Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Theatre on Aug 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm

This web page has dozens of photos of Johannesburg’s movie theaters, including a late photo (no earlier than 1955) of the Bijou, about ¼ of the way down the page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Adelphi Cinema on Aug 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Street View is a block too far north, but the Google map’s pin icon is about ten blocks too far south. The Adelphi’s building was at the northeast corner of Main Road and Rhine Road.

And Walgate should have only one “l”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Adelphi Cinema on Aug 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Photos of the Adelphi Kinema and two other theaters here. The Adelphi was in a splendid Streamline Modern building with a rounded end at the corner of Rhine Road. The site is currently occupied by a Pic ‘n Pay store in a building that is anything but splendid.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Metro Theatre on Aug 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Because these blocks of St. George’s Mall and Waterkant Street were inaccessible to Google’s camera car there is no good street view of the site of the Metro Theatre. If you look southwest along the Mall from Riebeek Street, the African Bank on the right is at 6 St. George’s Mall, so the Metro’s site was under the footprint of the gray concrete building just beyond it, which extends to the corner of Waterkant Street. The Colosseum Theatre was across the mall from the African Bank building, so this block had two of Cape Town’s movie palaces.

The only photo I can find showing the Metro is this general view of St. George’s Street, probably taken around 1950m lookingsouthwest from a block northeast of Riebeek Street. The Metro is on the right in the second block. On the left side of the street the first four letters on the Colosseum’s vertical sign can be seen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colosseum Theatre on Aug 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm

According to this web page, the formal opening of the Colosseum Theatre took place on February 14, 1938, and it was converted to shops and offices in 1972.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colosseum Theatre on Aug 20, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Three photos of Cape Town’s Colosseum Theatre are at this link. The building has been converted into a residential-commercial condominium which has a web site. It’s difficult to tell for sure, but from the virtual tours of the units it looks as though they demolished the auditorium to use the space partly as an atrium and partly for new construction.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Aug 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Two photos of the auditorium and a drawing of the facade of the Grand Theatre in Pietermaritzburg can be found on this web page.

A photo of the exterior of the Grand can be seen on this web page, which also mentions three other movie houses in Pietermaritzburg; the Rinko, the King’s, and the Excelsior. An additional cinema, the 20th Century, which opened in 1941, is not mentioned.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Aug 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Three pages of photographs of the Capitol Theatre in Pretoria can be found at this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Kine Elite on Aug 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm

The thumbnail image on this web page wouldn’t load for me, but I clicked where it should have been and got a page with a photo of the building that housed the Odeon Cinema and Thelma Court Flats. The photo shows that architect Max Policansky’s design was Midcentury Modern (or Streamline Modern, if we must bundle them together) rather than Art Deco.

Artefacts' web page for Hanson, Tomkin & Finkelstein doesn’t list this theater among their works, though it does list the 20th Century Cinemas in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plaza Theatre on Aug 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Three interior shots dated 1933 are among the four photos of the Plaza Theatre found on this web page. The decor features some nice Art Deco touches, though the overall design is less ornate than was typical of the style. Werner Wagner, then employed at the architectural firm of Kallenbach, Kennedy & Furner, was the design architect on this project.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Metro Theatre on Aug 20, 2014 at 4:26 pm

This web page says that the Plaza Kinema was designed by Kallenbach, Kennedy & Furner, with Walgate & Ellsworth. This was the same team that designed the Capitol and Adelphi Theatres in Cape Town.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colosseum Theatre on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

This web page says that the Prince’s Theatre was designed by architect William Hutchinson Mason. The renovation of this house and the adjacent Playhouse Theatre as the Playhouse Theatre Complex in 1985-86 was handled by the firm of Small & Pettit & Robson.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Theatre on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm

This web page says that the Bijou Bioscope was at 165-7 Jeppe Street, and was designed by the architectural firm of Kallenbach & Kennedy.

“Bioscope” was at one time the commonly used term for a cinema in the region.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Valley Event Center on Aug 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Scooter’s Theatre is now the Valley Event Center.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Victoria Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 11:44 pm

While the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950 lists this house among the works of architect Jay English, the Odeon Theatre in Fort William did not open for more than a year after the architect’s death in a drowning accident in August, 1947. It is likely that this house, like th eOdeon in Port Arthur, was among the many designs left uncompleted upon his death.

The design of the Odeon Port Arthur, which opened the day before this house, was completed by the firm of Kaplan & Sprachman, but the Odeon in Fort William is not on the list of that firm’s works on the Dictionary’s web site.

Several of English’s unfinished designs were completed by architect Leslie Kemp. Unfortunately, while the Dictionary has a brief biography of Kemp, it does not provide a list of his works, so we can’t be certain that he completed this house. I can’t find it on any other page of the Dictionary, either. Kemp was the architect most likely to have completed this project, but it might be difficult to find documentation proving that he did.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Odeon Port Arthur on Aug 18, 2014 at 11:07 pm

While the Odeon Port Arthur is on this list of the works of Jay English, it also appears on this list of works by the firm of Kaplan & Sprachman from the same source (the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950.) It is listed as a 1947 project on both pages, so the Odeon, which did not open until November, 1948, must have been one of the design projects left unfinished by Jay English when he died in a drowning accident in August, 1947. A number of his unfinished projects were completed by architect Leslie Kemp, but this house, at least, was completed by Kaplan & Sprachman.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyceum Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 10:24 pm

The October 16, 1909, issue of the Port Arthur News Chronicle said that the Lyceum Theatre would open on Monday, October 18.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Paramount Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:44 pm

The Paramount Theatre was designed by architect Jay English. It is on this list of his works simply as: “PORT ARTHUR, ONT., theatre for Famous Players Co., Park Street at Court Street, 1941.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre I and II on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Emmanuel Briffa was the decorator of the Capitol Theatre. The architect was Jay English. It is on this list of his works simply as: “FORT WILLIAM, ONT., theatre for Famous Players Co., Brodie Street, 1941.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 7:57 pm

An article summarizing building activity in Fort William during the year 1914, published in the October 10 edition of the Daily Times Journal, included the Royal Theatre on the list of projects undertaken that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Indiana Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

An article by Sarah Clifford in the March 13, 2007, edition of the Bedford Times-Mail cites an article in the May 10, 1901, issue of the Bedford Weekly Mail which said:

“The Stone City Opera House, now nearing completion and about to be opened to the public, planned and erected under Mr. Glover’s personal supervision, not only attests to this gentleman’s public spirit and enterprise, but stands as a monument of beauty, a model of modern equipment, and gives to Bedford one of her greatest needs.

“The plans for the building were drawn up by the well-known architect, John L. Nichols, and carried into execution by the contractor, David Newkirk, through his competent superintendent, Mr. M. W. Hunter.”

The Stone City Opera House opened on May 16, 1901.

The August 2, 1922, issue of Exhibitors Herald said that the Lawrence Theatrical Company had obtained a ten-year lease on the Stone City Opera House and planned to expend $60,000 to gut and rebuild the auditorium, with 850 seats on the ground floor and 65 in the balcony. Clifford’s Times Mail article says that the final cost of the project was $85,000, and the rebuilt Indiana Theatre opened on September 1, 1924.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Harris Grand Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Bloomingpedia says that the Harris Opera House was built in 1907, and was designed by the architectural firm of Nichols & Son. In 1923, John L. Nichols (his son, Bridge Nichols, had died in 1911) drew the plans for remodeling the Harris Grand Theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Bloomingpedia says that John Harris built the Princess Theatre in 1913. It was designed by the firm of Nichols & Nichols. John L. Nichols had previously been in a partnership with his son, Bridge Nichols, who died in 1911. He returned to solo practice in 1914 after his brother, Leo Morton Nichols, left the firm after little more than a year.

In 1923, the Princess was remodeled, again with plans by John Nichols, and an addition doubled the size of the auditorium. The theater closed in 1981. In 1985, the addition to the auditorium collapsed. The building was restored in 1986 and has since served as a restaurant.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Riviera Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:54 pm

This house was in operation prior to 1922 as Crouch’s Theatre, operated by Jim Crouch.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm

The State Theatre in Nanticoke was opened in 1922. The August 5 issue of Exhibitors Herald said that the 1,200 seat house was designed for the American Amusement Company by Leon H. Lempert & Son. The State was equipped with a $10,000 Moller organ.