New owners to restore the historic Strand Theater
HAMBURG, PA — The historic Strand Theater, a single-screen theater in Hamburg Borough dating back to 1920, has been newly acquired by a local Berks County couple.
Christmas Day, eighty-six years ago, The Strand Theater first opened with the silent film,“The Whistling Devil.” It was not until March 1930 that the first talky, “Untamed,” was shown. Movies were only shown four days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday); the decision to stay closed on Sundays made by allowing patrons to vote on the issue. Currently, The Strand continues to operate only four days a week, Friday through Monday evenings. The remainder of the week, both days and evenings, the theater sits dark.
The new owners plan to have the theater operating at full capacity; opening throughout the week and, showing not only movies Friday through Monday, but serving as an avenue for the arts as well as for a multitude of events the remainder of the week.
At the present time, the movies being shown are second run films, with the intention to have this remain the same, as the community is familiar with and seems quite comfortable with this format. In addition to second run films, plans are to introduce art movies, senior citizen days, live entertainment, gallery showings, after-school arts and crafts programs for children, weekend workshops for adults, summer arts and crafts camps, Friday night social hours and “Mommy and Me” days. The owners will also be offering the theater as a venue for parties (both children and adult), meetings, conferences, lectures, bridal showers, weddings, etc. New to the theater will be the installation of an XBox to be played on the big screen. Patrons will be able to rent the theater for XBox usage.
As with inviting patrons, so many years ago, to have a say in the decision making process, the new owners will, once again, involve the community — asking for feedback and suggestions as to what they would like to have available to them and for stories from those who remember the days of The Strand as it once was.
The ultimate goal is to recreate the art deco era theater by incorporating a well-rounded selection of arts, entertainment, talent and culture in addition to showing movies. The possibilities are limitless.