Strand Theatre

217 E. Superior Street,
Alma, MI 48801

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Strand Theatre

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The Strand, located on Superior Street at Gratiot Avenue in downtown Alma, is now used for live entertainment. Further information on the Strand would be appreciated.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 19, 2007 at 3:58 pm

This article is dated 11/7/60. The total loss comment was apparently premature:

Fire Destroys Alma Theater

ALMA (UPI)â€" An early-morning fire destroyed Alma’s only movie house, the Strand Theater, today with firemen fighting the blaze for more than four hours. Alma Police Chief Robert V. Reed said the blaze was discovered by a newsboy picking up his papers in front of the theater at 4:28 am. The newsboy ran next door to the city hall where the police station is located and shouted, “Mr. Reed, there’s a fire at the Strand.”

Reed said the theater closed at 9 p.m Sunday night, almost 7 ½ hours before the blaze broke out. He said the fire apparently started at the rear of the building and spread rapidly. The roof collapsed and the front of the building caved in. “I’d say it is a total loss.” Reed said “The theater is owned by a Mrs. Cassidy of Midland. But we understand she is in Chicago now and we haven’t been contact her for a loss figure.”

Reed said there was no damage to the city hall or other nearby buildings. One firemen was overcome by smoke and was hospitalized.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 5, 2010 at 4:25 am

The Strand was built as a 900-seat house in 1920, according to Boxoffice of April 8, 1968, but its seating capacity was reduced to 500 after the 1960 fire destroyed the balcony.

The Gratiot County Players web site has several historic photos of the Strand, plus one of another movie house, the Alma, which it says was earlier called the Idle Hour Theatre.

A 1917 publication called Michigan Film Review mentions both an Idle Hour Theatre and a Liberty Theatre operating in Alma at that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm

A September 8, 1961, Boxoffice item contradicts some of the information in the 1968 item I cited in my comment above. It says: “A. Carl Schmidt of Hillsdale is completing construction on a new Strand Theatre at Alma on the site of the one destroyed by fire last November, and will open October 1. The new house will have 800 seats, compared to 900 in the destroyed house.”

DonLewis
DonLewis on September 10, 2010 at 4:05 pm

From 1942 a photo of the Strand Theatre along with Alma’s classic city hall building.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm

All nice looking pictures.Looks like a nice theatre.Thanks guys.

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