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Sara D. Roosevelt Parkway was the result of the demolition of the blocks between Chrystie and Forsyth Streets, from Canal Street to Houston Street. Shortly before this project got underway, all the buildings along the east side of Allen Street, two blocks east of Forsyth Street, from Canal to Houston were demolished, and Allen Street was widened.
In the exuberant days of the late 1920s, it was thought by the city’s planners that Allen Street could become a broad boulevard in the manner of certain avenues in Paris, but lined with tall, luxurious apartment blocks, like Park Avenue north of Grand Central Station. A dubious idea at best, given the surrounding neighborhood, but the onset of the depression put an end to the plan in any case. With today’s less grandiose approach to planning, the buildings lost to those projects would probably now be far more valuable to the city than is the empty space the projects created.
AlAlvarez: I found another reference to the Grand Street Theater, this in Ruth Crosby Dimmick’s 1913 book Our Theatres To-day and Yesterday. It says that the house opened on February 4, 1903, as a Yiddish theater. It was leased to Bedford Theatrical Company in December, 1909, and as of 1913 was playing “…Marcus Loew attractions.” I don’t know if that means vaudeville only or vaudeville and pictures. Most of Loew’s early houses in New York appear to have presented both.
Ruth Crosby Dimmick’s 1913 book Our Theatres To-day and Yesterday says that the Yorkville Theatre was built in 1902 and was operated by the Shuberts for a while until being taken over my Marcus Loew and reopened as a movie and variety theater on October 1, 1909.
Ruth Crosby Dimmick’s 1913 book Our Theatres To-day and Yesterday says that Marcus Lowe took over the Majestic Theatre in December, 1909, and operated it as a movie house until it was taken over by Frank McKee and renamed the Park Theatre in 1911.
Ruth Crosby Dimmick’s Our Theatres To-day and Yesterday,published in 1913, says that the Gotham Theatre was opened by Sullivan & Kraus in 1901, and operated as a variety theater. In 1908, it was taken over by William Fox who operated it as a combination vaudeville and movie house.
In 1906, Sullivan & Kraus paid $500 to the City of New York for a one-year license for the Gotham Music Hall, 163-167 E. 125th Street, according to The City Record of May 10 that year. Gotham Music Hall was apparently the theater’s name before Fox leased it.
According to Our Theatres To-day and Yesterday, a book by Ruth Crosby Dimmick published in 1913, the operator who took over the Savoy Theatre in 1911 and converted it into a movie house was Walter Rosenberg. A few years later, Rosenberg changed his surname to Reade, and he and his son, Walter Reade Jr., went on to build an extensive chain of movie theaters. Rosenberg/Reade was the nephew of Oscar Hammerstein I.
The Metropolis Theatre is listed in a 1913 book, Our Theatres To-day and Yesterday, by Ruth Crosby Dimmick. It gives the opening date as August 30, 1897.
Proctor’s 58th Street Theatre, opened in 1895 as Proctor’s Pleasure Palace, was also called the Bijou Dream, according to Our Theatres To-day and Yesterday, by Ruth Crosby Dimmick, published in 1913.
The May 19, 1883, issue of The American Architect and Building News said that a theater to be built at the northeast corner of Broadway and 35th Street was being designed by architect John Sexton.
The Internet Broadway Database page for this theater says that it was designed by the architectural firm of Rose & Stone. This was the 1894 remodeling project, as noted in the June 16, 1894, issue of Real Estate Record and Builders Guide.
The original building as designed by Sexton was a single storey. In 1908, the building suffered a fire which led to the removal of the second floor added by Rose & Stone in 1894.
The Palace Theatre is on the right in this picture postcard featuring a nocturnal view of Ouellette Avenue in the 1950s.
The Allen Theatre in Windsor was one of several houses designed for the chain by architect C. Howard Crane. This was noted in an edition of the Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Volume 28, published in 1920. The publication isn’t available online, so I don’t know if there are any illustrations or not.
Google Books lists two libraries that have copies, both in England (University of Leicester, David Wilson Library, Leicester, and University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus Library, Frenchay, Bristol.)
Does anyone know if the building at 2224 Broadway, Gary, now housing the Safe and Sound Senior Citizen Social Club, was once a movie theater? The front looks to be about 1940s vintage, though it might have been the result of a remodeling.
The Palm Theatre appears to have been on East Railroad Street a few doors north of Depot Street. Google’s camera car didn’t travel up that block of Railroad Street, but a building visible from the intersection looks like the one in the photo above. Google Street View is dated January, 2008.
The Palm Theatre at Meigs, Georgia, is mentioned in the 1940 International Motion Picture Almanac.
A house called the Majestic Theatre as operating at Muncie as early as 1909, when it was mentioned in the March issue of The Nickelodeon. The address was not mentioned, so I don’t know if it was the same house that later became the Liberty. The building in Street View appears to date from the late 19th or very early 20th century, though, so it could well be the same theater.
Konrad Schiecke’s Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois, 1883-1960 says that the Metropole Theatre at 238 W. 31st Street opened in 1923. This might be correct. An article in the March, 1909, issue of The Nickelodeon mentions the Metropole Theatre, giving its location as Wentworth Avenue and 31st Street. That’s about a block east of 238 31st, so perhaps the house simply moved to a new location about 1923.
The William Swanson Company was operating a movie house called the Roseland Theatre in this neighborhood at least as early as September, 1908. I haven’t discovered the exact location of this early theater, so I don’t know if it was this same house and it was later expanded (it seated fewer than 600 in 1909), or if the 1914 Roseland was an entirely new theater that replaced the original.
Our Movie Houses: A History of Film and Cinematic Innovation in Central New York, by Norman O. Keim, says that the Crescent Theatre lasted only through the silent era. The Crescent was the first large theater built by the Cahill brothers on South Salina Street, and the first theater in Syracuse built specifically for movie exhibition.
Contracts had been awarded for a theater to be built at 711-713 Commercial Street in Atchison, according to an item in the May 23, 1914, issue of The American Contractor. Local architect J. G. Johnson had designed the project.
I’ve found a couple of web sites (including Wikipedia’s article on downtown Omaha) that say the Boyd Theatre was demolished in 1920, but I’ve also found an announcement of the plans to demolish the theater in the May 23, 1914, issue of The American Contractor. The item said that preliminary plans for the addition to the C.B. Nash Co. department store to be built on the theater’s site were in progress.
Although the Homestake Opera House was devastated by a major fire on April 2, 1984, leaving almost nothing but the brick walls standing, the citizens of Lead voted to have the building restored. The gradual restoration continues under the auspices of the theater’s current owners, the non-profit Historic Homestake Opera House Society, which bought the building from the city in 2005. The official web site has a history of the theater and some photos, as well as a calender of scheduled events.
The article Tinseltoes linked to says that the Homestake Opera House opened on August 31, 1914. Construction was already underway when the August 23, 1913, issue of The Construction News reported on the project:
“Lead, S. D.—Opera House. $20,000. Brk. Work under way. Gen. contr., Wm. Bartlett, Lead. S. D.. Arch., Shattuck & Hussey, 19 S. La Salle St., Chicago, Ill. Owner, Home Stake Mining Co. R. P. Blackstone, Lead, S. D.”
The Truman history web page cited in earlier comments also says that the “Avon Theatre opened for the first time” in 1934. Could that have been another aka for this house? Prior to the 1950 census, Truman’s population was always below 1000, so I can’t imagine the town supporting two theaters at once. Either there must have been a name change, or the Cozy was closed and the Avon was a new theater that replaced it.
This photo of the Boyd Theatre probably dates from the late 1890s or early 1900s. Using maximum zoom, it can be seen that the posters in front of the theater advertise Anna Held, who Florenz Ziegfeld brought to the United States in 1896.
The facade of the theater exemplifies the commercial phase of the Romanesque Revival style of architecture. An article about the soon-to-open theater in the August 31, 1891, issue of the Omaha Daily Bee said that the interior of the house was also done in what it called the “modern Romanesque” style.
The Boyd Theatre was designed in the St. Louis office of J. B. McElfatrick & Sons. This office was headed by John McElfatrick’s elder son, J. Morgan McElfatrick, who died August 28, 1891, a few days before the Boyd Theatre opened. He was 38 years old.
A scan of the Daily Bee article is online here as part of the Library of Congress’s “Chronicling America” collection.
In this weblog post, a former patron of the Co-Ed Theatre offers a brief reminiscence of it. The page also has an interior photo of the restaurant that now occupies the building. The floor still slopes downward toward the end that had the screen.
This is a rather belated reply to KJB2012’s question about the origin of the Nixon Theatre’s name. The original owner of the Nixon Theatre was Samuel F. Nixon-Nirdlinger, a theater operator based in Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th century. He owned several theaters in Pennsylvania, and in 1896 was one of the six founders of the notorious Theatrical Syndicate, which for many years controlled bookings for most of the legitimate theaters in the United States.