Strand Theater

529-535 Walnut Street,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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Strand Theater

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Built and opened as the Gayety Family Burlesque Theater in 1913 changed over silent movies in 1914 and changed its name to Strand Theater. It maintained the Strand Theater name, converting to sound films when that era arrived.

Starting in 1942, it became a newsreel theater as the Telenews Theater and remained as such until 1946, when it reverted to the Strand Theater name once again. It was demolished in 1950 to make way for the current Fountain Square location.

Contributed by hanksykes

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Bill Eichelberger
Bill Eichelberger on August 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm

The Strand can be seen to the lower right in this postcard view of the Keith’s Theater. (Best viewed in the large size.)
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Bill Eichelberger
Bill Eichelberger on March 15, 2011 at 9:04 am

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Here is a bigger version of the photo of Keith’s and the adjacent Strand that Bill linked to on March 15, 2011.

This photo, dated May 16, 1913, shows a Gayety Theatre in Cincinnati, but it doesn’t have any resemblance to the Strand in the other photo.

Did Cincinnati have more than one Gayety Theatre in 1913? Was the front entirely rebuilt when it became the Strand in 1914? Does anybody know?

hanksykes on October 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Hello Joe, Yes the Cincinnati local had 3 Gayety theaters at different times. The Strand Th. on Walnut st. of 1914 began as The Gayety Theater of 1913. The Gayety Th. you posted was on East 5th. St.&Walnut,that Gayety had started as The Hippodrome Th. by Marcus Loew in 1906 (a penny arcade and vaudeville house). Finally that same Gayety ended life in 1934, but by then was called The Star Th. The other Gaiety Th. was on Vine 1909 with a varied history starting as a church in the 1840’s,begat itself as a vaudeville house of the Sullivan&Considine chain titled Empress Th. (because all their chain theatres carried that name) ,followed by Marcus Loew of 1914 running it for several years ,later still it became a burlesque theater named Gaiety Th. in the early 1940’s ,in the 1970’s it was torndown to expand our Main Library. I hope this is as complex as it was to trace.

hanksykes on October 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Joe if you go to the Star Th. site on Cincinnati Th’s you can see the former Hippodrome,Gayety,&Star theaters plot. Originally it also served in 1905 as the venue for a Hales Tour 10 cent show, included the train interior ,silent sound effects,conductor ticket taker,rear projected “Trip To California” and exterior sign board reading next train leaving in ten minutes.I believe this structure was a vancant store prior to its entertainment lifetime.

hanksykes on October 8, 2012 at 6:33 am

The Gayety Th, site changed its facade very little over its lifetime. Hales Tours was the first venue to move in and their attempt replicated the facade of their Theater at the Chicago Worlds Fair near the turn of the century.Perhaps the name board with a marquee added was its only addition.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

This page of The Film Daily for February 17, 1929, features a photo showing part of the soffit of the Strand Theatre’s marquee and a fancy bracket at the side of the arched entrance. (Click on the + sign in the toolbar at lower right of the page to repeatedly enlarge the image. It can get pretty big before it goes pixely.)

Down the block there is a marquee that looks like it might say The Owl. Was that another theater, or some other business? California had a chain of Owl Drug Co. stores, but I don’t think they had stores in Cincinnati. It might also be a tobacconist’s shop touting Owl Cigars, a popular brand at one time.

hanksykes on November 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Hello Joe, I see the owl sign, but don’t know what business that might be. To the right going down Walnut St. would have been B.F.Keiths Theater on the same street side. I’ll try to find out about that Owl Sign.We never had an Owl Theater name. Maybe our crisscross directory will spill the limas!

hanksykes on November 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Gee Joe, you’ve been waiting since June for this answer to your question. According to the city directory of 1929 the OWL sign is for THE OWL HOTEL at 211 West 6th, street in Cincy. No Cigar and no Theater,sorry.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Thanks, Hank. Owl is an odd name for a hotel, unless it catered mostly to people who slept in the daytime.

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