Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Balmar Theatre on Oct 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm

The Draper Y.M.C.A. operated two different theaters, and both were in operation in the late 1930s. The house that became the Balmar was the second, and probably opened in 1936. A quarter-page ad in the Y.M.C.A. activities book published that year said that western pictures were featured at the Draper Y.M.C.A. New Theatre “…located across the tracks.” (Complete activities book scan here.)

There are two photos (here and here) of the original Draper “Y” Theatre, both of which also come from the 1936 activities book. A modern caption below one image says that the original “Y” Theatre was located on the site of the current Draper Fire Department, which Google Maps shows to be in the 1400 block of Fieldcrest Road.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rudy Theatre on Oct 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm

An early photo of the Grange Hall can be seen here. The caption says the Rudy Theatre opened in the building in the late 1930s. The building burned down in 1952.

The Grange Hall was also known as the P of H Opera House (the photo caption mistakenly says P&H) which is how it was listed in the 1912-1913 and 1913-1914 Cahn guides, which said it was a second floor house with 378 orchestra seats and 242 balcony seats.

The Grange Hall had to have been built before 1909, as this web page displays a photo postcard of the building which was mailed and was postmarked 17 October, 1907.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Metro Theatre on Oct 1, 2015 at 1:31 am

The building that once housed the Metro Theatre burned down in the 1950s according to Konrad Schiecke’s book Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Sep 30, 2015 at 5:24 pm

The Strand and Idle Hour Theatres are listed in the Moving Picture Theatres section of the 1921 Cahn Guide, each with 500 seats and both operated by B. J. Vought.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theater on Sep 30, 2015 at 5:13 pm

The purchase of the Star Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois, by Robert Kremer of Geneva, Illinois, where he operated a house called the Grand Theatre, was noted in the July 8, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World. Kremer formed a partnership with W. J. Bryant, who would manage both the Star and another St. Charles house, the Idle Hour Theatre.

A later owner renamed the house the Strand Theatre, and it was closed and dismantled in 1925, according to this brief item posted at

“St. Charles (Illinois) Chronicle, Feb. 5, 1925, Strand Theatre Being Torn Out For Store Bldg. While interested in the many fine changes going on along Main street, it is well to note that John Gartner is dismantling the old Star or Strand theatre adjoining his business place. The old picture house is being made over into a place for business. Mr. Gartner states he has made no arrangements as yet for a tenant, but will do so later.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Screening Zone on Sep 30, 2015 at 4:59 pm

A few listings in the performing arts section New York Magazine in 1987 give 544 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair as the address of a house called the Whole Theatre. A quick Googling reveals that a theater group called the Whole Theatre Company was founded at Montclair in 1971 by Olympia Dukakis and her husband, Louis Zorich. They ran the company until 1990. I haven’t been able to discover if the company occupied this building during its entire run as a live theater group, but it does seem likely that the house only became a movie theater sometime in the 1990s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about 66 Theatre on Sep 30, 2015 at 4:16 pm

This web page from the Phillips High School Alumni Association says that the 66 Theatre closed in 1949.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eatonville Theatre on Sep 30, 2015 at 3:33 pm

This web page says that the Eatonville Theatre’s building is still standing across the street from the Visitors Center. The Visitors Center is at 132 Mashell Avenue North, and the theater building is recognizable at 131 Mashell Avenue North. There is a sign on the building reading “The Fit Club,” so I’d guess it is a gym of some sort.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cameo Theatre on Sep 27, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Given how small Mattawamkeag is, and the opening year of 1910 cited in the MGM report, I think it’s possible that the Cameo was the same house that operated earlier as the Bon Ton Theatre, though the Cinema Data Project gives them two different pages (Cameo and Bon Ton.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Sep 27, 2015 at 7:06 pm

The May 14, 1909, issue of the Worthington Advance had this item:

“James Mott has disposed of his interests in the Grand theatre to Will Boddy who will continue to conduct the popular little playhouse along the same progressive lines that have been characteristic of the partnership.”
The Grand changed hands again in 1916, when the July 22 issue of The Moving Picture World reported that new owners Edward McCracken and E. M. Ehlers planned to change policy and run the house as a movie theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about White Elephant Theatre on Sep 27, 2015 at 3:36 pm

The April 27, 1912, issue of The Moving Picture News said that the White Elephant Theatre in Camden had been purchased by Schefflin, Payne & Schefflin.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Clinton Square Theater on Sep 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm

The Clinton Square Theatre occupied a building erected in 1843 for the Third Presbyterian Church. The congregation merged with that of the Second Presbyterian Church around 1910, and the conversion of the building into a theater had taken place by 1916. The house was demolished sometime around 1930.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theater on Sep 24, 2015 at 12:04 am

The Colonial Theatre in Albany was mentioned in the January 14, 1922, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Sep 23, 2015 at 11:56 pm

The article about the opening of the Capitol Theatre can be seen in this PDF from Fulton History.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theater on Sep 23, 2015 at 11:49 pm

The Capitol Theatre was in operation by 1926, when Harry Houdini performed on its stage on October 11. Houdini broke his ankle while doing his “Water Torture Cell” escape at that performance. He insisted on continuing his scheduled tour, but fell ill several days later and died on October 31 from peritonitis.

Judging from the architectural style of the Capitol I’d guess that it dated from the early 1920s or even the late 1910s. Most of the references to the house that I’ve found indicate that it was used primarily for live performances, even into the 1930s. During the 1920s it was on the Columbia Burlesque wheel. The projection booth seen in the photo appears to be a retrofit, probably installed quite some time after the house opened. In 1936, Charles Chaplin’s Modern Times was presented at the Capitol.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Sep 23, 2015 at 11:47 pm

The November 22, 1922, issue of The Saratogaian reported that the new Capitol Theatre in Ballston Spa had opened the previous night. The house was situated on Front Street (CinemaTour gives the address as 10 Front Street, which is probably correct.)

In one of the photos uploaded by joepelletier the building has “The George West Building A.D. MCMVII” on its parapet, (MCMVII would be 1907.) The July 17 issue of The Horseless Age that year said that a garage built for George West at Front and Milton Streets in Ballston Spa had recently opened. It could accommodate 100 cars. That must have been the building’s original function.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Sep 23, 2015 at 10:38 pm

A 1919 issue of Variety for which I can’t find the exact date of publication said that the Royal Theatre in Albany had opened on September 17.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lemon Bowl Cinema-Dine on Sep 22, 2015 at 1:12 am

Located in Lemon Grove, but the screen tower and the menu that has been uploaded to the photo page both advertised it as the Lemon Bowl Cinema-Dine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bexley Theater on Sep 19, 2015 at 10:56 pm

Here is a link to an article about the Bexley Theatre in the November 16, 1935, issue of Boxoffice

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sandra Theatre on Sep 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Linkrot repair: The photo of the Sandra Theatre in the July 23, 1939, issue of Boxoffice is now at this link. It’s small and rather blurry, but shows the lighted sign and tower all the way to its top.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Sep 19, 2015 at 5:06 pm

The Royal Theatre is listed in the Albany city directory in 1922, though with a different address (366 & 368 S. Pearl.) It was probably the same theater, though. In 1922, Albany was already preparing to renumber the lots along many of its streets.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Sep 18, 2015 at 4:47 pm

This PDF has a brief history of the Princess Theatre, with two photos, one of which is a view of the auditorium from the screen end and shows the small shelf balcony, the only part of the theater in which patrons from Putnam County’s fairly small black community were allowed to sit.

The Princess opened on October 1, 1935. The document also mentions some of the other movie theaters in Putnam County. It also includes an extensive list of movies that were shown at the Princess over the years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Belfast Opera House on Sep 17, 2015 at 11:41 pm

This web page says that the Belfast Opera House was built in 1866-1868 by contractor Axel Hayford, and was originally called Hayford Hall.

The November 26, 2014, issue of the Penobscot Bay Pilot ran this article reporting that the Belfast Opera House had been added to Maine Preservation’s “Most Endangered Properties” list.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Deering Theatre on Sep 16, 2015 at 6:34 am

According to this web page the Deering Theatre was in the building at the corner of Stevens Avenue and Brentwood Street. From the caption of the very small photo it at appears to have been on the northwest corner. The Deering Theatre was in operation by 1934, in which year the operators placed a courtesy ad in Deering High School’s yearbook.

An earlier house called the Deering Theatre operated on Congress Street in downtown Portland, but I don’t believe there was ever any connection between the two. The neighborhood house in Deering Center might have originated as the 400-seat, second-floor theater listed in the 1901-1902 Cahn Guide as the Hoegg Opera House, which itself might also have been the facility called Hoegg Hall or Hoegg’s Hall which was mentioned in several publications of the 1900s. The building suffered a major fire in 1905 and was rebuilt.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theater on Sep 16, 2015 at 12:37 am

vaudevillegeek: If I read correctly the 1917 book I cited earlier, “…the Plaza, which is the continuation of his original house….” must have been at 214 N. Hastings, the location the book gave for the Nickel Theatre, opened by Mr. Hayter in 1907. If that’s the case then the Plaza was not the same house that later operated as the Cornhusker and then the State. I’ve found the Plaza mentioned in a couple of trade journal items from the 1910s, but they provide no details about the house.