Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 176 - 200 of 11,038 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Meridian Theater on Oct 31, 2016 at 6:47 am

This page about Anderson’s early movie theaters, from the Madison County Historical Society, says that the Meridian Theatre at 933 Meridian Street was one of several movie houses that opened during the period from 1912 to 1918. It also says that after the first world war, the Meridian Theatre moved to a new location at 1035 Meridian Street.

The first Meridian Theatre was in operation by 1916, when the February 12 issue of The Moving Picture World ran this item:

“Meridian Co. Buys the Starland.

“ANDERSON, IND.—The Starland, the largest photoplay theater in Anderson, was purchased from E. E. Martin, of Cleveland, Ohio, by the Meridian Amusement Company, and the new management took charge on January 16th. The Meridian Theater of this city and the Fisher Opera House, at Danville, Ill., are also controlled by this company. The company is composed of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Anderson capital, including G. H. Heine, Judge W. J. Vesey, Arthur Beuke, W. J. Scheiman and F. G. Heine, of Fort Wayne, and J. G. Heller, of this city. Mr. Heller, who is an able manager, now has charge of both of the local theatres.”

There is a bit more, but it mostly concerns the Starland Theatre, so I’ll post it to the Times Theatre (formerly the Starland) page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Grand Theater on Oct 31, 2016 at 1:37 am

The Coffee Connection still shows up in Google’s street view, but it has closed and has been replaced by a locavore restaurant called Bacon and Eggs.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Grand Theater on Oct 31, 2016 at 1:32 am

The historic address of the Bijou Grand was 53 E. Main Street, but that number is now used for part of the Whiteside Building, a Victorian office and retail block with an ornate cast iron front, part of which can be seen at the left edge of the vintage photo of the Bijou Grand. The Whiteside’s historic address was 47 and 47 & ½ E. Main.

The modern address of the Bijou Grand is most likely 57 E. Main, most recently used for a restaurant called the Coffee Connection Cafe. The tiled pent roof seen in the old photo is now gone, but I suspect that this is the same building the Bijou Grand Theatre was in and it has been given a common front with the adjacent store building on the corner of Colville Street. Satellite view shows that, despite the unified front, the buildings have a masonry wall between them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Globe Theatre on Oct 30, 2016 at 7:33 pm

The Ghost sign David uploaded advertised the Tower Theatre “Corner of 8th and Broadway,” which was renamed the Newsreel Theatre in 1949 and kept that name until 1965. But I wonder if the sign might have originally been painted earlier to advertise the Globe when it was called the Newsreel (through most of the 1940s,) and the part of the sign giving the location was later repainted to reflect the change?

The globe decorating the Globe’s marquee was installed, along with the triangular marquee itself, during the period when the house was showing “news of the world,” but it probably suggested the new name of the theater when the newsreel operation was moved to the Tower in 1949.

I’m not sure if my memory is accurate at this late date, but I have a vague impression of having seen the globe on the marquee actually revolving. This probably would have been around 1950 or so, if I actually did see it. There are historic photos of the house in which the globe displays parts of the world other than the Americas. In this 1940s photo on display at the Globe Theatre page of Bill Counter’s “Downtown Los Angeles Movie Theatres” web site, the globe is showing Africa and the near east, with the Red Sea easily identifiable.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Globe Theater on Oct 28, 2016 at 4:42 am

I don’t know how reliable this page is (it is mostly about Ardmore Army Air Field during WWII,) but here is something it says:

“Hershel Gilliam’s Roxy theater in Ardmore has fire. February 3, 1943. Fast Forward Note: The theater was rebuilt and renamed Globe theater by a contestant that submitted the name of the English theater where Shakespeare performed.”
In the current Google street view 7 E. Main Street is a freshly graded dirt lot between a parking lot and an old brick building. It looks like the Globe Theatre building was demolished not long before the picture was taken.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sherman Theatre on Oct 27, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Jack Theakston’s comment notes that the side of the Sherman Theatre was along Water Street, so the address Paint Street and Water Street should fetch the right location on Google Maps.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Oct 27, 2016 at 4:31 pm

RE address: there is no 3rd Street in Chillicothe (it was displaced by Main Street.) The Orpheum was at the NE corner of Paint and 4th Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Chatham Theatre on Oct 27, 2016 at 12:12 am

Google Maps is unable to find this location whether one uses the old address of 19 Pruden Street or the modern address of 19 Chatham Hall Circle. I’ve adjusted the street view to the proper location, but the pin icon is quite some distance north of the theater’s actual site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cyril Theater on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

This web page has a photo tour of historic buildings on Chatham’s S. Main Street. The page doesn’t give the names of the theaters, but indicates only two buildings served as movie houses. The theater at 26 S. Main, according to the accompanying text, moved to a quonset style building on Pruden Street, which means it was probably the location of the Ritz Theatre.

The other former theater building, at 15 S. Main, is thus the most likely candidate to have been the Cyril Theatre. It is currently occupied by a restaurant. I’ve looked through all the pages on the photo tour and no other buildings except the Chatham Theatre on Pruden Street are listed as ever having been movie theaters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:37 pm

This web page has a tour of historic buildings on Chatham’s Main Street, and notes that two of them— 15 S. Main and 26 S. Main— have served as movie theaters. The text for the building at 26 S. Main says:

“After this building’s completion in 1928, it served as a movie theatre, until the establishment moved to the large quonset steel building on Pruden Street. Then it was occupied by the A&P Grocery for many years. It is now owned by Henry Hurt and is the home of his Shadetree Rare Books.”
If the original Ritz/Chatham Theatre was replaced by a Chatham Theatre in a quonset style building, then it was most likely the house at 26 S. Main.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theater on Oct 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm

An advertisement for the Cozy Theatre in the May 10, 1918, issue of The Snyder Signal announced that the house would open that day with the five-reel feature The Avenging Trail, featuring Harold Lockwood.

However, issues of the paper from 1917 mention a house called the Cosy Theatre. I don’t know if it was the same house, reopened with a new spelling for the name in 1918 or not. In 1916, there were ads for a house called the Reel Theatre. I don’t find it mentioned later than 1916.

The Cozy was equipped to present stage productions as well as movies. The December 17, 1920, issue of the Signal said that the Hurton Players had been presenting “…some high class shows….” all week, and would be moving on to Colorado following their final performance at the Cozy on Saturday night.

The December 16, 1921, issue of the Signal noted that T. L. Lollar had purchased the Cozy that week and had moved his family to Snyder. The sale was also noted in the January 6, 1922, issue of The Film Daily. Lollar went on to operate several other theaters in Snyder. The web site of The Ritz Community Theater also notes that Lollar bought the Ritz “…around 1921 when it was known as the Cozy Theater.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Burley Theater on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm

The Burley Theatre was probably opened before the end of 1945, or in early 1946 at the latest. This one-line item from the October 13, 1945, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review is probably about the Burley: “Phil Chakeres, Springfield, Ohio, has started work on his new theatre at Shelbyville, Ky.” Chakeres' other house in Shelbyville, the Shelby Theatre, had recently completed a $5,000 remodeling, according to the October 5 issue of The Film Daily.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shelby Theatre on Oct 24, 2016 at 8:56 pm

I’ve found references to the Shelby Theatre from 1937, so the name change definitely predated 1945. The photos of the Shelby’s facade look like late-deco, early-streamlined style, so the 1934 name change claimed by Nancy Hill, cited in my earlier comment, seems a likely time for that facade to have been built. It would have been decidedly old fashioned by 1947, when Boxoffice said the house had opened following a fire in 1945.

I’ve been unable to find the Boxoffice item about the rebuilding that was cited by kencmcintyre in the first comment on this house, but a January 12, 1946, item in Showmen’s Trade Review mentions the fire:

“Word comes from Shelbyville, Ky., that the damage caused to the Shelby Theatre and adjoining buildings in the recent fire there, will aggregate $75,000. The theatre was just a year old.”
The claim of the house being a year old was surely an error, considering an item from the October 5 issue of The Film Daily, which said: “The Chakeres circuit has just completed remodeling of the Shelby Theater, Shelbyville, Ky., at a cost of 5,000….” The remodeling, along with the fact that Chakeres actually did have a new theater under construction in Shalbyville in the fall of 1945, probably contributed to the magazine’s confusion. The new Chakeres house was the Burley, a few doors up the block from the Shelby.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Electric Theater on Oct 24, 2016 at 6:53 pm

It would be interesting to know if this house was still in operation in 1916, when the September 16 issue of The Moving Picture World published this item about the likely fate of Shelbyville’s upper-floor theaters:

“May Close Second Story Theaters.

“Shelbyville, Ky.—From present indications it looks very much as though Brown’s theater, formerly operated by the late R. M. Brown, will shortly be closed. Following the recent death of Mr. Brown the executors, who had announced that the theater would be sold at public auction, leased the theater to Ivory Ethington for one year, with the privilege of seven additional years. At a meeting of the city council a few nights later a committee composed of City Attorney Barrickman and Councilmen B. A. Logan and W. A. McGrath, was appointed to prepare an ordinance which shall prevent the establishment or operation of moving picture theaters excepting on the first floor. The Brown theater is on the second floor and may have to take up quarters elsewhere.”

The same issue of the magazine mentioned a house at Shelbyville called the Music Hall, but with no details. The opera house might have been one or the other of those theaters.

Ivory Ethington, mentioned in the article, later operated the Bon Ton Theatre, later renamed the Shelby Theatre.

The August 21, 1915, issue of MPW also mentioned Brown’s Theatre, along with a new Shelbyville house called the Green Dragon Theatre. Shelbyville also once had houses called the Majestic Theatre and the Strand Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Shelby Theatre on Oct 24, 2016 at 6:01 pm

The correct address of the Shelby Theatre was 610 Main Street, according to an article in the July 10, 2013, issue of the Sentinel-News (page 13 of this PDF.) The article quotes local historian Nancy Hill:

“‘That’s when I started to realize that I’d lived here all my life and I suddenly wanted to know more about all the places I’d grown up with,’ she said. ‘Like the old Smith-McKinney drug store, where my family shopped and got our medicine, and like this building here,’ she said, pointing to a photo of an old building of 610 Main St. she had pulled out of her collection. ‘The original structure was the old public stable, it was built in 1903, and then in 1920 it was the BonTon Theater and in 1934, it was changed to the Shelby Theater,’ she said. ‘When I was growing up, that’s where I used to go to the movies.’”

“The theater went out in 1968, Hill said, and the last business to occupy the building was Computer Hawks, which moved after the fire where it suffered extensive smoke damage in March, and 612, 616 and 618 Main Street were destroyed.”

The building is currently occupied by a clothing store called The Tipsy Gypsy.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Showplace Cinemas on Oct 23, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Google Maps shows 4759 Sunnyslope Dr. as a house in a rustic residential neighborhood, so it’s unlikely there’s a theater there. It’s just misinformation on the Internet, again.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Oct 22, 2016 at 1:00 am

Scroll down a bit on this web page to read a brief article about Owingsville’s Majestic Theatre. It was located at the corner of present day South Court Street and Slate Avenue, fronting on Court Street. It opened in 1922 and closed in 1982.

American Classic Images has two photos of the Majestic after it was converted into a furniture store: from 1985 and from 1986. A modern brick building with a gabled roof now sits on the theater’s site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Oct 22, 2016 at 12:35 am

The Strand Theatre at Uniontown, Alabama, operated by J. N. Fendley, was mentioned in the January 18, 1941, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review. Mr. Fendley is also mentioned in the January 11, 1941, issue of Motion Picture Herald:

“Each day before ‘Boom Town’ started at the Neely Theatre, in Uniontown, Ala., Manager J. N. Fendley arranged to have four aerial bombs fired in rapid succession to attract. Special wrappers with title imprint were used on cigarette packages purchased two weeks ahead, same stickers being used on parked cars in the vicinity. Box office was lettered for the occasion.”
The April 19, 1935, issue of The Film Daily mentions a Mr. Neely taking over operation of a theater in Uniontown:
“Uniontown, Ala. — Lester Neely, who operates theaters in Marion, Greensboro and Oneonta, has taken over the house operated by J. W. Nunemacher here.”
Prior to the 1970 census, Uniontown had a population of less than 2,000, and was thus unlikely to have supported two theaters. Possibly the Strand was the same house that MPH called the Neely Theatre, and that it was also the same house Mr. Neely took over in 1935.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Murphy Theatre on Oct 21, 2016 at 10:29 pm

This web page about the Front Royal Historic District has this to say about the origin of the Murphy Theatre:

“The most prominent example of historic adaptive reuse is the former Front Royal Methodist Church at 131 East Main Street. Originally constructed as a church in 1879, the building was transformed into Murphy’s Theater in 1908-1909. The original arched, nave windows are still visible on what is now the second story of the brick building.”
An organization called the Murphy’s Theatre Project hopes to raise funds to purchase and renovate the theater. Here is their Facebook page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theater on Oct 20, 2016 at 8:07 pm

The May 7, 1955, issue of Boxoffice reported that Louis Lampros had closed the Colonial Theatre in Farrell, and had taken over booth duties at the Capitol Theatre. His contract with the projectionists' union had expired and he had been unable to negotiate a new deal that would allow him to keep both houses open.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theater on Oct 20, 2016 at 7:39 pm

There was a house called the Colonial Theatre in Farrell at least as early as 1916, when it was mentioned in the July 1 issue of The Moving Picture World. Owner-manager J.C. Leslie planned extensive renovations, which would necessitate closing the house for the week of July 26. I’ve been unable to determine if the 1916 Colonial was on the same site as the later Colonial.

Other theaters operating in Farrell in 1916 included the Cymric and the Rex.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park West on Oct 17, 2016 at 1:56 am

The recent opening of the Lane Court Theatre was noted in the December 9, 1916, issue of Motography:

“New Chicago House Opens

“Ascher Brothers' new Lane Court Theater in Chicago was opened to the public on Saturday, November 25, with much pomp and ceremony.

“In point of artistic decoration and novelty in construction there possibly is no other theater in Chicago resembling it.

“The arrangement throughout the house is what is generally conceded to be the most desirable. The interior of the theater is diamond shaped. The screen is placed in one corner of the building and the orchestra pit is sunk out of view, immediately under the screen. The walls are paneled and artistically finished in gold and tinted in delicate hues.

“In the center of the house there is an electrically lighted dome which will deflect a mellow light throughout the entire theater during performances, expelling much of the gloom and eyestrain now a commonly heard-of evil. Probably this will explain why a great many older people refrain from attending picture performances.

“The organ pipes are placed in two opposite corners with a large open compartment in back which will permit the organist to obtain some very beautiful musical effects. A Kimball organ has been installed, and an eight-piece orchestra will be a regular attraction. The ventilation of the theater is accomplished through a series of grates inserted into the walls near the floor.

“There will be a matinée each day, starting at 2:30 o'clock and lasting up to 5:00 o'clock; the evening performances will start at 6:30 o'clock and run until eleven. The admission prices will be: Children, five cents, adults, ten cents, and when special attractions are being shown the price will be raised to fifteen cents.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Court Theatre on Oct 17, 2016 at 12:16 am

I believe the current Google street view we show depicts the interior of the DeKalb County Courthouse, which is across the street from the theater’s site. If we give Google the exact address of the theater, 102 S. Cedar Street, it might reset the street view.

We still wouldn’t get a close view, as Google’s camera car didn’t go down Cedar Street, but we should be able to get a view down the block from Seventh Street of the Commercial Club Building, which once housed the entrance to the theater in its northernmost bay.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Theatre at the Ace Hotel on Oct 16, 2016 at 5:52 pm

rivest266: Your second ad, touting the renovations, must have been from 1948, the year You Gotta Stay Happy was released.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Oct 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm

After studying the photos in the Roxy history to which deecee linked on February 10, 2011, I’m doubtful that the Imperial/Rainbow was in the Jacobs Building, even though that building now uses the address 307 Wilburn. The caption of the photo from The Tennessean of September 13, 1914, says that there was a movie theater in the new building pictured.

Counting the doors of the storefronts, it’s clear that 307 at that time had to have been in the Roxy’s building, not the Jacobs Building. It would have been the last storefront in the building, past the second decorative pediment. The first storefront, 301, was the drug store. The second, a barber shop, was at 303, and the third, which would have been the grocery store mentioned in the caption, was at 305. Beyond the second pediment was a storefront mostly covered with brick, so that must have been the theater, at 307, with its entrance under the second pediment.

At some point after the Roxy was built, the addresses on the block must have been reconfigured and the Jacobs building given the number 307. This means that the Imperial Theatre of 1914 and the Rainbow Theatre of 1928 must have occupied what later became the screen end of the Roxy’s auditorium. You can see the sealed-up entrance of the original theater about midway down the wall of the Roxy in the photo above, although the pediments were removed when the wall was raised to accommodate the Roxy’s balcony.

I’m not sure what originally occupied the Morris Jacobs Building, but the Roxy history page says that in the 1940s the former drug store space on the corner of Meridian Street became Morris Dry Goods. Maybe it was the same Morris, and he moved his store to the corner for better visibility.

The 1914 photo caption also says that the architect for the building was C.A. Ferguson. It also says that Crescent Amusement bought the building in 1936, and the Roxy was opened before the end of 1937.