Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on May 19, 2018 at 9:30 pm

This item from The Moving Picture World of March 14, 1925, mentions the Lyric Theatre and another house that is not yet listed at Cinema Treasures (unless it is just a missing aka for another theater):<blockquote.“C. Zost, who operates the Lyric Theatre, Hamilton, Ohio, has acquired the Gem in that city.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess 4 Theatres on May 19, 2018 at 9:22 pm

It is still possible, though increasingly unlikely, that the Princess Theatre will come back to life in a new building. This article posted to the Oxford Patch on May 18, 2018, says that the construction of a new Princess Theatre building took place in 2015, but that the ground floor, intended as a location for the theater, remains incomplete. If financing to finish the theater cannot be found the owner of the building is likely to lease the space for some other use.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kai-Gee Theater on May 19, 2018 at 8:18 pm

These abstracts of articles from issues of The Rochester Sentinel published in 1913 pertain to the second Kai-Gee Theatre. The first item is from the issue of Thursday, May 8:

“New Theater to be Most Modern

“Rochester will be able to boast of a really high class vaudeville and MOTION PICTURE THEATER, as well as a handsome addition to the business district of the city, when the J. F. DYSERT building for which excavating is now being done just north of the DILLON BLOCK, is completed. W. H. KENDRICK is the architect.

“… . will be conducted by Mr. & Mrs. Roy SHANKS, who have for some time had the KAI GEE and STAR theaters… . . [building described]

“The basement will be large and exceedingly well lighted, and will be a splendid location for a restaurant. A stairway leads down to it from the main lobby … . .”

The second item is from the issue of Tuesday, December 16:
“New Theater to Open Dec. 24

“Final arrangements have been made for the opening of the new K. G. THEATER on Christmas eve, Wednesday, December 24th. The initial performance will be featured with vaudeville acts, three reels of motion pictures and music by an orchestra of 14 pieces.

“The new house when finished, will present a splendid appearance. The room will accommodate 300 seats far enough apart that no one will have to arise to let people pass. The lighting is made as nearly perfect as possible. A heavy velvet rug will cover the entire length of the aisle.

“People in all parts of the house will have a good view of the stage as it is elevated about six feet. The pictures will be cast upon a mirror screen which can be rolled up when the stage is needed for vaudeville acts. Mr. SHANKS has purchased one of the best motion picture machines made. It contains a double magazine feed which enables the operator to handle a two reel picture without stoppping.

“The doors on Christmas eve will be opened at 6:30 o'clock.”

I’ve been unable to find anything about architect W. H. Kendrick. A moderately famous architect of that name practiced in England in the late 19th century, and a builder/architect named William H. Kendrick practiced in Tampa, Florida, in the late 19th-early 20th centuries, but the Rochester architect does not appear to have been either of them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Courter Theatre on May 19, 2018 at 5:32 am

Google Maps is loopy from this address. It is fetching Hamilton, Illinois. This is probably because there is no Main Street in Hamilton, Missouri. The correct address is most likely 302 N. Davis Street, which is now the site of a parking lot on the northeast corner of Davis and Bird Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about South Shore Theater on May 19, 2018 at 5:04 am

I took the reference to be to the railroad station, though the name probably applied to the entire neighborhood for several blocks around. The railroad R/O/W was between Manomet Avenue and Samoset Avenue, and the station itself was a few yards north of Kenberma Street. The station and railroad are gone, but this Wikimedia page has two vintage photos. Several houses in the photos can still be picked out in Google street view. The theater would almost certainly have been in the small business district around Kenberma and Nantasket Avenue a couple of blocks west of the station.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theater on May 18, 2018 at 4:47 am

In 1916, the Majestic was owned by a T. V. Barnes. The June 24, 1916, issue of The American Contractor said that work had begun on a $15,000 remodeling of a theater at Ellwood City for T. V. Barnes. H. J. Lohman of McKeesport was the architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about South Shore Theater on May 18, 2018 at 4:13 am

The South Shore Theatre might have been a 1916 project noted in the April 22 issue of The American Contractor that year. It was to be a one-story brick and concrete moving picture theater to cost $35,000. The location was given as “Kemberma sta., Hull, Mass.” and the owner was named William F. Eccles, of Somerville, Massachusetts. Stephen S. Ward of Boston was the architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rocket Drive-In on May 18, 2018 at 2:49 am

Ralph Pate’s Rocket Drive-In was about four miles west of town on Highway 12, according to an item noting its recent opening in the October 23, 1954, issue of Boxoffice. I don’t believe the designation Highway 12 is used anymore, though. Pate was also the owner of the Royal Theatre in Samson.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rio Drive-In on May 18, 2018 at 2:33 am

Adel also had the 325-car Spardel Drive-In, opened by Stein Theatres in 1954. The name suggests that it was located north of Adel on the road to Sparks, a smaller town nearby.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Courter Theatre on May 18, 2018 at 2:02 am

A house called the Courter Theatre was in operation in 1966, when the September 29 issue of the Albany Ledger from Albany, Missouri, mentioned the Courter Theatre at Gallatin as one of four movie houses operated by a Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wilcox, who had just bought the closed Rigney Theatre in Albany and planned to reopen it as the Wilcox Theatre.

The problem is that I don’t know if this article concerned the original Courter Theatre, or the current Courter Theatre, which has existed since 1965 according to this article from the Davies County Historical Society. The Society’s article notes that the theater had both a movie screen and a concession stand, and had been owned by a non-profit group since 1965 and was showing movies as late as 1983.

Indeed, the reopening of the Courter Theatre following a refurbishment that took about four weeks was mentioned in Boxoffice of August 12, 1974. Then-manager John Schwieger was the manager of the house until resigning in 1983, according to the Historical Society article.

I have been assuming that the address 211 N. Main was indeed the location of the original Courter Theatre, but I have not found any source saying that the current Courter Theatre either was or was not the original, nor any source other than Cinema Treasures saying that the building at 211 N. Main ever housed a theater (though it certainly does look like it could have.) Either way, the current Courter Theatre at 105 S. Main Street (east side of Main just south of the square) and now the home of the Gallatin Theatre League, was operated as a movie house as late as 1983.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Silver Theatre on May 17, 2018 at 11:28 pm

The Silver Theatre was in operation at least as late as 1966, when the September 29 issue of the Albany Ledger of Albany, Missouri, reported that Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wilcox of Gallatin had bought the closed Rigney Theatre in Albany and planned to renovate and reopen it as the Wilcox Theatre. The article said that the couple were already operating the Courier Theatre in Gallatin, the Civic Theatre in Hamilton, and the Silver Theatre and the Patio Drive-In at Cameron.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Voge Theatre on May 16, 2018 at 10:16 pm

The Lyric Theatre is first listed in the FDY in 1928, so the 1930 project I cited in an earlier comment must have been either a remodeling of the existing house or a project for a different theater nearby that fell through.

However, a thumbnail biography of Lewis Harry Warriner in the NRHP registration form for the Lincoln Street Historic District does attribute the design of the Lyric to him. As it is first listed in 1928, it most likely opened in 1927, unless it had operated earlier under a different name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pickwick Theatre on May 16, 2018 at 10:08 pm

The Waymarking page for the Pickwick Theatre for which bluesneaky provided a link above (clickable version) has a gallery with several photos and other items. The most interesting is a rendering of the building as rebuilt in 1936, from the architect of the project, L. H. Warriner (Lewis Harry Warriner.)

While the gallery is quite useful, I don’t know how accurate the text on the page is. It claims that the late Victorian commercial building on the Pickwick’s site, also seen in other photos, was the home of the Theatorium, the town’s first movie theater, but I see no clear evidence in the photos themselves (despite a marquee-like structure on the front of the building very early on) that there was a theater in this earlier building. It also claims that the Theatorium and the Pickwick were “…in the same place, all the same size….”. a claim which is belied by listings on the Film Daily’s yearbooks.

The Theatorium is never listed in the FDY, but in 1927 the book lists a house called the Oakland Theatre, and in 1928 and 1929 there is a house called the Community Theatre. Syracuse does not appear in the 1930 FDY, but the Community Theatre reappears in 1931, its seating capacity listed for the first time (250) but there is an asterisk denoting that it has not been wired for sound. The Community continues to be listed through 1937, always with 250 seats, but always with the notation that it is closed.

The Pickwick first appears in the 1938 edition, with a seating capacity of 1,100. My guess would be that the front of the old two-story building was remodeled in 1937 and an entirely new auditorium was built behind that structure. The Dickensian name Pickwick was likely chosen to match the Tudor revival style of the new front, or vice versa.

There was a house called the Theatorium at Syracuse, mentioned in the October 13, 1917, issue of Motography, when the theater changed hands, but whether it was the same theater as the Oakland and the Community, and whether it (or they) were in the building behind which the 1937 Pickwick was most likely built, I don’t know. Any theater in that building would have been a storefront conversion. The Pickwick auditorium was clearly new in 1937, though I don’t doubt that the 1937 auditorium did indeed survive the 1945 fire and is the theater still in use today.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Voge Theatre on May 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm

The January 17, 1936, issue of The Hammond Times said that the Hartley Theatre Company would remodel and reopen “…the long closed Lyric theater in East Chicago….” with a new name, no more than four letters long, to be chosen in a public contest. I guess that accounts for the non-standard spelling “Voge” that the house ended up with.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on May 14, 2018 at 9:34 pm

The Grand’s building is currently occupied by a bar and restaurant called Miknan’s Main Street Pub.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on May 14, 2018 at 9:31 pm

This house had fournames. This article posted to the web site of the Columbia Daily Tribune says that a movie house opened on October 16, 1913, as “… the Alamo Theatre, eventually became the Dickinson Theatre, then the Fayette Theatre and finally the Grand Theater.”

After this theater was demolished, an old commercial building down the block was converted into a theater also called the Grand. The site of the original Grand is occupied by an extension of the Commercial Trust Company.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on May 14, 2018 at 9:27 pm

The Grand Theatre at 107 N. Main was opened in an old commercial building after the original Grand at 115 Main was demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about New Grand Theatre on May 14, 2018 at 7:51 pm

The Grand Opera House at Bluffton, Indiana opened in 1903, according to a list of buildings designed by its architect, George Otis Garnsey (1840-1923.) Over the course of his long career, Garnsey designed some forty theaters and opera houses, mostly for smaller midwestern cities.

The 1913-1914 Cahn guide lists Bluffton’s Grand Opera House as a ground floor theater with 378 seats on the main floor, 216 in the balcony, 175 in the gallery, and 12 in boxes. The proscenium opening was 30x28 feet, the stage was 33 feet from the footlights to the back wall, and 52 feet between the side walls.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Miami Theatre on May 14, 2018 at 7:32 pm

A partial list of works by Chicago architect George Otis Garnsey (1840-1923) lists an opera house built for Charles May at Piqua, Ohio, in 1902-1903 as one of his designs. Garnsey had about forty theaters and opera houses to his credit, most of them in small midwestern towns.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Opera House on May 14, 2018 at 7:27 pm

Eau Claire’s Grand Opera House, a ground-floor theater built in 1883, was one of some forty theaters and opera houses, mostly in smaller midwestern cities, designed by the Chicago architect George Otis Garnsey (1840-1923.)

The 1913-1914 Cahn guide listed the Grand with 508 seats on the main floor, 382 in the balcony, 300 in the gallery, and 12 in boxes. The stage was 32 feet deep feet from the footlights to the back wall, and 70 feet between the side walls. The proscenium opening was 32x32.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gloria Theatre on May 14, 2018 at 6:30 pm

The April 20, 1907, issue of the Chicago financial journal The Economist had this item:

“George 0. Garnsey has completed plans and will take figures for a three-story addition, 43x90, to the front of a theater in Urbana, Ohio, for the Clifford Amusement Company. The first floor will contain the main entrance, a store and restaurant, and the upper floors will contain an armory. It will cost $25,000.”
As George Otis Garnsey (1840-1923) was a fairly well-known theater architect (some forty theaters and opera houses, mostly in smaller midwestern cities), it’s possible that he also designed the Clifford Theatre as it was originally built in 1905.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Forsythe Theatre on May 14, 2018 at 6:10 pm

The August 7, 1915, issue of The American Contractor said that contracts were being let for a 50'x135' theater building at East Chicago for Joseph Hartley. The project had been designed by architect L. Harry Warriner.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ellis Theatre on May 14, 2018 at 5:34 pm

The October, 1907, issue of the trade journal Concrete had this item about the Princess Theatre:

“The Princess theater, just completed, enjoys the distinction of being the only theater structure in the city which is constructed entirely of reinforced concrete. It has a seating capacity of 1,600 and its total cost was in the neighborhood of $180,000.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about El Capitan Theatre on May 14, 2018 at 4:27 pm

It’s still a hotel and even has a web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theatre on May 13, 2018 at 1:01 am

This web site has abstracts from early issues of the Richford Gazette. There is a gap between 1917 and 1925. The 1925 paper mentions theaters called the Park and the Colonial, but the 1917 paper mentions only the Colonial, so the Park must have opened sometime between 1918 and 1925.

The 1915 papers indicate that the Colonial was in the Town Hall, and showed its first movies in April that year. The August 14, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World also mentioned a theater in Richford, but it was called the Lyric.

Also, I’ve found the exact location of the Park Theatre, thanks to the two buildings behind it in the vintage photo, both of which are still standing at the west end of Church Street at the L-shaped corner of Elm Avenue, though the view of them from River Street is now blocked by trees.

The Park was on what is now a parking lot on the north side of River Street about midway between Town Street and North Avenue. It is in between an old grey house to the west and a small frame building occupied by the Wash-N-Save laundromat to the east. The United Methodist Church up the block to the west is at 86 River Street, so I’d estimate the theater’s address as approximately 62 River Street.