Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about D & R Theatre on Jun 30, 2022 at 5:42 pm

The July 12, 1924 issue of Moving Picture World said that the new D & R Theatre in Aberdeen (the “Finest in Southwest Washington”) had recently opened after ten months of construction. The September 15, 1923 issue of Pacific Builder & Engineer had noted that construction was underway on a new theater at Aberdeen for Dolan and Ripley. The architect for the project was George B. Purvis of Seattle.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bex Theatre on Jun 30, 2022 at 4:39 pm

The Bex Theatre was one of six movie houses listed at Aberdeen in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dreamland Theater on Jun 26, 2022 at 1:42 am

The only appearance of the Dreamland I’ve found in the trade publications is a passing mention in the January 4, 1919 Moving Picture World, which said it had booked the same programs as the Bijou Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theatre on Jun 23, 2022 at 7:51 pm

The Lyric Theatre was listed in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. In 1914 the Lyric and another house called the Bijou were being run by a Harry H. Burford, mentioned multiple times in the trade journals that year. There was news about the Lyric Theatre in the February 13, 1915 issue of Moving Picture World:

“The Lyric theater at Tower avenue and Twelfth street in Superior, Wis., has been taken over by the Northland Theater Company of that place, which also operates the Princess theater and which has secured a site for another house at Tower avenue and Fourteenth street. Frank C. Buckley will be manager of the newly acquired house, having resigned his position as ticket agent at the Union depot, which he held for a decade, in order to devote all his time to the amusement enterprises of the company. The house has been remodeled and will be operated on the same policy as that ruling at the Princess, featuring high class pictures. The object of erecting a large house at Tower and Fourteenth street survives despite the acquisition of a theater in that vicinity.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Rialto Theatre on Jun 23, 2022 at 7:20 pm

The Dome Theatre was mentioned in this item from Moving Picture World of January 1, 1916:

“Michael Barry and Michael Abraham have purchased the building occupied by the Dome theater on the north side of La Crosse. They have also purchased the theater from Mr. and Mrs. Henry Liesenfeld, and Barry, who has had photoplay experience in San Francisco and Duluth, will operate it.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jun 22, 2022 at 9:40 pm

dallasmovietheaters is undoubtedly right about the ultimate architects of the Grand Theatre, except that the second partner was named Payson, not Payton. Albert S. Owen, Charles H. Payson, and Robin B. Carswell also designed the Temple Theatre in Mount Pleasant, Iowa in 1923. Carswell left the firm by 1926 and was replaced by William Sayler. As Owen, Sayler & Payson the firm designed the 1926 Kansas City Masonic auditorium that last operated as the Lyric Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Ritz Theatre on Jun 22, 2022 at 12:36 am

The Victoria Theatre at Mays Landing was mentioned in the August 24, 1918 issue of Moving Picture World. In March, 1935, Philadelphia Exhibitor said “William Rhoads, Wildwood, N.J., has opened up the Victoria, Mays Landing, N. J., after house was dark for many seasons.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bijou Dream Theatre on Jun 19, 2022 at 7:47 pm

A list of organs produced by the Estey company says that their opus 1531, built in 1917, was originally installed in the Osran Amusement Company’s Dream Theatre in Bremerton, but was eventually moved to Fremont Baptist Church in Seattle. Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society has a page for it, but the only information about the theater itself is that the organ was installed in 1917 and sold to the church for $2,500 in 1924. The house was most likely closed and dismantled that year. The Osran company would not have let the valuable organ sit idle for long.

The Osran Amusement Company, operating the Rialto, Dream, and Rex theaters in Bremerton was mentioned in the July 12, 1919 issue of Motion Picture News.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Jun 19, 2022 at 12:37 am

A December 6, 1913 Moving Picture World item about the recent sale of the Palace Theatre in Plattsburgh give the seating capacity of the house as 462.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pine Ridge Cinema on Jun 14, 2022 at 7:36 pm

This comment by msetty on the Pine Ridge Theatre page says that the auditorium was un-twinned by the church that moved in after the theater closed, so the house did operate as a twin until closing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Pine Ridge Cinema on Jun 14, 2022 at 6:34 pm

The house on Foster Road is already listed as the Pine Ridge Theatre, though my description of it is not as thorough as the one above. One thing puzzles me, though. I have no memory of the Foster Road Pine Ridge returning to single-screen status before closing. Since I never went to either theater I don’t know firsthand, but it seems to me that both Pine Ridge houses remained twins to the end, based on my (admittedly vague) memory of the theater ads in the local newspaper.

I had no idea that the Strattons had operated another store in town before I moved there in 1986. Their market on Sawmill Road on the east side of town remained open as Stratton’s until it was destroyed by the 2018 fire, though the family had sold it to another owner several years earlier.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about City Theatre on Jun 13, 2022 at 8:29 pm

This part of Union City was once known as West Hoboken, and this section of Bergenline Avenue was once called Spring Street, so this item from the November 17, 1917 issue of Moving Picture World is about this house:

“West Hoboken, N. J.— Israel Spark of 1563 First avenue, New York City, has filed as the trade name of the moving picture theater at 530 Spring street, the City theater of West Hoboken.”
The City Theatre was not a new house at this time, but only under new ownership. The City Theatre is listed at the Spring Street address in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. West Hoboken merged with adjacent Union Hill to become Union City in 1925, which is when the City Theatre’s address and street name were changed. The records of the Theatre Historical Society say that the City Theatre underwent alterations in 1926, and finally closed on April 1, 1951.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Crystal Theatre on Jun 13, 2022 at 2:02 pm

Before acquiring its own building, the Crystal Theatre operated in a lodge hall, as noted in this item from the April 5, 1913 issue of Moving Picture World: “Onalaska, Wis.— The Crystal Co., which has been operating a moving picture theater in the Woodman Hall, has bought a site, formerly occupied by Thompson’s general store and will erect a picture play house.” The April 13 issue of MPW said that plans for the Crystal had been completed, but I haven’t found an opening announcement.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about People's Theatre on Jun 12, 2022 at 6:37 am

According to this article from the Cincinnati Enquirer, The People’s Theatre opened in 1877 as Heuck’s Opera House. The name was changed to People’s Theatre in 1884, following the opening of a new Heuck’s Opera House.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Picture Show on Jun 11, 2022 at 11:54 pm

Here is a vintage postcard view of the Latimer Theatre. Note that the upper section of the building is set back several feet from the property line. This makes me suspect that the Latimer is the same theater that last operated as The Picture Show, which was in a building of the same size with the same setback above the street floor, but the space had been filled in by one of those fake mansards popular in the 1970s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Union Theater on Jun 11, 2022 at 2:27 am

Could the claim in the description that this theater opened in 1918 be a typo that was meant to read 1928? The Union is not listed in the 1926 FDY, as such a large house surely would have been, and also there is this item datelined Attleboro from the May 9, 1927 issue of Exhibitors Daily Review: “Architect R. M. Stowell, 184 Boylston St., Boston, preparing plans for $150,000 theatre, 90x115, at Union St. Owner, Union Theatre, Inc., care architect.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Park Theatre on Jun 10, 2022 at 11:21 pm

There is a brief history of the Park Theatre on this Facebook page. The theater opened as Smythe’s Hall in 1856, and over the years also went under the names Gorman’s Theatre, the Music Hall, and New Elm Street Theatre before settling on Park Theatre in 1899. The building was located at approximately 1042-1050 Elm Street.

Of the various aka’s the house used the only one I’ve been able to put a date to is Gorman’s Theatre, which the 1894 New York Clipper Annual said opened on August 28, 1893. The 1907-1908 Cahn guide lists the Park Theatre with 1,450 seats, a stage 42 feet deep and 60 feet between the side walls, with a proscenium 35 feet wide and 20 feet high. The rigging loft was 60 feet high. The Park was then part of Julius Cahn’s own circuit, with manager John Stiles in charge.

Projection equipment was installed at some point, and there was an organ, but I haven’t been able to discover when. The house closed for the last time around 1930, but I don’t know how frequently it had been used for movies in the 1910s and 1920s. It was not one of the nine theaters listed at Manchester in the 1926 FDY. After closing, the theater remained vacant for decades, and the building was demolished around 1970.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Star Theatre on Jun 10, 2022 at 10:32 pm

The July, 1911 issue of Motography ran a brief notice saying “[t]he Star Theater at Manchester has been purchased by Milton Wilkinson.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on Jun 10, 2022 at 7:03 pm

The earliest mention of a movie theater at Nashville I’ve found in the trade publications is in the September 7, 1918 issue of Moving Picture World, but that house was called the Picture.

The April 13, 1929 issue of Universal Weekly published a letter from W. Wagner of Nashville, Illinois, in which he said that he had been in show business for fourteen years. His theater’s name was not mentioned, but the only theater at Nashville was listed in the FDY as the Gem by 1926. The April 1, 1933 issue of Motion Picture Herald ran a letter from H. R. Hisey of the State Theatre in Nashville.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theater on Jun 10, 2022 at 6:23 pm

The October 8 issue of Boxoffice also noted the recent opening of the new State Theatre, replacing the earlier State which was being converted into a garage. The owner of both States was Mrs. Alpha Hisey, the mother of Gradwell Sears, who was then the President of United Artists. The new house originally seated 488 in a building 42x120 feet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Avon Theatre on Jun 10, 2022 at 5:42 pm

The drawing of the proposed Avon Theatre is signed by E. P. Lipson. This must have been Ed Lipson (I’ve been unable to discover if his first name was Edward or Edwin,) partner in the firm of Lipson & Wallace (Robert W. Wallace.) There is very little about them on the Internet, but the firm was still in operation in the late 1950s when Lipson’s son Alvin (born 1936) joined for a few years before becoming a developer.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stanford Opera House on Jun 10, 2022 at 7:43 am

Typo in my previous comment. The 1880 Clipper almanac, recording theatrical events of the previous year, said that the Stanford Opera House opened on December 20, 1879, not 1979.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lincoln Theatre on Jun 10, 2022 at 4:27 am

The Lincoln Theatre was at 201 E. Main Street. The building is now occupied by offices for the Chamber of Commerce and various community action agencies. Google Street View.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Stanford Opera House on Jun 10, 2022 at 1:05 am

There might have been two different opera houses at Stanford. The 1883 edition of Jno. B. Jeffrey’s guide listed the Stanford Opera House as a 600-seat theater with a stage 20 by 50 feet. The 1889 edition of the same publication listed Walton’s Opera House, a 500-seat theater with a stage 25 by 60 feet. It might also be that the house was rebuilt, or perhaps misinformation originally published was corrected in later editions.

The 1880 edition of The New York Clipper Almanac said that on December 20, 1979 “[t]he Stanford (Ky.) Opera-house was dedicated by Julia A. Hunt and company, who then began a week’s engagement, playing ‘The Pearl of Savoy’”.

I came across this vintage postcard photo of Walton’s Opera House, probably made in the 1890s. The building next door is still standing in the 100 block of E. Main Street, but the Opera House building has been replaced by something newer, though still not very new.

One source said that the Opera House building also housed the town’s post office and a restaurant. The restaurant was probably in the storefront in the middle that says “The Princess” on its sign. The new building on the site uses the address 101 E. Main Street, but the Opera House entrance was the third door down from the corner, so probably at something like 105 E. Main.

The November 18, 1916 issue of Moving Picture World said that an exhibitor named F. A. Ogden from Winchester, Kentucky, planned to operate the Opera House as a movie theater after negotiating a deal with building owner Hays Foster.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about H.B. Thomas Opera House on Jun 9, 2022 at 12:53 am

Moving Picture World of February 19, 1916 had this item: “The Thomas Opera House of Horse Cave, Ky., has been re-opened and is now showing the Paramount features on Friday and Saturday nights, two shows being given each of these evenings.”