Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Southern Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:35 pm

I forgot to mention there was also a Hippodrome Theatre in Bucyrus, listed in the December 20, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World as a member of the American Motion Picture League. It is again mentioned, along with the Southern, in Motion Picture News of November 6, 1926. Both houses were then being operated by Standard Film Service Co., of Cleveland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Southern Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:21 pm

A Southern Theatre in Bucyrus, Ohio, was mentioned in the September 7, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World. Wid’s Yearbook for 1921 lists the Southern as being operated by the Marion Photoplay Co., also operating the Marion and Orpheus Theatres in Marion.

The 1921 Wid’s also lists a Majestic Theatre in Bucyrus, which I’ve found mentioned as early as 1908. A house called the Wonderland which was located at Sandusky Avenue and West Rensselaer Street and also open by 1908. An Orpheum Theatre in Bucyrus is mentioned as early as 1907 and as late as 1909. Because the names Wonderland and Orpheum both vanish after 1909, there is a possibility that one or the other later became the Southern Theatre.

A comment on this Facebook post mentions a film that was shown at the Southern Theatre during the 150th anniversary of Bucyrus, around 1961.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garden Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm

The Garden Theatre was advertised in the September 2, 1923, issue of the Davenport Democrat. Along with the Capitol and Family Theatres it featured Paramount productions.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Capitol Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:59 pm

The “Better Theatres” section of the July 5, 1930, issue of Exhibitors Herald World featured an article about recent Canadian theaters which included a few paragraphs about the Capitol at Saskatoon:

“Turning to the Canadian West for another example, the new Capitol theatre in Saskatoon, Sask., has a stage no less than 80 feet wide and proportionate in depth. It was built for talking pictures and has thick carpets to deaden the sound of tramping feet, but it has that big stage for come what may.

“The Saskatoon Capitol, designed by Murray Brown of Toronto, an outstanding Canadian theatre architect, is of the average size of 1,600 seats — 1,400 on what was once known as the orchestra floor, and 200 somewhat more luxurious chairs on a narrow balcony just under the glass-covered portholes of the projection room.

“The Capitol at Saskatoon has a Spanish interior with Spanish lounges, Spanish garden walls and blue sky overhead. It was the first atmospheric theatre in the ‘prairie provinces’ of the Dominion and created plenty of talk when Manager Frank Miley, local veteran showman, opened the doors. Miley had his first ‘opening’ at the old Daylight theatre in Saskatoon back in 1911 and this latest theatre creation is rated as a $400,000 enterprise.

“The incidental Spanish furnishings and wrought iron lamps in the new Capitol cost more than the first theatre. And you can walk around in different luxurious places in the Capitol, whereas the old Daylight just had seats, a projection "booth,” a screen and a few other essentials. The new Capitol has spotlights emitting their beams of light through the edge of the balcony when desired and the atmospheric skyline is considered worthy of the price of admission alone. The lofty entrance leads one up over a hidden intervening alley, away from the main street, until one enters the theatre proper beyond. This long lobby helps to absorb the crowds.“

this illustration depicts the Capitol Theatre’s auditorium. The entire article can be read online using this link. It features additional photos of the Capitol.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm

The Lancaster Eagle Gazette published a two-part article on the Lyric Theatre April 14, 2014 and May 11, 2014 (for some reason I can read part one in its entirety, but most of part two is behind the paper’s pay wall.)

The Lyric Theatre opened on June 15, 1914. It was designed for owner Edward Mithoff by Columbus architect Fred W. Elliott. In 1927, the Lyric installed a Wurlitzer Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra, which premiered on June 13. Lancaster got its first look at talking pictures at the Lyric on June 17, 1927.

The original entrance of the Lyric was long and narrow, the auditorium having been built behind an existing commercial building. It was this commercial building that was demolished when the front of the theatre was rebuilt in the Art Deco style in the 1930s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Liberty Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm

This house was called the Hippodrome at least as late as 1913, when it was mentioned in the February 15 issue of Motography. Its operator, H. A. Wachter, was one of two Lancaster exhibitors who had attended a convention in Columbus. The other was George L. Law, who ran two movie houses called the Exhibit Theatre, one in Lancaster and the other in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Tuxedo Theater on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:27 am

The Tuxedo was one of two large Detroit neighborhood houses recently acquired by the Publix chain, according to the July 5, 1930, issue of Exhibitors Herald World. The other was the LaSalle Garden Theatre, which Publix renamed the Century.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Century Theater on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

According to the July 5, 1930, issue of Exhibitors Herald World, Publix had acquired the La Salle Garden Theatre in Detroit and reopened the house as the Publix Century Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Coliseum Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 10:10 pm

The Coliseum Theatre in Mt. Oliver was mentioned in the March 22, 1919, issue of The Billboard. The operator of the house at that time, Fred J. Herrington, was also the secretary of the American Exhibitors' Association.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mount Oliver Theater on Aug 31, 2014 at 9:48 pm

This project noted in the April 6, 1929, issue of The Film Daily could have been the Mount Oliver Theatre:

“New Pittsburgh House Opening Next Month

“THE theatre which Harris Amusement Co. is erecting in Mt. Oliver section of Pittsburgh, Pa, will probably be opened during May. The house will seat 1,600, will be equipped with Vitaphone-Movietone. Cost in the neighborhood of $450,000. No name chosen although it may be called the Harris Hill Top.”

A list of theaters showing The March of Time published in the January 10, 1938, issue of Life included two houses in Mt. Oliver: The Harris Mt. Oliver Theatre and a house called the Rialto Theatre. I found a reference to the Rialto being next door to a funeral parlor that was at 228 Brownsville Road, but it didn’t say in which direction. There was also a reference to a theater called the State in Mt. Oliver.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Maplewood Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 8:29 pm

An earlier Maplewood Theatre in Malden was destroyed by fire in early 1929, as reported in the April 6 issue of The Film Daily that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 2:08 pm

bigjoe59: I’m not an administrator, but I’ve been posting here for so many years that I’ve probably come to sound a bit possessive about the site. To answer your question, no, I don’t know of any theaters in the United States other than the Chinese that opened before 1941 as first run movie houses and have remained first run throughout their history. Most of them were downtown theaters, and as movie attendance shifted to the suburbs starting in the 1950s the old palaces began closing one after another. The survival of the Chinese can probably be attributed to its location in Hollywood more than any other single factor.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cecchi Gori F.A. Cinema on Aug 31, 2014 at 1:59 pm

A City of Beverly Hills Cultural Heritage Commission report on the theater (PDF here) says that Fox West Coast Theatres took over the Regina Theatre in 1948, and renamed it the Fox Fine Arts Theatre. The house was still owned by Fox when I first became aware of it in the early 1960s, but I don’t recall it being listed as the Fox Fine Arts by that time. It’s called simply the Fine Arts in the earliest newspaper listing I have for it, which is from February 10, 1971.

Also, the report has a couple of photos (badly copied) from ca. 1948-1950, and the name Fox does not appear on the marquee, and if it was on the vertical sign it isn’t discernible in the photocopies. I don’t know if the house was actually called the Fox Fine Arts for a while, or if the Fox name just got attached to it in people’s memories.

In any case, the theater was designated a city landmark earlier this year. It’s too bad Beverly Hills wasn’t so eager to landmark theater buildings when the Beverly and the Warner were still standing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Byam Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 12:32 pm

A comment by weimlover6 on this forum page says that the Byam Theatre actually went into operation around 1924 as the Fairmount Theatre. The same post notes that the Majestic Theatre was at 214 N. Main Street, so that wasn’t an aka for the Byam.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Byam Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 12:08 pm

The Byam Theatre’s auditorium was built in 1937 behind an existing commercial building at the southwest corner of Highway 24 and Ash Avenue in the Fairmount district of Independence. The theater was built by F. L. Byam, who owned a drug store on the corner, and the house was operated by Reube Finkelstein. It originally had 730 seats, according to an item in Boxoffice of January 8, 1938.

From 1999 to 2009, the auditorium (at 608 S. Ash Avenue- the theater’s entrance had been around the corner on Highway 24) housed the Fairmount Community Center, but has apparently been vacant since the center moved to new quarters. The Byam Theatre closed some years prior to 1961, by which time the marquee had been removed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Plymouth Theatre on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Here is an item from the January 3, 1928, issue of The Film Daily:

“Leominster, Mass. — Ground was broken this week for a new combination theater to replace the Music Hall destroyed a few months ago by fire. The new theater will be known as the Plymouth and will have seating accommodations for 1200. Thomas McEvoy who owned the Music Hall and who also conducts the Rialto here is building it.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about R/C State Cinema 3 on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:28 pm

The March 2, 1937, issue of The Film Daily had this item:

“Lexington, Va. — Warner Bros, is replacing the theater which was destroyed by fire and is building a new fireproof house in typical American Colonial style here. Theater is to be called the ‘State,’ and the planning and construction of this building have been entrusted to the architectural firm of John Eberson.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Majestic Theatre on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm

The Majestic was one of at least two theaters operating in Lexington in 1928, when the January 3 issue of The Film Daily reported that their owner, R. E. Falkinberg, was preparing to open another theater in the town. The name of the new house was not given, but the second theater Falkinburg was already operating was called the Lyric.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mariner Theater on Aug 29, 2014 at 8:09 pm

The January 3, 1928, issue of The Film Daily said that a new, 800-seat theater had opened at Marine City, Michigan. The name of the house was not given, but it was probably the Mariner. In the Photo of the building at Water Winter Wonderland the building looks like it would have dated from the mid-late 1920s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sugar Theatre on Aug 29, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Changes of theater ownership in Idaho reported in the January 9, 1928, issue of The Film Dailyincluded: “Sugar City — Ricks (formerly Weada), sold to Ricks & Thomas.”

From 1929 to 1933, the FDY lists a 240-seat Rialto Theatre at Sugar City. In 1934 it was again listing Ricks Theatre, which was listed as closed. There might be other aka’s, but I haven’t looked them up.

In 1910, The Billboard listed a 1,000-seat Opera House in Sugar City, which is rather odd considering that it also lists 1,000 as the population of the town.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avalon Theatre on Aug 29, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Architect Sumner Spaulding’s middle name was Maurice. Walter Webber’s middle initial was I.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Eureka Theatre on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:59 pm

The May 28, 1937, issue of Southwest Builder & Contractor said that Ben Aranda would build a new, 750-seat theater for himself at Brawley. The architect for the project was Walter Webber.

I’m not sure whether or not Walter I. Webber had a solo practice at this time. He had earlier been a member of the firm of Webber & Spaulding, architects of the Avalon Theatre and the Casino, in which the theater was located, at Avalon, on Santa Catalina Island. Nobody seems to know when the firm was dissolved.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Circle Theatre on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Southwest Builder & Contractor of August 21, 1936, reported that a 600-seat theater would be built for Principal Theatres on Main Street near 6th in Brawley. The architect for the project was Clifford A. Balch.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 29, 2014 at 5:56 pm

bigjoe59: They must be referring to what is now the Cecchi Gori Fine Arts Cinema. It’s in Beverly Hills. I’ve never heard of it having been called the Fox Fine Arts, and we don’t list that as an aka, so that’s why it didn’t turn up in your search.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm

The big roadshow house on Hollywood Boulevard was the Egyptian, though the Pantages also had its share of hard ticket events. The Warner Hollywood was tied up with Cinerama through that period. I think that Fox West Coast booked more roadshow engagements into the Carthay Circle than any other theater in the region. The Chinese was the circuit’s big first-run house.

One thing I recall about the Chinese is that at one point, I think it must have been during the late 1950s, one of the television stations in Los Angeles had a weekly movie that was hosted by Francis X. Bushman, and it featured a wraparound of Bushman talking about the movie from a seat in the Chinese. At the end of the closing segment he would get up and walk up the aisle of the auditorium. I hadn’t thought about that show in years. I wonder if anyone else remembers it?