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On March 15, 1930, architect Victor A. Rigaumont received a copyright for drawings and seven sheets of blueprints for a theater to be built on Main Street in Salamanca, New York, for the Schine enterprises. I wonder if this could have been the Andrews Theatre? The deepening of the economic depression could have accounted for the delay in construction.
While the John and Drew Eberson Architectural Records from the Wolfsonian Library lists five theaters that John Eberson designed for the Schine circuit, the Seneca Theatre is not among them. In fact, Salamanca is not mentioned in the records at all. I wonder if the theater is just missing from the Wolfsonian’s archive, or if it has been mis-attributed to the Ebersons?
The Princess Theatre is one of five movie houses listed for Ottumwa in the 1922-1923 edition of the Film Daily Yearbook.
The 1922-1923 edition of Film Daily Yearbook lists the following theaters at Ottumwa: Rex, Circle, Strand, Empire, and Princess.
The Massachusetts building inspection report for the year ending November 30, 1919, said that as of January that year the Warr Theatre in Wareham was in good condition. It was operated by William E. C. Warr, who also operated two public halls in Wareham: Colonial Casino and Colonial Hall. Our photo shows that the Warr Theatre was in a three-story building, so maybe the two public halls were upstairs.
The October 28, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News reported that William Waugh of Waugh’s Theatre in Wareham had recently visited Film Row in Boston. Who else besides me thinks that Mr. Warr’s New England accent might have made somebody mis-hear his name as Waugh?
The only theater in Wareham that I’ve seen listed in the Julius Cahn guides is the Odd Fellows Hall, a 400-seat, ground-floor house. It is listed in 1906 and 1909, but the 1912-1913 guide carries only the note “No corrected details at hand,” with no name given for the theater. I suppose it’s possible that Mr. Warr took over the hall and renamed it, but didn’t bother to keep it listed in the Cahn guides.
The Unique Theatre became the Stuart Theatre in 1927, according to the October 28 issue of Motion Picture News:
“The Unique Theatre, Boston, has been renamed the Stuart Theatre and is under the management of Charles A. Oilman, formerly of the Alhambra Theatre at Quincy, Mass. The theatre has been extensively remodeled.”
So the question is did the Theatorium first operate at 114 W. Main before moving to 212 in March, 1907, or did it move to 114 after operating at 212 for some time (or is 114 simply the wrong address?) 212 West Main is currently the location of Splatters Paintball. The front has some nice tapestry brick work, but there’s nothing especially theatrical about it (nor is the building at 114 especially theatrical, for that matter.)
Looking at the building at 212 in satellite view, I’m pretty sure the storefront to its east is part of the same structure, but the east side has been remodeled with one of those aluminum false fronts that were popular in the 1960s. Maybe the theater could have occupied both sides of the building, which I don’t think would have been the case at 114.
The October 28, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News had this item about the opening of the Victory Theatre:
“The Victory Theatre, Lowell, held its formal opening Sunday and was entirely too small to hold the throngs which endeavored to attend. George Hammond is the managing director. The new theatre seats 1200 people and is located opposite the Lowell Municipal Auditorium.”
The State Theatre in Milford opened in 1927. Here is an item from the October 28 issue of Motion Picture News:
“Plans are under way for the opening of the State Theatre at Milford, Mass., on Oct. 27. This is a new theatre and will be operated by the Regional Chain Theatres.”
Here is an early notice about the Victoria Theatre, from Motion Picture News of October 28, 1927:
“WORK is expected to be begun
this week on Oklahoma City’s first suburban theatre. The new theatre will be built on the corner of Eighteenth street at Classen Blvd., and will cost around $100,000 for the building. L. M. Ranch, a local real estate man, is constructing the building. It will be operated by the Victoria Theatre Company, headed by L. M. Karchmer and A. H. Emenheiser. The equipment for the theatre will cost approximately $75,000.”
Here is an item from the October 7, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News:
“The Ritz Theatre, at Ardmore, Okla., which was formerly the Adelphos Theatre, is having a new $25,000 organ installed about October 1st. The Ritz has been remodeled and redecorated since the Griffin [sic] Amusement Company secured interest in it and two other theatres in Ardmore a few months ago.”
“The Griffith Amusement Company, Oklahoma City, plan upon opening two theatres within a week. The Ritz theatre, at Ardmore, is scheduled to open October 14th. This is the old Adelphos theatre, which has been completely remodeled and redecorated and renamed. The other is the beautiful new house at Shawnee, the Bison, which will open between October 16th and 18th.”
“The old Adelphos theatre, Ardmore, Okla., which has been entirely remodeled and redecorated and refurnished, opened last Wednesday night. The Griffith Amusement Company spent $50,000 in rejuvenating this theatre. It has been renamed the Ritz.”
Excellent finds, Lost Memory. Now that I’ve seen Leonard Bailey’s drawing, I can’t say that the plain facade of the Tivoli is an improvement on his design for the Princess.
I notice that the opening day ad mentions the Theatorium but not the Majestic Theatre. I wonder if Helback & Cox closed the Majestic upon (or even before) opening the Princess? I haven’t seen any ads for the Majestic after 1916.
Unless Ardmore renumbered its lots at some point, the Theatorium must have operated in two different locations. In the December 1, 1907, issue of the Daily Ardmoreite, the Theatorium was advertised at 212 West Main Street.
The Majestic Theatre was mentioned in the Sunday, September 23, 1906, issue of the Daily Ardmoreite. The house had presented its last show of the season the previous night. It featured vaudeville, music, and short films.
On July 15, 1916, The Moving Picture World said that Helback & Cox, proprietors of the Theatorium and the Majestic Theatre in Ardmore had acquired the lot at West Main and B Streets for a new theater. By the middle of 1917, the only theaters advertising in the Ardmoreite were the Princess, the Palace, and the Theatorium, so I think the Majestic might have closed soon after the Princess opened. I’ve found the Theatorium advertised as late as 1922.
This theater is older than we thought. A house called the Adelphos Theatre opened in Ardmore in 1921. I haven’t found the theater’s address, but a 1921 advertisement for “Doctor Black’s Dental Parlor” gives his office address as 117 ½ West Main Street, with its entrance “…in Adelphos Theatre.” The Adelphos had to have been the house at 117 West Main Street.
The Adelphos Theatre was to open on Tuesday, April 19, 1921, according to a brief article in the previous Sunday’s Daily Ardmoreite. Through the early 1920s, the Adelphos, the Princess, and the Palace were the three theaters that advertised in the newspaper regularly, and they were all within a block of each other on the north side of West Main Street. It must have been the brightest block in Ardmore at night.
The July 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World had this item that must have been about the Princess/Tivoli Theatre:
“Helback & Cox, proprietors of the Theatorium and Majestic theaters of Ardmore, Okla., have secured the location for a new picture theater in that city to be erected at the corner of West Main and B streets. Plans now being prepared provide for a seating capacity of 1,200 persons. It is hoped to have the house ready for opening in October.”
The March-April, 1986, issue of Oklahoma Today has an article about movies and theaters in Oklahoma. It mentions Hollis only briefly, saying that a house called the Empress Theatre was popular during the early 1920s. That might have been an earlier name of the Watt Theatre or the LaVista (the Cozy didn’t open until 1928.)
A PDF of the magazine is available here.
The April 14, 1928, issue of Motion Picture News said:
“G. A. Peterson of the new Cozy
theatre at Hollis, Okla., reports work is progressing nicely on this new theatre. When completed, it will have a seating capacity of 900.”
The caption of the 1936 photo in Boxoffice that Tinseltoes linked to refers to this house as “…Louis Bach’s recently renovated Center Theatre….” It must have opened before 1936- probably quite a while before, if it needed renovating by then. Bach was apparently just the new operator. This is the item from the May 2, 1936, issue of The Film Daily:
“Atlanta — Sixth house in the Bach-Oldknow circuit here, the 500-seat Center, has been opened.”
Roger’s link. Peggy Wyatt, quoted in the article, says that she saw Disney’s Bambi at the old Wedesonian Theatre. As that movie was released in 1942, the old theater must have continued operating long after the New Wadesonian opened in 1936.
The Saturday, May 2, 1936, issue of The Film Daily had this item:
“Clanton, Ala. — The New Wadesonian is to be opened Sunday. The house is independently operated.”
I don’t have any theater catalogs myself, and as far as I know the few editions at drive-ins.com are the only ones available on the Internet. They are fairly rare books, and the 1949-50 edition is probably the one most in demand. I’ve seen copies advertised for sale but they are out of my price range. Google Books has a scan of it but displays only snippet views, as it is apparently still under copyright.
It’s been so long that I don’t remember for sure, but I probably did get the information about Shult from Google snippets, and it probably was the 8th (1949-50) edition of the catalog. See my recent comment on the Freeport Showboat Theatre page for more information.
A Google Books snippet view of the listing of architect Ernest Shult in the 1949-50 theatre catalog confirms that Shult designed the Showboat Theatres in Freeport (1942) and Texas City (1941.)
The partial list visible in the snippet also includes the following Shult designs: Palm, Sugarland, Texas (1949); Leon, Pleasanton, Texas (1948); Cole, Richmond, Texas (1947); Palacios, Palacios, Texas (1942); and Plaza, Wharton, Texas, (1941).
Also, a snippet of a March, 1939, issue of Daily Bulletin of the Manufacturers Record shows an item saying that Ernest Shult had drawn the plans for a $25,000 theater and store building at West Columbia, Texas, for Alex Sanbourne.
This photo of Pikes Peak Avenue shows that, around 1921, there was a theater called the Princess on the site that was later occupied by the Rialto and the Ute. I don’t know if the Princess was renamed Rialto or if it was demolished to make way for a new theater. It looks like it occupied exactly the same footprint and was the same height as the Rialto/Ute. The Princess Theatre was in operation at least as early as 1918.
The Liberty Theatre in Colorado Springs was mentioned in the September 7, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World. It was on a list of houses that had booked Goldwyn productions that year.
This photo, dated around 1921, shows the vertical sign of the Liberty Theatre on Pikes Peak Avenue, a few doors down from the Princess Theatre. The Princess was either an earlier name for the house that was later the Rialto and then the Ute Theatre, or was demolished to make way for that later house.
The Liberty appears to have been in the Arrow Hotel building, which was almost directly across the street from the later Pike Theatre. As the Ute was at 126 and the Pike at 115 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, I’d guess the Liberty was at approximately 112 E. Pikes Peak.