Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about El Rey Theatre on May 26, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Thanks, Gpowers205. The Boys and Girls Club is at 6241 Skyway, and the next building south is at 6197, so the theater’s address would have been between those numbers- say approximately 6225. Google Maps' address approximation is way off, though, with readouts of 6180-6192 for the parking lot (which also serves as an extension of Fir Street between Skyway and Inez Way.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cameo Theatre on May 25, 2015 at 10:56 pm

This house might have been twinned in its later years. A “25 years ago” feature in the May 5, 2013, issue of the Sioux City Journal said that the owner of the Cameo Theaters were temporarily closed and the owner was trying to decide whether to dispose of or continue operating the house, which had suffered water damage. The headline and brief article used the plural “theaters” three times, so it wasn’t just a typo.

It’s also possible that the Cameo opened in the 1910s. A brochure for a walking tour of central downtown Sioux City says that the Cameo Theatre was in a building erected in 1901-1902 as an annex to the Martin Department Store, the main building of which was on 4th Street. The store moved to an entirely new building in 1916 and its old buildings were then converted for other uses. The brochure doesn’t say when the theater opened, only that it was in the former department store annex, so it’s possible that it was installed there in 1916, maybe originally operating under a different name.

The original 1901 facade, designed in the Beaux Arts style by architect Henry Fisher, is still largely intact, but the building doesn’t show any signs of having once housed a theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on May 25, 2015 at 12:55 am

The first movie shown at the Fox Westwood Village when it opened on August 14, 1931, was A Free Soul, which had premiered in New York City on June 2 and opened in other cities later that month.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Michigan Theatre on May 23, 2015 at 1:16 pm

My apologies for my carelessness, and thanks to dallasmovietheaters for correcting my mistake. I should have noticed that 1948 was the wrong year, as kencmcintyre had already posted a link to a 1945 ad.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on May 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

I’m not related to the author Joe Vogel as far as I know. It’s not an extremely common surname, but it’s not extremely rare either, so probably only a modest percentage of the Vogels in the United States would be my distant cousins. I grew up in Los Angeles, and back in the 1960s people I met who were in the movie industry sometimes asked if I was related to the Joe Vogel who was then the head of MGM, but I wasn’t.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on May 22, 2015 at 11:30 am

There’s much information about the Priscilla (later Belview and then Parkview) on this web page from the Cinema Data Project. If someone wants to submit it to CT go ahead. I’m being run off my feet lately and won’t have the time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on May 22, 2015 at 2:09 am

Lewiston passed through a time warp in 1961, briefly occupying the year 19611. The good news is that they didn’t bring any future human diseases back with them, but unfortunately they did bring the computer keyboard glitches which have since plagued the world.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lewiston Flagship Cinema on May 22, 2015 at 1:17 am

The August 18, 1999, issue of the Lewiston Sun Journal said that construction of the Flagship Cinemas was on schedule and the theater was expected to open in October.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Auburn Theater on May 22, 2015 at 12:58 am

An article about the demolition of the Strand Theatre in Lewiston and the possible demolition of the Auburn Theatre appeared in the February 4, 1961, issue of the Lewiston Evening Journal (Google News. A photo can be seen on this page of the same issue.) The article said that the Auburn Theatre had been closed since 1954, and was currently owned by the local municipal parking authority which intended either to convert the building to indoor parking or demolish it to make way for a conventional parking lot.

A 1928 photo of the Auburn Theatre is here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on May 22, 2015 at 12:39 am

An article in the February 4, 19611, issue of the Lewiston Evening Journal said that the Lewiston Theatre had opened on December 30, 1914.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empire Theatre on May 22, 2015 at 12:19 am

Further evidence that Fuller Claflin designed the Empire Theatre appears in the September 22, 1903, issue of the Lewiston Evening Journal. An article said that the Amalgamated Theatre Company had resumed work on the new theater on Main Street. Amalgamated was the New York design and construction firm headed by Claflin.

An article in the February 4, 1961, issue of the Evening Journal said that the Empire Theatre had opened on November 23, 1903.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on May 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm

The May 4, 1985, issue of the Lewiston Journal ran a vintage photo of the Lewiston Theatre which can be seen at Google News.

A brief item about the Union Square Theatre appeared in the September 23, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Lewiston’s Union Square Reopens.

“LEWISTON, ME.—The Union Square theater, Lewiston, reopened Thursday, August 31, under the management of Dennault Bros., of Providence, R. L, who run theaters throughout New England. The bills are given over to photoplays and vaudeville, with musical comedy once a month. An eight-reel play, ‘God’s Country and Women,’ was shown the opening night. E. C. Dennualt is the new local manager. With wide experience and a genial personality, he is sure to be a popular Lewiston theatrical manager.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Opera House on May 19, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Writer Doug Taylor’s web site Historic Toronto has a page for La Plaza Theatre with many period and modern photos of the house. Taylor says that plans for La Plaza were submitted to the city in February, 1915.

La Plaza Theatre is listed in the 1917 edition of The Toronto Annual as a moving picture and vaudeville house with 885 seats, with the proprietor being a Mr. Welsman (this might have been either Charles, Clarence, or William Welsman, all of whom are mentioned as early Toronto theater operators in various sources.)

Though it might have begun as a movie and vaudeville house, in 1919 and 1920 La Plaza is mentioned in The Billboard as presenting shows with long runs. The issue of July 5, 1919, says that the Luther, Kelly & Gates' Music Comedy Revue was soon to close a six-month run at La Plaza. The January 10, 1920, issue says that Parker’s Musical Comedy Revue was in the 19th week of its third season at La Plaza, which suggests that the company had been appearing at the house annually since 1918.

Although I can’t find any period documentation for the claim, the Wikipedia article on architect Kirk Hyslop (b. 1889) says that he worked on La Plaza, but it isn’t known if he was the original architect or merely designed alterations that were made in 1932.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about International Cinema on May 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Doug Taylor has a web page for the International Cinema with two historic photos. The Oriole Theatre was originally designed by architect Kirk Hyslop in 1933. It was remodeled in 1941 with plans by Kaplan & Sprachman. One of the photos dates from 1945 when the house was called the Cinema, which name probably dates from the 1941 remodeling. It had become the International Cinema by 1947.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Vaughan Theatre on May 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

The Vaughn Theatre was built for B&F Theatres in 1947, and was designed by architects Kaplan & Sprachman, according to This online article by Toronto writer Doug Taylor. The article has several photos, including a couple of shots of the auditorium. It says that the building was demolished in the 1980s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about AMC Elmwood Palace 20 on May 17, 2015 at 7:49 pm

AMC’s web site bills this multiplex as the AMC Elmwood Palace 20, and lists it as being in Harahan, Louisiana, even though it is not within the corporate limits of that city but in Elmwood, an unincorporated, census-designated place adjacent to Harahan, with which it shares a zip code.

This web page has the obituary of T. G. Solomon of Gulf States Theatres, original owners of the Palace 20.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Elmwood Cinema IV on May 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm

I believe this is the same theater listed at Cinema Treasures as the Elmwood Cinema 4 in Harahan, Louisiana. This page is earlier than the other. The theater was not actually within the corporate limits of Harahan, but neither is it within the corporate limits of New Orleans. Instead, it is in Elmwood, an unincorporated, census-designated place adjacent to Harahan, with which it shares a zip code.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on May 16, 2015 at 7:15 pm

This web page has a very early photo of the facade of the Poli Theatre in Scranton as is was originally designed by Albert Westover.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Selma Walton Theatre on May 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm

The Walton Theatre had opened on August 10, according to the November 14, 1910, issue of The Moving Picture World. The original seating capacity was 500, 122 of them being in the balcony, and the rows were thirty-six inches apart, which was very generous spacing for a theater of that period.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Loew's Star Theatre on May 14, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Not surprisingly, Rochester’s own Leon H. Lempert, Jr. designed Gordon’s Photoplay Theatre. Here is an item from the June 26, 1912, issue of The American Architect:

“ROCHESTER—Gordon Brothers are planning to go ahead immediately with the construction of the new theatre in Clinton Ave. North, just north of the Masonic Temple. The theatre is to cost about $90,000 and is to be for vaudeville and moving pictures. Leon Lempert, 31 Pearl St., is the architect.”
The March 26, 1913, issue of The New York Dramatic Mirror ran this description of Gordon’s Photoplay:
“The Gordon photoplay house of Rochester. N. Y.,… is a fair example of the magnificent structures being erected in the larger cities throughout the country for the display of motion pictures. It was built by the Gordon Brothers Amusement Co., of which N. H. Gordon, of Boston, is managing director. The total cost of construction and equipment totalled $250,000. The house seats 1,827 people, 911 on the main floor and 916 in the balcony.

“A novel feature of the theater is a moving stairway used to convey patrons to the balcony floor. It is eighty-nine feet long, being eleven feet longer than any other of its kind used in a theater. With twentyseven five-foot exits opening directly out of doors, fifteen on the ground floor and twelve in the balcony, it is estimated that the entire audience can leave the building in a trifle more than three minutes.

“The screen, concave in shape and measuring nineteen feet five inches by fourteen feet five inches, is said to be the only one of its kind in use in New York State. Even from the most remote seats the pictures are clearly in view. On either side of the screen are stages set with columns, draperies, ferns, etc., and adjoining these are two art panels, one representing mirth and the other music.

“The organ installed was built by M. P. Moller. and is called a four manuel or console organ. It is the largest instrument of its type now in use. Richard Henry Warner, late of the Church of the Ascension, New York, is the organist. Other music is supplied by an orchestra of eleven pieces, under the direction of T. Quiry, of the Boston Conservatory of Music.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Coliseum Theater on May 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm

There was a Coliseum Theatre operating in Juneau at least as early as 1917, when it was mentioned in the September issue of the official organ of the Washington State Music Teachers' Association, Music and Musicians. It is the theater depicted in the 1918 photo kencmcintyre linked to.

On December 7, 1922, a local newspaper reported the W. D. Gross had bought property next to the Alaskan Hotel and planned to build a 1,000-seat theater on the site, after which the old Coliseum would be converted into a dance hall. I don’t know if this project was carried out or not, but if it was then the theater that got the Kimball organ in 1928 might have been the second Coliseum Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on May 13, 2015 at 1:40 pm

The web page kencmcintyre linked to is gone, but PSTOS has this page about the Palace, with a couple of exterior photos, though both were taken from oblique angles.

A brief biography of John Spickett, original operator of the Palace, says that he was a former theatrical performer, producer and manager who settled in Juneau in 1898, and entered the movie business after his term as the local postmaster ended in 1912. His first venture was called the Orpheum, and after it closed he operated the Palace and another house called the Dream. The Dream closed in the late 1920s, and about the same time he sold the Palace to Lawrence Kubley, operator of theaters at Ketchikan.

It was Kubley who renamed the house the Capitol. He remodeled the theater and reopened it under the new name in January, 1931.

Spickett’s biography is one of many that were published by a fraternal organization called Pioneers of Alaska, the collection being available online in this PDF.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Uptown Theatre on May 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm

I’ve found a reference to the Uptown Theatre in Juneau advertising “Family Night” with an admission price of 25 cents in May, 1955.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Revilla Theatre on May 13, 2015 at 12:19 pm

I’ve noticed that (at least in the PDFs I have) in some of the editions from the 1950s the FDY’s drop the complete lists of movie theaters they had previously included and provide only lists of theaters operated by chains, which leaves out a lot of independent houses. I hadn’t noticed that they dropped an entire (future) state from the listings.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Revilla Theatre on May 13, 2015 at 5:07 am

The December 14, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World had an article about Alaska’s movie theaters. It said that L. H. Kubley, who had recently sold his Dream Theatre in Ketchikan, was planning to build a new house in that town. The original Dream Theatre was renamed the Liberty by its new owner, Jack Barbour.

Kubley’s new house was apparently the one that became the Revilla, so the house could have opened in 1919. The name change to Revilla was made in the late 1920s, according to this article about the Kubley family.

The June 21, 1952, issue of Boxoffice had a brief item saying that B. F. Shearer and his associate Lawrence Kubley were taking bids for the construction of a new, 700-seat theater on the site of the Revilla Theatre in Ketchikan. I don’t know if this project was carried out or not. If it was then later editions of the FDY should (but might not) list the house with an increased seating capacity.