Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Empress of 9th Street


Moving Picture News, May 20th, 1911:


"The Empress, Marcus Nates, manager, using most expensive independent service in national capital and vicinity. 

Three reels on day of release. Had extraordinary run of 'Fall of Troy'"






"Theatre on 9th Street, Washington D.C."

Photographer: David Myers, July  1939 

United States Farm Security Administration






Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
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.
Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.





Monday, June 4, 2018

Vesuvius Erupts Over Flatbush

Motion Picture News, April 15, 1922:


"Miniature volcano used in the lobby of the Albemarle theatre, Brooklyn"

"The Albemarle theatre, Brooklyn, exploited 'Vesuvius Conquered,' a feature of a recent issue of Fox News, in the most interesting manner."

"In the lobby a miniature volcano belched smoke, and in the cloud above a tiny model of an airplane whirled. Beside it stood a large specially printed poster featuring the short subject. The volcano was about six feet in height and made of paper mache, The smoke was effected by the buring of punk within the 'crater.'"

Vesuvius Conquered




Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Walks also available at Local Expeditions
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.
Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The New 14th Street Theatre


Almost lost among a plethora of signs is the marquee of the (New) 14th Street Theatre, New York City. Photo based on the original by P. L. Sperr, May 19, 1934 (New York Public Library)

Classifieds, Motion Picture Herald, September 28, 1940:
"Motion Picture, 600 seats for lease, New 14th Street theatre, 235 East 14th, fully equipped, operating 28 years. Good proposition offered responsible party, phone JErome 7-1250" 

On the marquee:










Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Walks also available at Local Expeditions
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.
Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.






Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Cohens & Kellys Visit the New Delancey


New Delancey Theater, 62 Delancey Street


The Moving Picture Weekly, March 4, 1922: 
"Harry Blinderman has opened his New Delancey Theatre, New York City, seating 1,800 persons. Universal extends to Mr. Blinderman and his new project the success they both richly deserve."


The second of seven comedies featuring the business partners Nate Cohen and Patrick Kelly, who are always fighting. 

The Cohens and Kellys in Paris

Directed by William (One-Take) Beaudine


Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Walks also available at Local Expeditions
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.
Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.



Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Waiting on a Sunday Afternoon in Pharr



Texas Theatre, Pharr, Texas



"Waiting for the movie to open, Sunday afternoon, Pharr, Texas"
Photographer: Russell Lee, February 1939 United States Farm Security Administration

The Citadel




Exhibitors Herald, July 18, 1925:






"The Pharr theatre, owned by George Holdridge which was recently opened at Pharr, Texas.

It has a seating capacity of 500 and cost $30,000."





Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Walks also available at Local Expeditions
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.
Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gem, Waco Texas


Russell Lee, Photographer, November 1939, United States Farm Security Administration


Teri Jo Ryan, Waco Tribune-Herald, June 18, 2011:
"The Gem, an exclusively 'colored theatre' that opened in the 1930s on the south side of the old courthouse square, could seat more than 550 people. It was operated until the late 1950s by Bijou Amusement Co,, a North Carolina company chartered in 1915 that owned a chain of theatres in the South catering to blacks."

"Waco's 25,000 Negros had only one movie house and two balconies in white shows."   


Waco History, "Bridge Street" by Amanda Sawyer:

Image: Texas Collection, Baylor University 


"Bridge Street provided a communal gathering place for Waco's minorities. Businesses such as the Gem Theater, an 'exclusive colored theater,' offered a respite from prejudice and segregation during the mid-twentieth century." 


Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Walks also available at Local Expeditions
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.
Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.





Wednesday, February 28, 2018

El Nacional Theatre, San Antonio, Texas



El Nacional Theatre
West Commerce Street and North Santa Rosa Avenue in San Antonio. 

Photographer: Russell Lee, March 1939 United States Farm Security Administration

Boxoffice, March 3, 1945:
"In this progressive southern city, El Nacional Theatre was designed by architect N. Straus Nayfach and erected in 1940 to fit a unique locale and patronage.

"El Nacional is distinctly Latin-American in flavor yet outstandingly modern in conception, a combination of qualities designed to appeal to and win the patronage of San Antonio's large Latin-American population.

"It is a large house, seating approximately 2,000, showing Mexican and other Spanish language pictures as well as American product."

The above photograph, taken in 1939 would dispute Boxoffice's opening date of 1940.



City Streets
Castillos en el aire



Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Walks also available at Local Expeditions
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.
Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.