Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Band Box Theatre on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:55 pm

The Folly Theatre was listed in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. It was one of five movie houses listed for Savannah, the others being the Bijou, the Odeon and the Princess, all on Broughton Street, and the Pekin Theatre on Broad Street.

The Folly is listed in the FDY through 1929, with 350 seats. It then vanishes, reappearing in 1934 with 500 seats. From 1935 through 1942 it is listed with 600 seats. In 1943 the 600-seat Bandbox Theatre makes its first appearance. The Bandbox is listed through 1947, and in 1948 the Avon first appears.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Seavue Theatre on Aug 8, 2018 at 9:15 pm

The SeaVue Theatre was at 816 Peace Portal Drive, in a building now occupied by a business called Hagan’s of Blaine, a shipping and receiving outfit. American Classic Images has photos of the SeaVue from 1980 and from 1987. Although the 1998 newspaper article Seattleprojectionist linked to (the EPA link is dead) said that the building was being demolished for a condo project, Google’s street view shows that it is still standing, as are its neighbors on both sides.

The venerable building was occupied by a theater at least as early as 1907. This house operated under the name Ivan L. Theatre at least into the mid-1930s. This (very long) web page about British Columbia’s movie theaters also has a few bits about theaters on the American side of the border. It says that the SeaVue opened in 1948, and might have been the same house earlier called the AM-BC Theatre and the International Theatre. The 1948 opening is plausible, but I’m a bit skeptical of the aka’s as Blaine did have at least two other theaters at various times, and one of them could have become the AM-BC/International. The Ivan L did vanish from newspaper listings about the time the AM-BC first appeared, though, so it’s possible they were the same house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Uptown Theatre on Aug 8, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Photos of four of manager Rex Barrett’s “art fronts” for the Cozy Theatre are featured in this article from Universal Weekly of November 17, 1923.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Saban Theatre on Aug 8, 2018 at 3:25 pm

The Saban’s web site shows from two to four one-night events a month scheduled over the next several months, mostly baby boomer nostalgia music acts (Peter Cetera, Isley Brothers, Paul Anka, etc.) It would be nice if they could throw in an occasional classic movie, but I don’t know if they even have projection equipment anymore— or a screen, for that matter.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Granada Theatre on Aug 7, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Opened in 1952, the Granada was designed by Gale Santocono using a plan very similar to that of the slightly larger Seavue Theatre at Pacifica, opened the previous year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Uptown Theatre on Aug 7, 2018 at 8:14 pm

From the October 1, 1921 issue of Exhibitors Herald: “COLUMBIA. MO. — Rex Barrett of Pierce City has purchased the Odeon theatre here and renamed it the Cozy.”

There was another remodeling of the Uptown in 1939, according to this item from the January 7 issue of Motion Picture Herald:

“The Commonwealth Amusement Company of Columbia, Mo., headed by Mayor Rex Barrett, recently awarded a contract to the Fleet Building and Repair Company of Kansas City, Mo., for the extensive remodeling of its theatre building in Columbia.”
The 1935 rebuild of the long-closed Cozy involved a considerable enlargement of the theater. The Cozy was listed in FDY’s of the 1920s with 300 seats, while the Uptown was listed in the 1930s with 700. The 1939 project must not have included any further enlargement, as the capacity listed in the early 1940s was still 700.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Columbia Theatre on Aug 7, 2018 at 6:49 pm

The Uptown Theatre, aka Bijo Dream, Broadway Odeon, and Cozy, was at 1010 E. Broadway and already has a page at Cinema Treasures. There are comments on that page tracing its history.

As far as I’ve been able to confirm, the house at 1103 E. Broadway was always called the Columbia Theatre from its opening in 1907 until its loss to a fire in 1929, though there is some possibility that it was the theater listed in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory as the Majestic, the only house at Columbia in that directory for which no address was provided. If the Columbia was not the Majestic then it must not have been operating as a movie house in 1914-1915.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about M Theatre on Aug 7, 2018 at 6:01 pm

It looks like this house remained open at least a bit longer, after a name change. The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists 10 N. 9th Street as the address of the Gem Theatre. Columbia had three other theaters listed: the Broadway Odeon, the Majestic, and the Star. By 1926 the FDY listed only the Columbia, the Hall, and the Cozy.

This article from Columbia Business Times says there was a Gem Theatre opened at the corner of Walnut and Ninth Streets in 1909. It doesn’t say how long it was in operation. The article mentions the M Theatre, but doesn’t say anything about the name change. Most likely its life as the second Gem was brief and has been forgotten.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Art Cinema on Aug 7, 2018 at 4:52 pm

The space occupied by the Art Theatre in the vintage photo is now occupied by Limelight Stage + Studios, which the Internet describes as a “[l]ively karaoke joint offering a choice of a public stage or private rooms, plus drinks & appetizers.” The menu is primarily east Asian and photos (and videos of people committing karaoke) on the Internet indicate a predominantly east Asian clientèle.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Telenews Theatre on Aug 6, 2018 at 5:05 pm

Interesting that the marquee of the Fox Newsreel in Oakland was so similar to the marquee on the Los Angeles newsreel house that later was also renamed the Globe Theatre. Both featured a globe, which probably suggested the new name after the houses were switched to regular movies. I wonder if there were other Fox newsreel houses that featured globes on their marquees?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Aug 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm

The Rialto was advertised in the December 27, 1921 issue of The Union Daily Times. A house called the Grand was also advertised. Either house might have dated back to 1916, when the October 5 issue of Manufacturers Record reported that the contract had been let for a 50x150-foot theater at Union for a Mr. J. Cohen. Local newspapers from around that time should have more information, if someone with access can track it down.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Aug 6, 2018 at 3:50 pm

This article posted at the web site of Augusta Magazine on July 31, 2018 says “[o]riginally the Rialto was to open on Wednesday, September 18, [1918] but due to unforeseen problems that the Chronicle never mentioned the opening was delayed until Monday, September 23.”

The article also says that the announcement of the Rialto’s imminent closure appeared in The Augusta Chronicle on January 6, 1956. The house was scheduled to close January 18. The building was then remodeled into an office for Augusta Federal Savings & Loan, then in 1985 was converted into offices for an optometrist, which it remains today.

One inexplicable claim the article makes twice is that the Rialto operated as a movie theater for more than 60 years. By my count, September 23, 1918 to January 18, 1956 is several months short of 38 years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Point Theatre on Aug 4, 2018 at 8:20 pm

This 1913 theater building is still in use, now occupied by El Tunel, a bar and restaurant. A new entrance has been cut into the side of the former auditorium, and the restaurant uses a Park Place address. The interior shows no trace of its theatrical history.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lake Theatre on Aug 4, 2018 at 8:08 pm

A book about Central Valley land baron J. G. Boswell notes the opening of the Lake Theatre, saying that the first movie shown in the new house was “Mother Carey’s Chickens,” which was a 1938 release.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Cinema on Aug 4, 2018 at 12:27 pm

The Kerman Morris Architects link I posted earlier says that Architectural Resources Group (the correct name of the firm) acted as historic preservation consultants on the project. ARG’s own web site has several excellent photographs of the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theater on Aug 3, 2018 at 10:29 pm

Records kept by Alvin Strauss’s successor firm, Strauss Associates, indicate that Strauss prepared plans for alterations and additions to the Rialto in 1936 (commission #694,) but the project might not have been carried out until 1938 (commission # 726.) Two rolls of blueprints dated 11/6/36 were found bundled with plans for the 1938 project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fremont Theatre on Aug 3, 2018 at 9:06 pm

The Fremont Theatre’s final renovation was probably the project noted only as “Fremont Theatre Bldg., Fremont, Oh.” which is project #563 on a list of the works of Fort Wayne architect Alvin M. Strauss. There is no indication of how extensive the project was.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Aug 3, 2018 at 8:35 pm

The August 15, 1969 issue of the Defiance News-Crescent says that the Strand Theatre occupied the site of a movie house originally called the Rex and later the Rivoli, which was gutted by a fire on May 1, 1936. Mallers Brothers, who had acquired the theater in 1934, rebuilt the building and opened the new house as the Strand on October 30, 1936.

Mallers Brothers operated the Strand until 1956, when they sold their holdings, which included the Valentine Theatre, to the Armstrong circuit. Armstrong dismantled the Strand around 1960, and the building was converted into retail space for Sears-Roebuck.

The records of the architectural firm Strauss Associates, successors to the practice of Fort Wayne architect Alvin M. Strauss, list among his works a 1936 theater project at Defiance for Mallers Brothers. That must have been the Strand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Aug 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

This item about renovations at the Colonial is from the April 3, 1915 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“The management of the Colonial theater at Ft. Wayne is planning to remodel the building occupied by the picture playhouse at Calhoun and Washington streets, and when completed will be one of the finest and most up-to-date moving picture houses in the state.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eagles Theatre on Aug 3, 2018 at 3:24 pm

The NHP registration form for the Wabash Downtown Historic District says that the Eagles Theatre opened on March 30, 1906. The house was leased to the Dickson Brothers in 1913, and they bought the building in 1917, operating the theater through the 1940s. William and Percy Dickson also owned the Colonial, Orpheum, Family and Dreamland Theatres in Wabash, according to the December 15, 1917 issue of Motography. As of 1912 they had also owned a house on Wabash Street called the Princess Theatre.

For some time in the mid-1910s the Eagles was known as the Yarnelle Theatre, which is how it was listed in the 1914 Gus Hill Directory. The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory double lists the house under both names. By 1918 the name had reverted to Eagles Theatre.

Papers of the Fort Wayne architectural firm Strauss Associates indicate that A. M. Strauss planned alterations for the Eagles Theatre twice, once in the late 1920s and again in 1939.

The Eagles Theatre is currently closed and undergoing major renovations. Among other changes, a second screen will be added to the house in a 40-seat auditorium to be carved from part of the basement. The main auditorium, recently seating only 450, will be expanded to 550 seats by reopening the balcony. The stage facilities will be upgraded to accommodate live events as well as movies. Upper floors of the building will have rooms for various purposes, including audio and video recording facilities and meeting rooms. The restored fourth floor ballroom, long derelict, will host events seating up to 200. Reconstruction began in late 2017, and is expected to take between 18 months and two years.

More details about the project here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Aug 2, 2018 at 10:36 pm

When the Dickson Brothers bought the Eagles Theatre (which they had been operating under a lease since 1913) the December 15, 1917 issue of Motography noted the event in a brief article which said that the Dicksons also were operating the Orpheum, Family, Dreamland and Colonial Theatres in Wabash.

This PDF of rather mysterious origin, undated, and frustratingly incomplete, has information from a state survey of historic Indiana theaters, and gives the aka’s Orpheum Theatre and Logan Theatre for the house last known as the Colonial. The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists both the Orpheum and the Logan Theatres, but not the Colonial. Given that an Orpheum and Colonial were both in operation in 1917, the most likely explanation is that a new Orpheum Theatre had been opened sometime before 1914, and the original Orpheum was then renamed the Logan, but then the house had later been renamed again, becoming the Colonial Theatre by late 1917.

The earliest mention of the Orpheum I’ve found is in the May 1, 1910 issue of The Nickelodeon, which said the house would soon open on Market Street and would be under the same ownership as the Dreamland Theatre. The May 15 issue of the same journal noted that the Orpheum had opened, and that two other movie theaters were already operating in Wabash.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wells Theatre on Aug 2, 2018 at 7:31 pm

A house called the Palace Theatre is listed at 4th and Wells Streets in Fort Wayne in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. Details being unavailable, I don’t know if this was the same house later called the Wells Theatre.

A second house called the Palace Theatre opened in downtown Fort Wayne in January, 1915. The 1916 Polk Directory lists both the “Palace, cor 4th and Wells” and the “Palace Theatre (New), Washington blvd E.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Aug 2, 2018 at 6:22 pm

A New Royal Theatre was formally opened on March 16, 1921, according to the following day’s issue of the Garrett Clipper. The new house had 500 seats, and the March 15 issue of the Fort Wayne News and Sentinel said that the 500-seat theater rapidly nearing completion on Randolph Street in Garrett had been designed by architect A. M. Strauss.

For the first couple of years the house advertised itself as the New Royal Theatre. I’ve been unable to discover if the New Royal was on the same site as the original Royal, or (if it was) it incorporated any of the original theater’s structure.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theater on Aug 2, 2018 at 5:16 pm

This brief article appeared in the April 10, 1942 issue of The Film Daily:

“Fort Wayne’s Rialto Is Being Largely Remodeled

“Fort Wayne, Ind. — Remodeling of the Rialto Theater, Calhoun and Pontiac Sts., is under way, to cost approximately $8,500 and be completed about May 1, announced George Heliotes, manager. The project will allow additional foyer space by eliminating most of an adjoining storeroom. A. M. Strauss is architect.

“Included in the remodeling will be a new stairway to the balcony, a new lounge and foyer, new men’s lounge and rest room in the basement, and air conditioning. Michael Kinder & Sons has been awarded the general contract.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on Aug 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Bill Counter’s “San Francisco Theatres” has a page for the Majestic, featuring many photos, almost all of them of the post-quake ruins, but it doesn’t mention movies ever being shown at the house. The earthquake struck on the morning of the second anniversary of the Majestic’s opening, and the theater was never rebuilt.