Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Agate Theatre on Sep 18, 2014 at 6:34 am

External trusses are rare in any type of construction (other than bridges, of course, where they must be external.) I have never seen a theater built that way, though I recall having seen in an architectural journal photos of a large factory with its roof suspended from exposed trusses. I can’t recall how long ago it was, but I think it was in the 1970s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Benton Theatre on Sep 18, 2014 at 1:38 am

Mattr833: There was once an Auditorium Theatre in Kansas City, but it was built long before 1911. It was originally called the Warder Grand Opera House and was at the northeast corner of 9th and Holmes. As far as I know there were no other theaters called the Auditorium in Kansas City.

The cornerstone was probably used as fill when the road it was under was built or improved. Rock fill might have been trucked to the site from anywhere around the region, including any of the small cities and towns on either the Missouri or the Kansas side of the border. The cornerstone might have come from a municipal auditorium in one of them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Sep 18, 2014 at 1:26 am

Ron, the first Strand is listed at Cinema Treasures under its later name, the Gem Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Agate Theatre on Sep 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm

The Agate Theatre has not been demolished, but the building has been drastically altered. It is actually down the block from the karate studio, close to the corner of 23rd Street. It is occupied by Precision Grind Coffee House (2223 Franklin East) and the Mezzanine Salon (2225 Franklin East.) The back of the former auditorium (or possibly a stage house) is occupied by Boneshaker Books, which has a 23rd Street address.

If you look at the side of the building from 23rd Street you can see that part of the original roof has been removed to lower the ceiling, but that the steel trusses that once supported it are still in place as part of the design. The walls are still standing, but the one facing 23rd Street has been fenestrated, and an addition has been built for what looks to be an apartment or an office above the book store, with a third-floor terrace supported on a couple of the old trusses.

There’s a third floor addition at the front of the building too, but the facade has what are probably some original features, including a cornice with central vault and some very nice tapestry brick work. Though the theater has been lost, the building is a creative example of adaptive renovation for a new use.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mark Twain Theatre on Sep 17, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Oops. We have an address discrepancy. The Strand building in the photos I linked to, occupied by T&J’s Appliance shop, is at 115 Main Street. I wonder if the Strand could have operated at two different locations?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mark Twain Theatre on Sep 17, 2014 at 8:38 pm

An article in the July 27, 1916, issue of the Perry Enterprise said that the Strand Theatre had opened on the previous Thursday, which would have been the 20th. The house had 350 seats on the main floor and a small balcony with 30 seats, and there was a small stage 14 x 25 feet.

The Strand was sold to Fred M. Rich in early 1923, and a few months later suffered a fire that was reported in the September 1 issue of Exhibitors Herald:

“Fred M. Rich, owner of the Strand theatre, Perry, Mo., reports that his show house caught fire on July 21 and although a near panic insued [sic] no one was seriously injured. The theatre was seriously damaged.”
Here is a photoof the Strand building, and this closeup shows the tile with the theater’s name on the floor at the entrance.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hilan Theatre on Sep 17, 2014 at 2:34 am

I’m glad you dug up that accurate information, Ron. I was about to link to a web page that mistakenly says that the Fox was the Hilan with a new name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garden Theatre on Sep 17, 2014 at 2:29 am

This web page says that the Garden Theatre was on the site now occupied by a fast food emporium called Pal’s. Pal’s is at 1316 Lynn Garden Drive, Kingsport, TN 37665, so that’s probably near enough for the vanished theater’s address.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Terrace Theatres on Sep 17, 2014 at 2:04 am

The Terrace Theatre was opened on April 1, 1971, by ABC Southeastern Theatres as a single-screen Ultra-Vision house with 613 seats. The architect of the Terrace, William B. McGehee, was among those attending the opening according to the article in the April 2 issue of the Kingsport News.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Martin Twin Theatre on Sep 17, 2014 at 1:51 am

The June 24, 1971, issue of the Kingsport News said that the new Martin Theatre would open that night.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Garden Theatre on Sep 17, 2014 at 1:30 am

The November 5, 1945, issue of The Kingsport News said that fire had destroyed the Garden Theatre, which was located on Gate City Highway about two miles north of Kingsport. I believe the area has since been annexed to Kingsport, and Gate City Highway is now called Lynn Garden Drive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gaiety Theatre on Sep 17, 2014 at 12:52 am

The only mentions of the Queen Theatre I’ve been able to find in old publications are from 1917. This line from the May 31, 1917, issue of The Kingsport Times is interesting: “Kingsport has three up-to-date theatres, the Strand, the Queen and the Cherokee. All offer attractive pictures nightly.”

The name Gaiety Theatre shows up in the Times from 1919 to 1924. A July 1, 1925, item mentions someone’s intention to reopen the Gaiety, but there are no later instances of its name in the paper so the project probably failed.

The only instances of Broadway Theatre I’ve found in the Times are generic uses pertaining to New York City’s theater district. If this house was ever known as the Broadway Theatre it must have been but briefly.

As near as I can discover, this house last operated as the Gaiety Theatre, and was closed by 1925.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Sep 17, 2014 at 12:09 am

The Rialto was in operation by 1921, when a candy store called the Palace of Sweets advertised in the July 11 issue of The Kingsport Times that it was located on Cherokee Street opposite the Rialto Theatre.

An article in the August 22, 1937, issue of The Kingsport Times said that the Rialto had just been purchased by the Nu-Strand Theatre company, who had been operating the house under a lease for ten years. The new owners planned to expand and remodel the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Sep 16, 2014 at 11:22 pm

The Nu-Strand Theatre of 1925 was designed by New York architect C. K. Howell, according to the March 29 issue of The Kingsport Times.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Hilan Theatre on Sep 16, 2014 at 10:57 pm

The Hilan Theatre was scheduled to open on Friday, April 17, according to the April 15, 1936, issue of The Kingsport Times. Kingsport’s first neighborhood theater was in a remodeled commercial building in the Highland Park district.

The paper gave the location of the theater as “Bristol Highway, next to Highland Garden.” Bristol Highway was the former name of was what is now E. Center Street. There’s no Highland Garden today, but maybe it was what is now Highland Indian Park, which would put the Hilan very near the later Fox Theatre, but I haven’t been able to confirm this. The Hilan Theatre might not have lasted very long, as nobody seems to remember it.

The Hilan was owned by the Taylor Brothers, as was the Fox, which opened in 1940. There’s some possibility that they were the same theater, but even if they weren’t it’s possible that the Taylors shut the Hilan down when the Fox opened. I haven’t found the Hilan mentioned in the newspaper later than 1939.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Center Theatre on Sep 16, 2014 at 9:34 pm

The Center Theatre had a brief life. It would open on Monday, January 26, 1948, according to the article in the previous day’s edition of The Kingsport Times.

The newspaper also ran a brief article about the theater’s architect, Erle G. Stillwell, and his firm, Six Associates. Stillwell, though a master of the streamlined style of the day, revealed to the reporter that he much preferred to design theaters in the atmospheric style, which had by 1948 fallen out of fashion, and that he had a special affection for the Spanish and Mediterranean styles.

The article also gave the names of the other five of the Six Associates at that time: engineer Samuel Clinton Minnich, Jr., architects Henry Irving Gaines and W. Stewart Rogers, plus William Waldo Dodge, Jr. and Anthony Lord, each of whom was both an architect and an engineer.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Fox Theatre on Sep 16, 2014 at 9:11 pm

The August 21, 1940, issue of The Kingsport Times said that the new Fox Theatre would open the following night.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Mount Hope Theater on Sep 16, 2014 at 8:41 am

The April 10, 1947, issue of The Raleigh Register (published in Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virgina) contained many advertisements congratulating the new Mount Hope Theatre. One of the ads was placed by the architect of the theater, Alex B. Mahood of Bluefield, West Virginia.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lee Theatre on Sep 16, 2014 at 8:30 am

The April 5, 1935, issue of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph had an item about the reopening of this house under its new name:


“The ‘Robert E. Lee’ theater, (formerly the Capitol) will open today with many improvements in the interior and projection and sound equipment. The theater is now under the personal direction of T. A. Von Court and Hallie Gilbert, two of the best known theater men in this section, and who also operate the Granada and Rialto theaters in Bluefield and the Royal in Princeton. The first picture to be shown is Shirley Temple in ‘Bright Byes.’ There will be a free matinee for all children under 10 years old on Saturday afternoon.”

I’ve been unable to find any mention of the Capitol Theatre dating from earlier than 1933.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bramwell Theatre on Sep 16, 2014 at 6:30 am

The November 26, 1921, issue of The American Contractor said that Bluefield architect Alex B. Mahood was drawing plans for a two-story moving picture theater and apartments to be built at Bramwell, West Virginia.

This web page has a brief news item from 2012 saying that the Bramwell Theatre was to be restored. Funds had been acquired, and it was hoped that the project would be completed the next year, but I think they missed their target. I can’t find any events scheduled for the venue, but a new roof was put on the building in 2013.

The page does say that the Bramwell dates to the silent era, and as I’ve found no evidence that the town ever had any other theaters, it seems very likely that the Bramwell Theatre is the project that Alex Mahood was designing in 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pocahontas Theatre on Sep 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm

This web page has the transcript of an article about the Pocahontas Theatre from the December 22, 1928, issue of the Welch Daily News.

The Pocahontas Theatre was directly across the street from the Temple Theatre, which was in the Odd Fellows Temple building, built in 1929. The Temple Theatre’s space is occupied by a restaurant called Raymond’s, which the Internet says is at 24 McDowell Street. The address of the Pocahontas must have been about 23-25 McDowell Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Colonial Theater on Sep 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm

The August 4, 1917, issue of The Moving Picture World published an example of the Colonial Theatre’s monthly postcard calendar. Scan at Internet Archive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Glarus Theatre on Sep 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm

This house must have been the successor to the New Glarus Theatre, which was in operation at least as early as 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Baxter Theatre on Sep 14, 2014 at 7:51 pm

There was a movie house in Novinger at least as early as 1920. The September 4 issue of Exhibitors Herald gave the name of its operator, E. Trunnell, but didn’t name the theater. The July 16, 1921, issue of the same journal mentioned Trunnell again, but this time said that his theater was the Baxter. Odds are it was the Baxter in 1920, too.

In 1925 and 1926, J. H.Kelso of the Baxter Theatre, Novinger, sent capsule movie reviews to various issues of The Reel Journal.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theatre on Sep 14, 2014 at 10:28 am

Comparing the vintage photos that have been uploaded and the current Google street view it’s clear that most, if not all, the buildings on the Royal Theatre’s block are still standing, and most are recognizable. The Royal appears to have been in the building at 418 E. Douglas Street, currently occupied by a sporting goods shop.