Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theatre on Feb 28, 2015 at 10:53 pm

The Colonial Theatre was in operation by 1903. Shakespeare on the Stage, a 1915 book by William Winter, cites a May 11, 1903, matinée of a production of The Taming of the Shrew at the house. The 1909-1910 edition of the Cahn guide listed the Colonial as a ground floor house with 1,050 seats. The 1912 guide has Taylor’s Colonial Theatre with 1,078 seats including 440 on the orchestra floor, 238 in the balcony, and 400 in a gallery. The rebuilding in 1924 was probably quite drastic to accommodate the 1,359 seats it had later.

The September 9, 1940, issue of the Peekskill Highland Democrat said that the Colonial Theatre, which had been built “…nearly a half century ago….” was soon to be demolished. The house had been bought from the Singers by Paramount, who also acquired the recently-remodeled Peekskill Theatre. A fire had damaged the Colonial and the seats had been removed from the balcony as a result.

I don’t know if the Colonial was one of those theaters that the FDY continued listing after it was gone or not, but it certainly could have been.

The 1940 article can be found in column four near the bottom of this single-page PDF.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lando-Grand Theatre on Feb 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm

spectrumis correct. The photo depicts the Grand Theatre on Fifth Avenue, which we have listed under its later name Warner Theatre.

The November 8, 1947 ad in Boxoffice that I mistakenly dated to 1940 in my earlier comment can be seen at lower right on this page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Aggie Theater on Feb 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Gates Corgan was the architect of the Aggie Theatre. The house opened in mid-August, 1926.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Yam Theater on Feb 28, 2015 at 8:26 pm

Also, the correct address for the Yam Theatre is 219 S. Main Avenue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Yam Theater on Feb 28, 2015 at 8:01 pm

The Portales Mainstreet Program provides this web page about the Yam Theatre. It opened in 1926 as the Portola Theatre. In 1929 it was renamed the Palace Theatre, but was soon closed due to the depression. In February, 1932 the house was reopened by the Griffith Amusement Company and the original name Portola Theatre was restored.

In 1936, Griffith had the house extensively remodeled and extended rear of the building by 20 feet to accommodate more seats. It was at this time that the house was renamed the Yam Theatre. The architect for the project was Gates Corgan, who had been designing the Griffith chain’s theater projects for at least a decade.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Texan Theater on Feb 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm

The June 10, 1933, issue of the Lubbock Morning Avalanch said that Gates Corgan, architect for the Griffith Amusement Company, would arrive in town the following day to oversee the remodeling of the building at 813 Broadway into a movie theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Aztec Theater on Feb 28, 2015 at 7:05 pm

The Aztec Theatre is not on David and Noelle Soren’s list of known Boller Brothers theaters, though the list does include Enid’s Billings Theatre, opened in 1921. A December 30, 1930, article about the La Nora Theatre in the Pampa Sunday News-Post of Pampa, Texas, mentioned the Aztec Theatre in Enid as one of the other theaters designed by Gates Corgan, architect of the La Nora. Corgan was both the architect and the contractor for Griffith Amusement company projects from the mid 1920s until 1939.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Yucca Theatre on Feb 28, 2015 at 6:44 pm

The Yucca Theatre was set to open on April 17, 1931, according to the previous day’s issue of the Roswell Daily Record. The house was built for Griffith Amusement Company. An article in the December 30, 1930, issue of the Pampa Sunday News Post about the opening of the La Nora Theatre in Pampa, Texas, said that the Griffith theater then under construction in Roswell had been designed by the La Nora’s architect, Gates Corgan.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Luna Theatre on Feb 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm

An article in the October 2, 1936, issue of The Deming Headlight said that the Princess Theatre had been taken over by Griffith Theatres and would be closed for several weeks for extensive rebuilding. The floor would be rebuilt and a balcony added. The house was also to be renamed. The architect for the project was Gates Corgan, with Bill Moore of Fairfax, Oklahoma, acting as supervising architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about La Nora Theatre on Feb 28, 2015 at 12:40 pm

In one of the several articles about the new La Nora Theatre that appeared in the Pampa Sunday News-Post of December 30, 1930, the day before the theater opened, was this information:

“Gates Corgan of Oklahoma City, architect for Griffith Amusement company, designed the new La Nora theatre and supervised construction details. He has designed many fine theatres, including the Aztec at Enid, the Bison at Shawnee, and the new Griffith movie palace at Roswell, under construction.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rig Theatre on Feb 28, 2015 at 12:31 pm

The NRHP Registration Form for the Rig Theatre (PDF here) says that the house was built for the Griffith Amusement Company in 1928. Given that it was a Griffith house and built that year, it was almost certainly designed and built by Oklahoma City architect/contractor Gates Corgan, who handled over 100 projects for Griffith by 1939.

The NRHP form has a nice early exterior photo of the house. There is also a photo of the first band of Wink native Roy Orbison. There are plans to restore the Rig as a live performance venue in conjunction with the Roy Orbison museum.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Oasis Theatre on Feb 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Here is a photo of the former Oasis Theatre by Andrew Butler. The building now houses a real estate office and the office of the Winkler County Appraisal District. Internet says the building is at 107 E. Winkler Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fort Theatre on Feb 28, 2015 at 10:59 am

The link to a nocturnal photo of the Empress Theatre in an earlier comment is dead, but it might have been the undated photo on this web page. Judging from the cars parked along Central Avenue I’d say the photo was taken within a couple of years of the theater’s opening.

Several interior photos of the Fort Theatre after its conversion to other uses can be found in the building’s NRHP Registration Form, currently available in the PDF format here. The house served as a bar and grill with live entertainment for a while before being converted into a dental office.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about OhioTheatre on Feb 26, 2015 at 6:17 pm

The Ohio Theatre was mentioned in the January 9, 1936, issue of The Film Daily:

“Youngstown, O— The Ohio, neighborhood theater, dark for several months, has been reopened with a subsequent run policy. House has been reconditioned.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sourwine Theater on Feb 25, 2015 at 11:19 pm

The December, 1906, issue of The Ohio Architect and Builder reported that John D. Sourwine of Terre Haute would advertise for bids on the new opera house he was building at Brazil. The house was expected to be ready to open by summer of 1907.

Here is an early postcard image of the Sourwine Opera House from Indiana Memory.

The Sourwine Theatre was destroyed by a fire in early 1947. The Cooper Theatre was built on its site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Walnut Theatre on Feb 25, 2015 at 10:51 pm

The Brazil Times published a letter from John Weddle in 2011 which can be read on this web page. It says that the Cooper Theatre replaced the Sourwine Theatre on the same site and opened in February, 1948. The Sourwine had been destroyed by fire in early 1947.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Roxy Cinema on Feb 25, 2015 at 7:57 pm

The Roxy Theatre was located in the Canfield WPA Memorial Building, 132 S Broad Street. The building also housed a library, an American Legion hall and a Masonic lodge, as well as facilities for youth groups. It is now privately owned and has been converted into offices.

Construction on the building began in December, 1936. It was designed in the Colonial Revival style by Youngstown architects Cook & Canfield (William H. Cook and W. Canfield.) The project was financed in part by local subscription and in part by funds from the Works Progress Administration.

In 2007 the building was declared an historic site by the Ohio Historical Society, who placed a marker. The text of the marker can be read on this web page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Poly Theatre on Feb 24, 2015 at 10:17 pm

The May 3, 1946, issue of The Film Daily said that R. F. Smith was the architect for the New Poly Theatre being built by Tri-States Theaters at Forth Worth.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bison Theatre on Feb 24, 2015 at 9:20 pm

The only theater in Shawnee that is attributed to Boller Brothers on David and Noelle Soren’s list of known Boller Theaters is the Misson Theatre of 1927.

The May 1, 1946, issue of The Film Daily has a death notice for Shawnee architect Gates Corgan and attributes the design of the Bison Theatre to him:

“Gates Corgan Dead

“Shawnee, Olka. — Gates Corgan, 68, prominent Shawnee architect and contractor who from 1925 until his retirement two years ago was architect and contractor for the Griffith Amusement Co., died here. He built the Bison here in 1926 and built other theaters in Oklahoma and Mid-western states. He is the father of Jack Corgan of Dallas, well known Southwestern theater architect.”

Another item in the same magazine said that Gates Corgan had designed more than 100 houses for the Griffith Amusement Company.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Feb 23, 2015 at 10:29 pm

The Friday, February 7, 1908, issue of The Orrville Courier of Orriville, Ohio, had an item about the opening of the Princess Theatre:

“The Princess theater, Youngstown’s newest playhouse, opened its doors to the public Monday night. From the dazzling electric lights in the front of the theater to the last act of the interesting program the place and entertainment is attractive and pleasing. Pretty girl ushers are only one of the novelties.”
The Princess was opened by Proctor E. Seas, a former resident of Orrville.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Esquire Theatre on Feb 23, 2015 at 10:16 pm

The September 27, 1934, issue of The Film Daily had a brief item saying that the Princess Theatre in Youngstown, which had been dark since spring, had been reopened by Stephen Grapa with a stage policy (I’m pretty sure the magazine misspelled the Italian surname, which was probably Grappa, or even di Grappa.)

The item also said that the manager of the Princess was named Ralph Pitzer. Interestingly, Ralph D. Pitzer was listed as the manager of the Princess Family Theatre at Youngstown in the 1913-1914 edition of the Cahn guide. The guide listed the house as a ground floor theater with 800 seats, 500 on the main floor and 300 in the balcony. It was then playing Gus Sun vaudeville shows exclusively.

The Princess began running the Sun shows in 1910, as the November 6 issue of Variety said that the remodeled house would reopen with Gus Sun vaudeville on November 14. A later Variety item datelined Youngstown, November 24, said that the Princess, booked by Gus Sun, and the Park, booked by another vaudeville office, Feiber & Shea, of New York, were both doing fine business.

The Princess had a very diverse history. I’ve found references to stock companies playing the house in 1915 and the early 1920s, as well as vaudeville, movies, and burlesque. The August 30, 1929, issue of the New Castle News ran an item touting the opening of the New Princess Theatre in Youngstown, “…all repaired, repainted. redecorated, renovated….” and featuring something called the “Billy Leich Teddy Bear Girls Company, The show with a kick….” The item also boasted of the house’s new “lighted runway,” so it was surely a burlesque operation at that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fairfax Theatre on Feb 23, 2015 at 1:06 am

Thanks for the information, Don. I totally missed the Ponce de Leon Theatre in my search.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empire Theatre on Feb 23, 2015 at 12:58 am

In January, 1928, Motion Picture News noted that the Empire Theatre, then under construction, would be operated by Neighborhood Theatres, the regional Universal Pictures subsidiary partly owned by Oscar Oldknow.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ponce de Leon Theatre on Feb 23, 2015 at 12:52 am

The January 27, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News had an article about Universal Pictures expanding its theater holdings in the Atlanta area. One line pertained to the Ponce de Leon Theatre: “One of the company’s most recent acquisitions was a fifty per cent interest in the community theatre just being completed on Ponce de Leon Avenue near Boulevard, one of the city’s most flourishing centers.”

The Universal affiliate in Atlanta, Neighborhood Theatres, was partly owned by Oscar Oldknow, the regional vice president of Universal’s theater arm. Other Neighborhood Theatres houses in which Universal acquired an interest at this time included the Fairfax in East Point and the Madison in East Atlanta. In 1928 the chain opened the Empire Theatre on Georgia Avenue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theatre on Feb 23, 2015 at 12:04 am

I’m glad to be of help.