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.

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War Cloud Takes Over Washington

After a career on the legitimate stage and in vaudeville, Chief War Cloud took over management of the Washington Theatre, South & Washington Street, Jamaica, Queens.

The Daily Long Island Farmer, December 16, 1912:

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“The new proprietor, who will run the place as a first class motion picture house, and who has had plenty of opportunity to learn show business from A to Z, is a real Indian chief, but has lived almost all his life among white people. He is a college graduate and knows very well the customs of social life.

“He is Chief War Cloud of the Beule Sioux of North Dakota. When he was four years old he was transported from the wilds of the West to the vicinity of 42nd street and Broadway, New York, being adopted by a family of means.

“He is 45 years of age and speaks English better than his racial tongue. He studied at the Carlisle Indian School, where he played on the football team for which that institution is famous. He is also a 32nd degree Free Mason.

“Chief War Cloud has had much success in the presentation of Indian plays and sketches on the vaudeville stage, and is now going to run a theatre of his own.”

 

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

 

Big Solax Jubilee at the Queen’s

The Moving Picture News, May 25, 1912:

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“Queen’s Theatre on Third avenue and Fifty-ninth street, New York, one of the neatest and best managed picture houses in New York City, recently featured a Solax night with remarkable success.

“They ran an exclusive Solax program. Besides ‘The Sewer,’ the two reel feature, they ran ‘Saved by a Cat,’ ‘Billy’s Nurse’ and ‘Billy’s Shoes.” Darwin Karr, the Solax leading man, who does such heroic work in ‘The Sewer’ and ‘Saved by a Cat,’ personally appeared after the pictures. Billy Quirk was also there and entertained. Blanch Cornwall made her bow, and Director Warren told how pictures are taken.

Solax Films 

The Sewer

 

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

 

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

Lubin Theatre, Studio and Office

The Moving Picture World, April 25, 1908:

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“As intimated in our Philadelphia notes last week, S. Lubin has purchased the property at 926 Market street for $307,000. Mr. Lubin has since favored us with a cut showing the front of the building, which we take pleasure in reproducing, showing. as it does, one of the handsomest and most popular theaters in Philadelphia.

“The executive offices of S. Lubin are located on the first floor over the theater, in the rear of this is the studio, occupying and ‘L’ extension, on the upper floors are the machine shops and dark rooms.”

Siegmund Lubin–“America’s first movie mogul”

 

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

 

Plaza Theatre, 434 9th Street, Washington D.C.

The Film Index, April 8, 1911:

“The Plaza Theatre, under the management of Charles E. Bell–Good Pictures, Good Music and two singers for 5 cents.”

plaza_pe

“The Plaza gives close attention to its music and outside of the accompaniment of its small orchestra, songs are presented by Franklin Wallace and Will E. Hawkins, the latter being known for his expressive eyes.”

On the poster:”Girls Will be Boys“, released December 27, 1910 by Essanay.

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

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.

white front 3
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

 

 

 

 

Lassoing Wild Animals at the Casino, Galveston

The Film Index, March 11, 1911:

“The Casino, Galveston, Tex.–one of the Hulsey Theatre”

March 11 1911

“Photograph taken when house was billed for the Buffalo Jones Pictures, which were shown here ‘first run’ and made a clean up.

“Casino seats 300 people, charges 5 cents admission and is under the management of F. W. Peters.”

Buffalo Jones

Lassoing Wild Animals in Africa

 

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