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Linkrot repair: The article about the four-screen annex to the Americana in the April 20, 1970, issue of Boxoffice can now be found at this link.
Robert Lippert opened the original, single-screen Americana on September 18, 1964. It was the annex which opened in 1970. The ad in the photo section is from that event.
An advertisement for Nashville’s new Theatre Vendome, then under construction, appeared in a December, 1886, issue of The New York Mirror and listed the architects as J. D. McElfatrick & Sons.
This project noted in the November, 1908, issue of The Clay Worker was probably the Princess, despite the location being given as Fifth Street and Central Avenue:
“The Samuel H. Chute Company has let the contract to F. G. McMillan for the erection at Fifth street and Central avenue of a brick and tile theater building, the foundation for which is to be completed this fall. Harry G. Carter is the architect. Cost, $50,000.”
A report prepared for the Minnesota Historical Society says that the theater at 20 N. Washington Avenue opened as the People’s Theater on October 31, 1887. It was renamed the Bijou in 1890, but was destroyed by fire in December of that year. The Bijou was rebuilt, now a bit larger, with plans by the original architect, Harry G. Carter. The building was razed in 1960 (note Louis Rugani’s earlier comment that the house was still operating in August, 1959.)
An article about the Valentine Theatre was published in the September 18, 2003, issue of The Toledo Blade. It said that the theater opened in 1892 as the Citizen’s Opera House. Other sources indicate that it was called the Defiance Opera House for a while before becoming the Valentine Theatre. The article said that much of the theater’s interior is still in its original state.
The Citizen’s Opera House Co. had accepted plans for the project prepared by St.Paul theater architect Harry G. Carter, according to an item in the August 2, 1890, issue of The New York Clipper. The plans called for a ground floor theater with 378 seats in the parquet, 278 in the balcony, 318 in the gallery, and six boxes, each accommodating six patrons.
The Blade article says that the building originally had a ballroom on the second floor, but this was removed when hotel was added to the front of the building. At some point the roof of the auditorium was lowered and the gallery removed. Seating was ultimately reduced to 546.
The Defiance Public Library provides this postcard from the 1910s showing the original appearance of the theater building.
In 2003, the church which had occupied the theater for several years was moving out, and a local citizens group had hopes that the city would buy the house and it would be restored to theatrical use, but the project obviously came to nothing as the Valentine is now occupied by a different church group.
A description of the Bellevue Theatre and a 1916 photo of the entrance appear in this post from The PhillyHistory Blog. A sign above the entrance boasts of the Bellevue’s “Wonderful Echo Organ.”
The 100 block of Chestnut Street has been redeveloped as part of the Downtown Mall shopping center, so the Theatorium has been demolished.
Here is a bit of information about the Crystal Theatre from Movie Debut: Films in the Twin Cities 1894-1909 by Lucile M. Kane and John A. Dougherty:
“…the Crystal (Minneapolis) was outstanding. A plan rendered by Harry G. Carter, a
veteran theater architect, called for the conversion of a two-story brick-veneer structure into theater with a seating capacity of 575 at a cost of $20,000. According to the Minneapolis Journal, the theater, which opened on August 28, 1909, measured 115 by 44 feet and was 29 feet high without a gallery or balcony. The interior colors were red, green, and gold. The ornate façade facing on Hennepin Avenue was decorated in white and gold.”
The obituary of architect Harry G. Carter in the March 5, 1910, issue of The Improvement Bulletin listed the Metropolitan Theatre in Minneapolis as one of his works.
According to his obituary in the March 5, 1910, issue of The Improvement Bulletin, the original architect of the Bijou Theatre in Minneapolis was Harry G. Carter.
The Princess Theatre was in operation at least as early as 1908. It was listed in the 1913-1914 Cahn guide as having 485 seats on the main floor, 180 in the balcony, and a gallery seating 49.
“A. H. Bank” in the theater description should read “A. H. Blank.” Paramount affiliate Blank probably operated the Strand from the time of its opening, and then bought it outright in 1917 as noted in this item from the December 29 issue of Motography that year:
“Ingleduc & Jensen have sold the Strand Theater at Marshalltown to A. H. Blank of Des Moines who will continue to operate it.”
Rochester, Minnesota, by Ted St Mane, says that the Empress Theatre was built in 1914, closed in 1956, and the building was demolished on December 31, 1965. There’s a photo at the bottom of page 105 (Google Books preview.)
The finding aid to the Liebenberg & Kaplan papers indicates that the firm worked on the Empress three times: in 1931, 1935, and 1951.
The name of the theater is not given in this item from the May 13, 1916, issue of Motography, but the address is that of the Crystal:
“J. Barnet of St. Paul, proprietor of the only all-night moving picture theater in Minneapolis, has been denied a renewal of his license on complaint of the Minneapolis Humane Society that children were allowed in the place after curfew hours. The theater is located at 305 Hennepin avenue.”
Documentation of the Grinell Historic Business District for the NRHP says that the Iowa/Colonial Theatre was at 937 Main Street.
The Strand Theatre in Grinnell was originally to have had 600 seats, according to this item from the May 13, 1916, issue of Motography:
“Work has been started on the new motion picture theater on Main street, Grinnell. Mart & Son is the owner and they have had plans drawn for a very modern theater to seat 600. Cost $20,000.”
A book called Past and Present of Adams County, published in 1917, says: “The Brach Theater was erected by William Brach and is the first elaborate, exclusive moving picture theater to be erected in Hastings. The house was opened October 8, 1916. Charles A. Beghtol is the proprietor.”
The May 13, 1916, issue of Motography had an item about the proposed theater, though it got the name of the owner wrong:
“The office and theater building being erected in Hastings by William Branch [sic] has been leased by Charles A. Beghtol of Denver. The latter expects to take possession by September 1. The first floor will be used exclusively for a moving picture theater, which, Mr. Beghtol and the designers say, will have no superior in the west. The lobby will be especially elaborate, with tile floor and marble trimmings. The installation of an orchestra organ is contemplated.”
If the Catherine was twinned in 1916, it was probably part of the remodeling and enlargement noted in this item from the April 29, 1916, issue of Motogrpahy, thopugh the item doesn’t mantion anything about a second auditorium being part of the project:
“The Catherine Theater, Detroit, Mich., is being remodeled and enlarged, and will be ready for opening by July 1. The theater, when the new improvements are completed, will have a seating capacity of 800. The theater is owned and operated by the Lincoln Amusement Company.”
Here is the paragraph about the Illinois Theatre from a document about the Joseph W. Royer Arts and Architecture District, an historic neighborhood of Urbana with several surviving buildings designed by Joseph William Royer, architect of the lost theater:
“This four-story brick structure was built by a group of Urbana stockholders on land donated by the Flatiron Building Association. Construction began in early June 1907, and the new theater was formally opened on March 3, 1908. Local and nationally known artists such as Enrico Caruso, Al Jolson, Jenny Lind, and Sarah Bernhardt performed in the theater. From 1923 the building was owned by the Zenith Amusement Company, a Ku Klux Klan organization, which used it primarily for Klan activities. On April 3, 1927, the theater burned down. The walls survived, and the ‘Tuscany’ Apartments were built in the burnt out shell.”
Porter, I wish you success in your restoration project. I haven’t been able to find any early photos of the building, though as Jay English was a fairly well known theater architect it’s possible that some of his plans and papers, and possibly project photos, survive in an archive somewhere, though I haven’t been able to discover if they have. If I come across any information about his papers I’ll post it here.
The two buildings adjacent to the Shapiro Theatre in the photo Granola uploaded on January 29 are still standing, but the theater itself is gone, replaced by a parking lot and drive-up ATM for Clearfield Bank.
Linkrot repair: The Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company ad illustrated with a photo of the front of the Harris DuBois Theatre, in Boxoffice of October 15, 1938, can now be found at this link.
Linkrot repair: The October 17, 1936, Boxoffice article about the rebuilt Frolic Theatre can now be found at this link.
The photo and lobby floor plan can be found at this link.
While there was an architect named Walter E. Kelley working in the 1920s, he practiced in New York. His Portland contemporary spelled his surname Kelly. Kelly was best known for his residential buildings, but did design the City Hall in Milwaukie, Oregon, built by the Public Works Administration in 1937-1938.
There is a distant glimpse of the Alberta Theatre’s marquee in the photo on this web page. A comment by “Butch” some way down the page says that the theater was this side of the big vertical sign reading “Furniture” which can be seen on the left side of the street (click photo to enlarge.) The theater name in script on the end of the marquee can be made out, though it is partly blocked by a utility pole. A dark vertical sign above it can’t be read, but might also belong to the theater.
The PSTOS page for the Alberta says that a Wurlitzer organ was installed in the Victoria Theatre 1924, and a Wood organ was later installed in the renamed Alberta Theatre.
This web page has an article about Alberta Central, the office-retail project which incorporates the old Alberta Theatre auditorium. There is a photo of the auditorium during reconstruction, after it was gutted but before the sloped floor had been leveled. A second floor housing offices has been inserted into the space.
The smaller building which housed the theater entrance has been demolished and replaced by the two-story building housing a branch of Umpqua Bank. It’s possible that the demolished building was the original Victoria Theatre, reported in 1916 to have 400 seats. The larger auditorium backing up to 18th Street must have been an expansion, possibly dating from 1924 when the Wurlitzer organ was installed.
The Alberta Central article also notes that the Alberta operated as a movie theater until 1965, at which time it was converted into a church. The church remained in the building until perhaps as late as 2007. The conversion to Alberta Center took place in 2009, the year the article was published.