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The July 13, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald noted quite a few new cinema projects planned, underway, or recently completed across the United States, which was in an accelerating economic recovery, but the news from economic laggard France was not so good:
“Ostensibly a summer closing move, the two largest halls of the Paris Pathe Natan Circuit now are dark, the Empire Cinema-Music Hall and the Moulin Rouge. The Empire (3,000 seats) had a combination cinema and variety policy and had been managed by Pathe Natan for one year. The Moulin Rouge (2,200 seats), former music hall where Mistinguett was a star, has been a cinema since 1929. It had been managed by Pathe Natan since 1930. The closing comes at a time when Pathe Natan is awaiting a general reorganization.”
This Rootsweb page has a brief history of the Regal Theatre. It was built around 1920 at 225 E. Main Street by Walter Burlinger. It was later bought by W.A. Collins. In 1930 and airdome was added (Probably cheaper than installing and operating air conditioning during the hot summers) which operated for about three years.
In 1936 Collins sold the house to the Lead Belt Amusement Company. After changing hands a couple of more times, the Regal Theatre was destroyed by a fire on January 8, 1955.
Something the history doesn’t mention is that in 1935 the July 13 issue of Motion Picture Herald announced that Mr. Collins was planning to build a new Regal Theatre, and bids were soon to be taken on the project. As the history doesn’t mention this, it’s likely that the project wasn’t carried out. Possibly the bids were too high.
The July 13, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald had this item:
“Colonel Thomas E. Orr, operator of several houses in northern Alabama, opened a new one at Fort Payne, Ala., known as the DeKalb.”
The March 3, 1923, issue of The Moving Picture World reported that former Tampa exhibitor W. H. Carroll had recently purchased the Rivoli Theatre at Douglas, Georgia, and the Colonial Theatre at Vidalia.
This house opened in 1940 as the New Lindsey Theatre. An earlier Lindsey Theatre had opened in 1917.
The Cactus Theatre was opened as part of an expansion of the Texas-based Griffith Amusement Company. The September 1, 1934, issue of Motion Picture Herald listed the New Cactus Theatre in Carlsbad as one of three new houses recently opened by the chain.
The Palace Theatre was remodeled and enlarged in 1934. The July 22 issue of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal said that the formal opening was to take place the following night. Plans for the project had been prepared by local architect O.R. Walker.
In 1934 the Rex Theatre was taken over by the Griffith Amusement Company, according to the September 1 issue of Motion Picture Herald.
A 1940s photo of Fifth Avenue showing the Princess Theatre accompanies this article from the April 11, 2016, issue of the Mount Dora Citizen. The article is about the lengthy permitting process for the proposed 12-screen EPIC theaters multiplex set to begin construction this year. The Mount Dora-Eustis area has been without a movie theater since the closing of the Eustis Plaza Twin in July, 1996. The Princess had closed in the 1970s.
The Majestic was enlarged and remodeled in late 1936, as described in this item from the January 2, 1937, issue of The Film Daily:
“Ellwood City, Pa. — Andy and Frank Biordi have remodeled their Majestic at a cost of more than $25,000. A complete new interior and a new marquee have been erected. A five-room apartment atop the theater has been dismantled and a balcony added. The auditorium was also reseated for increased capacity. Installations include new lighting fixtures, projection equipment and a sound system. W. Naidenoff of Pittsburgh was the decorator.”
The “Theater Improvements” column of the January 2, 1937, issue of The Film Daily said that new sound equipment had been installed in the Palace Theatre at Hazlehurst, Georgia.
This web page features a few photos of the side wall of the building once occupied by the Mayes Theatre. At some point a Coca-Cola sign on the wall was restored, and the ghost of the theater’s sign was painted over with a sign reading “Welcome to Maysville.”
Sadly, this Flickr photouploaded on July 15, 2008, by Amber Rhea, shows that the midsection of the roof of the theater had collapsed. The most recent Google Maps street view shows that the building has since been demolished.
The Mayes Theatre was located on the west side of the 9100 block of Gillsville Road (GA-52) south of Brevard Street. Most of the remaining buildings on the block show evidence of recent renovation. It’s unfortunate that the theater fell down when it did, or it might have been renovated too. Or perhaps the loss of the theater building was what moved the local folk to get to work preserving what remained of their architectural heritage.
This page at the Phoenix Opera web site says that the Orpheum has 1,364 seats, 1,062 on the orchestra floor and 302 in the balcony. There’s a link for downloading a seating chart in PDF format.
Aune and Overby were not architects. They owned and operated the theater, along with a saloon. According to a survey of Washburn’s historic resources, the architect of the 1888 rebuild of the Opera House Block was W. H. Webster, of the Ashland, Wisconsin firm of Webster & Dodge. The rebuilding was done in the popular Romanesque Revival style.
The theater was listed in the 1912-1913 Cahn guide as the Washburn Opera House. The ground floor of the building is still standing, though altered, but the second floor, which contained the Opera House, has been entirely obliterated. The truncated building is at the southeast corner of E. Bayfield St. and 1st Ave. E..
Addendum: Check Bill Counter’s Hitching Post page for an accurate history, including its brief listing as the Western Theatre and then Riviera Theatre before finally returning to its original name before closing.
Wide Screen equipment was installed in the Pastime Theatre at Horicon in 1956, according to an item in the April 7 issue of Boxoffice. The house had also been redecorated. The Pastime was in operation at least as early as 1921.
The Fox Theatre at Minco, Oklahoma, is mentioned in the May 21, 1936, issue of The Film Daily.
A house in Minco called the Royal Theatre is mentioned in the July 24, 1934, issue of the same publication. The 1933 FDY gives the seating of the Royal as 275. This might have been an earlier name for the Fox, or the Fox might have been the new theater that was listed as under construction in the 1936 FDY. The Fox’s building as seen in our vintage photo looks much older than 1936, though, so it was either an earlier theater that was rebuilt that year, or the conversion of an existing building from some other use.
In 1962, A Roy Kendrick of the Star Theatre in Minco was providing capsule movie reviews to the “Exhibitor Has His Say” section of Boxoffice. It’s possible that the Star was the Fox, renamed. Minco is never listed in the trades as having more than about 950 people, so was probably always a one-theater town.
Joseph Carunchia was the original owner of Tygart Valley Cinemas. He entered the exhibition business in 1953 and at one time owned the Fairmont Theatre as well as the Twilite and Starlite Drive-Ins. His son Mike Carunchia now operates the Tygart Valley Cinemas.
The September 10, 1973, issue of Boxoffice noted the conversion of the Fairmont Theatre into a triplex. Two of the auditoriums were in operation, and the third was expected to open in October.
The January 13, 1923, issue of The Moving Picture World contained this brief item:
E. Smith, of the Butler Theatre, Tonopah, Nev., was a business visitor in San Francisco just before Christmas.”
Tonopah boomed into existence with a rich silver strike in 1900, and rich gold deposits were found nearby in 1902. In its early years, Tonopah had three other theaters besides the Butler: the Nevada, the Pavilion, and the Indora, though the Butler (500 seats) and the Pavilion (750 seats) were the only theaters listed in the 1907-1908 edition of Henry’s Official Western Theatrical Guide.
The Butler was to survive the longest, operating into the age of CinemaScope, the wide screen having been installed in 1956, according to the announcement in the August 7 edition of the Reno Gazette-Journal that year.
The third thumbnail down the left side of this web page depicts the Butler Theatre in the 1930s (click to embiggen.)
The Butler Theatre is listed as a 1906 project in David and Noell’s list of known Boller Brothers theater designs. Also on the Boller list for Tonopah was the Nevada Theatre, dated only as “before 1913 (1903?)”
The mystery is solved. Fixer3 lived in the neighborhood when the Bellaire was in operation, and attended the theater, and says that it was in the building “…on the northeast corner of the first block east of Francis Lewis Boulevard” (which would make it the northeast corner of 207th Street.) That building, now housing the Merrick Charter School, is next door to the building Labadee Manoir is in. The Google street view is now set to the correct location.
Fixer3 must be right, which means we have the wrong address for this theater. The building at 207-13, housing the Labadee Manoir restaurant and bar catering business, is not configured like a theater. At the back, seen from 208th Street, it has a low ceiling on the ground floor and apartments above, and that looks original to the building, not a retrofit of an old theater. The building is a bit too small for an 825 seat theater, in any case.
The current Merrick Charter School has to be where the Bellaire was. The school uses a 207th Street address, and its main entrance is there, but a secondary entrance on Jamaica Avenue has the address 207-01 over the door.
A real estate web site says the building was built in 1961, but the structure looks older than that to me, so I would guess that’s the year when it was gutted and rebuilt into a bowling alley.
Also, I don’t think Google Maps will find the correct location while we use the name Bellaire in the address. It fetches Bellaire Place, at some distance south of the theater’s location. The real estate web site says the area is now called Queens Village, and at Google Maps, using the address 207-01 Jamaica Ave., Queens Village, NY 11428 does put the pin icon at exactly the right spot.
rivest266’s 1949 grand opening ad shows that this house opened as the Sate Theatre, so it never had the aka Mesa Theatre. That name belonged only to its demolished predecessor.
Also, we have the wrong address for the building. As it was on the same site as the Mesa Theatre, plus the adjacent lot, it had to have been in the 200 block. The current ground floor restaurant in the building, JC’s New York Pizza Dept., uses the address 215 Central Ave. NW.
350 was the seating capacity of the demolished Mesa Theatre. The State had a larger footprint and must have had at least twice that capacity, and probably even more. This was a downtown, first-run house in New Mexico’s largest city, after all.
Albuquerque Theatres Inc., operator of the State, was 50% owned by Karl Holblitzelle’s Texas Consolidated Theatres which was in turn 50% owned by Paramount Publix Corporation.
In this article from VermilionToday.com, dated May 27, 2011, Charles Sonnier, who was planning an adaptive reuse of the Bob Theatre, says that the house “…was built in 1939 by a Mr. Robinson.” He adds “I think the theatre was shut down around 1961.”
As Sonnier grew up in Abbeville and attended the theater, I think we can accept his usage of Bob Theatre as the actual name of the house in its later years.
In 1950, the Rex Theatre was renamed the Bob Theatre. This is the story from the “New Orleans” column of the April 1, 1950, issue of Boxoffice:
“F. R. DeGrauw [sic], president of F&R Realty, Abbeville, has leased the Rex Theatre, Abbeville, La., and will operate it under the new name Bob. New sound equipment is being installed and the theatre is undergoing remodeling. Opening date for the 800-seat house has been set tentatively for April 8.”
One Internet reference calls the house Bob’s Theatre rather than the Bob Theatre. It’s quite possible that it’s correct. The deGraauw family owned Frank’s Theatre, which appears to have been renamed (from the Dixie) for F. R. deGraauw’s elder son, Frank, so it seems logical that the Rex would have been renamed for the younger son, Bob. Robert deGraauw died quite recently, and his obituary at VermilionToday.com mentions the family’s involvement in the theater business at Abbeville from at least 1927. They also owned the Lafitte Drive-In.
The 800 seat capacity noted in the Boxoffice item seems plausible. This is a good-sized building, as can be seen from Randy Carlisle’s photos, linked in the previous comment.