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It sat exactly where the cloverleaf for the Rt 44 and 295 is now.
That’s the old workingman’s hall, originally built by the Allendate/Esmond Mills/Esmond Blanket company. In the 60s and 70s the structure just to the left was the East Smithfield Library, the one to the right was used for their summer recreation program (and even included a small bowling alley). In the 70s the building to the right was converted to use as the library, which is now south on Esmond St, at the intersection of Dean Avenue.
The stone building to the right was the hq of the Allendale Mill, precursor to the Esmond Mills.
All by way of saying, the main building, a multi-use rec hall, was certainly suited for use as a theater in the silent days.
Were the early orchestras the only live entertainment in the movie era?
A quick question for those who worked at the theater in its' various incarnations. I happened to see several disused old dressing rooms, including lighted mirrors, going up a couple of levels, in the backstage area at the Strand when it was operating as a rock club. Given the historical record, can you explain the dressing rooms? Did they run vaudeville acts along with the movies in the early days? Strippers with the dirty movies? Can’t figure it out….
I believe it’s been replaced by an office building supporting Raleigh Studios (which I believe is the oldest continuously operating film studio in the U.S.)
My great uncle, Donat Blain, was involved in the management and ownership of a number of theaters in this area. I’ll try and get some details from him.
Although it was another of the cinderblock 70’s cinemas, it was located right by the ramps to Route 295 and it was always a thrill to see their marquee.
A nondescript cinderblock pile, this 4-6 plex (at least in later years) was nevertheless the A option to see first run movies in the late ‘70’s and '80’s.