5611-13 22nd Avenue,
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The Strand Theatre served Kenosha’s Old West Side on the former Howland Avenue (now 22nd Avenue) and was a plain brick-front theatre with double-hung front windows. The Strand offered silent films and vaudeville programs right up until until the very early 1930s when it permanently closed, having never converted to sound films. At that point the Strand had been renamed the Norge Theatre, very likely to honor the then-timely adventures of the famed airship Norge (pronounced “NOR-gay”). It seems the film accompaniment was via a piano, and some local amateur acts were offered.
A longtime area resident told of attending the 1927 “The Phantom of the Opera” when the nitrate film caught fire and the quick-thinking projectionist grabbed the flaming reel and pitched it out the south window onto the pavement.
After the Norge-nee-Strand Theatre closed, the building was the Pacetti Food Shop for decades, and by the 1970s was the Second Time Around furniture retail store and factory.
The end came for the building in early 1982 when a freak heavy wet overnight snowstorm weakened the facade, bulging it outward visibly. Alarmed passersby notified city inspectors who barricaded the area and ordered immediate demolition. The lot is now a paved parking lot for area businesses.
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