Comments from Joe Vogel

Showing 201 - 225 of 9,310 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Center Theatre on Sep 16, 2014 at 10:34 am

The Center Theatre had a brief life. It would open on Monday, January 26, 1948, according to the article in the previous day’s edition of The Kingsport Times.

The newspaper also ran a brief article about the theater’s architect, Erle G. Stillwell, and his firm, Six Associates. Stillwell, though a master of the streamlined style of the day, revealed to the reporter that he much preferred to design theaters in the atmospheric style, which had by 1948 fallen out of fashion, and that he had a special affection for the Spanish and Mediterranean styles.

The article also gave the names of the other five of the Six Associates at that time: engineer Samuel Clinton Minnich, Jr., architects Henry Irving Gaines and W. Stewart Rogers, plus William Waldo Dodge, Jr. and Anthony Lord, each of whom was both an architect and an engineer.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theatre on Sep 16, 2014 at 10:11 am

The August 21, 1940, issue of The Kingsport Times said that the new Fox Theatre would open the following night.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mount Hope Theater on Sep 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm

The April 10, 1947, issue of The Raleigh Register (published in Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virgina) contained many advertisements congratulating the new Mount Hope Theatre. One of the ads was placed by the architect of the theater, Alex B. Mahood of Bluefield, West Virginia.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lee Theatre on Sep 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm

The April 5, 1935, issue of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph had an item about the reopening of this house under its new name:


“The ‘Robert E. Lee’ theater, (formerly the Capitol) will open today with many improvements in the interior and projection and sound equipment. The theater is now under the personal direction of T. A. Von Court and Hallie Gilbert, two of the best known theater men in this section, and who also operate the Granada and Rialto theaters in Bluefield and the Royal in Princeton. The first picture to be shown is Shirley Temple in ‘Bright Byes.’ There will be a free matinee for all children under 10 years old on Saturday afternoon.”

I’ve been unable to find any mention of the Capitol Theatre dating from earlier than 1933.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bramwell Theatre on Sep 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm

The November 26, 1921, issue of The American Contractor said that Bluefield architect Alex B. Mahood was drawing plans for a two-story moving picture theater and apartments to be built at Bramwell, West Virginia.

This web page has a brief news item from 2012 saying that the Bramwell Theatre was to be restored. Funds had been acquired, and it was hoped that the project would be completed the next year, but I think they missed their target. I can’t find any events scheduled for the venue, but a new roof was put on the building in 2013.

The page does say that the Bramwell dates to the silent era, and as I’ve found no evidence that the town ever had any other theaters, it seems very likely that the Bramwell Theatre is the project that Alex Mahood was designing in 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pocahontas Theatre on Sep 15, 2014 at 11:23 am

This web page has the transcript of an article about the Pocahontas Theatre from the December 22, 1928, issue of the Welch Daily News.

The Pocahontas Theatre was directly across the street from the Temple Theatre, which was in the Odd Fellows Temple building, built in 1929. The Temple Theatre’s space is occupied by a restaurant called Raymond’s, which the Internet says is at 24 McDowell Street. The address of the Pocahontas must have been about 23-25 McDowell Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theater on Sep 15, 2014 at 8:33 am

The August 4, 1917, issue of The Moving Picture World published an example of the Colonial Theatre’s monthly postcard calendar. Scan at Internet Archive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Glarus Theatre on Sep 15, 2014 at 7:12 am

This house must have been the successor to the New Glarus Theatre, which was in operation at least as early as 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Baxter Theatre on Sep 14, 2014 at 8:51 am

There was a movie house in Novinger at least as early as 1920. The September 4 issue of Exhibitors Herald gave the name of its operator, E. Trunnell, but didn’t name the theater. The July 16, 1921, issue of the same journal mentioned Trunnell again, but this time said that his theater was the Baxter. Odds are it was the Baxter in 1920, too.

In 1925 and 1926, J. H.Kelso of the Baxter Theatre, Novinger, sent capsule movie reviews to various issues of The Reel Journal.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Sep 13, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Comparing the vintage photos that have been uploaded and the current Google street view it’s clear that most, if not all, the buildings on the Royal Theatre’s block are still standing, and most are recognizable. The Royal appears to have been in the building at 418 E. Douglas Street, currently occupied by a sporting goods shop.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Sep 13, 2014 at 10:29 pm

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 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm

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 7:01 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 6:33 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 5:02 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 10:08 am

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 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm

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 12, 2014 at 9:32 pm

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 12, 2014 at 9:15 pm

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 8:15 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 8:10 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 7:31 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 5:51 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 9:53 am

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 9:50 am

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.