the 500 seats are filled every evening.‘”

The Thanhouser studio was located in New Rochelle. Ms. U'Ren’s article can be found at this link, though the excerpt quoted here is the only part pertaining to the Princess.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Jan 18, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Since 1978, when the main floor of the Comerford Theatre was converted into a mini-mall, the Ritz has occupied only the former theater’s balcony, so the listed seating capacity of 1,600 is vastly overstated.

Michael Comrford had bought an interest in the Poli Theatres in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre in 1924, but it was when he formed a partnership with Paramount-Publix in 1930 that the Poli was renamed the Ritz, following a renovation.

An article in the May 31, 2009, issue of the Scranton Times-Tribune says that the far more extensive remodeling (almost a complete rebuilding) creating the theater as it existed until 1978 didn’t take place until 1937. This project involved the removal of the Poli’s gallery, the rebuilding of the balcony, an enlargement of the stage, and the construction of the new Art Deco front of glazed tiles. The reopening of the house as the Comerford Theatre took place on September 16, 1937.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Jan 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Here’s a handy link to the comment DavidZornig refers to.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sun Theatre on Jan 18, 2017 at 5:38 pm

That would be Harry Meginnis and Edward G. Schaumberg (firm’s mini-bio.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theatre on Jan 18, 2017 at 5:37 pm

The sphinx stair decoration was in the Broadway entrance to the building. The building it was in is still standing, but the entrance was closed in 1929 and the space converted to a retail store. I have no idea what became of that sphinx.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Story Theatre-Grand Opera House on Jan 18, 2017 at 5:21 pm

The Story Theater’s website is unreachable with the current link. Try this one. No movies or other events are currently scheduled. That might be due to the winter weather, but I also suspect that the house has not yet been able to make the transition to digital equipment, a heavy investment for a house with an admission price of only $3.00.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Florida Theatre on Jan 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

The newspaper page rivest266 linked to features a courtesy ad placed by architect Roy A. Benjamin, which indicates that he designed this house for E. J. Sparks.