Comments from PaulWolter

Showing 1 - 25 of 35 comments

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Majestic Theatre on Apr 1, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Tim,

Do you have any early pictures of the theatre? I am doing research on early Rapp and Rapp designed theatres and yours is one of the earliest.

Thanks,
Paul Wolter

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Englert Theatre on Feb 6, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Here’s an article confirming that the Englert was designed by Rapp and Rapp.

Iowa City Daily Press
January 30, 1912 p. 8

$55,000 THEATRE MAY BE ERECTED

“Iowa City’s new opera house my cost, complete, and ready for opening for the season of 1912-1913, in the neighborhood of $55,000. W. H. Enlgert, the owner, is to leave for Chicago in the morning, and he will there inspect the plans, designed by Rapp & Rapp, the architects. The Rapps telegraphed Mr. Englert to come today. He will find the plans, they say, completed in pencil, and he will approve them, or suggest changes, before they are transferred to blue prints. With the latter action, the time for calling on contractors to prepare the bids will be at hand. The contract will be duly let, and the work of building the new theatre will be begun as soon as possible, the coming spring. The building in its entirety, will occupy 63 by 150 feet, and the theatre, proper, will be 80 by 62. A lobby in the center will lead to the playhouse while stores will be on either side. The building will be three stories high. Details as to the material, pressed brick, stone, etc. will be decided later. The first floor will be devoted to the theatre and store rooms, the second to offices, and the third to living apartments. The building will occupy the present site of the Graham barn. The playhouse will seat between 1,000 and 1,100 people, and the best class of plays in the country, it is hoped will be secured. Everything will be made thoroughly modern, in the way of seating equipment; scenery; acoustics; etc.; and the patrons of the house are likely to get the highest class of dramatic attractions presented in splendid shape, under most alluring conditions.”

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about RKO Main Street Theatre on Oct 1, 2007 at 10:22 pm

This theatre was designed by Rapp & Rapp. Hopefully, Louis you can add that to the top so this important early work of theirs receives the appropriate attention. The following articles confirm their involvement:

Racine Daily Journal
August 26, 1911
P. 7

“Contractors of this city received word from D.(sic) W. and George L. Rapp, architects, of Chicago, today the time for the opening of bids for the construction of the new Bate Opera House, to be located at State and Main streets, had been extended to Thursday of next week.”

Racine Journal News
April 3, 1912
P. 7

“Inspect New Theatre – Yesterday afternoon Martin J. Gillen, John Bate, H. C. Andress, George Rapp, artchitect, Richard Attart and others interested, made an inspection of the new Orpheum theatre…”

Racine Journal News
April 25, 1912
P. 2

“New Orpheum Theatre to Open Monday: Marks New Epoch in Local Amusements…George Rapp of Chicago was the architect.”

Racine Journal News
April 30, 1912

“Orpheum Opening Grand Success; Society Patrons of New Theatre; First Bill Presages Future Treats…All Are Pleased…George Rapp, architect of the building…”

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Al Ringling Theatre on Aug 19, 2007 at 9:50 pm

There is a gorgeous new full color souvenir book for the theatre available. Contact information for the theatre is at www.alringling.com

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Englert Theatre on Aug 8, 2007 at 10:20 pm

Dear Jacobsen,

Thanks for the comments and the list. I would like to converse further. I have a few early theatres that are not in your list including Madison, WI, Des Moines, Iowa, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Quincy, Illinois and a few others that I know existed but haven’t been able to find out about yet. Please email me at the address below.

Thanks!
Paul

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Englert Theatre on Aug 5, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Jacobsen,

Could you elaborate more on what Rapp & Rapp’s “democratic theatre design” was? I assume you mean no elitist boxes? According to my ongoing research the only surviving early Rapp & Rapp designs built before 1920 are

The Majestic (Shubert – now LaSalle Bank) Theatre – Chicago -1906
The Majestic – Dubuque, Iowa – 1910
Englert Theatre – Iowa City, Iowa – 1912
The Orpheum – Champaign, Illinois – 1914
The Al. Ringling Theatre – Baraboo, Wisconsin – 1915
The Orpheum – Galesburg, Illinois – 1916
The Central Park Theatre – Chicago – 1917
Riviera Theatre – Chicago – 1918

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Al Ringling Theatre on Aug 5, 2007 at 10:04 pm

Some papers concerning the Al. Ringling Theatre recently uncovered include a statement of cost from C.W. and Geo. L. Rapp to Al. Ringling. The theatre cost $100,422.79 including all of the extras (like the organ) and the architects' traveling expenses.

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about RKO Main Street Theatre on May 19, 2007 at 7:49 pm

Louis,

Do you know of an opera house built in Racine prior to 1906? I’ve found a listing for Chicago area builders, Wiley Brothers, that says they built an opera house in Racine. Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Paul

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Mary Anderson Theatre on May 15, 2007 at 7:01 pm

I am looking for a Rapp & Rapp designed theatre in Louisville from around 1915. An article heralding the completion of the Palace Theatre in Rockford in February of 1915 says that the Rapps had a theatre under construction in Louisville at the time? Any know which one it might have been?

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Majestic Theatre on May 13, 2007 at 9:52 pm

The Majestic Theatre in Cedar Rapids opened on September 28, 1908. The theatre was indeed designed by Rapp & Rapp.

An article from the May 2, 1908 edition of the Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette states the following…“The theater was designed by Messrs. C.W. and Geo. L. Rapp, who make a specialty of theater architecture, and who have charge of remodeling and the construction of new theaters for the Western Vaudeville Managers association. They are among the best theater architects in the country.”

The theatre roof over the stage collapsed on July 6, 1915 when one of the stay rods which helped support the truss dircectly above the stage snapped. The theatre was repaired and opened again on October 28, 1915.

Besides the Majestic/Shubert/LaSalle Bank Theatre in Chicago this is the earliest known Rapp and Rapp. However from the article it appears there must be more for them to be known as “among the best theater architects in the country.”

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Palace Theatre on May 6, 2007 at 8:53 pm

According to The Rockford Morning Star newspaper the Palace Theatre opened on February 22, 1915. Part of an article from February 21, 1915 reads:
“…Messrs. George and C. L. Rapp have specialized in theater designing and among their latest masterpieces are the New Oprheum in Champaign, the Orpheum in Quincy, the Columbia in Davenport, Ia., the New Palace in Fort Wayne, Ind., the Hippodrome in Chicago, the Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, Wis., and the Palace in Rockford. They also have theaters under construction in Louisville, Ky. and Grand Rapids, Mich.”

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Capitol Theatre on May 5, 2007 at 4:59 pm

It’s too bad they don’t mention Rapp & Rapp!

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Capitol Theatre on May 5, 2007 at 6:17 am

Thanks for the info. I see there is a listing at “the other cinema website” for the Columbia as well as some pictures. Someone needs to register the Columbia here. How sad that it was demolished to make a parking lot for its younger sister!

The later date of the Capitol would explain its resemblance better to the Central Park Theatre which now would have been built before the it.

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Keith's Theatre on May 4, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Could this be an early Rapp and Rapp design? I have found the following article in the Rockford Morning Star for Sunday, February 31, 1915 which states the following in an article heralding the opening of the Palace Theatre in Rockford, Illinois: (note the end)

“…Messrs. George and C. L. Rapp have specialized in theater designing and among their latest masterpieces at the New Oprheum in Champaign, the Orpheum in Quincy, the Columbia in Davenport, Ia., the New Palace in Fort Wayne, Ind., the Hippodrome in Chicago, the Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, Wis., and the Palace in Rockford. They also have theaters under construction in Louisville, Ky. and Grand Rapids, Mich.”

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about National Theatre on May 4, 2007 at 12:15 pm

I’m looking for a Rapp and Rapp designed theatre in Louisville that was under construction in 1915. I have the following article from the Rockford Morning Star for Sunday, February 31, 1915 which states the following in an article heralding the opening of the Palace Theatre in Rockford, Illinois: (note the end)

“…Messrs. George and C. L. Rapp have specialized in theater designing and among their latest masterpieces at the New Oprheum in Champaign, the Orpheum in Quincy, the Columbia in Davenport, Ia., the New Palace in Fort Wayne, Ind., the Hippodrome in Chicago, the Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, Wis., and the Palace in Rockford. They also have theaters under construction in Louisville, Ky. and Grand Rapids, Mich.”

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Capitol Theatre on May 4, 2007 at 11:30 am

The pictures of the interior over at “the other cinema website” look a lot like the Central Park Theatre which Rapp & Rapp did in Chicago in 1917.

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Capitol Theatre on May 4, 2007 at 11:25 am

Is it possible this theatre was orignally called The Columbia? The Rockford Morning Star for Sunday, February 31, 1915 states the following in an article heralding the opening of the Palace Theatre in Rockford, Illinois:

“…Messrs. George and C. L. Rapp have specialized in theater designing and among their latest masterpieces at the New Oprheum in Champaign, the Orpheum in Quincy, the Columbia in Davenport, Ia., the New Palace in Fort Wayne, Ind., the Hippodrome in Chicago, the Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, Wis., and the Palace in Rockford. They also have theaters under construction in Louisville, Ky. and Grand Rapids, Mich.”

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Orpheum Theater on May 4, 2007 at 11:18 am

This was an early Rapp and Rapp design. The Rockford Morning Star for Sunday, February 31, 1915 states the following in an article heralding the opening of the Palace Theatre in Rockford, Illinois:

“…Messrs. George and C. L. Rapp have specialized in theater designing and among their latest masterpieces are the New Oprheum in Champaign, the Orpheum in Quincy, the Columbia in Davenport, Ia., the New Palace in Fort Wayne, Ind., the Hippodrome in Chicago, the Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, Wis., and the Palace in Rockford. They also have theaters under construction in Louisville, Ky. and Grand Rapids, Mich.”

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Palace Theater on Apr 30, 2007 at 3:16 pm

I have just read newspaper articles from the Fort Wayne News from 1914 and 1915 and can verify that this was indeed a Rapp & Rapp design. Hopefully Ken can modify the architect listing at the top of this page so that this important early Rapp & Rapp design gets recognized. The theatre opened on January 25, 1915 as the New Palace Theatre. I hope to type up and post the newspaper listings here.

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Strand Theatre on Apr 24, 2007 at 7:07 pm

Hey maybe some of you New York experts can help out a local historian from Wisconsin. I have been researching the Al. Ringling Theatre here in Baraboo, WI, birthplace of Ringling Brothers Circus. In 1915 Al. Ringling constructed a lavish theatre here (www.alringling.com) and in one of the local papers I found an interview with the contractor, H. W. Wiley of Chicago. The paper says…

“He (Wiley)said this is the third of this design to be erected in this country. One was built last year at Champaign, Ill., by himself and his brother, and on in New York City, this latter not by his firm, however. He said by cutting off the balcony system it reduces the capacity of the house materially but it enhances the beauty and convenience very much. Instead of the bacly there are 22 boxes, and between each box there is a 22 foot pillar with an ornamental cap which gives the interior a very beautiful appearance. As to convenience, by discarding the balcony system every seat in the house has almost an equal view of the whole stage, and the interior can be seen from every seat.”

I thought maybe the “one in New York” was the Strand but I see that it had a balcony. The one Champaign is the Orpheum which was built in 1914 and is identical in many ways to the Al. Ringling Theatre. Both have elliptical auditoriums with box seats encircling at the second level, with no balcony. The effect is very intimate and beautiful. Both of these were designed by Rapp & Rapp. It is possible the one referenced in New York was not a Rapp & Rapp and was earlier than 1914.

I would appreciate any help identifying which New York theatre this might have been.

Paul Wolter

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Juliar Theatre on Apr 24, 2007 at 11:32 am

The Juliar opened on Feb. 10, 1939. There were 407 seats. The theatre also boasted a “cry room” upstairs near the projection booth. The sound proof room had seven seats. The interior was in tones of rose and ivory with carpets of deep henna rose and seats of a lighter shade with ivory trim.

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Madison Theatre on Apr 15, 2007 at 7:39 pm

I just remembered that the theatre was definitely a Rapp and Rapp because it is cited in a newspaper article from the Champaign Daily Gazette dated March 17, 1914 announcing the construction of the new Orpheum theatre in Champaign. The article states, “The plans for the new theatre were prepared by C.W. and George L. Rapp, architects of Chicago. The Rapps who make a specialty of theatre designing. They are the architects of the beautiful Majestic theatre in Chicago and have planned several theatres for the Finn & Heiman company, include (sic) the Orpheum theatre in Madison, Wisconsin…”

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Sioux City Orpheum on Apr 15, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Does anyone have any information on the old Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City? Apparently Rapp & Rapp designed a theatre in Sioux City around 1917.

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Palace Theater on Apr 15, 2007 at 7:03 pm

I think this was designed by Rapp & Rapp. The facade is remarkably similar to the facade of the Orpheum Theatre in Champaign, Illinois which was built in 1914. The Chicago Historical Society references a Rapp & Rapp design in 1914 for a theatre in Fort Wayne for Stouder and Barnett.

PaulWolter
PaulWolter commented about Majestic Theatre on Apr 15, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Ken MC do you have any more information on this theatre?