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The Wild Opera House in Noblesville is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. C. C. Curtis was Mgr. The theater was on the ground floor; ticket prices were 35 cents and 50 cents. There was both gas and electric illumination. Seating is listed as 800. The proscenium opening was 30 feet wide X 20 feet high, and the stage was 36 feet deep. There were 8 members of the house orchestra. There was a daily newspaper and a weekly. There were 4 hotels for touring show folk. The 1897 population was 10,000.
The Fifth Avenue Opera House in Arkansas City is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. It had 1,400 seats and Frank Hess was Mgr. Ticket prices 25 cents to $1. The theater was on the ground floor. The proscenium opening was 36 feet square, and the stage was 40 feet deep. There was one daily newspaper and 4 weeklies. Hotels for show folk were the Gladstone and the Midland. Railroads were the Santa Fe and the Frisco. The theater had both electric and gas lighting. The 1897 population was 9,000.
The Quincy Patriot Ledger has an occasional feature titled “Whatever happened to…”. In the Nov. 29 print edition the subject of this feature was the Strand Theatre. It says it opened in 1926 with nearly 1800 seats and was on Chestnut Street. In the late-1970s it was sold to one Tony Delpidio whose proposals for the building were always shot down. There is a photo of half of the marquee which reads: “Fri Sept 19 715 & 915, Live on Stage Heavy Metal Plasmatics”. The article states that this was in 1981, but Fri Sept 19 was in 1980. Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics did not have a very good rep. So the city yanked the theater license and the show was cancelled. Delpidio threw in the towel and sold the theater to the bank across the street. The article says that the final show was the Julie Andrews movie “Victor, Victoria” on June 26, 1982, and that the Strand was demolished “later that year.”
Was this cinema named for Wiley Post, who was a famous early airplane pilot and aviation enthusiast? Post was flying the plane which crashed in Alaska circa-1935 killing the famous stage personality, Will Rogers.
The Fremont Opera House is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. It’s the only theater listed under Fremont OH. Frank Heim and W.P. Hayes were Mgrs. 1,098 seats. The proscenium opening was 30 feet wide X 32 feet high, and the stage was 38 feet deep. The auditorium was on the ground floor. There were 2 daily newspapers, and 2 weekly, one of which was in German. There were 2 hotels for show folk, the Ball House and the Croghan House. 1897 population was 9,000-plus.
davidcoppock- The town in Vermont which you mention is Derby Line VT. It straddles the border with Quebec, on the north side of which is Stanstead. But it looks like one town from overhead. The public library is in an old 1904 building which also contains a small theater, the Haskell Opera House. Supposedly, the stage is on the north side of the border while the auditorium is on the south side.
JAlex- this matter has come up here several times in the past. It doesn’t have to be a seperate website, just a link here to a section called “Stage Treasures” or “Live Treasures” where all of these non-movie theaters and concert halls could be listed. Then this website could be a one-stop resource for all kinds of theater buildings.
I noticed that Willlburg145 on 11-9-13 mentioned how convenient it was that a fire broke out just as efforts were being made to save the Grand. Same thing happened in Boston in 1961 when a move started to save the Old Howard Theatre which was in the way of an office development. A fire, of “undetermined origin” broke out one day which gutted the building, leading to its demolition. Just a coincidence, of course. Nothing supicious, just one of those things, etc. Yeah, right,
Bird’s Hall is listed under East Walpole MA in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook. It was said to have 200 seats and was open 2 nights per week.
The Park must have opened after 1941 because it’s not listed in the MGM Theatre reports. There was an earlier movie operation in East Walpole which is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook. It was Bird’s Hall, address not given, 200 seats, open 2 days per week.
I drove by today and noted that an ancient, battered old upright piano has been moved outside and placed under the front overhand to keep it out of the rain. I wondered if this was the piano used for music during the showing of silient films there.
That’s a great idea, Comf. Cool ! How about “Entertainment Venue World”, or “Cinema & Stage Treasures”? Thousands of additional buildings could be listed here.
Stretching CT’s rules doesn’t bother me. (I recall that someone once set up a page here for a highschool auditorium somewhere). I like to see the CT database growing. I think that there should be a sub-program in CT called “Stage Treasures” for all the legit theaters, opera houses and concert halls.
There was an earlier “Huntington Avenue Theatre”. That was the original name of the Strand Theatre at 175 Huntington Avenue which was a popular neighborhood cinema which lasted into the 1960s. Its name was changed to “Strand” about 1921.
Norm Lindway is correct: at the Strand Theatre in Quincy MA, up on the mezzanine lounge level, there was a soda machine circa-1950. You put your dime in the slot, pressed your selection of soda, a paper cup dropped in place, followed by a sluice of ice, followed by the soda itself. Then you drank it right there, gassy fizz and all – no taking it to your seat. This machine was in addition to the concession stand in the inner lobby, which sold fresh popcorn and candy.
The news that the new building next to the theater will have an open balcony for theater patrons, weather permitting, reminds me of another Boston theater which had such a feature: the Shubert across from the Wang Th. on Tremont St. At the north end of the corridor behind the second balcony there was a small open terrace which could hold about 20 or more people during intermissions. Most were smokers, as smoking was very common back then (1940s-50s). I went out there many times and there was a good view from the railing of the Met across the street, the Wilbur, and the Plymouth/Gary Theatre. 2nd balcony tickets for Saturday matinees cost only $1.20. I used to go with my older brother, or with friends from school who were both movie fans and stage fans. We liked the very popular musicals of that day, such as “Oklahoma!”, “South Pacific”, “King and I”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, etc., and also the revues, such as “New Faces” and “Ziegfeld Follies”. The difference between going to the movies and going to live shows was that buying tickets in advance was a must, and you had to dress up in jacket, tie and shined shoes (no jeans and sneakers). They used to play the national anthem at the start of the show, a practice which died out after the 1950s. (They still play it at sports events).
These shows were 100% acoustic, with no “mics”.
Another theater with an open terrace upstairs is the State Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York.
The print edition of today’s Boston Herald has a feature article about the planned building with 2 “shopped” photos of the site. The new building’s facade is stepped back slightly so that it adjoins the facade of the theater. There will be a lobby entrance in the new building, plus a theater cafe, and a second floor foyer, event space and even an open-air balcony overlooking the street. The theater name will be changed to “Huntington Avenue Theatre” on July 1st.
In the photo section there are 2 photos taken of the Park’s fancy facade in its early days as a “motion picture” theater. This facade was part of the building which preceeded the Crabtree Building – that’s why it doesn’t look at all like the facade in the later State Theatre photos. I once saw a photo of the Park entrance taken after it was built in 1879 and the entrance was through an old house-like structure something like the old Boston Globe Corner Bookstore at the northwest corner of Washington & School streets.
Yes, there was a State II adult cinema located in a storefront in the Crabtree Building and not part of the State Theatre itself, but probably under the same management.
Yes, the State II was in a storefront near the State Theatre entrance, and was definitely not carved out of the State itself. There were a number of these small porno cinemas located in storefronts in those days.
Refurbishment recently finished on the Cameo. There are larger new seats, new carpets and drapes, paint, etc. Seating capacity was reduced by about 100. The marquee is to be repaired next. The owners still also operate cinemas in Scituate and East Bridgewater, and they both still work at their day jobs. There is an article about the Cameo with 3 color photos in the print edition of the Patriot-Ledger, Mon. May 8, 2017.
It’s great that the THS collection is in a purpose-renovated building which can offer a safe repository for archives and which has a downtown location. For many years the collection was housed in unsafe and insecure out-of-the way locations.
Channel 7 Boston local TV news had a short item which stated that prior to opening in January 2018, various refurbishment and updates would take place in the Colonial.
jmadore- thanks for providing update and additional information. At the time I set this page up I wrote to the theater mgr for more info, but never received a reply.
I toured this venue with a Theatre Historical Society group in 1989, and also went to a couple of concerts there. Never to a movie. At one concert I was seated in somewhat of a circle around the main floor seats; the floor was wood. When the gigantic organ opened up, the vibrations from the bass came right up through the floor into the soles of my shoes. Amazing! And it’s a very impressive old building.