Strand Theatre

227 Sunrise Highway,
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

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The Strand Theatre was Rockville Centre’s first theatre of any consequence, and presented plays and vaudeville, as well as movies, before being eclipsed in 1929 by the more modern and lavish Century’s Fantasy Theatre. The Century Theaters circuit eventually took over the Strand Theatre as well, reduced the seating capacity to about 1,400, and ran the theatre until closure in the 1950’s. More information about the Strand Theatre’s history and the current status of the site is needed.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

robboehm on June 8, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I noticed in a comment on another theatre that in 1938 the Strand was part of the Century Circuit because some trade paper announced a number of Century Managerial changes and the Strand was mentioned. Don’t know when it came on board but it did have life after Century because I saw some ads in Newsday when I was tracking down another theatre.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 4, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Ed, if you added Warren’s 1929 photo to your scrapbook, could you repost it here, since Warren’s link is now inactive.

robboehm on February 5, 2012 at 9:21 am

On the site for the Hempstead Theatre it said that Calderone built the Hempstead because the Strand wasn’t large enough to suit his purpose. I’m presuming it was THIS Strand since the only other one I can think of was in, I believe, Far Rockaway, and Calderone was an “Island” person.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Here’s a link to Warren’s vintage image of the Strand. I wish it were a larger image.

robboehm on February 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

When I ssw the Strand, many years later, there was no vertical. The marquee was one of those modern boxy ones and the name was in neon. I seem to recall the Lefferts being that way. It’s something for this theatre you can get the old but not the new. I’ve been trying to get the old for the Bellerose but only the new seems to be out there. Also, Warren had a photo of Century’s Huntington Station, poor and from a book. Did he pass that along to you?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm

If anyone is familiar with the area, the site of this theater is now a parking lot adjacent to the Sleepy’s showroom on Sunrise Highway. The Sleepy’s building looks quite similar to the old Strand building, in fact, and for a time I thought it might have been an adaptive re-use of the old building… but if you look at the vintage pic, you can see a piece of the Sleepy’s building at the far left of the image.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Rob… Warren didn’t really pass anything along to me. When I found an image of his that I though I might like to hold on to, I’d ask his permission to copy it into my photobucket account, but that was about the extent of our image-sharing relationship. Warren would often rotate images in and out of his own photobucket account, due largely to storage-space issues, I think. Many of his links are now broken due merely to his having removed the images from his scrapbook to make space for others.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm

By the way, here’s a look at what the Sleepy’s looked like just a few years ago in 2007. Seems they streamlined the facade a bit further since then, judging from the current street view, removing the peak from the center of the parapet wall.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Marilyn Nunes Devlin’s book A Brief History of Rockville Centre says that the Strand Theatre opened in 1922.

robboehm on October 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm

June 8th to be specific.

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