Comments from Will Dunklin

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Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Miller Theatre on May 14, 2016 at 3:12 pm

May 12, 2016 article in the Augusta Chronicle reports a $50,000 grant for restoration purposes. http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2016-05-12/miller-theater-project-receives-50000-grant#

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about San Fernando Theater on Apr 26, 2016 at 6:31 pm

The Cody had Wurlitzer pipe organ, opus 834, style D, II/6. The most common of all the Wurlitzer organs. The “D” and its variants were their most popular model. #834 was shipped to the Cody on May 27, 1924. This version of the “D” was a single chamber model, as opposed to the “stereo” installations where parts of the organ flanked both sides of the proscenium. Its fate unknown, but likely destroyed.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Madison Theater on Apr 25, 2016 at 8:16 am

As of 2016 the building still stands, apparently converted into apartments.

The Madison had a Wurlitzer pipe organ, their opus 1470, II/7 style E-X, meaning there were chambers on either side of the screen for the pipes and effects. The organ, of course, is long gone, reportedly destroyed.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about City Theatre on Mar 7, 2016 at 7:41 pm

Some scraps of information: The records from the Kilgen Pipe Organ company show in 1928 they sold a small organ to the Wade Theatre in Morehead City NC for $3,155. It included a double roll player so a trained musician wouldn’t necessarily need to be on staff. The Kilgen records do not give an address and sometimes, the name of the theatre is incorrectly given. Sometimes the theatre owner’s name is used.

A look at the Sanborn Map for Morehead City from 1913 shows a theatre on Arendell Street right across from the train station. It is between 7th and 8th streets, but the addresses given are suspiciously inconsistent. On the same block, but facing the other direction is a business owned by B.D.Wade and Sons.

Could the Palace / City / Morehead theatre have been owned by the Wade family at one point? Or possible have been named Wade? Or was this another theatre entirely?

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Rose Garden Theatre on Dec 30, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Looking at the pipe organ records from M.P. Moller it would appear that Claude Robinson bought 2 organs from them in 1915. One was listed for the Grand and one for the Orpheum. The one installed here had 9 ranks of pipes. The Orpheum’s came a little later that year and was slightly smaller at 8 ranks, but Mr. Robinson only saved $50 on the Orpheum’s.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Orpheum Theatre on Dec 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm

In 1915 the Orpheum got a 2-manual, 8-rank, pipe organ built by M.P. Moller, their opus number 1954, for $3,250. That suggests the possibility that movies were not on the bill when the theatre opened. Orpheum was originally a vaudeville company of course. Or possibly this was an upgrade from a smaller instrument. Who’s to say at this point?

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Midland Theatre on Dec 25, 2015 at 3:18 pm

The Loew’s Midland was equipped with a 4/20 Robert Morton pipe organ, sadly long since lost.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Brockton Theatre on Dec 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm

The paper trail for the Hook and Hastings pipe organ which was removed from this theatre in the 1960’s implies that the theatre was originally named “Gordon’s Olympia.” The organ had been installed circa 1923.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Colonial Theatre on Dec 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm

M P Moller pipe organ records indicate they sold an organ, their opus 1855, to the Colonial Theatre in 1915. That suggests an earlier opening date for this theatre or that there was an earlier theatre of the same name.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Antlers Theatre on Nov 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Cobra Woman, Universal Pictures, 1944
White Savage, Universal Pictures, 1943
Maria Montez, John Hall and Sabu were in both films.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Palace Theatre on Sep 1, 2015 at 9:11 am

The organ at the Palace was Wurlitzer’s opus 1407 installed in 1926, a style 260 Special, meaning a stock 260 design was customized for this installation. It had 3 manuals and 16 ranks. Records show that a single set of pipes, an extra Vox Humana, was installed above the proscenium for an echo effect. The organ was removed intact by the local theatre organ society, but as of this writing, its location is unclear.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Central Theatre on Jun 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Found a reference in the theatre organ database for “Crandall’s Central Theatre” from 1922 when a new Robert Morton organ was installed.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Mid-Town Drive-In on May 27, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Drove past and stopped to look in the gate on May 24 2015. The Midtown is closed, but all the buildings are standing, appear in good condition, the paint looks crisp, even the grass is mowed. Just no one around. Nothing on the marquee.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Parkway Drive-In on May 5, 2015 at 8:11 pm

WalMmrt has bought the adjacent property. The Parkway’s owners are concerned that light from Walmart’s parking lot and building lights will force them to close.

http://wate.com/2015/05/05/maryville-drive-in-theater-facing-possible-closure-by-new-development/

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about An obscure 1934 artist depiction featuring each of the downtown Knoxville movie theatres! on Apr 30, 2015 at 6:28 pm

This is pretty amusing: all the right names in all the wrong places!

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Broadway Theater on Mar 26, 2015 at 7:01 am

Updated post following up from December 9, 2013

drewc – The sign you found is a modern casting made in some quantities for unknown purposes. I bought one on eBay too, thinking it was a unique if regrettable relic of the Jim Crow era. I then discovered that there were dozens of them floating around. Knoxville’s theatres were indeed segregated into the 1950’s, but someone has created these “No Colored, Broadway Theatre, Knoxville Tennessee” signs specifically to sell as outrageous curiosities.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Palace Theater on Mar 21, 2015 at 6:56 am

Joe and Ron, I’ll tell a mildly embarrassing story on myself. June 27 2014 I drove over to Greeneville (about a hour and half away) expressly to check out the theatres there. Went to the library, got copies of maps, newspaper clipping etc. Walked around, found the old theatres, took pictures. It was a nice summer day.

When I got home I found an empty folder on the back seat of my car. Driving with the top down, apparently every sheet had blown out and I didn’t notice. Expletives flew.

So I got a load of photos but no notes to make sure which was which or what the names and addresses were.

I have a photo of the 1903 cornerstone for the theatre on the corner of Irish and Depot. There is no name, just that date. Oddly, the cornerstone is on the back, facing the alley.(!?)

It seems that a lot of the buildings on both sides Depot in that block are owned by an antiques dealer who uses them for storage. The buildings appear to be secured, but underutilized.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Palace Theater on Mar 20, 2015 at 7:40 pm

OCRon, there is another abandoned theatre just a couple of doors to the west at the corner of Depot and Irish. Same side of Depot.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Delft Theatre on Aug 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

A single line entry in The Motion Picture World, April 24, 1915, page 591, says “The Delft, at Escanaba, has put into use its new $5000 pipe organ.” That certainly gives a timeframe for when movies began to be shown here.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Broadway Theater on Aug 28, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Wurlitzer installed a pipe organ, their opus 54, a style ‘3’ 2 manuals, 7 ranks and percussions in this hall early in 1915.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about State Theatre on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:39 pm

First rate detective work Joe!

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about State Theatre on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I’ve been following the trail of Reproduco organs (photoplayer) mentioned in an ad from 1926. There are two references to Pawhuska OK in that ad. One is for the Jackson Theatre and there is a suggestion that the Jackson might have been owned by one Albert Jackson. The other reference in the ad is the sale of photoplayer to F.B. Pickrell also of Pawhuska. Any thoughts which hall Mr. Pickrell owned? If the State was around in 1924, it would be a candidate. (Of course, Reproducos other market was funeral homes, so for all we know Mr. Pickrell might have been a mortician!)

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Barton Theatre on Jul 7, 2014 at 10:23 am

To accompany the silent movies, R. Lewis Barton bought a Reproduco organ for the Barton Theatre sometime between 1920 and 1926.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Jewel Theatre on Jul 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

There is a 1926 advertisement for Reproduco Organs which lists one of their “satisfied customers” as Anton Slepka of Okemah Oklahoma. It would seem Pop Slepka upgraded the musical accompaniment after buying the Jewell.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin commented about Sequoyah Theater on Jun 24, 2014 at 7:06 am

The Sequoyah is listed in a 1926 ad for Reproduco Organs as one of their satisfied customers. Reproduco reportedly started selling organs to theatres in 1916.