Strand Theatre

543 Columbia Road,
Dorchester, MA 02125

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 6:28 am

This opened on November 17th, 1918

James Fisher
James Fisher on July 6, 2011 at 2:23 am

great lil theatre been there a few times long ago

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 6, 2011 at 1:24 am

A 1979 booklet called “Living in Dorchester” (available at this link from cites architectural historian Douglass Shand Tucci as saying that Funk & Wilcox’s design for the Strand Theatre featured an Adamesque interior and a Classical Revival facade.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

The Strand is listed at 543 Columbia Road in the 1921 edition of the Boston Register and Bus. Directory, Issue 85.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 5, 2010 at 7:17 am

I don’t know why the Strand Theatre’s web address keeps changing, but now it’s .

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm

This week’s Dorchester Reporter has two long articles about the Strand’s failure to attract programming and serve the young people of the surrounding community as it did in the 1990s:

Despite millions in funding by city, little is happening at Strand Theatre

Once a haven for youth, Strand Theatre now seen more as history

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 9, 2009 at 7:12 am

The Broadway musical “Ain’t Misbehavin'” comes to the Strand for a three-day run starting tomorrow, starring 2003 American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard. Today’s Boston Globe has a long article on the show and the theatre’s recent restoration.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 19, 2008 at 10:01 am

Today’s Boston Sunday Herald states that a Halloween “Boo Bash” will be held this afternoon at the Strand Theatre. The event is free. So many events at the Strand have free admission, which means no revenue coming in.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 22, 2008 at 7:08 am

In yesterday’s Boston Globe City Weekly: Strand repairs worth all the bother, an article explaining why the theatre has been closed more than it’s been open over the last three years. It will reopen next month, but more repairs are planned for 2009. I don’t know if that work will require closing it again.

MPol on July 10, 2008 at 8:01 pm

I remember seeing the movie “Popeye” with a friend of mine, back in 1980. It was a cool theatre.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 18, 2008 at 11:15 am

For its Christmas week attraction in December 1921, Gordon’s Strand Theatre in Uphams Corner featured the movie “Enchantment” with Marion Davies, plus “Love Never Dies”. Arthur Martel was the featured organist. There is a notation in their Boston Globe ad that vaudeville is presented on Saturdays and Sundays, and that there are Sunday concerts at 3PM and 8PM, all seats reserved.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 21, 2008 at 10:16 am

Looks like the Strand is reopening tomorrow. Here’s a City of Boston press release advertising “Praise & Glory at the Strand,” a free concert tomorrow night featuring the Millennium Gospel Choir.

According to the press release, this concert “launches the Strand Spotlight Series, a new initiative that will usher in a new era of programming at the Strand, which has just undergone a $6 million renovation.”

The theatre has also been refit for movies, as they are starting a film series with Casablanca on May 31.

cbinns on November 27, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Now that the latest renovation is nearly complete, what the Strand needs next is a savvy management company that knows how to market a magnificent and cheap (because city-owned and in a modest neighborhood) venue to the right niche/edgy/ambitious/upstart acts, and to combine that with expansive use of local talent. (Dorchester alone is home to 100,000+, lots of ethnicities and lots of artistic endeavors.)

Those who mention parking as an issue are correct. People want to drive. The Strand is an easy 1 mile from the Expressway, much more accessible than, say, the Somverville Theatre, which might be the kind of place to which to aspire. There are many parking lots in Uphams Corner, belonging to banks and the city. They are nearby, but seldom obvious as they tend to be behind buildings. The proper management group would arrange with businesses and the city to allow parking, and to mark and staff the parking to make people feel comfortable.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 10, 2007 at 10:08 am

I have heard that the Strand will reopen on Nov. 16, 2007 with a benefit concert. Most of the work on the building scheduled for the past 6 months has been completed.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 18, 2007 at 7:36 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Strand has an exterior photo dated April 1941. The theatre had a big 2-sided triangular marquee with “Strand” in big neon-outline letters at the top and 4 lines of black letters on a white background. Attractions were Cary Grant, Kath. Hepburn and James Stewart in “Philadelphia Story” plus “Flight from Destiny”. There is what appears to be a M&P Theatres logo on the front of the marquee. The Report states that the Strand is at 543 Columbia Rd., that it has been playing MGM movies for over 10 years; that it’s over 15 years old and in Fair condition. The seating is listed as 839 in the orchestra, and 55 in the loges, but someone typed in only 32 seats in the balcony, an obvious error. Nearest competing movie theatre is the Hamilton Theatre. The type of partronage at the Strand is listed as “Neighborhood”.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 21, 2007 at 2:25 am

Some articles about the Strand this month, from one of the Dorchester local papers:

The status should be changed to “Closed/Renovating”.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 8, 2007 at 2:17 am

Last Friday evening, I attended Dance Across the City at the Strand. Before the show started, Mayor Menino announced that the Strand will close this coming Wednesday for renovations.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 13, 2006 at 7:31 am

Life may indeed be Too Short for those unwilling to walk for more than a minute! The Strand is in the 500-block of Columbia Road; the JFK Red Line station is in the 800-block, on the same side of the street. The proposed new Uphams Corner station on the rail line from South Station to Readville will be even closer. I would not hold my breath waiting for a parking garage to be constructed in Uphams Corner ! Back when the Strand first reopened as a performing arts venue, there were shuttle busses which ran to and from Copley Square to concert attractions at the theatre. But this service has not been offered for many years.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 27, 2006 at 3:57 pm

What about this quote from ken mc’s post of Mar 4, 2006:

For years, the Strand Theater, located in Upham’s Corner in Dorchester, has been plagued by mismanagement and a deteriorating building. Earlier this month, for instance, a performance of the Urban Nutcracker was temporarily suspended for 20 minutes because of a power outage. Nearby parking is all but impossible to find and the designated lot at the Sovereign bank across the street is not legal for theatergoers. On one Sunday afternoon performance of the Nutcracker, at least ten cars were towed from the bank lot, according to several theatergoers.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 27, 2006 at 3:41 pm

There is plenty of parking in the surrounding neighborhood. This is not a major problem.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 27, 2006 at 3:23 pm

That might have been a plus in the middle of the twentieth century. But I don’t want to walk fifteen minutes to get to a show. I want to drive my car into a parking structure and walk across the street. If people are going to use rapid transit I think the walk from station to theatre better be more like one minute. I am sure there are isolated incidents where this proximity would be a plus. But I am guessing that most people share my sentiment.

What this place needs most (aside from necessary stabilization work) is a parking garage.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 5, 2006 at 9:00 am

I’ve done that, too. But it’s a long walk, in a not very obvious direction, through a neighborhood that most people are unfamiliar with.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 5, 2006 at 7:05 am

The antique organ console is now on display in a niche in the inner foyer of the Strand. I was there last Saturday morning and I was able to walk from JFK Station on the Red Line to the theatre in 15 minutes flat.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 12, 2005 at 7:33 am

The Strand in Uphams Corner was one of the largest of the dozen or so Nabes in various sections of Dorchester. It had 1819 seats, was designed by Funk & Wilcox, and opened Nov. 11, 1918. Opening attractions were “Queen of the Sea” and “Out of a Clear Sky” on screen and a singer on stage. Supposedly, it had the first Wurlitzer organ installed in Boston, and also supposedly, it’s still there in the theatre. It was run by various Paramount affiliates. The rear half of the orchestra floor is stadium-style, with a large balcony above and an inner foyer below. I’m not certain, but I think it was still operating in the early 1960s. I was inside it shortly after it reopened and it was not in too bad condition; I’ve seen much worse.One neat thing that they did in the 1980s was to restore the large painted sign on the rear of the stagehouse. It’s unfortunate that the theatre is nowhere near a subway station. Most people in the greater Boston area probably don’t have a clue about where it is or how to get to it.