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Do we have the correct address for the Princess? An item in the February 28, 1910, issue of The Iola Register ran this item:
“PARKOLA THEATRE SOLD. Wichita Firm Buys East Side Amusement Place. The Parkola theater, on the east side of the square, has been sold to Wichita men who will take charge of the place a week from tomorrow and conduct it as a moving picture theatre. The new management is experienced and is financially able to secure the best of entertainment maintaining the high reputation of this amusement place.”
If 203 S. Jefferson actually is the correct location, then the building is a theater again, being both a rehearsal space and secondary performance space for the Iola Community Theatre group, though their web site doesn’t mention anything about the building having once housed a movie house, and I think it would have been mentioned if it had (and they knew about it.)
It did seem odd to me that if the building was going to be demolished it looked better in the Facebook photo than it did in the photos on our photo page. All those layers of paint have been stripped off of the brick. But I still can’t find a photo of a theater at DeKalb and Knickerbocker. There’s only one modern building at that intersection, and it looks several years old.
robboehm: This photo is the only one I can find on the Ridgewood Facebook page of a theater about to be torn down, and it’s the Imperial. Comments say it used to be a Robert Hall. I think Bway might have been mistaken about the location being DeKalb and Knickerbocker.
According to the NRHP Registration Form for the Siloam Springs Downtown Historic District, the building in which the Grand Theatre was later located was built around 1920 as a commercial structure. The Grand operated in the 1940s and 1950s, and was used as a bowling alley during the 1960s. The front and the faux mansard roof are modern alterations, but the dentilated and corbeled brick cornice along the Center Street side is original.
The correct address of the Spot Theater is 304 E. Main Street. The NRHP Registration Form for the Siloam Springs Downtown Historic District says that the Spot Theatre was built in 1943. I don’t know what caused the delay in its opening until 1946, but it might have been related to wartime restrictions on civilian construction projects.
At the time of construction, adjacent small commercial buildings on each side of the theater were given tile fronts to match the new theater building.
This 1982 photo from American Classic Images shows the theater closed, but with its marquee and vertical sign still intact.
If somebody can get access to the archives at Leonard H. Axe Library at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, they might find the manuscript of a thesis by Gerald E. Snider, dated 1969, titled The history and function of the Grand Theatre, Iola, Kansas. It’s listed at WorldCat, anyway.
The May 13, 1907, issue of The Iola Register ran an illustrated article about the Grand Theatre, and noted that it had a stage 30x62 feet, with a proscenium 25x17 feet. There were 545 seats in the parquet, 449 in the balcony, 327 in the gallery, and ten boxes with a total of 60 seats (1,381 for the entire house.)
All I’ve been able to find out about architect F. M. Anderson is that for many years he was a member of the firm of Anderson & Strong in Galena, where they designed the NRHP-listed E. B. Schermerhorn house, but a 1904 directory lists him both as a member of that firm and as having his own office in the Northrop Block in Iola.
I guess the giant skyscrapers will soon be displacing this diverse, colorful, human-scaled stretch of Yonge Street with more large scale monotony. I hope someone saves at least a few of the old buildings to leaven the mass.
This undated photo from the Barrie Historical Archive shows the vertical signs of the Granada and Imperial Theatres. The Chrysler dealership’s building at far right was eventually converted into screens for Stinson’s Imperial 8 Cinema, and is now the location of the 3-screen Uptown Theatre.
I don’t believe that the Imperial ever operated as a movie house under the name Grand Theatre. This article from December 3, 2009, is about the reopening of three screens of the Imperial 8 Theatre which were in the former Chrysler dealership at 55 Dunlop Street West, now operating as the Uptown Theatre.
The article says that the Imperial 8’s former screens 1 and 2, which were the main floor and balcony of the original Imperial, would be converted into an event center called the Grand Theatre. As the name is on the building today, a renovation was obviously was done, but there is no mention of a Grand Theatre event center on the Internet now, so the business must have failed. I can’t find anything saying that, as the Grand, it ever ran movies.
The building occupied by the Uptown Theatre was once the home of a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership, as seen in this undated photo from the Barrie Historical Archive.
I’ve been unable to discover when the building was first converted for use as a cinema, but the portion that is now the Uptown was reopened as a three-screen house in late 2009, according to this article from December 3 that year (Stinson Theatres had closed the 8-screen complex in February, 2009.) The original Imperial Theatre, opened in 1937 at 43 Dunlop Street, which had operated as screens 1 and 2 of Stinson’s Imperial 8 Cinema, was slated to be converted into an event center called the Grand Theatre. The other three auditoriums in the 8-screen complex were to be converted to retail space.
This article from the August 13, 2016, issue of The Barrie Examiner says that the Imperial Theatre was built next door to the Capitol Theatre in 1937.
The vertical signs of the Imperial and Granada Theatres are prominently displayed in this photo of a parade on Dunlop Street. Harold Hill’s Chrysler dealership at right was in the building now occupied by the Uptown Theatre.
Here is a ca. 1955 photo of the Imperial Theatre marquee and entrance. A bit of the Granada Theatre’s marquee can be seen at left, but is not lit up in this night shot, so perhaps it had closed by then.
This photo of the Imperial is probably from 1977. The Imperial has been twinned, and the Granada has been converted into a restaurant.
Maverick’s Music Hall can be seen in the upper left quadrant of this aerial photo of the Dunlop Street West area from the Barrie Historical Archive.
A solicitation for bids (called tenders in Canada) on the theater to be built at Barrie for John Saso was published in the January 29, 1931, issue of The Northern Advance. The notice was placed by the architect for the project, John Wilson.
This article from the August 13, 2016, issue of The Barrie Examiner says that the Capitol opened in 1923.
Although the University of Houston-Victoria Center for the Ats uses the address 204 N. Main Street, it does not occupy the building the Venus Theatre was in. As can be seen in the vintage photo on the photo page, the theater was on the now-vacant lot in between what is now the UHV Center and the Romanesque Revival O'Connor-Proctor Building on the corner of Forrest Street.
A photo of El Rancho Theatre burning heads this article from the June 23, 2012, issue of the Victoria Advocate. There is also a bit of information about Victoria’s other theaters.
The June 26, 1913, issue of The Tradesman said that architects Hull & Praeger had prepared plans for a brick extension to the Princess Theatre, Victoria, Texas (James Hull and Charles Emil Praeger.)
Broan’s link goes to a photo of the Granada. I think this might be the photo he intended to link to.
An article in the Palm Beach Daily News of January 10, 2011, tells of the early days of the town’s movie houses, including the Beaux Arts Theatre.
The Fashion Beaux Arts shopping center was opened by Stanley Warrick in 1916. The project was designed by architect August Geiger. The Beaux Arts Theatre was added to the second floor of the complex, and originally intended as a venue for fashion shows, but in 1917 was leased to Carl Kettler, Jr. for operation as a movie theater. Under Kettler, the house ran three shows daily, each show opening with a performance by a live orchestra. The movies were accompanied by a Wurlitzer organ.
By 1925, Stanley Warrick was operating all of the movie theaters in Palm Beach himself. Only a few years later Warrick was driven into bankruptcy by the collapse of the 1920s Florida real estate boom, and his theaters came under the control of Paramount-Publix.
It looks like the Polk Theatre had to be partly rebuilt twice before its opening in December, 1928, which may account in part for the original builder, John Melton, running out of funds. An article in the October 6, 1928, issue of Exhibitors Herald reported on the damage done to the region’s theaters by a recent hurricane. Several movie houses were severely damaged or completely destroyed, but the line about the Polk says “…the Polk at Lakeland lost its roof — for the second time.”
The Royal Palm Theatre at Largo, Florida, was mentioned in the December 25, 1925, issue of Exhibitors Herald.
Bhamwiki provides this web page with a brief history of the Waters Theatre Company, who bought the North Birmingham Theatre in 1932.
There’s a 1941 photo of the North Birmingham Theatre (the marquee uses the abbreviation NO. B'HAM THEATRE) a little way down this web page.
The Family Theatre was built as the Hersker Opera House in 1895. It was a second-floor theater, and housed Hersker’s hardware store on the ground floor, at 101 E. Centre Street. The house had been renamed Family Theatre by 1909, the name under which it was listed in that year’s edition of the Cahn theater guide. At some point the building was gutted and rebuilt as the State Theatre, a ground floor house.
There is a photo of the Family Theatre on page 34 of the book Mahanoy Area, published by The Mahanoy Area Historical Society (Google Books preview>)
In this early panoramic viewof Mahanoy City, the Family Theatre building looms over the town’s lower business buildings at center right.
The May 27, 1922, issue of The American Contractor reported that the Family Theatre in Mahanoy City would receive alterations and additions, planned by Philadelphia architect Benjamin R. Stevens. This is the only theater project listed among the works of Benjamin Rush Stevens at the web site of Philadelphia Architects and Buildings.
Bhamwiki’s Famous Theatre page has two photos of the house, a cropped version of one of which has already been uploaded to our photos page. An earlier Famous Theatre operated at 306 18th Street North around 1925.