Strand Theatre

3033 NW Seventh Avenue,
Miami, FL 33127

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2nd Picture

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The orginal name of this theatre was the Strand Theatre when it opened in 1918. In 1926 it became the 7th Avenue Theatre, then in 1938, reverted back to the Strand Theatre name.

In later years it became the Strand Art, an adult theatre, and then it was called the Sun-Sun Cinema, which I believe showed martial arts movies, the the Shanghai Theatre. For a short period prior to closing, it reverted back to the Stand Theatre name. The theatre is now used a church.

This theatre was the typical theatre seen in Miami throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s. The entrance of the Strand Theatre looked a lot like the old Town Theatre in downtown Miami. On the outside neon lights decorated the theater marquee, and dead center were the words “Always 2 Features”.

Contributed by Louis Jimenez

Recent comments (view all 69 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I think around 1966. Is this the original Capitol (WTVJ) you are referring to?

I-95 killed the black community in Downtown Miami and I believe it was by design.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on June 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Al, I may have it confused, but I could swear that the Capitol theater was west of 95. I thought the old building was still there, but did a Google scan and the building I remember is gone, all new apt. buildings are in those areas. I want to say that the Capital was somewhere between NW 8th Street & NW 4th Street off 3rd Ct. which is the street that runs parallel to I-95 on the west side. As a kid I was there, just never went in the theater, but I remember it. It was already dilapidated when I saw it, maybe even closed. What sticks out in my mind is the marquee, which is the same one I see every time I see a picture of the Capitol.

As far as the I-95 project goes, I think they did not plan any of these expressways right. 836 ran right through some of the most valuable properties in Miami. A good portion of the homes that were there had canals & docks that would allow you to have a boat, access the river as well as ocean access. All of those canals had to be diverted or cut in half and filled. Pretty much ruined that entire area. With regards to 95, I don’t think they had too many options, given the downtown area. I assume that both 836 and 112 were put there to allow airport access because each of those arteries borders the airport, same as the Palmetto. Seems like their goal was access to the airport more so than anything else. I-95 on the other hand, appears to be an alternative to US-1 and 441, which were the roads traveled to go north to Ft. Lauderdale, or south to the Keys. The Palmetto & turnpike came much later than 441 & US-1.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I wonder if Wometco used the old marquee when the Harlem became the Capitol in 1972 and it is the Harlem you are actually remembering.

I always felt 1-95 should have been located further west to provide better access in and out of the Orange Bowl. The airport access on the other two made more sense although they did indeed help kill the inland Miami River.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on June 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm

They could have used the old marquee, that would make perfect sense, because I saw that marquee on several occasions. I am very sure of it being west of 95. My uncle used to deliver beer to a store that was on the corner, and each time we went I was always looking up to see if a car would come off the highway, back in those days, you could hear cars & trucks buzzing by, used to freak me out, so the memory is pretty vivid! It may have very well been 14th St. The street is vague, somehow it felt further south, but maybe not.

I went to WTVJ channel 4 on a few occasions, last time was right after Andrew. If the original Capitol was there, they built all the way around it. Every time I went to channel 4, it was always around the rear entrance. I was involved with a couple of TV news spots over the years. The last one we did was a comparison of blood pressures and heart rates after driving from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. It was an interesting piece! On the last visit I saw “the bunker” where they broadcasted throughout hurricane Andrew. That was an awesome visit, and my last one.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on July 28, 2012 at 3:56 am

Just added a couple of new pictures of the interior of the Strand Theater. I will keep updating these as more pictures come available. There is a massive renovation project that the church is doing. Looks very nice. Personally I am very happy that this historic landmark wasn’t demolished, or turned into stores, etc.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on July 28, 2012 at 4:50 am

Now all we need is an original picture of the exterior! I have been searching for that for quite some time. Always hoping someone posts one.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on October 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Here is a link to a YouTube video it was taken inside the old Strand Theater after the renovations. The orientation of the theater auditorium was, north (back of the theater), and south (screen). The theater did have a stage originally, however it was extended out, and to each side, giving it the church appearance that you will see on the video. There are some pictures that show the old stage, those were taken during the renovation process. The building is close to being 100 years old, so judging by the video and the pictures they have done a really nice job renovating. Given Miami’s history of demolition, it’s nice to see that this old theater has found a new life and purpose.

Here is the link, enjoy!

Harvey on September 11, 2013 at 12:50 am

Added an ad in photos from The Miami News from July 19, 1986 for the Shanghai Theater, located at The Strand address.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 8, 2014 at 2:37 am

Does anyone know if this was Teatro Nacional in 1976 showing movies?

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