Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Sep 14, 2014 at 1:29 am

There were two theaters called the Liberty in Yakima, and the one at 314 Yakima Avenue was the second. This is a photo of it with the 1941 release The Great Lie advertised on the marquee.

The two photos currently on our photo page depict the earlier Liberty Theatre on South Third Street, which was demolished about a year after opening to make way for the Mercy (later Capitol) Theatre. Here is a photo dated April 18, 1919, with only two walls still standing. The first Liberty had opened on March 12, 1918.

I haven’t found an opening date for the second Liberty Theatre, but it was definitely in operation by 1921 (when this photo was taken,) probably in operation by 1920, and possibly even opened in 1919. The marquee in this photo advertises the 1919 release Turning the Tables.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Yakima Theater on Sep 14, 2014 at 12:14 am

The caption of this photo says that the Yakima Theatre opened on August 12, 1931.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Yakima Theater on Sep 13, 2014 at 10:01 pm

The collection of architectural drawings at the Yakima Valley Museum includes a drawing of a new front for the Yakima Theatre by architect John W. Maloney, dated March 16, 1938.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mecca Theater on Sep 13, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Crescent City and Del Norte County, by The Del Norte County Historical Society, has two photos of the Mecca Theatre (Google Books preview– scroll down one page for an interior photo.) The Mecca opened in July, 1928, and was located at 265 H Street. It suffered a fire on September 15, 1963, but the coup de grâce was delivered on March 28, 1964, when Crescent City was swept by a series of tsunamis generated by the massive earthquake which had struck Alaska the previous day. Many of the city’s downtown buildings were destroyed or damaged beyond repair, and the Mecca Theatre was among those lost.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Wigwam Theater on Sep 13, 2014 at 8:02 pm

The October 8, 1937, issue of The Film Daily had an item saying: “Toppenish, Wash. — Waldo Ives is taking over the new Wigwam Theater.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crooksville Opera House on Sep 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Here is an undated photo of the Crooksville Opera House. This photo shows a view of West Main Street with the Opera House on the right. I haven’t been able to puzzle out from the photos exactly where on Main Street the theater was located, but I don’t see anything resembling it in Google street view, so I suspect that it has been demolished.

Various 1913 issues of an actor’s trade union journal called The Player list theaters that booked vaudeville acts independently, and the Crooksville Opera House was on those lists. It’s likely that the Opera House, like most small town halls of its kind, booked a wide variety of entertainment, including vaudeville, movies, traveling repertory companies, concerts, lectures, perhaps prize fights, and maybe even an opera or two. There would undoubtedly have been purely local events as well, such as amateur theatricals and musicales, community meetings, and maybe school graduation ceremonies.

I haven’t found the Opera House mentioned in any of the movie theater industry trade journals, but by 1928 Crooksville had a movie house called the Majestic Theatre, which had a Reproduco organ installed that year. As I’ve found the Opera House mentioned in Zanesville newspaper items as late as 1932, I don’t think they were the same theater. The Opera House might have abandoned movies after the Majestic opened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Main Street Theater on Sep 13, 2014 at 1:06 am

The Main Street Theatre must have been destroyed by fire twice if signsell is correct. The June 6, 1941, issue of The Film Daily said that architect Michael J. DeAngelis was preparing plans for rebuilding the Main Street Theatre in Galeton, which had recently destroyed by a fire. The house was definitely rebuilt, as the Main Street was mentioned in the July 9, 1945, issue of the Daily, when the theater was taken over by Lewis Hauser from J. A. Nordquist.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Studio Art Theatre on Sep 13, 2014 at 12:32 am

The 1941 remodeling of the Franklin Theatre might have been more a rebuilding. The April 25, 1941, issue of The Film Daily has this item:

“PNT Awards Contracts For Evansville Theater

“Evansville, Ind. — The Premier Naborhood [sic] Theaters, Jesse Fine, president, has awarded contracts for the construction of the new $50,000 Franklin Theater to be erected at 2113 West Franklin Ave.

“General contract went to the Pioneer Construction Co. at $38,485; electric wiring to Evansville Electric Service Co. at $6,265; heating and plumbing to H. A. Grant Plumbing Co. at $3,945; air conditioning to Evansville Electric Service Co. at $8,785, and the marquee and sign to Swanson & Nunn at $3,725.

“Fowler & Logaman, [sic] 11 Northwest Fifth St., Evansville, are the architects, and Rapp & Rapp, 230 North Michigan Blvd., Chicago, the consulting architects.

“Construction will get under way at once.”

The correct name of the architectural firm was Fowler & Legeman. Frank E. Fowler and Ralph E. Legeman were among Evansvilles leading Midcentury architects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colony Theatre on Sep 13, 2014 at 12:15 am

This article from the Toledo Blade of July 6, 1981, tells of the closing of the Colony Theatre. The June 27, 1985, Blade article about its demolition can be found here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Calvin Theatre on Sep 12, 2014 at 11:15 pm

The April 25, 1941, issue of The Film Daily said that Detroit architect Ted Rogvoy was working on a remodeling project for Wiseter & Westman’s Calvin Theatre in Dearborn.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mel Theatre on Sep 12, 2014 at 11:10 pm

The April 25, 1941, issue of The Film Daily said that the Mel Theatre was being designed by the Detroit firm of Rogvoy & Wright. Ted Rogvoy and Frank H. Wright had dissolved their partnership but would complete this project the firm already had underway.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Michigan Theatre on Sep 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm

The May 27, 1948, issue of The Film Daily said that Butterfield’s new Michigan Theatre in Traverse City would open the following day. The June 6 issue of the same journal had this brief item: “Detroit — Butterfield Circuit has opened its newest house, the Michigan at Traverse City, a 1,200-seater. Elmer Keeler of C. Howard Crane Associates is the architect.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Sep 12, 2014 at 8:51 pm

The July 12, 1917, issue of The Kinsley Graphic said that the new Palace Theatre opened on Tuesday, July 10. It replaced a smaller house of the same name that was to be converted into retail space. The reporter was quite enthusiastic about the new theater:

“The new Palace Theatre was opened Tuesday night and is one of the finest, most complete and artistic play-houses to be found in the state. It is built of tapestry brick and gives a fine appearance, with the quaint lights which decorate the front. The lobby is large and roomy and contains the ticket office on one side and a confectionary stand on the other, which will be operated by Harney and Read.

“There are two sets of doors which will insure comfort during cold weather. The lobby is well lighted and the concrete floor is marked off in a tiled effect. The walls are finished in a green mottled effect. A wide stairway leads to the balcony which has a seating capacity of 100. The cage for the machine is also in the balcony. It is made as nearly fire-proof as possible. The floor is of concrete and the walls are of expanded metal covered with concrete. A ventilator in the ceiling also makes for safety in case of fire. The wiring here and through out the entire building is concealed and encased in metal conduits.

“The main floor has a seating capacity of 400. In all ways the seating capacity has been sacrificed to comfort. There is ample room between the seats which measure thirty inches from back to front. The seating arrangement is divided into three sections. There is a section of four seats to a row along each side, and the middle section contains seven seats to a row. This eliminates much crowding in efforts to obtain seats. Each seat is equipped with a hat rack. The isles are four feet wide and are laid with cork carpet. There are numerous exits, there being two three-foot doors at the rear, and four large doors at the front. There are also exits from the stage and basement.

“The stage is 33 by 22 feet in dimension, and is splendidly equipped with fire-proof scenery. A large switchboard gives opportunity for many different lighting effects. The acoustic facilities are fine which is always a great satisfaction. There is a large orchestra pit which can be entered from either the basement or the auditorium. In the basement are two large dressing rooms which are very comfortable. The hot water heating plant is also placed in the basement.

“The interior decorations of the building are very beautiful. The walls are tinted in two shades of green, and large columns are placed along the side walls. The cap-posts and proscenium arch are finished in old ivory, and the woodwork is of mahogany finish. A large latticework screen stands between the last row of chairs and the doors. There is a metal ceiling of beautiful design and painted a soft cream color. The semi-indirect lights are very handsome and insure perfect lighting. A complete ventilating system also insures comfort during any kind of weather. Electric fans are placed along the walls, and ventilators and a large suction fan can also be operated.

“Mr. Harwood has spent much time and thought in planning everything about the theater to insure the greatest, degree of comfort to the patrons and he has certainly succeeded, for it would indeed be hard to suggest any improvement that might be made. With the class of pictures and entertainments which Mr. Harwood will bring here, the new theater will no doubt prove to be very popular.”

William Harwood was operating a theater in Kinsley at least as early as 1913, when he was mentioned in the November 8 issue of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm

The August 4, 1926, issue of Variety carried this brief item about the Rialto: “Rialto, seating 486, at Massena, N. Y., has been leased from Frank J. Kuras by Schine Enterprises.” That’s the earliest mention of the Rialto I’ve found so far.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Massena Theatre on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm

The Massena Theatre at American Classic Images.

A user on a Massena forum said that the last movie shown was The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, so the closing was probably sometime in 1992. Another forum user mentioned a fire which destroyed the curtains and did other damage. This was after the theater had been closed.

I’ve found the Strand mentioned in the trade journals as early as January, 1921. It was operated by Mr. V. A. Warren, who in 1917 had operated a house in Massena called the Star Theatre. The Schine circuit took over the Strand in 1931 and reopened it as the Massena Theatre in August that year after extensive remodeling.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pabst Theater on Sep 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm

The design of the rebuilt Pabst Theatre following the fire of 1895 is attributed to architect Otto Strack. A late 1920s remodeling was designed by Milwaukee theater specialists Dick & Bauer.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Davidson Theatre on Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Sometime prior to December, 1929, the Milwaukee architectural firm Dick & Bauer did some work on the Davidson Theatre. The house was on a list of their projects that was published that month. No details about the nature or extent of the project were given.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theater on Sep 11, 2014 at 10:25 pm

A list of theaters designed or remodeled by the Milwaukee architectural firm Dick & Bauer that was published in December, 1929, included the Fox Theatre in Stevens Point among their projects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Myers Theater on Sep 11, 2014 at 10:18 pm

A list of theaters designed or remodeled by the Milwaukee architectural firm Dick & Bauer, published in December, 1929, included the Myers Theatre in Janesville among their remodeling jobs. This must have been the remodeling done earlier that year for James Zanias.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Appleton Theater on Sep 11, 2014 at 10:10 pm

The Appleton Theatre underwent major remodeling in 1929. The December 24 issue of the Appleton Post-Crescent said that the renovated, one-time opera house, now operated by Brin Theatres, Inc., would reopen with a matinée on Christmas Day. The remodeling was designed by the Milwaukee architectural firm Dick & Bauer, theater specialists.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sprague Theater on Sep 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Architect Alexander Bauer was a partner in the Milwaukee firm Dick & Bauer. The Sprague Theatre was listed as one of their works in an ad the firm published in 1929.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Opera House on Sep 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm

The late-1920s remodeling of the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh into the Granada Theatre was designed by the Milwaukee architectural firm of Dick & Bauer. It was listed among their works in an ad the firm published in the December 24, 1929, issue of the Appleton Post-Crescent.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Sep 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Jim Rankin’s introduction to the Colonial Theatre says that the rebuilding of 1926 was the work of the architectural firm of Dick & Bauer. They should be added to the Architects and Firms field.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Orpheum Theatre on Sep 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm

This house opened on May 26, 1917, as the New Dreamland Theatre. Within a few months it was being advertised as the White Way Theatre, which was later changed to Whiteway Theatre. An item about the opening appeared in the May 31 issue of the Neosho Daily Democrat:

“NEW THEATRE OPENED.

“The New Dreamland Theatre on Wood street was opened Saturday afternoon by Manager G. D. Hall and the first picture presented there was ‘Miss George Washington,’ by Marguerite Clark. The new picture-show was not quite finished as there were many little things to be done but it was far enough along to present the pictures. The house was filled in the afternoon and at night two shows with full houses were given. The new theatre is the largest and best that Neosho ever had. It is on the ground floor and practically fire proof. The stage is large enough for large dramatic companies and it is built in modern style.”

Pointing out that the house was on the ground floor suggests that the old Opera House/Dreamland was probably an upstairs theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Booth Theatre on Sep 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm

The Booth Theatre was opened by Glen Dickinson Enterprises on February 4, 1927. The February 7 edition of the Neosho Daily Democrat, Neosho, Missouri, reported that Hugh Gardner, operator of Neosho’s Orpheum Theatre, had been among the people attending the opening.