Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Local Motorcycle Riders on Jun 10, 2015 at 12:31 am

Code Two was released in 1953.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Chelsea Theatre on Jun 10, 2015 at 12:15 am

A June 15 opening means that the Chelsea Theatre presented its last show on the 28th anniversary of its opening.

Even numbered addresses are on the north side of 4th Street, so the Chelsea was on the site of the glassy, four story building at the northwest corner of 4th and Wyandotte Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Jun 9, 2015 at 5:44 pm

A more detailed history of the Lyric Theatre can be found in this PDF of another Hartford Historical Society newsletter, from 1995. It includes a map showing that the Lyric was indeed on the west side of North Main Street a short distance north of Bridge Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Jun 9, 2015 at 5:08 pm

The grainy photo of the Lyric in the 1994 newsletter Ron referred to (PDF here also shows the building next door to the south. Though there is not much detail in it, I’m pretty sure the neighboring building is the three-story brick commercial structure still standing at 42 North Main Street, on the northwest corner of North Main and Bridge Street.

That means that the theater would have been on one of the lots now occupied by a larger, post-modern structure called the Dreamland Building, which is at 58 North Main Street. The theater’s actual address probably would have been lower than 58, say approximately 50 N. Main.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empress Theatre on Jun 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Allen J. Singer’s Stepping Out in Cincinnati: Queen City Entertainment 1900-1960 (Google Books preview) says that the Empress ran “B” movies in between burlesque shows. That was pretty much standard for most burlesque houses by the 1940s, probably done more to give the performers and the band some break time than to bring in paying customers.

By the 1950s most burlesque theaters, including the two that I remember were still operating on Main Street in Los Angeles, were running what then passed for erotic movies as part of every show. The handful of strictly live burlesque theaters operated as two-a-day (or three-a-day) houses, going dark between the afternoon and evening performances. Singer says that the Empress ran six shows a day, so it must have been continuous.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema North on Jun 7, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Every web site I’ve seen but Cinema Treasures places the Cinema North in Mattydale, not Syracuse.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rosedale Theater on Jun 7, 2015 at 5:17 pm

On February 10, 2014, the Evansville Courier & Press posted this obituary of Larry Aiken, who had renovated the Rosedale Theatre into the Theatre A. At the same time, Aiken launched The Pub in the building next door, intending it as a place where theater patrons could get a drink before or after the show, but The Pub proved so popular that it eventually displaced the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema 35 on Jun 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm

The Washington was run by the local circuit, Premier Theatres, for many years, but in 1965 was taken over by Ted Graulich, operator of the Family Drive-In at Evansville. He took over the Ross Theatre at the same time.

After remodeling the Washington, as reported in Boxoffice, February 21, 1966 (page one, with auditorium photo, page two with marquee photo), Graulich renamed the house the Cinema 35. Seating had been reduced to 605.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cobb Theatre on Jun 5, 2015 at 6:45 pm

The April 3, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World had an item about a Dreamland Theatre located on Washington Street in Boston, but I don’t know if it was this house or not. The item said that the building housing the theater was to be demolished:

“On April 5, the Dreamland on Washington street, Boston, will be compelled to close its doors. This theater is one of the oldest exclusive picture theaters in the city. The owners of the land and the building have decided to raze the structure to make room for a modern business block. Herman Sivovolos, who has been the manager of the house for the past five years, has resigned from his position and is now affiliated with the American Feature Company as a roadman.”
Perhaps the owners of the building changed their minds about demolishing it. I haven’t found any later items about the project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trail Drive-In on Jun 4, 2015 at 3:42 am

An article about Crowley’s theaters in the June 16, 2013, issue of The Crowley Post-Signal (PDF here) says that the Trail Drive-In opened on Sunday, July 3, 1949, with the James Cagney movie Blood on the Sun. The house advertised two shows nightly, at dusk and at 10:00 PM.

The Trail Drive-In remained open until late September, 1968. Though it advertised at that time that it was closing temporarily for repairs, it appears to have never reopened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bruce Theatre on Jun 4, 2015 at 3:32 am

An article about Crowley’s theaters in the June 16, 2013, issue of The Crowley Post-Signal (PDF here) says that the Bruce Theatre was an independently operated house that was open from 1940 to 1956. There is also a photo of the front of the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Acadia Theatre on Jun 4, 2015 at 3:25 am

An article about Crowley’s theaters in the June 16, 2013, issue of The Crowley Post-Signal (PDF here) says that the Acadia Theatre was in operation from 1919 to 1955.

A couple of issues of The Film Daily in 1936 said that the Southern Amusement Co. had reopened the Acadia after remodeling it, but both items got the theater’s name wrong, one calling it the Arcade and the other the Arcadia.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rice Theatre on Jun 4, 2015 at 3:19 am

An article about Crowley’s theaters in the June 16, 2013, issue of The Crowley Post-Signal (PDF here) says that the Rice Theatre had its last show as a movie theater in late October, 1983. The feature was a science fiction movie called Horror Planet (this movie was originally released in the UK in 1981 as Inseminoid.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Joy Theatre on Jun 4, 2015 at 1:00 am

CinemaTour lists the Joy Theatre at 200 E. Texas Avenue, and displays two photos, dated May, 2014, from the Adam Martin collection.

In 1946, the Joy Theatre in Rayne was being operated by New Orleans-based Ritz Theatres, headed by L. C. Montgomery. The August 10, 1946, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review had this item about the Joy:

“It has been learned here that fire Aug. 3 destroyed the Joy Theatre, only house in Rayne, Louisiana, owned by L. C. Montgomery.”
Montgomery had a second house under construction at the time of the fire, to be called the Acadia Theatre. The April 10, 1948, issue of STR reported that Joy Houck had traded his interest in the Joy Theatre in New Orleans to Levere Montgomery (Montgomery already owned a part interest in the house) for his interests in theaters in Rayne and two other cities.

What I have been unable to discover is if the Acadia Theatre opened under that name and the Joy was rebuilt, or if Montgomery opened the proposed Acadia as the new Joy. I have also been unable to determine if any of four earlier names for theaters in Rayne were aka’s for the pre-fire Joy. These names were the Moulin Rouge (mentioned 1916), the Craig Theatre (mentioned 1924), the Opera House (mentioned 1934 and 1935) and the Evangeline Theatre (mentioned 1935.) A May 4, 1935, item said that the Evangeline was to be renamed the Roxy. Another item that year mentions Earl Craig as operating a theater in opposition to the Evangeline/Roxy. That might have been the Opera House or the Craig Theatre, or Opera House might have been an aka for the Craig.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sno-King Drive-In on Jun 3, 2015 at 10:55 pm

The July 8, 1946, issue of Motion Picture Daily mentioned this theater, but datelined the item Everett, Washington, which is a few miles north of Lynnwood:

“$50,000 Coast Drive-in

Everett, Wash., July 7. — Clearing and grading has started at a 10-acre site on the Everett-Seattle highway, for a $50,000 ‘Sno-King’ Drive-In Theatre, which is now in the hands of Otis Hancock, architect. C. L. Rockey and Lewis A. Argono are the owners. The theatre will provide space for 650 automobiles.“

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Joy Theatre on Jun 3, 2015 at 10:34 pm

The July 5, 1946, issue of Motion Picture Daily said that “Newman R. Robinson, ex-serviceman, formerly affiliated with Robb and Rowley, at Little Rock, Ark., is reported as building a new 275-seat house at West Rutland, Vt.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Post Theatre on Jun 3, 2015 at 9:53 pm

The photo currently displayed at the top of this page depicts Michigan Avenue in Battle Creek, about a block away from the Post Theatre on McCalmly Street. The sign reading “Post Theatre” was attached to the Post Tavern at the corner of Michigan and McCalmly.

There are three photos of the Post Theatre on this page at Water Winter Wonderland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Acme Theatre on Jun 3, 2015 at 5:25 pm

The Acme was one of several Maine theaters owned and/or operated in the early 20th century by Wilbor A. Shea, who had houses at Eastport, Lubec, Calais, and Pembroke.

The usually reliable Cinemadata project provides this page about the Acme Theatre, but some of the information on the page apparently conflates the Acme with another Eastport theater, the Memorial Opera House, which was also operated by Wilbor Shea. The Memorial Opera House burned down in 1913.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wilbor Theatre on Jun 3, 2015 at 5:06 pm

An item in the “Rep Ripples” column of The Billboard for January 3, 1942, mentioned the new theater under construction in Eastport, Maine, that was to be named for Wilbor A. Shea. It said that Shea had for many years had dramatic repertoire troupes traveling through Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

A 1911 book called Monarchs of Minstrelsy, from ‘Daddy’ Rice to Date" (scan at Google Books,) by Edward Le Roy Rice, has this biographical sketch of Wilbor Shea’s father, who was also in show business:

“Pete Lee (Shea) was conceded to be one of the greatest tambourinists in minstrelsy; as a comedian, he was excellent.

“As early as February, 1858, he was touring with Pete Lee’s Empire Minstrels.

“He joined Buckleys Serenaders in the 6o’s, and continued with them for several seasons.

“August 28, 1871, he made his first appearance in Philadelphia, as a member of Simmons and Slocum’s Minstrels.

“He was also prominently identified with the companies of Morris Brothers, and Sharpley’s. In 1872 he opened Bishop’s Opera House in St. Johns, N. B., renaming it Lee’s Opera House, and conducting it for several years.

“His last professional appearance was about 1878.

“A son, Wilbor F. Shea, is manager of the Memorial Opera House, Eastport, Me.

“Pete Lee was born in Cambridge, Mass., January 6, 1838; he died in Eastport, Me., October 11, 1896.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jun 2, 2015 at 4:35 pm

The building on the right, part of which housed the Colonial Theatre around 1915, is still standing. It’s called the Gryphon Building. The building adjoining it at the corner of Merchant’s Row is the New Gryphon Building. All three structures are part of the NRHP-listed Rutland Downtown Historic District.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:36 pm

docchapel: The theater at Slauson and Vermont must have been the Temple. This is a link to the Temple’s page. Be sure to also click on the “view all comments” link.

This link reaches the Lincoln Theatre page. It also has additional comments, plus several photos you can reach by clicking the “Photos” link in the box just above the theater photo on the main page.

There might have been two theaters called the Bill Robinson on Central Avenue. We have only one of them listed: Here is the link. It was listed at 4219 S. Central (the former Tivoli Theatre) in the Film Daily Yearbook of 1941. In 1950 the Bill Robinson was being advertised as being at 4319 S. Central (possibly the former Casino Theatre, once listed at 4317 Central) so the name might have been moved during the 1940s. We just don’t know for sure.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Figueroa Theatre on Jun 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm

docchapel: Did you ever attend the Regent Theatre on Vermont near 40th Place? We have a page for it, but nobody familiar with the theater has ever shown up to comment on it, so we know next to nothing about it. It might have closed sometime in the 1950s. I don’t remember ever having seen it myself.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jun 1, 2015 at 4:39 pm

The 1941 description is quite different from that in the 1913-1914 Cahn guide. The larger ground floor capacity listed in the MGM report was probably achieved by removing the stage house and extending seating into the space it had occupied. The upper part of the building was probably removed at the same time, accounting for the disappearance of the gallery and the reduction of balcony seating from 402 to 120.

That amounts to an almost complete rebuilding of all but the front of the theater sometime between 1913 and 1941. It makes me wonder if maybe there was a fire or other disaster that forced the rebuilding, but I’ve been unable to find anything about such an event.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Figueroa Theatre on Jun 1, 2015 at 2:45 pm

In Google’s satellite and street views it is the Broadway Federal Bank that is on the site of the Figueroa Theatre, with a large housing complex just west of it along MLK Jr. Blvd and another housing complex to the south across 40th Place.

A couple of times in the 1950s when we were on our way to visit my grandparents, who lived on 99th Street west of Normandie, we drove past the Figueroa Theatre about the time the house was opening for a Saturday or Sunday matinée, and there would be a huge crowd waiting in the line for the box office. It must have been a very popular theater in those days.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Apollo Theatre on May 31, 2015 at 2:06 am

I’ve finally have discovered who was the architect of the Apollo Theatre, in this item from the August 11, 1920, issue of Building & Engineering News:

“Contract Awarded.

“THEATRE AND STORE, Cost, $40,000

“HOLLYWOOD, Los Angeles Co. Cal. Hollywood Blvd. near St. Andrews Two-story brick theatre and store building, 50x174. Owner- Hollywood Theatres. Inc. Architect— C. S. Albright. 5910 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles.”

This was apparently the second building for the Apollo Theatre, which was in operation as early as 1919 either on the same site or nearby. According to a brief article in the November 8, 1919, issue of a local magazine called Holly Leaves, the Apollo, located east of St. Andrews Place, was to get a new building on the south side of the boulevard 140 feet east of Wilton Place. That project, also to have been designed by Albright, apparently fell through, as the 1920 project as built was still located east of St. Andrews Place.

C. S. Albright was probably both an architect and a builder, as I’ve found a few references to him receiving construction contracts for various projects during this period.

The 1919 article can be found at the lower left of this page at Google Books.