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

The Motion Picture News, September 9, 1911:

healy_pe

“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

texas_pe

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:

times_pe

“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

 

 

 

Comique Theatre, Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee

Motography,July 15, 1916:

comique

“The birthplace of the Mutual Film Corporation was recently unearthed in the form of a photograph which President [John R.] Freuler discovered among his possessions. It was the long forgotten Comique Theater on Kinnickinnic avenue. Milwaukee.

“Here Mr. Freuler was introduced to the motion picture business which led to the establishment of the Western Film Exchange of Milwaukee, which grew into a system of exchanges and finally developed into the Mutual Film Corporation.

“The film magnate is interested in the American Film Company, Inc., the Lone Star Corporation, which makes the Charlie Chaplin Mutual specials, Majestic-Reliance, New York Motion Picture Corporation, Vogue Films, Inc., States Film Corporation, North American Film Corporation and Signal Film Corporation. In addition he holds important interests in a number of other concerns in the picture making business.

“The development of all these concerns may be traced back to Mr. Freuler’s interest in the business created by his connection with the little old Comique.”

chaplin

From The British Film Institute

Mutual Films

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

He is available for theatre talks and walking tours in 2015-2016: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling  on Etsy and Amazon

Tally Presents the Vitascope

The pioneer Los Angeles film exhibitor, Thomas L. Tally, first presented the Vitascope on July 25, 1896, in his amusement parlor at 311 S. Spring Street.

The International Photographer, August, 1932:

Tally 1

“Phonograph parlor in San Antonio in 1893. These institutions were sort of curtain raisers for the coming screen pictures, in existence at the time but not commercially. They were shown that year at the Chicago fair.

“This show [bottom] at 311 Spring Street, Los Angeles, marks the removal of T. L. Tally from San Antonio, being opened in August*  of 1896.

“At the rear center are two chairs facing an Edison peepshow on a screen. At the left side of the picture are the Edison kinematographs**, in the center Biograph mutoscopes, and at the right the customers are listening to phonographs. Mr. Tally is shown in each photograph.” tally 2

*Newspaper articles announce the showing of the Vitascope at the rear of Tally’s amusement parlor on July 12, 1896.

**kinetoscope

Tally’s Phonograph Parlor

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

He is available for theatre talks and walking tours in 2015-2016: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling  on Etsy and Amazon

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.

Comedy Theatre, 46 East 14th Street, New York,NY

Moving Picture World, May 28, 1910:

comedy theatre 1910

“We present herewith the portrait of Albert A. Kaufman, manager of the Comedy Theatre, who is reported to be the youngest man in his particular line. On account of the competition of adjacent licensed houses, the Comedy uses Independent service which is supplied by William Steiner’s film exchange.

kaufman

Albert A. Kaufman

Three reels constitute the show and with 5 cents admission on weekdays and 10 cents on Saturday and Sunday, the Comedy does a  standing  room business  and Mr. Kaufman is well satisfied  with his receipts.

One excellent feature of Mr. Kaufman’s management is that patrons of this theater are not allowed to find their way to seats. Ample standing room is allowed  while a show is in progress, behind the chairs and as this space slopes with the floor, even those standing can get a full view of the screen.

This is the second of the prominent theaters on Moving Picture Row  to install the Independent service and Mr. Kaufman seems to be well pleased with the treatment that he receives from Bill Steiner and his staff.

 

Romany Rob’s Revenge

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.

Vitascope Hall, 623 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

Excerpts from  “What Happened in the Beginning” by F. H. Richardson, Transactions of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (1925)

“I now present a photograph of ‘Vitascope Hall,’ opened by Mssrs. [William T.] Rock and [Walter] Wainwright as a strictly motion picture theatre, in June 1896.

Vitascope Hall

“Its location was the corner of Canal Street and Exchange Place, New Orléans, Louisiana. They showed among other things, the ‘May Irwin Kiss,’ ‘Waves of Dover,’ also a lot of short scenic stuff.

“Admission was ten cents. For ten cents additional patrons were permitted to peek into the ‘projection room’  and for another ten cents they were presented with one frame of old film.

“The projector used was the Armat Vitascope, then being produced by Thomas A. Edison, and, for business reasons, called the ‘Edison Vitascope.’  That last is on the authority of projectionist, [William] Reed, who had it direct from Mr. Rock, who himself purchased the projector.

“The theatre was a store front fitted with a screen, wooden chairs, an enclosure for the projector, a ticket booth and a name–Vitascope Hall. It seated about four hundred people. In the photograph you see the operators, Messrs. Rock amd Wainwright, standing in front, together with its projectionist, William Reed. Mr. Rock is at the extreme right, with Mr. Wainright next to him. Mr. Reed is at the extreme left. The names of the others are unknown.

“You will observe that ‘Li Hung Chang’ was on the bill the day the photograph was taken.

“Here gentlemen, is the printed program of that little theatre of far-off days. Doors open 10 to 3 and 6 to 10.”

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According to William T. Rock, Vitascope Hall opened on July 18, 1896 and closed in October of that year. Rock became one of the co-founders of the Vitagraph Company and its president.

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.