Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lincoln Square Theatre on Oct 24, 2015 at 3:43 pm

In Polk’s 1919 Indianapolis City Directory, 20 S. Illinois Street is the address of the Rialto Theatre.

The “Among the Picture Theaters” section of the September 23, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World ran several paragraphs about the new Rialto, several weeks after it had opened, but didn’t provide a photo:


“Newest of Photoplay Houses to Be Opened in This City—

“Seats 1,000 and Has $10,000 Organ—Managed by Fred B. Leonard.

“THE latest motion picture theater in Indianapolis, Ind., to throw open its doors is the Rialto, in South Illinois street, just as close to the center of the city as it is possible to get. Cars from every section of the city unload their burden of human freight at the front doors of this theater.

“The Rialto should become one of the most popular theaters of the city. It is deserving of popularity. It has a combination of beauty and comfort. The color scheme of the Rialto to begin with, is green and ivory. The walls are ivory tinted with delicate frescoing, and along the sides are baskets of green glass, filled with ferns and other greenery, so lighted that the plants appear to be growing in water. The ceiling, both of the theater itself and the entrances—there are two— are covered with a white trellis supporting quantities of, smilax. The lights are globes of a delicate green, set among the leaves; there are six hundred of these globes and the effect of the whole is cooling.

“The theater is cool. The heat of the hottest day is forgotten after one enters the long passage with the mirrors and flowing brackets along the side, which leads into the theater proper. In the lower part of the theater half a dozen big electric fans keep going constantly, while in the gallery one immense fan, measuring sixty inches across, circulates 50,000 cubic feet of cool air a minute.

“The theater seats a thousand persons- There are two stage boxes, also ornamented with white covered vine trellises, and a row of boxes at the back of the theater. In the ceiling of the gallery and in the ceiling of the lower floor big green and gold lamps are set in. The lower part of the boxes are draped with green curtains.

“One of the attractions is a $10,000 pipe organ, operated from the center of the orchestra pit. This pit also has its covering of green and white trellis and its smilax.

“The screen, of crystal gold fiber, is set far back on the stage and the out-of-doors effect is heightened by vine-draped pillars and pots of palms and other green things. Two rest rooms, one on each floor, top off the equipment of the theater.

“Fred B. Leonard, manager of the theater, announces that the fitting of the theater cost between $50,000 and $60,000. Mr. Leonard says the theater, under his management, will become one of the highest class theaters in the Middle West if effort will do this. The opening of the theater saw the Blue Bird feature, ‘Shoes.’ The Blue Bird productions will be used regularly by the management of the new theater.”

The opening of the Rialto had also been briefly noted in the August 5 issue of the same publication.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tower Theatre on Oct 24, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Yikes. I do believe I posted that comment to the wrong page. I’ll move it. Thanks.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Oct 24, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Mike, the two ads you uploaded today are actually for a different Strand Theatre, located at Washington and Capitol downtown, and listed at Cinema Treasures as the Capitol Theatre. That house was called the Strand for only about eight months, then reverted to its previous name of Park Theatre.

The duplicate names must have caused confusion in 1916, too, as the ad for the downtown Strand in the March 23 issue of The Indianapolis News included this line: “This theater is not connected with or interested in any other Strand Theatre in Indianapolis.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Movies 1-4 on Oct 22, 2015 at 8:45 pm

The Movies 1-4 must have lasted at least as late as 2004, as the house is listed on Yelp (as closed) and Yelp was launched in 2004.

A Facebook page titled Cinemark Movies 1-4 has some photos posted in 2013, but it’s not an official page, and the photos might have been taken long before they were uploaded.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Oct 19, 2015 at 3:12 pm

The November 4, 1914, issue of The New York Dramatic Mirror had this item:

“Poughkeepsie, N. Y.. adds the Liberty Theater, which opened on Oct. 28, to her list of new picture theaters. The house, which is under the management of Mr Dodds, has a seating capacity of 1,600. The opening attraction was ‘The Man on the Box.’”
CinemaTour gives the aka Midtown Theatre for this house, but doesn’t indicate when the name was used.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Arlington Theatre on Oct 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm

The Arlington Theatre in Poughkeepsie was mentioned in the July 25, 1910, issue of The Troy Times of Troy, New York. The article said of Mr. William Quaid, the theater’s first manager, that he “…went to Poughkeepsie about three years ago and superintended the erection of the Arlington Theatre, which is considered one of the handsomest moving picture and vaudeville theatres in the state.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Duchess Theatre on Oct 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm

The New Duchess Theatre at Poughkeepsie was mentioned in the October 3, 1912, issue of The New York Age. The Duchess was most likely a vaudeville house at the time, as it was featuring performances by Bradford’s Chicken Trust Company, one of a number of touring minstrel companies of the era in which actual black performers appeared in the exaggerated blackface makeup originally used by white minstrel performers.

All the buildings on the block of Main Street on which the Duchess Theatre was located have been wiped out to make way for a freeway overpass.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stone Theatre on Oct 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm

At the lower right corner of this page of the July 3, 1922, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review is a photo of the auditorium of a Brooklyn house called the Stone Avenue Theatre. It doesn’t look quite large enough to have held the 1,552 seats we have listed for the Stone Theatre (I’d guess more like 1,100-1,200), so I’m wondering if it is the same house or not, or if perhaps the Stone was later expanded.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capri Theatre on Oct 18, 2015 at 1:02 pm

The July, 1922, of a trade journal called The Poster, touting itself as “The National Journal of Poster Advertising and Poster Art” ran a half-page article about the use of poster advertising by new Hope Theatre in Dallas, which it said had opened on the evening of April 26. There is also a photo of the theater’s entrance (scan at Google Books.)

According to the June 3, 1922, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review a novel feature of the Hope Theatre was the inclusion of a hostess on its staff. Her function was apparently to promote the theater to the women of various clubs and civic groups. The article includes a photo of a group of women meeting in what is presumably the theater’s lounge (scan at Internet Archive.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Texas Theater on Oct 15, 2015 at 11:00 pm

In the background of the vintage photo of the Texas Theatre uploaded by Don Lewis can be seen the distinctive side gable of the First Christian Church on Avenue F. With the clue in the newspaper article I cited in my previous comment there is only one location for the Texas Theatre- the southwest corner of Avenue E and the mid-block alley half a block north of 1st Street (U.S.380.)

The Texas Theatre’s site is now a parking lot and a small fenced side yard for the Haskell County Insurance Agency, which is at 103 N. Avenue E. The theater’s address would have been slightly larger, probably 107, assuming that the storefront to the left of the entrance was 105.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Texas Theater on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm

The August 27, 1953, issue of The Haskell Free Press had an ad saying that the New Texas Theatre would open on September 9 with the Ray Milland-Jane Wyman picture Let’s Do It Again. The ad boasted that the house would have the “First Wide Screen Installed In West Texas”. The September 3 issue of the paper confirmed the opening date and gave the location of the new house as Avenue E, ½ block from the northwest corner of the town square.

An earlier Texas Theatre had opened in December, 1926, on the south side of the square. It burned in December, 1952. I suspect that kencmcintyre’s comment of February 21, 2009, gave the wrong date for the newspaper article he cited, and it actually referred to the 1952 fire. The second Texas Theatre was still in operation at least as late as December, 1973.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gem Theatre on Oct 14, 2015 at 4:29 pm

The Gull Theatre was mentioned in an article in the May 27, 1946, issue of the Lewiston Daily Sun. The Gull advertised in the Lewiston paper at least as late as October 13, 1961. The Gem also sometimes advertised in the Lewiston paper, though both houses did so only intermittently.

Both Winthrop houses were also mentioned in the Sun Journal now and then, and the Gem was at least twice mentioned as being on Main Street. A 1985 article about an old hotel which had burned the previous October indicated that the Gem Theatre was located in the hotel’s former stable and was accessed from Main Street via a passage adjacent to rather than through the hotel building.

Judging from aerial views of Winthrop made in 1963 and 1964 at Historic Aerials and from the photos of the hotel in the article, I believe that the hotel was on the northeast corner of Main and Union Streets on a site now occupied by parking spaces and a row of trees. The stable that was converted into the Gem (and later converted into a bowling alley) must have been in the building to the north of the hotel along Union Street. The theater entrance might have been moved to Union Street at some point, or there might have been only a door to the theater’s office on Union Street. As of 1985 this building, which survived the fire, was being used as a workshop, but it has since been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Anchor Theatre on Oct 12, 2015 at 3:12 pm

The Cinema Date Project page for the Anchor Theatre says that it was located in the Bowdoin Block. This web page gives that building’s address (as of March 31, 2000) as 56-60 Main Street. I’m not sure the historic building is still standing. The building at that location now has the look of one of those Ye Olde Retro interpretations of an historic style, Colonial Revival in this case. It could be either entirely new construction or an extensive rebuilding of all or part of the historic Bowdoin Block. In any case, there’s no visible clue that there was ever a theater in it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Oct 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm

The Cinema Data Project’s page for the Lyric Theatre describes its location as a “…frame building with cupola on bridge….” I’ve set Street View to the only building fitting that description. This probably is the theater’s building, though the CDP page adds that by the 1990s the auditorium was “…seriously altered or unusable.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sokokis Theatre on Oct 12, 2015 at 2:25 pm

The Cinema Data Project’s page for the Sokokis Theatre adds the information that the house closed on March 2, 1952, citing a document from the National Screen Service Corporation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Opera House on Oct 12, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Although the Cinema Data Project repeats the MGM report’s claim that the Opera House was located on Main Street, an article published in the spring, 2013 newsletter of the Milbridge Historical Society, “Memories of a Hometown” by Lloyd Holland (PDF here) has this line:

“During my high school years I walked across the bridge, up Bridge Street and into School Street, where the Milbridge High School, the Alumni Hall and the Opera House stood. The Opera House was also referred to as ‘The Rink’ because roller skating was done there for some years.”
This web page makes reference to “…the old roller rink, which was then located where the municipal safety complex is today….” I can’t find an address for the municipal safety complex, but Milbridge’s municipal buildings are indeed consolidated on School Street east of Bridge Street. The Opera House might have been where the fire station is now located in the first building on the north side of School Street. There’s no trace of the high school which Holland mentioned, either, so it has probably been consolidated with a high school in some nearby larger town and its old plant demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Par-K Theatre on Oct 9, 2015 at 12:37 pm

The correct name of this house was the Par-K Theatre. According to this web page, the Somerset Theatre Corporation was incorporated on January 1, 1935, and its address was given as the Par-K Theatre, 119 E. Main Street, Somerset.

According to an article in the March 12, 1938, issue of The Record-Argus of Greenville, Pennsylvania, the Blatt Brothers bought the Par-K Theatre from C. B. Pascoe in 1928. The Somerset Theatre Corporation was most likely a subsidiary formed to manage Blatt Brothers holdings in Somerset, where the circuit also operated the Grand Theatre and, later, the Governor Theatre, opened in 1938.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Oct 9, 2015 at 12:10 pm

An article about Blatt Brothers Theatres in the March 12, 1938, issue of The Record-Argus of Greenville, Pennsylvania, said that the Blatts took over the Star Theatre, a former opera house, in East Brady, on February 2, 1920. It was their first venture into the theater business. The Star was replaced by the new State Theatre in 1924. Blatt Brothers were still operating the State at least as a late as 1950.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Glockner's Automatic Theatre on Oct 7, 2015 at 1:00 pm

The third partner was Joseph Sturm. The February 10, 1910, issue of The Nickelodeon had this item:

“Los ANGELES, CAL.—J. O. Kaiser, Joseph Sturm and E. J. Talley have leased the property at 266-268 South Main street for ten years at a total rental of about $60,000 and will erect a moving picture theater thereon.”
(E.J. Tally was the brother of Thomas Tally, of Tally’s Electric Theatre.) However, according to Bill Counter’s web site Historic Los Angeles Theatres, when the Liberty opened in early 1911 it was operated by the partnership of Kaiser, Sturm & Hughes, so Tally had apparently dropped out of the partnership by then. Also according to Counter, Sturm had been a partner with Kaiser in the Wonderland Theatre at 315 S. Main Street (listed both at Counter’s site and at Cinema Treasures under its later name, the Jade Theatre.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Glockner's Automatic Theatre on Oct 6, 2015 at 9:12 pm

tovangar2: The 1910 project at 266 S. Main was the Liberty Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Columbus Theatre on Oct 5, 2015 at 10:59 pm

I’ve found references to the Columbus Theatre being in operation at least as early as April, 1912.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Balmar Theatre on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:21 pm

The Draper Y.M.C.A. operated two different theaters, and both were in operation in the late 1930s. The house that became the Balmar was the second, and probably opened in 1936. A quarter-page ad in the Y.M.C.A. activities book published that year said that western pictures were featured at the Draper Y.M.C.A. New Theatre “…located across the tracks.” (Complete activities book scan here.)

There are two photos (here and here) of the original Draper “Y” Theatre, both of which also come from the 1936 activities book. A modern caption below one image says that the original “Y” Theatre was located on the site of the current Draper Fire Department, which Google Maps shows to be in the 1400 block of Fieldcrest Road.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rudy Theatre on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:39 pm

An early photo of the Grange Hall can be seen here. The caption says the Rudy Theatre opened in the building in the late 1930s. The building burned down in 1952.

The Grange Hall was also known as the P of H Opera House (the photo caption mistakenly says P&H) which is how it was listed in the 1912-1913 and 1913-1914 Cahn guides, which said it was a second floor house with 378 orchestra seats and 242 balcony seats.

The Grange Hall had to have been built before 1909, as this web page displays a photo postcard of the building which was mailed and was postmarked 17 October, 1907.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Metro Theatre on Sep 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm

The building that once housed the Metro Theatre burned down in the 1950s according to Konrad Schiecke’s book Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Sep 30, 2015 at 2:24 pm

The Strand and Idle Hour Theatres are listed in the Moving Picture Theatres section of the 1921 Cahn Guide, each with 500 seats and both operated by B. J. Vought.