Comments from CharmaineZoe

Showing 1 - 25 of 46 comments

CharmaineZoe commented about American Theatre on Nov 23, 2015 at 1:51 pm

According to an article in the Motography magazine of July 12, 1913 it seated 1,000 and cost over $90,000 and was owned by the Montana Amusement Company. It had a Mexican onyx front with a mirrored canopy and a velour draped stage with hangings costing more than $1,000. It even had a baby room to the right of the foyer where baby carriages could be checked, with a matron in charge to look after the babies while the parents attended the show.

CharmaineZoe commented about Oakland Theatre on Nov 22, 2015 at 11:40 am

According to The Nickelodeon magazine for March 1909, it opened as the Swanson on the evening of November 18, 1908 to an invited audience. It had a seating capacity of 600 and cost approx. $65,000. The interior decoration scheme was done in green and gold leaf. It gave seven shows a day, 3 matinees at 5 cents and 4 evening shows at 10 cents between 1pm & 11pm. Each show lasted about 1 hour & 20 mins and consisted of 3 reels of film, two illustrated songs and a special feature in the shape of a musical number. The operating booth contained 3 Edison projectors and a stereopticon. Behind the screen was the sound effect man who would imitate the smashing of crockery and furniture, automobile horns, footsteps both horse and human. It had seventeen employees under the direction of Mr.S.Segal, the House Manager.

CharmaineZoe commented about Crescent Nickelodeon on Nov 22, 2015 at 6:33 am

According to the book “Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois, 1883-1960” by Konrad Schiecke (pub.2006) the Crescent had cages of singing canaries that accompanied the sizeable pipe-organ.

CharmaineZoe commented about Strand Theatre on Feb 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Opened in July 1916 it was on the site of the old Owosso theatre, a legitimate house for half a century. Seated 602 & had 2x Motiograph projectors.

Source and more 1916 info at :

CharmaineZoe commented about Strand Theater on Feb 22, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Opened on July 4th 1916 with seating for 500. Manager: H. H. Johnston. 2 x Power’s 6a projection machines. Ran an all feature program which changed daily. Admission: 10 cents

CharmaineZoe commented about Orpheum Theatre on Feb 22, 2014 at 10:55 am

This theatre was erected in 1913 by the Blodgett Company Ltd on the site of the city’s former library on Broadway, 100 feet off Washington Street. The Condon-Noonan Company had intended to open it as an independent theatre but before it was completed Sullivan and Considine took a lease on the premises and finished the construction. When completed it was the home of the Orpheum shows. Tom Conlan was the theatres first active manager and he succesfully initiated the house to pictures during the summer of 1915. Sullivan & Considine afterwards moved the Orpheum shows to a theatre further up Broadway, transferring S & C vaudeville to the former Orpheum and changing the name to the Empress.

As the Empress it was operated until the Sullivan & Considine circuit left the field in May of 1916, when Turner & Dahnken leased the house from Ackerman & Harris of San Francisco, who had fallen heir to the S & C business. The theatre was reopened on May 14th 1916 as the T & D Theatre after a refurb, when the projection booth was enlarged and modern photoplay equipment installed, as well as the renovation of the interior and addition of a Hope-Jones Wurlitzer Unit Orchestra organ, (the pipes of which formed the stage setting) & electrical display, at a cost of $50,000.

The building itself was 100ft x 200ft with seating for 2,300 – of which 1,400 were on the lower level. There were 15 exits on to 3 streets. The walls were decorated with autumn scenes, with rich curtain hangings. Projection was furnished by 2 x Power’s machines. Manager of the T & D at this time was M. O. Leonhart, who had come from the T & D theater in Berkeley, California.

CharmaineZoe commented about Casino Theatre on Feb 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm

As far as I can tell there were 4 Wizard Theatres, the first Wizard was at 315-319 N Eutaw Street, which opened in 1906. This had become Blaney’s by 1908 (Polk’s Baltimore Directory for 1908).

Next was The Wizard at 31, W. Lexington Street, this was the Picture Garden by 1912 and still so in 1920(Polk’s Baltimore Directories for 1912 & 1920).

Next came The Wizard at 1118 Light Street (listed in Polk’s as such in 1909), by 1912 (Polk’s)this was The Brodie.

And finally we had The Great Wizard at 30 W.Lexington Street, opened in October 1909 and still listed as such in Polks Directory for 1912, but by 1920 it had become The New Wizard (Polk’s again)

CharmaineZoe commented about Alhambra Theater on Feb 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

According to the Moving Picture World for Jan 15th 1916 that Tinseltoes links to, the Alhambra opened on November 14th 1914, and seated 1,600 – 1,400 on the main floor and 200 in the balcony, plus 60 box seats. As well as the Hillgreen-Lane organ it had a six piece orchestra and was decorated in the Adams style. Screengrabs of the foyer (which according to the article could hold 600)and auditorium are now in the photos section.

CharmaineZoe commented about Empress Theatre on Feb 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

In 1911 Marcus Nates (sic) is named as the Manager in Moving Picture News, they were showing “The Fall of Troy”, an Italian 3 reel import in May of that year.

CharmaineZoe commented about Vitascope Hall on Feb 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm

It was a store room that William T Rock (who later became the President of the Vitagraph Company of America)hired to exhibit his Edison Vitascope, having bought the state rights for Louisiana while living and working in New York, but only because it was the only one left. He and his partner Walter Wainwright installed chairs and a projection booth and using some films he had brought with him from New York set it up as a showroom, packing them in from July to October.

In the fall of 1897 they returned to New York, having made a profit of approx $2,000 each and having sold half of their now stock of 600 films to some people in Texas for a lot of diamonds. Once back in New York they eventually set up the Vitagraph Company and became the leading exhibiting company in the country.

Read the whole story at:

CharmaineZoe commented about T & D Theatre on Feb 11, 2014 at 12:50 am

This article appeared in the Moving Picture World for November 18th 1916.

“Immense Organ for Oakland House – A Wurlitzer Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra costing $48,500 is being installed in the new T & D Theatre at Eleventh and Franklin Streets, Oakland, Cal., which is to be opened November 22. The delivery of this instrument at the theatre a short time ago took the form of a parade, wagons bearing the sections being covered with banners calling attention to the fact that this instrument would be the largest on the Pacific Coast and would be installed in the world’s greatest photoplay house, one with a seating capacity of more than 3,600.

The largest pipes in this unit orchestra weigh as much as a ton and are installed in specially constructed concrete chambers above the proscenium arch. A large force of workmen are busy installing the instrument in order to have everything in readiness on the opening date."

Accompanying picture can now be found in the CT photo section for this theatre.

CharmaineZoe commented about Lincoln Theatre on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Hi wsasser, sorry, you misunderstood me when I mentioned the Dunbar. Messrs Stevens and Brown were Philadelphians and the Dunbar (later becoming the Lincoln) was in that city, not Newport News. My source is the Motion Picture News for July 17th 1920, Page 659.

CharmaineZoe commented about Lincoln Theatre on Feb 9, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Opened in August 1919 it was erected by Messrs Ornuff & Cohen Bros. of Newport News. In 1920 it was damaged by water and smoke when an adjoining building was destroyed by fire. Later that year it was bought by Messrs Stevens & Brown, coloured bankers from Philadelphia PA., who already owned the Dunbar Theatre in that city.It was repaired & redecorated and operating again by July 1920.

CharmaineZoe commented about Lincoln Theatre on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:41 pm

According to, the Dunbar went through 2 name changes, becoming the Gibson in 1921 after being sold by Stevens & Brown to John T.Gibson the same year, and around the beginning of the Great depression c1930 was sold on again when Gibson went bust, this time to white owners and became the Lincoln.In the 1930s and 1940s, it would continue to host many of the country’s top African-American entertainers, including Duke Ellington, Lena Horne and the Nicholas brothers, who had gotten their start dancing on the corners of South Street not three blocks away. Source:

CharmaineZoe commented about Lincoln Theatre on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm

According to the Motion Picture News for July 17 1920, the Dunbar was owned by Messrs.Stevens & Brown, who were bankers with their business opposite the theatre, which was located on the corner of Broad and Lombard Streets. It opened on Dec 29th 1919 as a legitimate theatre but reopened as a movie playhouse on June 1st 1920 after the owners purchased a booth, projectors and screen. These guys also purchased the Lincoln Theatre in Newport News, VA in 1920.

CharmaineZoe commented about Park Theatre on Feb 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm

According to Moving Picture News the proprietor and manager in 1911 was Mr. Joseph Schwartz.

CharmaineZoe commented about Rialto Theatre on Feb 2, 2014 at 3:13 pm

According to the Motography magazine for June 30th,1917 the Old Mill was destroyed by fire in February of that year, rebuilt and reopened later that year, with seating for 1,500, rich decorations, a vacuum fan system in the basement, a canary bird chorus and restrooms for ladies and gentlemen. All under the management of E H Hulsey.

CharmaineZoe commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jan 31, 2014 at 3:46 pm

According to a couple of 1915 trade journals the Plaza opened on December 20th 1914 with seating for 850. It was owned and managed by a Mr J E Bryant.

CharmaineZoe commented about Rialto Theatre on Jan 26, 2014 at 10:36 am

Don’t know if anyone has mentioned it but the architect for the 1916 theatre was Thomas W Lamb.

CharmaineZoe commented about Avon Theater on Jan 26, 2014 at 9:36 am

The Motography magazine of 1 April 1916 says it opened the previous year, so that would be 1915, with a screen of 13x18 feet and a throw of 88ft. It also had a large organ. It’s also mentioned that there were 7 or 8 houses in competition at the time but that the Avon had the largest business.

CharmaineZoe commented about Orchestra Hall on Jan 25, 2014 at 5:22 pm

The Orchestra Hall was opened on May 1st 1915 as a moving picture theatre after being leased and refitted throughout by the Strand Theatre Company of Chicago.

CharmaineZoe commented about Penge Picturedrome on Jan 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Article that appeared in the Cinema News and Property Gazette in 1912 with a description of the Picturedrome and details of it’s sale

CharmaineZoe commented about Cameo Theatre on Jan 15, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Listed as the New Dazzleland Amusement Parlor (motion picture theatre)on the Insurance Maps of the City of Philadelphia published in 1918. Also found in the Evening Public Ledger of Philadelphia in Jan 1915 as a movie playhouse called Dazzleland.

CharmaineZoe commented about Comet Theatre on Nov 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

The New Comet was on 21st and Market according to an advert in the St Louis Argus in 1916.

CharmaineZoe commented about Peckham Picture Playhouse on Nov 17, 2013 at 4:52 am

According to a copy of The Cinema magazine in 1913 the Playhouse opened on January 11th 1911 and seated 700, with two Gaumont projectors. The manager was a Mr Sidney Still, who had previously managed the Electric Palace at Brixton, and it had a piano, Mustel organ and effects.