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The name on the arch did end with an S, so that must have been it. I wonder if it was later renamed the Globe? We don’t have any theaters but the Stadium listed for the blocks of Third Avenue to either side of 119th Street.
There is a photo of the auditorium of the Flash Teahtre at the bottom of page 113 of the Arcadia Publishing company’s “Images of America” book Tonawanda and North Tonawanda (Google Books preview.) This was a good-sized theater, probably at least 500 seats, with some very nice decorative detailing. The caption says the house was built in 1914, and in later years was converted into a roller skating rink and then a bowling alley before becoming a church.
An article about the opening of the Flash Roller Rink, located in the former Flash Theatre building, appears in an issue of the North Tonawanda Evening News that I would guess is from 1929. The date on the scan is unreadable, but the page has an article commenting on Herbert Hoover’s inaugural address, so it was probably from March, 1929. It’s possible that the Flash Theatre closed in 1927, though. I haven’t found any ads for it after the early part of that year. The opening of the Riviera Theatre at North Tonawanda in late 1926 might have left the area with too many theaters.
The first State Theatre might have been renamed the Alpine Theatre after being taken over by the Alpine Circuit in 1936. The Alpine Theatre at Point Pleasant was mentioned in the February 17, 1937, issue of The Film Daily.
Looking back over the old comments, maybe the unknown theater was the Globe, which AlAlvarez asked about in this comment?
The 1921 Film Daily item I cited did say that the Stadium’s site was 50x185 feet, and considering that the stadium-seated section was over the lobby then the original auditorium could have been more than three times as deep as it was wide and still leave plenty of room for projection booth and a stage.
There is a newer Google Street View of 119th Street now, so the side view of the old building is gone. I wish I’d saved a screen cap of it.
Does anyone know the name of the theater next door to the Michigan Furniture Company in the 1905 photo at iatse311’s link? A banner over the door says “Moving Pictures” so it should probably be listed at Cinema Treasures. It looks like it was down the block a few doors from the site of the Stadium, probably at 2172 Third Avenue.
The Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to says that the 1949 remodeling of the Palace Theatre was designed by Des Moines architects Wetherill & Harrison.
This item from the November 23, 1935, issue of The Film Daily confirms that the Seneca Theatre in Kingwood did become the Alpine Theatre:
“Kingwood, W. Va. — The Alpine,
formerly the Seneca, which is operated by Charles A. Anderson, has been equipped with new RCA High Fidelity sound.”
“W. E. Keller, West Virginia operator, has opened the Lyric. The Seneca Theater in the same town has been taken over by the Alpine Circuit, operated by Anderson & Urling, and renamed the Alpine. House was formerly operated by C. E. Cooper.”
Thanks, dallasmovietheaters. I’m glad we’ve finally gotten that confusion cleared up. Now we need a page for the Telenews/Dallas Theatre.
The Alpine Theatre at Terra Alta is mentioned in two 1933 issues of The Film Daily On January 30, an item noted that Wilbur Morford had reopened the Alpine Theatre at Terra Alta. The September 2 issue said that the Alpine had been transferred from W. Murford to W. A. Brooks.
It sounds as though this house was called the Alpine before it was owned by the Alpine Circuit, which as near as I can figure was formed in either 1934 or 1935. It’s likely that this theater gave its name to the circuit, rather than the other way around.
The Pocahontas Times had listings for the Alpine Theatre as late as April, 1963. The last movies I found listed are Blue Hawaii and The Castaways, showing on April 11, but the next issue available is April 18, so the house might have closed any day during that week.
The Alpine Theatre was one of several buildings destroyed in a fire that struck Marlinton’s downtown in January, 1968. GenDisasters has a page with two very small, blurry photos here. I can’t tell if the photos show the theater or some other building.
In 1933 and 1936 there was a house called the Seneca Theatre operating in Marlinton. As the Alpine circuit grew primarily by taking over existing theaters, frequently renaming them, it’s possible that Seneca is an aka for this Alpine.
Two old references to theaters in Lebanon might or might not refer to the Princess. One is from The Moving Picture World of May 3, 1913:
“Lebanon, Tenn. — W. B. Scales, of Shelbyville, who has recently moved his family here, opened his new theater at this place. This makes the second moving picture and vaudeville house for Lebanon. The other one ‘The New Lyric’ is owned by E. E. Adams and is leased by L. B. Long, formerly of Cookeville.”
“Lebanon, Tenn.—Theater (M. P.): Public sq., Lebanon. Archt. Marr & Holman. Stahlman bldg., Nashville, Tenn. Owner Crescent Amusement Co., Tom Sudekum pres., 5th av., N., Nashville. Archt. selected.”
As this house was called the Capri Theatre for more than a decade, from 1960 until its closing in the 1970s, isn’t that how it should be listed? Almost nobody under 60 is likely to remember it as the Melba.
The Seeley Theatre was designed by Seattle architect E. W. Houghton, according to data compiled for the NRHP nomination for the Downtown Pomeroy Historic District.
Until the late 19th-early 20th century, theaters were more likely to be built on the second floor of a building than the ground floor. The owners of the buildings wanted to keep the street floor for retail shops and other daytime uses. The change to ground floor theaters was partly the result of increasingly strict fire laws, but the growing popularity of movies probably helped accelerate the transition. Live theaters typically had matinees only one or two days a week, but movie theaters could afford to open by noon and run far into the evening, keeping the valuable street-floor space busy most of the day.
I don’t seen any negativity, Chuck. I know that some of the odd fragments of information I post are undoubtedly puzzling, but I post them because there’s always a chance that somebody will be able to add something to clarify them. (Also if I just put them down on paper there’s a good chance that I’ll lose track of them. I’m not good at organizing notes.)
I think Stephen is pretty sharp, too. He has been making a lot of useful contributions to the site. I can’t say I’m surprised, as it clearly runs in the family.
Clickable version of joelmoses' link. The article says that the Capitol Theatre originally opened on December 9, 1941, and closed in 1980. It was renovated by new owner Bob Black beginning in 2009, and reopened in the early summer of 2013.
Here is the official web site, the History page of which notes that the Capitol was originally owned by the Crescent Amusement Company, but was taken over by Martin Theatres in 1961.
Attica’s Family Theatre was advertised in the December 13, 1921, issue of the Batavia Daily News. The operator was James Martina. Donovan A. Shilling’s book Rochester’s Movie Mania says that what was to become the Martina Circuit began with a theater in Attica in the 1920s, so it must have been this one.
The February 19, 1920, issue of The Attica News ran a brief item about “…F.W. Hark, former proprietor of the Bijou, now the Family Theatre….”
The January 15, 1914, issue of the Silver Springs Signal said: “Frank W. Hark of Fillmore has bought the Bijou Theatre in Attica.”
The Bijou Theatre was advertised in the August 31, 1911, issue of The Attica News. There are probably earlier mentions of the Bijou, but I haven’t been able to track them down yet.
I’m only saying that for more than 20 years the FDY said that the Alpine circuit’s office was at Price and Main Streets in Kingwood. It’s just an isolated fact that I found interesting. By itself it doesn’t mean anything, but it could be a clue to something about the history of the circuit or of Kingwood’s theaters.
For example, in 1930 there was a theater in Kingwood called the Arcade. Was it the Alpine under an earlier name, or was it a different theater? If it was a different theater, did it belong to Charles Anderson, who launched the Alpine Circuit around 1934 or 1935? Might the Arcade have been at Price and Main Streets?
Puzzling out the history of theaters in a given place is often a matter of assembling a bunch of scattered facts from different sources, and you don’t know what the big picture will be until you have several of those facts to put together.
From 1936 to 1958, Kingwood was listed in the Film Daily Yearbook as the home of the Alpine Theatre Circuit. However, the location was given as Price and Main Streets, which would be a long block east of this theater.
In 1935, Terra Alta was the location of the Alpine Theatre Circuit’s main office, but by 1936 it had been moved to Kingwood, where it remained as late as 1958.
The Alpine Theatre Circuit declined rapidly in the mid-1950s. In 1953 it still had 27 houses, but by 1956 it had only nine (probably reflecting the high cost of converting theaters for CinemaScope.) In 1958 the chain was down to six houses, and by 1960 it was no longer listed in the FDY.
Here is an article about the Alpine Theatre in Hundred, dated February 16, 2011. The house had reopened following repairs occasioned by a fire two years earlier. There are photos of the interior.
This house might have been called the Victoria Theatre from the time of its opening in 1909. It is listed under that name in the 1912-1913 Cahn-Leighton guide. It was a ground floor house with 474 orchestra seats, 230 seats in the balcony, a gallery with 84 seats, and boxes seating 16. The stage was 50 feet between side walls and 41 feet front to back. The proscenium was 28x22 feet. The Hansford Opera House was not listed in the 1912 guide.
The NRHP Registration Form for the Parsons Depot has this information: “Two opera houses were built, the first in 1904 and the second in 1909. The latter became the Victoria Theatre, a movie theater.”
The only opera house at Parsons that is listed in the Cahn guide, The Hansford Opera House, appears in both the 1906 and 1909 editions, so it must have been the one built in 1904. I’ve found no clues to the name of the 1909 opera house that became the Victoria Theatre. A local source will probably have to be found.
The Wyoming Theatre in Torrington opened on March 25, 1927, according the April 1 issue of Motion Picture News.
The April 1, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News said that the new Lincoln Theatre in Cheyenne had opened the previous week. The house was owned by the Plains Theatre Corporation.