Strand Theatre

12 Chestnut Street,
Quincy, MA 02169

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The Strand Theatre was located in downtown Quincy. It was opened on September 6, 1926, and was demolished in the late-1970’s or early-1980’s. Any information would be appreciated.

Contributed by mb848

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 21, 2007 at 10:46 am

In the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac, the Strand in Quincy is listed as part of the Levenson Circuit of Boston. Headed by Joseph Levenson, the circuit also ran the Alhambra (Art) and Quincy (Capitol) theatres in Quincy, as well as the Coolidge Corner and Brookline theatres in Brookline and the South Station Theatre in Boston. Plus 6 others.

sedgwick
sedgwick on May 7, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Drezniak was the local new wave/pop band that held two performances there before the owners tried to bring the Plasmatics. The promoter was Jack Hoffman, Abbie Hoffman’s brother. That was the last events held at the Strand. That owner, Tony Delpidio’s (sp?) brother or cousin today owns niteclub The Roxy in the Boston Theatre District. I also know that a Eugene O'Neill play was blacklisted there in the early days.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 4, 2008 at 10:51 am

To sedgwick- the “blacklisted” or banned Eugene O'Neill play was “Strange Interlude” and, after being “Banned in Boston” (at the Hollis Street Theatre near the Shubert and Wang) it played in Quincy at the Quincy Theatre (later the Capitol), a short walk from the Strand.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 23, 2008 at 11:30 am

One Sunday morning sometme in the 1960s, Richard Cardinal Cushing of Boston held an ecumenical church service in the Strand. I think it may have been the first time I heard the word “ecumenical”. The Cardinal was a promoter of interfaith activities. The theater was probably chosen becasue it was “neutral ground”, and he may have sponsored similar meetings at other Boston-area movie theaters.

Denis Vaughn
Denis Vaughn on December 23, 2008 at 5:00 pm

I used to work in the Granite Trust building, as a short-order cook at the Howard Johnsons restaurant located on the ground floor (his first “real” restaurant, it even had a liquor license). At least I think it was in the bank building, or maybe next door – it was a long time ago. Anyway, we would have a tidal flow of customers based on the schedule of movies at the Strand. Often after work I would go over to the Strand to watch a film, never thinking that a short-order cook brings with him all the semi-delightful fragrances of the greasy kitchen. I hope I didn’t offend any of you…

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 24, 2008 at 7:34 am

Denis- without actually going to look at the building, I’m 99% certain that the Howard Johnson’s was located in the Granite Trust building, but in a wing that stretched back from the tower itself in the front. I went there often at lunch time on Saturdays circa- late 1950s. It was right across Chestnut Street from the Strand.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 8, 2009 at 10:08 am

Parts from the Strand’s Wurlitzer organ have been incorporated into the “Mighty Wurlitzer” now being installed in the Hanover Theatre in Worcester.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

The old building right next to the Strand, on its left, was recently demolished. So now there is one big lot there waiting for “development”.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

In the Street View photo, the Stand was located in the parking lot on the right side of the street, behind the hedges and fence.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 9, 2014 at 3:31 pm

The September 24, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News had this item:

“Fred B. Murphy has named his new theatre at Chestnut and Maple streets, Quincy, the Quincy-Strand. Orders have been placed for his marquee and electric sign and the opening will be within the next three to four weeks.”
The September 11 issue of the same publication ran this update:
“Fred S. Murphy’s new theatre in Quincy, Mass., opens for the first time on Labor Day with a program of pictures and vaudeville. It seats approximately 1,500.”
The September 25 issue carried a longer article about the openings of the Quincy-Strand and the Mark-Capitol Theatre at Everett, Massachusetts. Here is the portion dealing with the Quincy-Strand:
“THE Stanley-Mark Strand interests have opened two new theatres in Massachusetts, the Quincy-Strand at Quincy and the Mark-Capitol at Everett. The former seats about 1,800 and the latter 2,300, thus adding 4,100 seats to the Stanley-Mark interests within a week.

“The Quincy-Strand was erected by ex-Mayor William A. Bradford and leased for a long term of years to the Quincy-Mark Strand Co., of which Fred B. Murphy, who is active manager of the house, is president; Joseph B. Levenson is treasurer and Morris Sharaf, vice-president. The theatre is located at Hancock and Chestnut streets, Quincy Square. The American Seating Co. did the seating, a Wurlitzer organ is installed. Simplex projection machines are used and Ray Stewartson’s Broadcasting orchestra supplies the musical numbers. The house is of first-class construction throughout, seating 1,000 on the floor and 800 in the single balcony.

“There was no formal opening of the new theatre and a ten-year-old boy, Edward Pearlin, of Quincy, who stood in line six hours and went without his supper, had the honor of getting the first ticket. There were no speeches and the management’s announcements were made on the screen. The policy is straight pictures, continuous performance from 1.30 to 10.30 p.m. daily.

“Both theatres are equipped with ample stages so that full stage productions or vaudeville may be presented at any time. Roth houses have eleven exits and both are of first class construction.”

Although the article doesn’t give the opening dates for either theater, this comment by barrygoodkin on our page for the Capitol Theatre in Everett cites a reliable source for the opening of that house on September 6, 1926, so they both opened on the same day.

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