Pleasing Pictorial Pictures at the Casino

Moving Picture World, December 21, 1912:

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“Quimby and Quimby, of the Casino Theater, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, send a photograph of a prairie schooner which they use in advertising Western releases with good results. They write that they use the Universal service, taking first run on the Animated Weekly and supplementing this with their own pictures of local events.”

“They write that they have made pictures of fire department practice, the Tillicum Club in its new home, the parade opening of the Kootenai Fair and other local events.  The camera, printer and darkroom equipment were made by operator, Fred F. Baker, and negative and positives are developed and finished right in the theater instead of being sent East to some company. This avoids delay and enables prompt showing of the subject.”

“The local film is called the Casino Baby and the slogan is ‘Watch it Grow.’ A local film in a town of 7,500 people is evidence of hustle all out of proportion to the population.”

Snowball and His Pal (1912) with Francis Ford

 

Since 1996, legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle has been conducting a popular series theatre talks and walks. Currently accepting bookings for 2017:  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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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

 

 

 

 

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.”

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“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

 

 

Nickelodeon, 441 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

On June 19, 1905, the Nickelodeon boom began when a small theatre by that name opened on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The following is from an excellent article by Timothy McNulty, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 19, 2005.

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Implet Magazine, 1911

“There were other stand-alone theaters in New Orléans and Los Angeles before the Nickelodeon opened, says Michael Aronson, an assistant professor of film and media studies at the University of Oregon, who is writing a history of the Pittsburgh nickelodeon boom. And other theaters had carried the name ‘nickelodeon,’ for a combination of their admission price and the Greek word for “theater.”

Also, the films often cited through the years as opening at the Pittsburgh Nickelodeon in 1905 — a comedy called ‘The Baffled Burglar’ and the melodrama ‘Poor but Honest’ — were also likely incorrect. According to records kept by the American Film Institute, those films were not produced until several years later.

Other historical references say the first movie shown was ‘The Great Train Robbery,’ but that legendary 1903 film was already so well-known (it previously had a summer-long run at Kennywood, for instance) that patrons probably would not be flooding into the Nickelodeon to see it again two years later.

But the importance of the theater, whatever the details, is not in question, says Aronson, who earned his doctorate from Pitt in 2003. It was still the template for all the theaters — and the new movie industry itself — that followed it.

‘It’s like saying Starbucks didn’t invent coffee in a cup, so they didn’t have an impact on our culture,’ Aronson said.

‘It was the effect that mattered. In the Pittsburgh Nickelodeon, clearly everything came together at the right time, and everything took off.’ ”

Interior of the Nickelodeon Theatre, Moving Picture World, November 1907

Interior of the Nickelodeon Theatre, Moving Picture World, November 1907

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.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.

Holland Brothers’ Kinetoscope Parlor, 1155 Broadway, New York, NY

The commercial history of motion pictures begins on April 14, 1894 with the opening of the Holland brothers’ kinetoscope parlor at 1155 Broadway in New York City.

Excerpts from The Sun, May 25, 1894:
“The latest of Wizard Edison’s inventions, the kinetoscope is on exhibition at 1,155 Broadway. Although the apparatus is to a considerable extent a resemblance to a toy that has long been a favorite with children, it has new features, and illustrates principles in photography, optical illusions, and electricity that render it of interest.

“Mr. Edison has succeeded in constructing a machine which brings a series of photographs before the eye with such great rapidity that the eye cannot detect the change from one photograph to the next. This produces the effect of lifelike action in the series of views. Ten views are now on exhibition.

“The first shows Sandow, the strong performing his feats. Then there is a scene in a barber shop in which a customer takes his place in a chair and the barber shaves him in regular style. Bertoldi, the contortionist, whose photograph is not more than an inch in length, gives one of her difficult exhibitions,

“There are a wrestling contest, a rooster fight, a Highland dance, an organ grinder with monkey, three blacksmiths at a forge, and a gymnast in a flying ring exercise.

“Three blacksmiths at the forge are very lively in their movements, it being evident that they are impressed with the importance of striking while the iron is hot. They are thirsty after the iron is shaped, and each in turn takes a drink from a bottle in a manner amusing to the spectator.

“Although the kinetoscope is far from being a perfect machine, it combines principles which Mr. Edison may greatly improve in the near future. The name of the machine is not an invention of the ‘Wizard.’ It is in the dictionary.”

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.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.

Apolo Theatre, Manila, Philippines

Moving Picture World, December 3, 1910:

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“From the far-off Philippines comes a very appreciative letter from a World reader and a photograph of his theater.  The following extract from his letter may be of interest to our readers:

‘Herewith description of my theater: The house is located on the principal street of Manila; seats 470 people; performance from 4:30 until 11 P. M.; prices range from 50 cents to 20 cents  (Philippine currency); my orchestra consists of nine pieces; I change twice a week and run about three thousand feet for each performance or change.

‘At present I use nothing but Pathe films. Business is very good here. Manila has now twenty-three motion picture theaters, with only one exchange, and that is for Pathe; no American films are here as yet. I think it is a good field for a live, hustling American film exchange here. Again thanking you for your favors, I remain, H. Frankel.’ ”

 

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.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

 

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.