Showing 1 - 25 of 189 comments
I have a postcard or advertising card for an attraction (a movie, I think) at a Strand Theatre on King Street. The address is not 761, and this may not be the Strand in Hamilton (I don’t have the card handy). It is possible an earlier Strand did burn down and another was built at 761 King Street. Anything is possible and more research will tell.
I have a Hamilton Spectator dated October 13, 1916 which has an ad for the New Strand. A film was shown and a baritone appeared live. There are ads for the Strand in Spectators dated 1919 and 1921. There is no address in any of the ads.
In the 1944 Vernon’s Hamilton Directory: (alphabetically under Strand) Theatre John Trotter mgr 761 King e; (alphabetically under Trotter) “ John mgr Strand Theatre 461 Main e.
Great photo of the Strand. This is the first time I’ve seen one. I don’t remember that it looked like this…could be just my memory…I remember a larger marquee/canopy. I saw “Born Free” here in 1966 and I think I saw “Mary Poppins” here, as well.
Does anyone remember what the signs looked like after the last renovation in the late l960’s? I remember the name STRAND in stylized lettering. This same style/font was used as the theater signature in the newspaper ads. I recall that under the theater name was a rectangular sign board that usually had an “ad/graphic” instead of the standard letters. This may have been an early version of the way ads and billboards are done now: printed on canvas or plastic and back-lit. I recall the “Rosemary’s Baby” graphic of Mia Farrow’s profile and the baby buggy on the peak and the film title below. And “On A Clear Day…” had Streisand’s face on the flower pot and the film title, like in the ads or posters. Am I remembering correctly? There has to be some pictures out there somewhere…
I have a photograph of a Marcus Loew plaque that was in the lobby of the Loew’s building in New York City. I took the photo in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. I may have photos of the demolition of the Loew’s building (which included Loew’s State) as well. They started the demolition on one of my last visits to NYC.
If you link to the postcard of the Baker Grand Theatre, click on “previous” to see another postcard of the same building, but called OPERA HOUSE.
I have a letter dated September 29, 1927, typed on stationary with a Clinton Theatre letterhead. It details “specifications for Clinton Theatre main roof”. Below CLINTON THEATRE is: South Clinton and Goodman Streets. Below that, is: High Class Photoplays. In the upper left corner is: Office, 366 Main Street West. In the upper right: Phone, Main 6229.
Has anybody heard of the Colonial Theatre, at 197 Main St. East? I have a photograph of members of the Motion Picture Exhibitors League of America—New York State Ass'n No. 11. The photo may date to the late 1920’s. Attached to the photo is a paper which identifies the members and it appears the paper is a piece of writing paper with the Leagues' letterhead. It seems the League was based at the Colonial Theatre in Rochester.
The last ad I have, previous to the Avon/“Angels” one, is in the Spectator of Monday, August 30, 1965. The theater is called the Avalon and is a Famous Players theater. The movie playing is “In Harm’s Way”, and it is showing at the Tivoli, Avalon and Skyway Drive-In. Most previous movies were shown at the same three theaters (Downtown, East and the Drive-In).
I have a Hamilton Spectator with an Avon ad for “The Trouble With Angels”. It is dated Friday, July 22, 1966. The ad states “3RD. WK.”, so I assume the above archive photo was taken during the week of July 22-28, 1966.
The Avon was a 20th Century Theatre at this time. The phone number is 545-1201, and the address is given as OTTAWA ST. N. AT CANNON. The theater “signature”, in the ad, has the AVON name in the same style as it is on the marquee.
The Avon continues under the 20th Century chain, in the July 3, 1967 issue of the Spectator. In the Monday, February 1, 1971 Spectator, the Avon ad is grouped under the “Famous Players & 20th Century Movie Guide”. This continues until a September 1978 issue. Eventually, the 20th Century logo disappears, and it appears that Famous Players is the sole management and/or owner in the Spectator dated Monday, October 15, 1979.
The Spectator from Saturday, December 2, 1972 has an ad for the GALAXY. It is stated in the ad: (Formerly The Delta) King St. At the Delta 545-1116 Notice—Inside renovations completed. Advertised is a double feature of “High Wild and Free” and “The Savage Wild”.
More info on the Windsor/Rex. The April 2013 comment by mortonbg is correct. Gregory is a former name of the Windsor Theatre. In a newspaper ad from a 1937 Spectator, the theater at 16 Kenilworth is named Gregory.
In the 1944 Vernon’s Hamilton Directory, the theater is named Windsor (under THEATRES). In the alphabetical listings (under Windsor), it states: “ Theatre Mrs Jean Gregory mgr 16 Kenilworth av n (no punctuation, as written).
In the 1959 Vernon’s Directory, the theater is not listed under THEATRES. The alphabetical listing states: ” Theatre Bldg 16 Kenilworth av n . I don’t know if the theater was open at this time.
A few other movies with “drive-in” scenes (not the Olympic) are “Lolita” (1961) and “Lonelyhearts” (1958) with Montgomery Clift.
I just watched “The Facts of Life” (UA, 1960) which shows the Olympic Drive-In Theatre. The b&w movie is available on a 2007 MGM/UA DVD. The segment starts at the 56:59 point and ends at 1:00:10. Bob Hope and Lucille Ball are driving, nervously looking for some place to go, and Hope says, “Hey, there’s an idea. Wanna see a movie?” Ball replies, “Sure” and they enter the Olympic Drive-In Theatre. There are great shots of the Olympic exterior, showing the name in neon and a mural showing a couple on surfboards, sailboats in the water and a beach/coastline. The theater entrance is shown, then a long-shot of the Drive-In lot, showing the screen and the car entering and pulling into a spot. At the end of the scene, the car exits the Olympic, showing the street side of the screen. Is this the Olympic Drive-In shown in the “interior” shots? I assume it is, but you never know with “movie magic”…
The Windsor and the Rex are the same theater. There was probably ten-to-fifteen years between the time the Windsor closed and the Rex opened. As to the difference in the seating numbers, I assume the Rex seating may have been refigured or the seats may have been removed when the Windsor closed. Both the Windsor and the Kenilworth were smaller neighborhood theaters. The Kenilworth has been a Ukranian Community Center since the l970’s and still retains a lot of the original interior decor. The floor has been levelelled and some apartments have been added to the south side of the building.
I recall walking up Kenilworth Avenue in the mid-1980’s and the Kenilworth Theatre building was open for a “casino” afternoon (cards, crown & anchor, etc.) and I was able to have a look inside. I entered the Windsor one time (a long time ago) and an AA meeting or some kind of encounter group was in session…oops!
The comment by Chuck1231 got me wondering. I called the Concession Street Business Association and asked about the Mountain Theatre. The theater is now officially called the Music Palace. It is under new management and is still being used as a live performance venue. Their web site is: musicpalace.ca. I was told they have been operating as the Music Palace for six months. The web site advertises future performances as well as a brief history, technical stats of the equipment and venue and a gallery of performance photos. Check it out.
There is no listing on this site for the Windsor/Rex Theatre. There were at least 32 movie theaters (separate and individual) in Hamilton over the years. There may be a few other early movie theaters or nickelodeons that existed and are not accounted for. There was a storefront movie theater opposite the old City Hall. A theater on King Street (near James St.) had a vertical VAUDEVILLE sign, but I have not been able to find any information on it. As movies developed, many early theaters or cinemas didn’t last long and are probably forgotten.
The building on Kenilworth, just north of Main Street, is being converted and has been under construction for over a year now. It appears work has been halted (because of the season or otherwise?). This structure appears to be one building, but it is two distinct buildings. The Windsor Theatre existed in the building on the left (or the North side). There is a photo of the Windsor in one of the Hamilton picture books. The original wall between the two buildings exists, but the outer walls seem to have been rebuilt inside the former outer walls/shell. The original Northern brick wall of the Windsor Theatre still exists. The original exit doors (along the North wall) are bricked up and can be currently seen. There is nothing left of the original Windsor interior. It has been through many changes since it was last used as a movie theater. I was told (by a worker, I think) that the buildings will be of mixed use: a banquet hall, stores and offices. Nothing was mentioned to me about apartments or housing. I have not heard of the “Cinderella”, and I doubt that this building dates back to the late “teens”. More research will tell…
The Gregory was noted as a former name of the Cinema Theatre. There may have been some confusion because Gregory was the name of the family that ran this theater (and others, possibly). The Cinema had other former names, but the Gregory may not have been one. The theater nearby on Kenilworth Street, just north of Main Street, was not called the Gregory. It was the Windsor Theatre. After being closed for a number of years, it was reopened as the Rex Theatre (late 1970’s?). It had a “family” film policy, but it was not successful and I recall it didn’t last long. And it was the last time this building was used as a theater.
I have a postcard showing the Bijou Theatre. The main focus of the card is the First Congregational Church on the corner of Main Street and Elm Street. A card on another site shows 1914 as a postmarked date. Another 1906 postmarked card shows the church, but the Bijou is not signed. The church has been demolished, but the building next to it and the Bijou entrance beyond that still exist.
I have a postcard showing a theater on Fourth Street (north from Broadway). Matching the windows on this building and identifying the building on the corner of Chestnut Street (still existing), this is probably the Mary Anderson. This card only shows a partial view of the marquee, but there is a large sign that advertises B.F. KEITH’S VAUDEVILLE.
I have a postcard of “The Boulevard, Hollywood, Florida” which shows the Ritz Theatre located in the middle of the block. In the foreground, near the corner, is Lovett’s, and next door is a two-storey building which has a sign that reads “BOWLING”.
Yo, Joe: The Aug. 5, 2009 comment has a link to the North Richmond News, which states that HCM “designed” the theatre and that it was built in 1932.
The Hamilton Spectator (our city newspaper) reported on Friday, February 15 that Bella Diamante has finally found a developer to buy the Tivoli…HER HUSBAND!!
More details later…
The 1931 Palace facade photo is #26 on page 4 of the search results…just click on the Feb. 12 link and do a “Market Street” search on the Hagley site. You can see the Savoy across the street in the early construction photos.
Joe (& theater fans everywhere…): There are many progress photos of the demolition and the construction of the PSFS Building, on the Hagley site. The Palace facade can be seen, also the East wall with a Palace sign painted on it. Great stuff!
Joe: That’s Greta Garbo’s head on the left side of the Palace, in the 1931 photo. “Inspiration” is playing. Search the site for “Market Street” and there is a great close-up shot of the Palace Theatre, probably taken the same day…