Strand Theatre

206 S. Federal Avenue,
Mason City, IA 50401

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Strand Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened as the Princess Theatre prior to 1908, it was renamed Strand Theatre in 1935. It was another of the theatres in downtown Mason City operated by Central States Theatres. The theatre closed in 1975.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

kencmcintyre on January 19, 2007 at 9:06 am

In 1957, the Mason City Globe-Gazette was advertising films at the Strand, Cecil, Palace and Lake.

DonRosen on June 28, 2008 at 11:45 pm

THIS must be the theatre was where the premiere of “The Music Man” took place in 1962, complete with Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and Ronnie Howard, on hand. It was a few blocks away from Meredith Wilson’s boyhood home. It’s now a Wells Fargo bank…IF this is the theatre I’m thinking of. I first thought it was The State Theatre, but that theatre closed in the 50s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 24, 2009 at 1:06 am

Don: The April 9, 1962, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the premier of “The Music Man” was to be presented at the Palace Theatre in Mason City. The July 2 issue of the same publication reported on the event, which was held in conjunction with the North Iowa Band Festival and a national Music Man Band Competition.

About 125,000 people crowded into the town, and Meredith Wilson headed a three-hour parade, leading the Mason City band. A total of 8000 bandsmen participated in the parade, and the invitational press premier of the movie was held at the Palace that evening.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 14, 2009 at 1:37 am

According to the obituary of John McKee Heffner, long time Mason City theater man, published in the April 7, 1956, issue of Boxoffice Magazine, the Strand Theatre had earlier been called the Princess Theatre.

Mmcguire on February 12, 2016 at 12:27 pm

When was this Theatre originally built?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 12, 2016 at 2:14 pm

The Princess Theatre was in operation at least as early as 1908. It was listed in the 1913-1914 Cahn guide as having 485 seats on the main floor, 180 in the balcony, and a gallery seating 49.

igannett22 on February 22, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Why was the theatre closed?

Hume on April 20, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Ah, The Strand. When visiting family in this burg, The Stand was a second-run theater in the late 60s and early 70s. I first saw The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly there as well as Easy Rider. It was closed in the mid 70s to make way for downtown re-development.

In the early ‘70s, going to The Stand was stepping back in time. It was an old-fashioned picture palace from another era. Right next door, to the left in the picture, was an old-style drug store and soda fountain.

To the right, not seen in the picture, was the Golden Rule Department store, which sold work clothing. These 3 establishments were the ground floor of a building that had offices or apartments on the upper floor.

Yes, The Palace and The Cecil (later the Park 70) were cleaner and classier, but going to The Strand was more fun because it was old and creaky.

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