Comments from Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Strand Theatre on Jun 8, 2022 at 10:50 pm

The October 19, 1945 issue of Film Daily carried a notice saying “[a] new 1,000-seat house is going up in Horse Cave, Ky. It’s the project of Marion Caldwell, exhibitor who operates outlets in Cave City, Scottsville and Manford, Ky.” Was this project carried out? I’ve been unable to find any later mentions of it. Building materials were restricted for several years after the war, and a drive-in was built at Horse Cave in 1950, so maybe the promoters gave up on the indoor project and opted for a new-fangled outdoor theater instead.

The November 9, 1957 issue of Boxoffice said that the Strand Theatre at Horse Cave, Kentucky had been closed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on Jun 8, 2022 at 10:22 pm

The February 4, 1950 issue of Boxoffice said that the Grand Theatre had shown movies on Sunday for the first time on January 29. Citizens of Sparta had recently voted to repeal a Sunday blue law which had been in effect for 122 years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Aspley Theatre on Jun 7, 2022 at 1:34 pm

I wonder if this might have been a reverse theater, with the screen at the entrance end and the projection booth at the back? The booth being in an addition that was later removed would account for the variation in the building’s length over time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Sequoia Theatre on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:46 pm

The Sequoia opened a bit earlier than we thought. This item is from the October 14, 1916 issue of Motography:

“The Sequoia Theater in Redwood City enjoyed a very successful opening. The theater is equipped with every improvement and a $10,000 organ furnishes the music. E. K. Hokhurst is manager.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Palace Theatre on Jun 6, 2022 at 10:11 pm

The May 29, 1936 item cited above indicates that the Palace Theatre was moved from its original location to a building on Main Street that year. Apparently this was larger location, as the 1936 FDY lists the Palace with 400 seats and the 1937 edition lists it with 500.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Trigg Theatre on Jun 6, 2022 at 7:00 pm

The Trigg Theatre building is still standing. The correct address is 135 N. Public Square, and the current occupant is the law firm of Herbert, Herbert & Pack. Google street views from July 2018 and July 2019 show the same structure, the only significant difference being that it has been stripped of its Vitrolite tiles since the earlier view was made.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Theatre on Jun 5, 2022 at 10:00 pm

The Mecca is mentioned in the July 10, 1926 issue of Motion Picture News and in the July 12 issue of Film Daily that same year. Both items noted that the Mecca was operating only one day a week. As it wasn’t listed in the 1926 FDY it probably opened that year, but after the yearbook went to press.

The Pitts Theatre was mentioned in the March 15, 1925 issue of Film Daily, which said that the house had just been sold to J. Jourdaine. So far I’ve been unable to find any mentions of the Lillian Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Cinema 4 on Jun 5, 2022 at 6:30 pm

Given its downtown location it is quite possible that this was an older theater that was triplexed and renamed Cinema III in 1990. In 1971, Central City had a house called the Towne Theatre, but I’ve only ever found one mention of it, in the June 21 issue of Boxoffice, and I haven’t been able to find out anything about it.

For a long time the main (and perhaps only) theater operating in Central City was the State, opened in 1921 as the Selba Theatre, but announcements of its construction say it was to be 70x112 feet, and the Cinema 4 looks no more than forty feet wide. Also the State was listed in the 1950 FDY with 878 seats, so quite a bit larger than Cinema 4.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Empress Theatre on Jun 5, 2022 at 5:17 pm

SethG: Two different theaters called the Empress are partly conflated in the description. The second Empress opened in early 1937 and its building was probably the one that was converted into an electronics store in 1954. The first Empress, which was the one at 112 N. First Street, was probably the house listed in the 1914-1915 edition of the Gus Hill directory, and we don’t know when it closed but it isn’t listed in the 1926 FDY, or at least not as the Empress (it could have been operating as the Corbin, the Hippodrome, or the Union.) There is a photo of it dated 1921 at CinemaTour. I haven’t been able to find an address for the second Empress, or whether or not it was in operation all the way to 1954.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Robin Theatre on Jun 4, 2022 at 1:12 am

Here is an item from the October 10, 1925 issue of Motion Picture News:

“Robbinsdale— Plans are being drawn for theatre bldg. to be erected on site at corner of West Broadway Avenue and the New Rockford Road. Approx. cost $50,000; Seat. Cap. 350. W. E. Westby is the Archt. and Wm. Mueller the owner of the new building which will contain four stores.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Gilson Cafe & Cinema on Jun 3, 2022 at 11:56 pm

Big Screen Cinema Guide says the Strand opened in 1926. This item from Motion Picture News of October 10, 1925 was probably about it: “Winsted— L. J. Thompson of New Britain is drawing plans for the erection of theatre bldg. on Main St. Owner, John E. Panara.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Baronet Theatre on Jun 3, 2022 at 11:39 pm

I wonder if this item from the October 10, 1925 issue of Motion Picture News could have been about the Strand?

“Long Branch— Plans are being drawn by Maximilian Zipkes, Archt. of 25 West 43rd St.. N. Y. for erection of theatre bldg. at corner of North Broadway and Second Ave. Approx. Cost $350,000. Seat. Cap. 1,500. Plot 155 ft. x 145 ft. Owner— Lucinor Holding Corp. of N. Y.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Linden Circle Theatre on Jun 3, 2022 at 11:23 pm

This item from the October 10, 1925 issue of Motion Picture News must be about the Linden Circle Theatre:

“Memphis— Anker F. Hanson, Archt. with offices in the Shrine Bldg. is drawing plans for the erection of theatre bldg. in Linden Circle. Approx. Cost $50,000.”
Vincent Astor’s book Memphis Movie Theatres says that in 1966 the Linden Circle became a live music venue, hosting many well-known country and western acts, but doesn’t say how long it operated as such. I’ve found references to shows there in the early 1970s. Another source says that a church moved into the building in 2004, and another indicates that it was auctioned off for back taxes in 2013. The building is currently occupied by a non-profit outfit called Lending a Hand Recovery Center, offering mental health counseling under the auspices of a religious organization called Lending a Hand Ministries.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theater on Jun 3, 2022 at 7:41 pm

The building at 123 W. 4th appears on a 1900 Sanborn map as a commercial building with an opera house on the second floor. The ground floor is noted to have iron columns running the length of the center. I’m starting to doubt that the ground floor ever housed a theater, and if this building housed the Lyric it was probably in the second floor opera house space.

On this web page there is a photo of the section of 4th Street near Washington Street, and it shows an ordinary storefront where the H&R Block office is now. In the next block is a sign with a crossbar at top with the letters LY clearly readable, and the word THEATRE vertically below it. That has to have been the Lyric. It was, as Norman Plant noted above, probably at 203 W. 4th Street. The text accompanying the photo mentions the Opera House, but doesn’t mention the Lyric Theatre ever having been in the building at 123 W. 4th. Another page of that web site does mention the Lyric having been in that building, but places it at 306 N. Washington, now the entrance of the Masonic lodge, so probably originally the entrance of the upstairs Opera house and then the Lyric. The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory gives the location of the Lyric as 4th and Jefferson Street. As there is (and was) no Jefferson Street in Salem, it was probably meant to say 4th and Washington.

This page from the downtown Salem walking tour says of the site in the next block of 4th Street that “Ken and Olive Preston purchased the property next and tore down the hotel. They had a building built to house the Lyric Movie Theater.” Unfortunately, the text doesn’t say when this happened. So the question is when was the Lyric at (probably) 203 W. 4th built? I haven’t found the name Preston in connection with Salem in the trade journals in the 1920s. In 1921 and 1929 the Lyric was owned by W. A. Donaldson, and in 1929 was bought by L. L. Lewis. It is most likely that the Lyric at 204 W. 4th was the project mentioned in the May 2, 1936 issue of Film Daily, and the earlier Lyric, owned by Donaldson and then Lewis, was the former Opera House. The 1926 FDY lists the Lyric with 210 seats, so it was smaller than the new Lyric built by the Prestons.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Court Street Theatre on Jun 2, 2022 at 9:17 pm

Pages 27 through 30 of this digital document have considerably more information about this theater. In addition to the names Park Theatre, Shea’s Theatre and Shea’s Court Street Theatre, it operated under the names Music Box Theatre (from 1929) and Teatro Italia (from 21 January 1934 until around 1941.) The document also says that “[t]he Catholic Actors’s Guild rented this theatre for their performances c.1935–c.1939, and printed ‘Shea’s Court Street Theatre’ on their programmes.”

The theater was designed by Leon H. Lempert & Son. This web page has an early photo of the house as Shea’s Theatre. In its early days it used the address 40 Court Street. The site had earlier been occupied by Wahle’s Opera House, which itself was called the Court Street Theatre for a time. Plans to remodel the original theater were abandoned in 1903 in favor of demolition and the construction of an entirely new building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Lyric Theater on Jun 2, 2022 at 6:27 am

Here is an item from the December 3, 1921 issue of Moving Picture World: “W. A. Donaldson has purchased the Lyric Theatre at Salem, Mo., from Sankey Bros. He takes charge on November 29.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Preston Theatre on Jun 2, 2022 at 6:21 am

I wonder if the project in this item from the January 14, 1937 issue of Film Daily got built or not. Are we missing any theaters in Salem?

“Salem, Mo.— F. V. Mercer of Perryville, Mo., will open bids Friday on the construction of a new 600-seat motion picture theater here. Johnson & Maack, Chemical Building, St. Louis, are the architects.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Princess Theatre on May 25, 2022 at 6:01 pm

An interesting item from the March 4, 1916 issue of Moving Picture World says: “Woodstock, Ill.-J. C. Miller, owner of the Princess theater at Woodstock, will open about March 1 his new theater north of his present location, using it about three nights a week for the overflow crowds from the Princess”

This annex was most likely the house called the Strand Theatre. The April 15 issue of MPW said “Woodstock, Ill.-J. C. Miller of the Princess and Strand theaters has booked ‘The Battle Cry of Peace’ for April 30 and May 1.”

The Princess and the Municipal Opera House are the only theaters listed at Woodstock in the 1926 FDY, so the Strand was probably closed by then.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about State Theatre on May 25, 2022 at 12:25 am

The State Theatre at Statesboro, owned by H. H. Macon, was one of 22 Georgia theater projects either under construction or recently opened that were listed in an article in Film Daily of October 13, 1936.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Bremen Theatre on May 25, 2022 at 12:17 am

The Bremen Theatre was rebuilt in 1936. It was one of 22 Georgia theater projects either under construction or recently opened that were listed in an article in Film Daily of October 13. The owner was named Mike Ellis.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Jewell Theatre on May 25, 2022 at 12:10 am

An article in Film Daily o October 13, 1936 listed 200 theater projects either under construction or recently opened in Georgia. The Jewel at Gordon, owned by D. P. Lee, was one of them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Dixie Theatre on May 25, 2022 at 12:05 am

Mrs. Violet Edwards had the Dixie Theatre built at Wrens in 1936, according to an article in Film Daily of October 13 that year

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Metro Theatre on May 25, 2022 at 12:00 am

The Metro Theatre at Mount Vernon was one of 22 Georgia theater projects either under construction or recently opened that were listed in an article in Film Daily of October 13, 1936. It was owned by a Mrs. Liggett.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Grand Theatre on May 24, 2022 at 10:14 pm

Corrected web site

Corrected history

The theater opened in 1911 as the Lyric Theatre. Financial difficulties led to its closure in less than a year. A new owner reopened the theater as the Grand Opera House. It operated under that name until 1927, when it was renamed Grand Theatre.

The original Grand burned on September 4, 1935, leaving only one corner of the structure intact. This corner was incorporated into the new Grand Theatre, which opened on February 17, 1936 with the feature film “The Widow from Monte Carlo” with Louise Fezenda, Warren William and Dolores Del Rio.

The Grand closed on June 14, 1978 and sat vacant until restoration began in 1986. 35mm film projection equipment was reinstalled in 1996, for a film festival commemorating the town’s centennial. Regular movie exhibition resumed in 2004, though only with special events one weekend a month until the Carmike Capri Twin closed in 2005, at which time first run films returned to the Grand. Digital projection equipment was installed in 2015.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel commented about Royal Theater on May 24, 2022 at 9:14 pm

The Royal Theatre was built in 1936. It was one of 22 theater projects either underway or recently opened that were noted in the October 13 issue of Film Daily. George Benton was the original owner of the theater building.