The New Healy Playhouse, 911 Houston Street, Fort Worth, Texas

The Motion Picture News, September 9, 1911:

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“The above cut was taken from a postal card on the reverse side of which was the following communication:
American Film Mfg. Co., Chicago, Ill
Gentlemen;–This is what I do with your great Western features, two of which I receive weekly–Mondays and Thursdays first run. They certainly get the money for me. On ‘American’ days we average 2,000 people daily. The picture, as depicted above, is our lobby display of your film entitled ‘The Parting of the Trails.’ The reception accorded it was simply wonderful.

R. A. Healy”

From Moving Picture World, January 13, 1912

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The Parting of the Trails

The American Film Manufacturing Company

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle is celebrating  twenty years of talks and walks. He is currently accepting bookings for historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.

Del Valle has also joined with Local Expeditions to present a series of walking tours.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

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Times Square Theatre, 1446 Broadway

Moving Picture World, August 6, 1910:

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“If you should walk from one end of Broadway to the other, and also on Forty-second street, two of New York’s most popular theatrical thoroughfares, you will find but one, out of probably two dozen or more theaters, in which pictures alone are shown.

“This martyr of theaters is known as the Times Square Theater, owned and operated by the Saxe Amusement Company at 1446 Broadway, between Fortieth and Forty-first streets.

“Mr. [John] Saxe, President of the company, invited the writer to visit his house while the entertainment was was in progress, and I was struck quite favorably with the appearance of the building both inside and outside, and which I might state was recently reconstructed at a cost of ten thousand dollars.

“The theater is attractive though plain. Its walls, doors, and ticket booth are void of all those lurid and vulgar  posters. The interior decorations and frescoing are of pale green, and the electric lights are also protected by green shades, which renders a very pleasing effect to the eyes.

“The house has a seating capacity of 300, and is never in darkness; the lights are always turned on, but so arranged as not to affect the picture. A double dissolving Motiograph moving picture machine is used in projecting the best licensed pictures, relieved by an occasional illustrated song.

“We trust that the Times Square Theater will set the pace for other strictly moving picture theaters along Broadway.”

Photo of the Times Square Theatre is from Moving Picture World, December 31, 1910.

 

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle is celebrating  twenty years of talks and walks. He is currently accepting bookings for historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.

Del Valle has also joined with Local Expeditions to present a series of walking tours.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

AboutMe

Goodreads

Medotcom

 

 

 

Queen Theatre, Los Angeles

The Film Index, March 4, 1911

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“H. B. and F. N. Knapp, who owned and managed the Queen, Vaudette and Peter Pan Theatres in Battle Creek, Michigan, have opened the first real classy suburban theatre in Los Angeles–the Queen Theatre–at the corner of Jefferson Street and Vermont Avenue.

The house was built especially for them and no expense has been spared in having everything first class. They are located in the best residence district and have approximately ten thousand people to draw from.

The house is beautifully furnished with opera chairs; a three-piece orchestra furnished the music.”

lobby_pe “They have a novelty in the line of photo frames in the lobby. Instead of having frames of only one company they have ten frames 30×40 inches each having the principal characters in each company in a frame by itself–a great many of which are clipped from The Index; and it makes a very neat appearance in the lobby.

They are meeting with very good success.”

 

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle celebrating 20 years of theatre talks and walks, 1996-2016. Currently accepting bookings for historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.

He has also joined with Local Expeditions to present a series of walking tours.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

AboutMe

Goodreads

Medotcom

The Oldest Theatre in Oldest City

Moving Picture World, November 2, 1912:

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“The above cut is a likeness of the first motion picture theater in the oldest town in California. The name of the house is the Don Theater in Napa Street, Sonoma, Cal.”

“Messrs. Collins and Mohr are the proprietors. Licensed films constitute the program.”

Posters:
A Cowboy’s Best Girl with Tom Mix
The Transformation of Mike directed by D. W. Griffith

 

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle is celebrating 20 years of theatre talks and walks, 1996-2016. Currently accepting bookings for historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.  Details of independent walks will be published this fall.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

Selling  on Etsy and Amazon

Booth in the Window at the Bijou

Moving Picture World, November 26, 1910

Excerpts from a letter by John Blohm, owner and manager of the Bijou Theatre, Chesley, Ontario, Canada.

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“We have several photoplay theaters here in Western Ontario, though as the enclosed postcard [above] shows, they are on a small scale. The towns here are small, ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 population. Every one of the photoplay theaters I have installed, however, is on a paying basis. Why? Because I have the very best projection possible.

“As you can see on the postcard, my operating booth is in the window. We sometimes throw a picture across the street onto a wall by holding two mirrors in front of the lens. This is done as an ad, of course.”

An illustrated song slide in the lower corner of the postcard.

 

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle is celebrating 20 years of theatre talks and walks, 1996-2016. Currently accepting bookings for historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.  Details of independent walks will be published this fall.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

Selling  on Etsy and Amazon

 

Crown Photo Plays, Hartford

Exhibitors Times, September 20, 1913:

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“The Crown Theatre is practically the only motion picture house in Hartford, Conn. with a real attractive front, as shown in the accompanying photograph.

“The size of the theatre should not be judged by the width of the front, as the auditorium some thirty feet in the rear, is fully twice the width of the lobby. The long lobby is very attractive with its simple but tasteful decorations.

“A feature of the Crown Theatre is to have both the resting room for ladies and the smoking den for men in the lobby, instead of being located in inconvenient or dark corners, as in the case of too many theatres.

“The electric sign reminds me of the beautiful signs to be found in the South. This electric sign with its lights of white, blue, amber and green in the crown, to represent various precious stones like diamonds, sapphyres, topaz, rubies and emeralds, is very attractive viewed from the street, and gives an appearance of distinction to the place.”

 

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2016: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc

Now selling on Etsy and Amazon

 

 

Carl Laemmle and the White Front

Carl Laemmle, father of Universal Pictures, was born January 17, 1867 in Laupheim , Baden- Wurttemberg, Germany. He immigrated to America in 1884, working a variety of jobs before becoming a bookkeeper at a retail clothing store in Oshkosh.

With money saved, he came to Chicago in 1905 with thoughts of opening a chain of five and ten-cent stores. While scouting for locations, Laemmle happened  upon a movie theatre in the Palmer House block.  The picture show was a novelty to him, as it was to millions of others at the time. He immediately investigated, taking in several shows there.  Laemmle also took in movies at the Nickelodeon on Halsted Street near Van Buren.

Carl Laemmle decided not to invest his money in dime stores but instead the motion picture business.

Excerpts from Moving Picture World, July 15, 1916:
“In a very short time he had taken a lease on the property located at 909 Milwaukee avenue, remodeled it, and opened what was known as the White Front theater, ‘the coolest 5c theater in Chicago.’ The opening was on February 24, 1906. The theater contained 214 seats, and was of course, nothing but a remodeled store.

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The White Front July 24, 1906

“Mr. Laemmle’s first show consisted of one reel of film and that was only 900 feet long. Each show lasted about twenty-two minutes, and included a song besides the 900-foot reel. Under these circumstances, playing to turn-away business, it was possible for the house to clear as high as $192 in one day, and this is the record for the White Front, though business usually ran around $180.

“Mr. Laemmle also owned another house, having acquired it very soon after the White Front, in April 1906. This theater seems never to have had a definite name. It was located at 1233 So. Halsted street, and like the White Front, was a converted store. These were the only two houses in which Mr. Laemmle had any considerable interest, and his interest in them soon became secondary to his exchange, and that in turn to his manufacturing interest in the Imp Company.”

Laemmle Family Website

Imp Company

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2016: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc

Now selling on Etsy and Amazon