Monday, October 11, 2021

The Monster Demands a Mate in Chicago!

 Universal Weekly, May 4, 1935:



"Portions of the huge crowd that lined up early on opening day for Bride of Frankenstein at the [RKO] Palace, Chicago." 





"Opposite the booth a thrill chart, which also followed the pressbook suggestion, was given a two week advance display.
 It was equipped with flasher lights, giving the display the added advantage of animation."



"Emergency booth used as lobby ballyhoo in advance and during the run."



"Giant advance display in lobby."





Theatre Talks will be celebrating classic horror during the month of Halloween. Visit us (if you) at:




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.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition






Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Titania Theatre, Schlosstrasse 5-6, Berlin

 Motion Picture News, June 7, 1930 

"Germany's Newest contribution to theatre architecture."


"One of the most unusual theatres, architecturally, in Europe. This is an interior view of the Titania, a picture house in Berlin-Steglitz. The sweep of the building lines is designed to focus the attention of the audience where it belongs on the screen. The stage arch is fringed with organ pipes which serve a double function of practicability and the striking in decoration."




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.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition





Friday, September 24, 2021

Prospect Hall and the Venetian Gardens

 

Brooklyn's historic Prospect Hall is slated for demolition. In 1908, the hall and its outdoor gardens  were also the studios of the Crescent Film Company operated by Herman Kolle (brother of hall proprietor William Kolle) and Fred J. Balshofer.



Excerpts from One Reel a Week by Fred J. Balshofer and Arthur C. Miller, University of California Press 1967:

“Next to and in connection with the dance hall was an open air summer beer garden. On warm summer evenings neighborhood families would sit around at the separate tables, drink nickel schooners of beer, and watch second-rate vaudeville on a stage raised about seven feet above the ground. A screen rolled down from the arch over the stage and this was used to show movies.

“A song plugger sang popular tunes, accompanied by a piano, while the hand-colored lantern slides on the screen changed according to the lyrics of the song. There was only enough business to warrant operating on Saturday and Sunday evenings. If it rained, people would move into the dance hall and the show would continue there.” 

“We used one corner of the summer garden for our open-air studio and, as in the early days of Lubin, daylight was our only source of light for photography. We arranged a tiny laboratory under the stage and bought a used Pathe field camera that had seen better days.”



The Moving Picture World, November 28, 1908




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.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

Friday, September 10, 2021

Loew's Paradise Theatre, 2413 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY

 

The Paradise was one of the five "Wonder Theatres" built by Loew’s Inc. and named for the Robert Morton ‘Wonder Organ’ installed in each. Four were constructed in New York City and one in Jersey City.

On January 7 1929, the Loew's Valencia, Jamaica, Queens,  would be the first of the Wonder Theatres to open its doors.  The Loew’s Paradise was a joint-second, opening the same day, September 7, 1929 as the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn.


Loew's Paradise Theater - 1930  (The George Mann Archive)


Motion Picture News, March 1930:

"In this [Italian Baroque] design John Eberson, the architect, has conceived a formal style, drawing away from the over-elaborateness of the French style of Louis XV period.



 "One end and sidewall of foyer where minute detail continues in the design. The massiveness conveyed by stout  pillars supporting the ceiling, combined with the splendor of pendent lighting fixtures, together with openings into the mezzanine floors, lends something akin to the colossal reaches of Rome's ancient forums." 


"The main staircase shows detail work that is found throughout the interior. Here it has been concentrated on sidewall and ceiling with the general effect, straight ahead, of being entirely surrounded by palatial elegance."



"Above a sweeping panorama of auditorium taken from right side of house showing the splendor of the Italian Baroque design, with the infinite detail from floor to ceiling and extending to the proscenium arch. Note the clouded sky effect as though patrons were seated in a huge out-door amphitheater  under the sky."


Tour the Loew's Paradise





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.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition





 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

This is a Theatre!

 Motion Picture Herald, December 9, 1939:

Tumbleweed Theatre

...yes, and a fetching one to the city-farmers of Five Points [California], who gather here for mental and emotional subsistence-plus. 


He Operates It


James Edwards, Jr.

The theatre operator's problem was to build a low-cost theatre, as the size of the community would not justify a large expenditure.  







He Designed It

S. Charles Lee

Analysis of the budget and the and the area to be covered by the building left the architect--S. Charles Lee of Los Angeles--with funds to build a shell which appeared to be nothing more than a barn. A barn? 

The idea crystallized. Why not build a barn project that would be 'artistic,' and clever, and would afford more entertainment by reason of its novelty than a cheap 'modernistic' or similar type of building, where the price would reflects itself in weak substitution of materials? Thus came the idea of the Tumbleweed Theatre.







And here is the town for which it was built (theatre in right foreground).





The wishing well in the 'barnyard.'




The foyer-lounge, done in the farmhouse style.





General view of the auditorium. 








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.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition



Friday, August 6, 2021

Theatre Television Demonstrated, 1941

 Motion Picture Herald, February 1, 1941:

"Theatre television as demonstrated by RCA  in the New Yorker theatre, New York."



"The top photograph shows the large screen projection equipment installed in the balcony of the theatre
 60 feet from the 15 by 20-foot screen."







"The arrangement of controls, projector and loud-speakers for multisonic sound are shown in the artist conception above."




"Map of the relay system constructed to send pictures from the RCA mobile unit at Camp Upton 
to the theatre for the demonstration." 




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.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition





Thursday, July 8, 2021

"An Experiment in Film Design"

Exhibitors Herald-World, March 16, 1929

Excerpts from an article by Douglas Fox


"Important among the features of the Film Art Guild's new theatre in New York is the 'screenoscope,' designed by Frederick Kiesler of Vienna. In 1918 Kiesler began his plans for an 'ideal motion picture theatre.' It was Kiesler who designed the Film Art Cinema."

"This theatre, which was opened February 1, seats only 485 persons. Yet it incorporates much that is new in both vision and acoustics and combines the greatest projection economy with the utmost in projection scope." 


"A section of the lounge, a chamber of modern comfort
and modernistic appointments--in both respects candid to the point of bluntness." 

 


"The auditorium looking towards the rear, showing the arrangement of the indirect lighting
and deeply upholstered, chair-like, blue and silver seating." 

 


  "The left side of the auditorium, showing the black wall strip used as a second screen.
The ceiling flares upwards towards the rear." 

 


"The 'camera eye,' half shut.
This feature, called by the inventor the 'screenoscope,' is well shown
in this photograph of the auditorium."  

 

House of Shadow Silence,
an audio/visual virtual reality experience that transports audiences to a simulation of the historic Film Guild Cinema. 


 

Film Guild Cinema
52 W. 8th Street,
New York,
NY

Renamed 8th Street Playhouse on May 14, 1930.
Closed
November 26, 1992.


 

 
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.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition