Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about West End Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Here is a brief item describing the West End Lyric Theatre, from the November 14, 1914, issue of Motion Picture News:

“THEATRE DE LUXE IN ST. LOUIS

“THE West End Lyric Theatre, at Delmar and Euclid avenues, St. Louis, is the dernier cri in motion picture houses. From the embroidered cable net curtains that adorn the glass doors of the lobby back to the screen, the furnishings and equipment is characterized by elegance and good taste.

“The lobby is particularly pleasing; there are three Oriental rugs on the mosaic floor, a large Etruscan vase filled with ferns and living foliage, flanked on either side by smaller urns, and in the foreground a receptacle that is replenished daily with cut flowers.

“The house seats eleven hundred persons, and gives a program of high class features. A five piece orchestra and a Victrola furnish the music. Mrs. J. W. Cornelius is the manager.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 5:46 pm

The Colonial Theatre in Waterbury was mentioned in the January 10, 1914, issue of Motion Picture News. Owner John Sheehan, who had been operating the house since its opening, had just leased the 400-seat house to George H. Beardsley of New York.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fisk Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 5:30 pm

The complete destruction of the Fisk Theatre building by fire on January 5, 1951, was reported in the January 13 issue of Boxoffice. The fire was thought to have started in a grocery store next door. Though Charles Fisk said he planned to rebuild as soon as the rubble could be cleared from the site, he had carried only $10,000 of insurance on the house, so it is possible that he was unable to raise the money to rebuild. Fisk also owned the Butler Theatre, which was open at least as late as 1957. The small town also had a drive-in, so probably didn’t need another indoor theater.

This photo shows the Fisk Theatre and the adjacent building, as well as a building in the background which is still standing on the southeast corner of Dakota and Delaware Streets. The Fisk was very close to the corner, and its site in now under part of the footprint of the modern building occupied in Google street view by Butler Music. I think we can mark this theater as demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elk Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Here is the current web site for the Elk Theatre. In the late 1930s and intot he 1950s this house was being operated as the Alpine Theatre. I haven’t been able to discover if it was originally built for the Alpine circuit or was one of the many older, small town theaters taken over by them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Though the name of the new house was not given, an article in the October 10, 1914, issue of Motion Picture News said that the theater at Third And Harris Streets was one of four neighborhood movie theaters which had opened at Harrisburg in September that year. It was owned by C. E. Hanshaw, a newcomer to the theater business.

By 1925, the Rialto was being operated by Isaac Marcus, who had been in the theater business at Harrisburg for along time, having operated the Royal (later the Star) Theatre on North Third Street since at least the early 1910s. In late 1927 Marcus gave a five year lease on the Rialto and the National Theatre to Mr. and Mrs. George Krupa, theater operators from Lancaster. This deal was noted in the December 15 issue of The Evening News.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Art Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 3:40 pm

In 1914, 1205 N. 3rd Street was the address of a house called the Royal Theatre, which had been operated by Isaac Marcus for several years. According to an article in the October 10 issue of Motion Picture News, Marcus had just opened the new National Theatre at Sixth and Duaphin Street in September.

Marcus was still operating the Royal in 1927, when the December 15 issue of The Evening News noted that he had just leased two other theaters, the Rialto and the National, to Mr. and Mrs. George Krupa, theater operators from Lancaster. The article also said that it was possible that the Krupas would also lease the Royal at a later date.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about National Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 3:30 pm

The National was one of four new Harrisburg neighborhood theaters opened in September, 1914, according to an article in the October 10 issue of Motion Picture News. It was owned by Isaac Marcus, who had been operating the Royal Theatre (later the Star) on North Third Street for a number of years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 3:07 pm

The Roxy was probably the house opened as the William Penn Theatre at Thompson and 13th Street in September, 1914. It was one of four neighborhood houses opened in Harrisburg that month, according to an article in the October 10 issue of Motion Picture News.

A January 14, 1926, article in the Harrisburg Telegraph said that the ground floor of the building, which had been converted into a garage at some point, was about the be renovated and restored to theatrical use, with a lodge hall to be installed on the upper floor.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 2:44 pm

The Grand Theatre was the largest of four neighborhood houses opened in Harrisburg in September, 1914, according to an article in the October 10, 1914, issue of Motion Picture News. Originally seating 1,200, the Grand was owned by J. M. Lenney, and was his second Harrisburg movie house, the first being Lenney’s Theatre at 5-7 S. 13th Street. The Grand was a reverse theater, with the screen at the entrance end of the auditorium.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Louisiana Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm

Here is an article about the Theatre Louisiana and its operators, P. E. Coe and L. H. Grandjeau, from the October 24, 1914, issue of Motion Picture News.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Retina Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 1:09 pm

The Retina Theatre is the subject of a brief (but sadly unillustrated) article in the November 7, 1914, issue of Motion Picture News. The article praises the theater (rather fulsomely) and its owner, John Gentner, of having rescued its neighborhood and the benighted denizens thereof from vice and crime. The tale sounds as though it could have been drawn from the plot of one of the “uplifting” movies of the day, meant to convince the church ladies that the movies weren’t a tool of the devil after all.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Regent Theatre on Feb 28, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Here is a link to the article Ron Pierce cited in the previous comment. (Click the + sign in the bar at the top of the page to zoom in.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Here is an item that is probably about the Rialto, from the September 5, 1925, issue of Motion Picture News:

“High Class Theatre to Be Built in Bergen, N. J.

“West Bergen, N. J. is to have another high class theatre which will seat 1,500 persons. The theatre building will be erected at West Side and Communipaw avenues. The plans for this theatre have been drawn by George Flagg.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hines Theatre on Feb 24, 2018 at 4:49 pm

We have the wrong address for the Hines Theatre. It was located on the north side of Walnut Street just east of Commerce Street. These four photos show some distinctive features of the area that are still there. The tower and chimney in the background of the upper left photos are on the back wall of the building that now houses the Ritz Theatre, at Walnut and Meridian Street.

The sign for First National Bank in the lower right photo still exists at the southwest corner of Commerce and Walnut, but now advertises a barbecue restaurant that replaced the bank’s drive-up teller area. Most notably, the ground floor of the building on the northeast corner of Walnut and Commerce survived the 1983 fire and now houses a lawyer’s office. Its distinctive corner column that can be seen in the vintage photo at lower right.

The address of the lawyer’s office is 124 W. Walnut, so the address of the Hines Theatre would have been a few numbers lower, perhaps 118 or 120 W. Walnut.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hines Theatre on Feb 24, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Prior to opening the Hines Theatre, Sherman J.Hines had operated at least two other theaters in Portland. The July 2, 1921, issue of Exhibitors Herald reported that Sherman Hines, operator of the Princess Theatre at Portland, had been arrested for snowing movies on Sunday.

The October 14, 1922, issue of The Moving Picture World said that “Sherman Hines has purchased Crystal Theatre, a moving picture house and assumed management.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Best Theatre on Feb 24, 2018 at 3:48 pm

The Best Theatre at Indianapolis, operated by Charles Koch, was mentioned in the January 4, 1919, issue of Motion Picture News. Mr. Koch had just disposed of his interest in a house called the Apollo Theatre, located and South East Street and McCarty Street in the Fletcher Place district, to Max Patton.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Feb 23, 2018 at 9:44 pm

There was a Strand Theatre operating in Atmore at least as early as 1924, when the April 26 issue of Exhibitors Herald published a capsule movie review by its manager, W.W. Lowery, Jr..

If the plans of the Martin Theatre company were carried out, the Strand was rebuilt in 1936, announced in this item in the September 18 issue of The Film Daily:

“Atmore, Ala. — Martin Theaters will start construction about Oct. 1 on a new house here seating 600 and at a cost of approximately $25,000. The house will be built on the site of the Strand.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Savoy Theatre on Feb 23, 2018 at 9:10 pm

Anniston’s Savoy Theatre was listed in the 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clark Cinemas on Feb 23, 2018 at 8:55 pm

The Martin Theatre opened in 1940. It was built in the shell of the Paramount Theatre, which had been destroyed by a fire early that year. The Paramount had been operated by Martin in partnership with pioneer local exhibitor Z. D. Studstill.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Feb 23, 2018 at 6:12 pm

Here is a letter from the manager of the Strand Theatre in Alexander City that was published in the January 8, 1921, issue of Exhibitors Herald:

“‘I have left Ashland, coming here and putting in a modern house. Business is good, but I can’t depend upon my memory any longer. I must have "What the Picture Did for Me” if I expect to keep using the S. R. O. sign. Am enclosing a check for two years’ subscription.‘ — Mack Jackson, Manager, Strand Theatre, Alexander City, Ala.“
An article on this web page says that the site of the Strand Theatre is now part of Strand Park, which Google Maps shows lying between Alabama Street and Tallapossa Street at Bibb Street. The December 20, 2004, issue of the Alexander City Outlook noted that the City Council had voted to rename the park on the theater’s site from Tallapoosa Street Park to Strand Park.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bama Theatre on Feb 23, 2018 at 6:11 pm

The correct address of the Bama Theatre is 216 Tallapoosa Street. A community theater group called Act II has taken over the house, which is owned by the City and until recently had been used as a gymnastics center, and is renovating it into an arts center to be called the Alexander City Theatre II. This is their web site which, like the theater project itself, is still under construction.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Feb 23, 2018 at 5:10 pm

The Princess Theatre at Albertville was mentioned in the March 4, 1922, issue of The Moving Picture World.

The June 12, 1919, issue of local newspaper The Sand Mountain Banner advertised a house called the Alberta Theatre. The 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory listed only one house at Albertville, that being the Electric Theatre, located on Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Texas Theater on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:27 pm

Did Del Rio have two theaters called the Strand? The house that was rebuilt as the Rita Theatre in 1941 opened in 1931 as the Strand.

Prior to being called the Rio, the house that later became the Texas Theatre had been called the Victory Theatre. The name change was noted in the July 17, 1945, issue of the Del Rio News Herald.

The mission style theater in the photo currently displayed above must have been the first Texas Theatre. That assortment of display posters wouldn’t have been seen in the post-war era. If the other photo (the one uploaded by Don Lewis) is correct, the Victory/Rio/Texas is still standing in the 800 block of Main Street, and its address is probably 827 Main.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Theatre on Feb 20, 2018 at 11:50 pm

115 W. Main Street was the address of the Arcade Theatre, which was one of four movie houses listed at Walla Walla in the 1914-195 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory. An early photo of the Arcade on this web page shows steps leading up the the doors- probably indicating that the auditorium floor had been built up at the rear rather than dug down to create a sloped seating area. If the Roxy was in the same building the more costly alteration was undoubtedly made later.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mayflower Theatre on Feb 20, 2018 at 11:19 pm

Prior to being called the Mayflower this house was called the Colonial Theatre. The June 24 issue of the Eugene Guard that year made reference to “…the Mayflower (formerly the Colonial)”.

A December 31, 1925, Guard retrospective of that year’s construction in Eugene said that “…the new Colonial theater was erected by Laura B. Paine….” The September 30 issue of the Guard had noted that the formal opening of the Colonial Theatre would take place that night.

The PSTOS page for the Mayflower, missing some information, doesn’t mention the original name of the theater, and says that its Robert Morton organ was installed in 1922. It’s possible that the organ was moved to the Colonial from some other theater. It was removed in 1936, according to a 1990 Portland Oregonian article featured on the page.

The PSTOS text says that in 1977 the Mayflower booked the original Star Wars, which played to packed houses in its small auditorium for weeks.