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The Liberty Theatre is the only house at Tremonton that is mentioned in the 1921 edition of Wid’s Year Book.
Tremonton’s American Theatre and its manager, Harry S. Sims, were mentioned in the September 25, 1915 issue of Moving Picture World. However, the name Elite Theatre appears in issues of the same magazine in August, 1918.
I see that the grand opening ad just posted confirms Fred A. Bishop as the architect of the Venus Theatre.
This ad in the April 7, 1928 issue of Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World calls into question the 1925 date for the expansion of the Majestic: “FOR SALE— Majestic Building, Algoma, Wis.; 366-seat theatre, hall second floor; 3 bowling alleys (basement); will stand full investigation. Address Louis Hassberg, proprietor.”
The mention in Lou Rugani’s comment of free glassware with admission suggests that the expansion might have taken place in 1935, as it was during the depression period that theaters often began offering such premiums as an inducement to patrons.
The acquisition of the Dewey Theatre at Park City by the the Isis Motion Film Company of Salt Lake City was noted in the April 1, 1910 issue of The Nickelodeon.
The 600-seat Quinn Theatre, managed by George Quinn, was listed in the 1914 Gus Hill Directory. It played roadshows, vaudeville and pictures. The 1913 Cahn guide had listed George Quinn as the manager of the Dewey Theatre. The Dewey and the Quinn are both mentioned in the December 4, 1913 issue of Miner’s Magazine, the organ of the Western Federation of Miners.
Treasure Mountain Home: Park City Revisited, by George A. Thompson, says that Frank Collins and George Quinn began building the Quinn Theatre in July, 1913. An ad for the theater dated August 16 touts movies appearing the following day, so it must have been a very quick build.
The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory mistakenly lists this as the Ballentine Theatre at 16 Oak Street. The Majestic and the Theatorium are the only other houses listed.
The BoxRec boxing web site lists over a dozen bouts held at the GAR Opera House in Mount Carmel, most of them in 1921 and 1922, but two each year in 1923, 1924, and 1927. It could be that the house was used only intermittently for movies, or even not at all, before becoming the State, which might not have happened until the 1930s. The movies listed in the State’s ad on the photo page all date from 1933.
Wasn’t the Majestic gone by 1920? Only the Arcade, Theatorium and Valentine are listed in the 1921 telephone directory. The State doesn’t appear to be listed under any name in that directory, which doesn’t list any sort of hall, opera house, or auditorium on Hickory Street. Maybe they just didn’t have a telephone.
It could be that the other closed theaters were just short-lived houses, perhaps storefront conversions, as they are certainly not listed in the 1926 FDY, which has only the Arcade, Theatorium and Valentine, and the newer Victoria.
The Mount Carmel Daily News of March 23, 1910 carried an ad for the Majestic, which was showing the Edison Company’s feature “Frankenstein.”
The September 3, 1921 issue of Exhibitors Trade Review had this brief item from Mount Carmel: Only two theatres in Mount Carmel, Pa., are now in operation, the Arcade and the Theatorium. The others, four in number, have suspended until business picks up."
The December 9, 1911 issue of Variety reported that the new Fort Plain Theatre had opened November 27 with “A Gentleman of Leisure” starring Cyril Scott. The play was based on an early novel by P. G. Wodehouse, and had premiered at The Playhouse in New York City on August 24. The box office receipts for the Fort Plain’s opening night were $1,800.
The Orpheum was listed at 115 Monoa [sic] Avenue in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. It’s likely that it presented movies as well as vaudeville from early in its history. Orpheum circuit houses in smaller cities typically operated as combination houses by the mid-1910s, as it was more profitable than two-a-day vaudeville shows in such places.
The Orton Theatre is listed in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory.
The Gem is listed at 1947 Winnebago Street in the 1919 city directory, but the next edition available online, 1921, list that as the address of the Palace Theatre. The Palace is listed in the FDY through the 1933 edition, then vanishes. When the seating capacity is given it is 300.
This web page from the Ohio County Public Library says that the Court Theatre opened in September, 1902 and closed in 1982.
What may have been the high point in the Court’s history came rather late, when it hosted the world premier of the 1971 movie “The Fool’s Parade,” which was set in West Virginia in the 1920s and partly filmed in nearby Moundsville. Stars, including Jimmy Stewart, Kurt Russell and Strother Martin attended the event, as told in this article from 2016.
I have finally found an interior photo of the Court’s auditorium, but it is a very sad one, as it is a recent shot showing the gutted space in use as a paring garage. It is on this Facebook page.
Cotrill’s Opera House is an upstairs theater. The ground floor of the building has always been configured for retail uses, but the auditorium is undergoing renovation for theatrical use, and has been since 1978. Since 1981 the project has been under the management of a non-profit organization called Alpine Heritage Preservation Incorporated, who own the building. It has been a very long process, as the town is small and has limited resources, but steady progress has been made.
The organization’s official web site has a history of the theater and the restoration project. There are also several historical photos on the site’s history page.
There is a mistake in the news clipping Ron Pierce cited. The architect was Emery T. Epling, who is also credited with the design of Lewiston’s Roxy (originally Theatorium) Theatre.
“Lost Gary, Indiana” by Jerry Davich says that the Broadway was Gary’s first theater. Gary was founded by the U.S. Steel Corporation in 1906, and the town built up very rapidly when the steel mill opened, so the theater probably opened that year. By 1908, the Broadway was listed at Broadway near 8th Avenue in the city directory, one of three theaters listed.
Capsule movie reviews submitted by C. C. Johnson of the A-Muse-U
Theatre in Melville, Louisiana, appeared in multiple issues of Moving Picture World in the latter half of 1922, beginning with the August 5 issue. By January 6, 1923, the reviews from the A-Muse-U were being submitted by a new manager, H. H. Hedberg. By November, 1923 Hedberg was spelling the theater name as Amuse-U, a form that persisted at least through December, 1927.
The story is behind a paywall, but the January 16, 2020 issue of the McDowell News said that a recent college graduate named Jake Laurent had bought the House Theatre and planned to restore it for use as a live music venue. I’ve found no more recent news of the project, and fear that the timing might have been fatal to it, the announcement having been made shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Mentioned in the trade journals a few times in the late 1910s simply as the Grand Theatre, and advertised as such in the weekly Marion Progress, this house closed in October, 1920, replaced by its owners with the new Oasis Theatre. The original owner of the house, R. C. Davis, had operated a Grand Theatre at Shelby before opening the Marion house.
The April 30, 1914 issue of the Progress said that Davis had rented the storefront next door to the newspaper’s office and expected to have the new theater open within “a few days.” The first ad I’ve found for the Grand, showing the six-reel production “The Last Days of Pompeii” appeared in the May 21 issue of the Progress, which said the showing was scheduled for the following night.
Marion had one earlier movie theater, called the Savoy, opened on January 27, 1912. It was the only house listed at Marion in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory, but it might have closed even before the Grand opened, as the last mention of it I’ve found in the newspaper was on February 26, 1914.
The Oasis Theatre was a replacement for the Grand Theatre. The October 7, 1920 issue of the weekly Marion Progress carried a notice from the operators of the Grand that they hoped to have their new theater, to be called the Oasis, opened on October 13. The Oasis was advertised in the October 14 issue of the paper, so it’s likely they met their date. Advertisements for the Grand no longer appeared after that.
The latest advertisement for the Oasis I’ve found was in the January 16, 1947 issue of the Marion Progress. The newspaper was a weekly, so the Oasis might have closed anytime between the 16th and the 22nd, as only the Marion Theatre advertised in the January 23rd edition, although the ad for the Oasis on the 16th listed programs through the following Thursday (the day the paper was published.) In its last years the Oasis was run by the House family, owners of the Marion Theatre and, after 1950, the new House Theatre.
Elderly local residents reminiscing about the Oasis in the 1930s and 1940s say that it was nicknamed “the rat hole” and ran mostly westerns and movies without big name stars.
This item from the January 14, 1937 issue of Film Daily must be about the Roxy:
“Sweet Home, Ore.— The first motion picture theater to be erected here will be opened early in March by George Gessler, who has let contract to Western Theatre Equipment Co., Portland, to fully equip the 450-seat house.”
The recent opening of the Mond Theatre at Redmond was noted in the October 22, 1949 issue of Boxoffice. Operated by its builder, L. C. Dawley, who occupied a three room apartment on the second floor, the Mond was a concrete block building, 50x100 feet, and initially seated 338, though it was planned to eventually accommodate 500 seats.