Strand Theater

207 N. Broadway,
Santa Ana, CA 92701

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As a long-time architect/designer of theaters (Disney’s restoration of the El Capitan, Hollywood, in Hollywood, the Crest Theatre, Westwood and the Cecchi Gori Fine Arts Theatre, Beverly Hills) I built my own studio and workshop complete with the small but “magnificent” Strand Theater in downtown Santa Ana’s historic Santora Arts Building.

It has a full working stage with 11 sets of assorted exotic traveler, lift and rolldrop curtains, plus a large film screen offering digital projection. We present family-style shows in an opulent setting, tuxedoed docents at various presentations of magic, music and puppetry.

Private functions consist of small dinners and a live/movie show, corporate meetings and business sales presentations. Our firm belief is “We put the SHOW back into show business!”

Sadly, Joe Musil passed away on June 28, 2010, and the Strand Theater has been closed.

Contributed by Joseph J. Musil, Jr.

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on August 2, 2006 at 1:15 am

Mr. Musil: I understand from reading the above that you were the designer on the El Capitan. Didn’t you also do work on the Crest theater on Westwood Blvd. in Los Angeles?

JosephMusil
JosephMusil on August 3, 2006 at 6:59 am

John: It’s “yes” regarding the Crest in Westwood, also the Fine Arts Theatre and The Alex in Glendale. I’ve been approached by numerous major theaters throughout southern California plus RCMH in NYC.
You can see my art-deco designs at Ruby’s Restaurants and Silver Fox Lounge in Long Beach.
If you’d like to view a screening of my accomplishments, please contact my studio e-mail: -Joe.

JohnMessick
JohnMessick on August 3, 2006 at 2:03 pm

Joe: Several years ago I received a brochure from T. Dusty Dillion The Whatever Works. In the brochure, it has several pictures of the Crest. I especially like the picture of the lobby/concession area. You really do beautiful work. Being that I live in Pennsylvania it makes it hard to see your art deco designs at Ruby’s Restaurants or the Silver Fox Lounge. In the future I would like to make the trip to meet you and view a screening of your accomplishments.-John

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on August 9, 2007 at 9:34 am

Sorry about the wrong ‘AMTD’ related website coming up on your screen folks. It seems that someone else has now snagged our original call letters… Is there no respect for the little people?

Meanwhile, one other personal site is still available: www.josephmusil.com and a link from the building in which we reside: www.santoraarts.com
Should you wish to join our SHOWPLACE NEWSLETTER, please send your e-mail request to:
If not, we’re live and one can always call us at 714-667-6959

Simon Overton -Volunteer Stage Manager

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on June 13, 2010 at 11:28 am

Joseph Musil’s brother, Bob, has informed me that since Joe’s poor health and long hospitalization since March, The American Museum of Theatrical Design and Strand Theatre -also known as “The Salon of the Theatres” is regretfully now closed and, in due course, the museum’s contents are to be sold; model theaters, various props, beautiful curtains, lighting, numerous theater books and so on.

On a possibly brighter note, a proposed “FAREWELL TO THE STRAND-SALON” live stage show is in the planning stages. Readers of this may wish to add their names to a future reservations e-mail list at and I will be contact you as plans are finalized.

CTCrouch
CTCrouch on July 11, 2010 at 3:35 am

Barring a drastic development, on July 10, 2010, the Strand had it’s final public curtain call with the shorts:
Our Gang in “The Big Premiere"
"A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody” (from The Great Ziegfeld)

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on July 17, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I’ve put together a video from my days at the studio; it’s available on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TATJ_1P2Hdk

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