Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lund Theatre on Jul 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm

The August 28, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World reported that the new Dream Theatre in Viborg, South Dakota, would open about September 1. The Glud Theatre was mentioned in the October 6, 1928, issue of Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World.

The July 19, 2007, issue of The New Era has an article about the Lund Theatre, published shortly after it became the first building in Viborg to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places (here is the last page of the article as Google News will not make a link to the front page. Put 1 in the “Page” box just above the article to see the first page.) The article says that the house was renamed the Lund Theatre in 1928.

The Lund Theatre web site has a small photo captioned “Dream/Glud Theatre shortly after construction in 1915” but above the marquee is a poster for All Quiet on the Western Front, which was released in 1930, so the photo is considerably later than they think. In 1930 the building had probably changed little since 1915, though. The modern front dates from the 1950s, according to the official web site and the New Era article.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riviera Theatre on Jul 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm

A 1919 photo of the New Astor Theatre from the archives of the American Terra Cotta Company can be seen on this web page. The text identifies Buechner & Orth as the architects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riviera Theatre on Jul 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Dave Kenney’s Twin Cities Picture Show gives three additional aka’s for the Riviera Theatre (from 1911 to 1916 it was listed the Gaiety Theatre; in 1916 and 1917 it was the Cort Theatre; in 1918 and 1919 it was the OK Theatre. The Gaiety was open in 1910, though, and might have opened in late 1909.)

While there was a theater at this address for a decade before the Astor opened, I don’t know if any of the original building was incorporated into the Astor. Records from a 1913 court case reveal that the Gaiety Theatre had 700 seats, so it was only half the size of the Astor.

The contract for remodeling the store building at 447-9 Wabasha Street for the Gaiety Theatre Co. had recently been awarded to Fred Stanley, according to the November 20, 1909, issue of Construction and Contract News. The project involved complete interior remodeling and a new front with a marquee, at a cost of $4,009 and with a target date of December 6 for completion. Plans for the conversion had been drawn by architect A. C. Pear.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Jul 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm

The Dohany Opera House became the Strand Theatre in 1916, as noted in the November 4 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Council Bluffs. Ia. — The Strand theater, which is the name of the remodeled Dohany opera house, opened with ‘The Common Law.’”
Dohany’s Opera House was built in 1883 to replace an earlier house of the same name that had opened on the second floor of a livery stable in 1868. The new Dohany’s original seating capacity was 1,400, which probably included a gallery.

In 1927 the Strand was completely remodeled inside and out, the original Victorian Italianate front being replaced by the eclectic, polychrome terra cotta, Gothic-Moorish-Art Deco fantasy that remained for the rest of the theater’s history. The interior was redone in a more restrained Classical style.

Three photos of the Strand’s surprisingly elegant auditorium can be seen starting on page 52 of Council Bluffs: Broadway, by Richard Warner and Ryan Roenfeld (Google Books preview.) There are photos of the original 1883 exterior on page 28. Photos of the Strand’s front before and after the fire of December 11, 1974, are on page 54.

Warner and Roenfeld attribute the design of the 1927 remodeling to Council Bluffs architect Henry J. Schneider.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Coyote Twin on Jul 22, 2014 at 5:19 am

I believe Chris is right. The building next door to the theater in both photos has a distinctive Romanesque triple arch on the upper floor.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Harris-Warren Theater on Jul 22, 2014 at 1:00 am

Harris-Warren Theatre was originally the Warren Opera House. The Cleveland Architects Database of the Cleveland City Planning Commission says that the Warren Opera House was designed in 1886 by Oscar Cobb, with the Cleveland firm of Coburn & Barnum acting as supervising architects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theater on Jul 22, 2014 at 12:16 am

The January 1, 1916, issue of Motography has an item about this theater:

“The new White Way theater in Mansfield was opened by Manager Roberts. The decorations are white and green and are tastily carried out in all the furnishings. Feature films will be shown.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hartford Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm

The Palace Theatre dates back to at least as early as 1921. It was on a list of public buildings for which license fees had been collected by the state during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1921.

Chris, you might find the list useful as you’ve been adding theaters in South Dakota. It starts here and continues through page 246 of the Google Books scan. About half the list appears to be theaters. Unfortunately, the list isn’t alphabetical either by theater name or by place, so you have to use the Google Books' search box in the left frame of the page to quickly find if a particular theater was licensed in 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 8:56 pm

The Legion post building has a plaque with the year 1915 above the entrance, so the building is quite old. It looks as though it might have been built as a lodge hall, though if built in 1915 it wouldn’t have been for the American Legion, which wasn’t founded until 1919. I don’t know how long Hartford’s Legion post has been in this building, but if it was there in 1948 then the State Theatre might have another aka. An item in the October 16, 1948, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review says that “[t]he Legion, Hartford, S. D., is closed for remodeling.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Florida Theater on Jul 21, 2014 at 7:13 pm

This is from the August 1, 1941, issue of The Film Daily:

“Floyd Opens Sebring House

“Sebring, Fla. — Floyd Theaters has opened their new $25,000 theater, the Florida. Gene Stone is manager of the 609-seat house. Interior is finished in white-brown Celotex and cypress in natural tones with a two-tone light green trim. Foyer is finished in natural wood, with a bright red carpet. Exterior is concrete with strips of bright orange carra glass.”

I suspect that “carra glass” was meant to read “Carrara Glass,” a competitor of the better-known Vitrolite brand of pigmented glass tiles.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kiva Theater on Jul 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm

There is a photo of the auditorium of the Kiva Theatre on this page of the April 29, 1939, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review The caption says that the recent renovation of the house was designed by the Kiva’s owner, Frank Maloff, but I believe the correct spelling of his name was Maloof.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colony Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Boxoffice is behaving badly again and Tinseltoes' link is not working (whether temporarily or permanently I don’t know.) Fortunately, the remodeling of the Colony Theatre was the subject of an article in the April 29, 1939, issue of Showmen’s Trade Journal, as well, and here is a scan of it at the ever-reliable Internet Archive. The 1939 remodeling was designed by John Eberson.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm

There was a State Theatre in operation in Hartford by 1945. This item appeared in the January 2, 1946, issue of Film Daily:

“Hartford, S. D. — Herbert I. Stearns has purchased the State here and the State in Hurley, S. D.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jul 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Have we got the addresses of the State and Hartford Theatres reversed, or is it the names and histories? Internet says that the Hartford American Legion post is at 120 N. Main Avenue. Google Street View shows the address 119 next to the door of the Senior Citizens Center across the street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alta Theatre on Jul 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm

The December 6, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the New Alta Theatre in Pendleton, Oregon, had opened on September 6 that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Iowa Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 9:28 pm

The June 13, 1930, issue of The Film Daily said in an item datelined Fort Dodge that “Bruno Pierce is managing the new Iowa here, recently opened by the Rivola Co.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Jul 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Indeed, This is Cinerama had been running at the Broadway Theatre in New York for seven months, since September 30, 1952, and at the Music Hall in Detroit for more than a month, beginning March 23, 1953, before it opened at the Warner Hollywood on April 29, 1953. The fourth Cinerama installation was at the Warner Theatre in New York, to which the movie moved after playing 36 weeks at the Broadway. Chicago’s Palace Theatre got the fifth installation, and the movie opened there some three months after its Hollywood opening. Cinerama was rolled out very slowly. By the end of 1953, there had been only ten installations.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm

The Capitol Theatre opened on January 12, 1927, according to the theater’s history on this web page. The listing in the Buechner & Orth papers was for the year of design and construction, not the year of opening. Henry Orth was probably lead architect on the project, as Charles Buechner died in 1924.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Unless something happened to the original building, or the name was moved to a different house, the Strand Theatre dates to 1916. Here is an item from the July 16 issue of The Moving Picture World


“A. F. Powers, of the Decorators Supply Company, has closed a contract for the ornamental plaster decorations and lighting fixtures for the Strand theater now being erected at Fort Dodge, Iowa, by Messrs. Julius & Awe.

“The decorations of the Strand will be carried out according to the designs furnished by the proprietors. The theater will seat about 700, and will be of strictly fire-proof construction. The auditorium will be ventilated with a modern air washing apparatus. The interior of the auditorium will be carried out to represent an Italian garden effect, with semi-direct electric bowls suspended from arches between the wall pilasters. The wall pilasters and proscenium arch will be of caenstone.

“The foyer and lobby will be of ornamental plaster marble and mosaic floor. The prevailing color of the auditorium will be French gray and ivory, with electric fixtures in ivory and antique gold. The entire front of the building will be covered with an artistic electric sign and display lights.”

The Strand Theatre changed hands in 1917, as reported in the September 1 issue of MPW:
“Fort Dodge, Ia. — D. B. Lederman, manager of the Des Moines Laemmle Film service, has purchased the Strand theater in Fort Dodge from Messrs. Julius & Awe.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm

The Rialto Theatre changed hands in 1925, according to the November 7 issue of Motion Picture News:

“The Rialto theatre at Fort Dodge, formerly owned by William Johnson has been added to the string of A. H. Blank. It has not yet been anounced [sic] who will manage the theatre for Mr. Blank.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cameo Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 2:19 pm

The “Theaters in Construction” column of the February 3, 1926, issue of Variety had this item:

“Jersey City. — (also stores, offices) $200,000. Ocean avenue. Owner, Cameo Theatre, Inc., 221 Ocean avenue. Architect, C. H. Ziegler. Policy not given.”
C. H. Ziegler was also the architect of the Orient Theatre in Jersey City.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orient Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Unless the Orient Theatre operated in more than one location, it existed before the 1920s. This item is from the January 29, 1916, issue of The American Contractor:

“Jersey City, N. J.—Moving Picture Theater: $22,000. 1 sty. Archt. C. H. Ziegler, 75 Montgomery st. Owner Orient Theater Corp.. Wm. A. Higgins, pres., 27 Monticello av. Fdn. started. Gen. contr. let to the Jersey City Constr. Co., 75 Montgomery st.”
The style of the brickwork on the facade of this theater was popular in the 1910s, so I’m inclined to think that Our Lady of Sorrows Church is the movie house built by the Orient Theatre Corp. in 1916. $22,000 would have been adequate for construction of a theater of this size before construction costs rose following the U.S. entry into WWI in 1917.

The October 21, 1916, issue of The New York Dramatic Mirror said that the Orient Theatre in Jersey City had opened on October 7. The new moving picture house was being managed by John E. Moody.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riverside Theatre on Jul 19, 2014 at 1:23 am

A number of Maud Humphrey’s illustrations can be seen on this web page. She illustrated a number of children’s books as well as drawing advertisements. Mellin’s Baby Food was among her clients.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Iris Theatre on Jul 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

A letter from A. C. Russell of the New Iris Theatre, Velva, North Dakota, was published in the October 13, 1923, issue of Exhibitors Herald. Velva’s movie house was called simply the Iris Theatre when a letter from its earlier operator, L. K. Sivertson, was published in Motography of January 13, 1917. That letter was dated December 26, 1916.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lake Theatre on Jul 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

The April 1, 1954, issue of Motion Picture Daily said that the Lake Theatre in Powers Lake, North Dakota, had recently been equipped for CinemaScope movies.