I’m trying to find out the origin of the word Strand, the name of so many theaters across the country. Can anyone help?
Here is some great information on the background of the term “The Strand”.
From the obituary of Moe Mark, the New York Times Novemner 3, 1032.
Moe Mark, one of the pioneers of motion picture business, whose Strand Theatre on New York’s Broadway was the forunner of the present day motion picture palace.
The 2989 seat Strand opened on April 11, 1914. The great Roxy was the manager.
The names on Broadway theaters such as, Strand, Palace, Rialto, Rivoli, Capitol were often used by theater operators to give the impression of the spendor of the New York City Broadway Theatres.
The name Strand was used by the Mark Strand Corporation for many of the theaters that they operated throughout New York State.
Mitchell Mark died on March 21, 1918. Moe Mark died on November 3, 1932.
The Mark Strand Corpoartion theaters became part of the Stanley Company of America in 1926. The Satnley Company of America became part of Warner Bros. in 1928. A separate corporation, Mark Strand New England was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1929.
The name Strand, Palace, Orpheum, Fox and Paramount were amonst the most popular theatter names.
I found both of these comments interesting, but as a former English teacher I think Bryan M is possibly closer to the usage and derivation; the term strand appears frequently in English literature as an equivalent to “shore” or “beach"or "waterside” as in “He was walking on the strand”. Logically then, “Strand” (and there are many theaters called The Strand in Britain) could have been originally the rough equivalent of the Beach or Shore or Riverside theater and the meaning got lost when applied to theaters here in the US that copied British theater names as many Strand Theaters in the US that are nowhere near water.
Undoubtedly, they all ultimately derived their name from the original Strand Theater in London, (which was named for the street on which it was located), just as all the theaters named Roxy or Roxie ultimately derived their names from the original Roxy Theater in New York.
According to several accounts, Mitchell Mark purchased the name “Strand” from an as yet undetermined source in England. He claimed sole ownership of the name for use as a theater name and successfully sued one or more other companies to retain that right. Perhaps someone with Nexus/Lexus access can find this historic lawsuit and get more of the story.