The Jewel, Easton, Pennsylvania

Motion Picture Herald, August 14, 1937, Ohio theatre manager, John A. Schwalm “recalls his years as a nickelodeon operator.”

Featuring a five-cent admission, the Jewel was an “upstairs house” with the first floor used as lobby.

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“Mr. Schwalm, at left, wearing a bowler, posed proudly in front of his theatre in Easton, PA., in 1909, two years after the house opened as the fifth of his theatrical ventures.

“Note the elaborate marquee and the double feature bill advertised in quiet taste.”

The Professor’s Trip to the Country, released by Vitagraph, as a split reel with Duty Versus Revenge.

Advertised on the ticket booth: “Illustrated Song Today The Road to Yesterday. ”

Movie and song date from 1908.

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 “vintage” on Etsy.

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Fire, Sparta Theatre, Bowery, Coney Island, Brooklyn

On Sunday, July 12, 2015,  Cezar Del Valle, author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index Volume III, hosts the cHURCH OF MONICA, Open Source Gallery, with an illustrated talk on the history of Coney Island theatre.

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The Evening Telegram, August 10, 1904:
“The first intimation that a blaze existed was given to the audience on the canvas in which the moving pictures were being shown. The machine itself caused the fire as the result of the photographic films coming in contact with the carbon flame.

“On the canvas was being shown a picture of Dante’s ‘Inferno.’ When the film caught fire it was passing behind lens at a rapid rate and for the space of a minute the real flames were reflected into the picture ‘Inferno.’ At first the audience thought the reflection was part of the picture, but the cry of fire brought them to a realization that the picture was near to being real.

“The picture machine was located in a partly enclosed booth in the balcony of the music hall. The flames spread to the second floor in spite of the fact that the booth was sheathed in tin. Johnson Smith, the operator was burned about the face and hands while making his escape from the booth.”

Above photo from a postcard in the Theatre Talks Collection, please ask permission to copy and/or use. At least give credit to source. We know that some people will not honor this but it would be nice if they did.

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: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.

Maryland Theatre, Washington D.C.

Moving Picture World, February 3, 1912:

Maryland_pe“The above is a reproduction of a photograph of the Maryland, one of the attractive and popular theatres in Washington D.C. The house is owned by Col Wertz and Dr. Wunder and managed by J.F. Story.”

Poster for What a Woman Can Do, one of the many westerns starring “Broncho Billy” Anderson.

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.

Starland Theatre, Montreal, Canada

Moving Picture World, November 4, 1911:

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“One of the foremost picture theatres in Montreal, Can., is the Starland, owned by Demetre & Demetelin. The accompanying engraving shows the house decorated for the Coronation of King George V. The orchestra and members of the staff are also in evidence.

“The Starland has a seating capacity of 750; only first run pictures are shown and the decorations are very pleasing.

“The orchestra is under the direction of Prof. A. Rosenburg. The house is under the management of W. H. Tolbutt.”

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.

Germantown Theatre, 5508 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia

From The Greatest Achievement in Music For Theatre: The Wulitzer Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra, originally published by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company in 1916. Reprinted by Vestal Press in 1964.

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“The Germantown Theatre is recognized as one of the finest picture play houses in Philadelphia, located in Germantown, Philadelphia’s most popular suburb. Has a seating capacity  of 1,400, and was built at a cost of $12,500. It is devoted to the presentation of Paramount Pictures, and caters to the most fashionable trade in Philadelphia.

“Mr. Steumpfig, the Proprietor, has a large collection of letters from people, commenting upon the Unit Orchestra, and requesting special selections. The instrument is featured at every performance by an announcement that a certain selection will be played, and a spot light thrown on the player.”

The Theatres of Germantown

 

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.

Princess Theatre, Anderson, Indiana

The Nickelodeon, July 1, 1910:

“S. B. Sampson, manager of the Princess Theater at Anderson, Ind., and whose counterfeit presentment appears at the extreme right, is a satisfied exhibitor.”

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“The picture of the theater front was taken Memorial day, 1910 before the first performance of the day. Mr.
Sampson says that after the show opened you couldn’t see the front at all for people.

“The player and singer are standing in the doorway, the drummer is between them and the manager and on the extreme left is Mr. Sampson, Jr. The Kleine Optical Company furnishes service for the Princess.”

The poster, on the left, is for “The Stolen Fortune“, released by Essanay Studios, May 4, 1910.

 

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.