Strand Theater

232-236 W. Main Street,
Van Wert, OH 45891

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The Auditorium Theater was opened by 1905. By 1920, it had been renamed Strand Theater, and was listed as (Closed) in 1941, its last operator being the Schine Circuit. It had re-opened by 1943, and served the citizens of Van Wert for many years before it was condemned in the early-1950’s. The theater was demolished in 1954.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm

The Strand Theatre was in operation under that name by 1920. these comments on a Van Wert Forum web page indicate that the Strand was an old theater once called the Auditorium, a photo of which can be seen on this page at Silent Era. The Auditorium is listed in the 1908 Cahn guide as a ground floor theater of 1000 seats. It was called the Auditorium Opera House on a photo postcard reproduced on page 81 of Van Wert County, by Cheryl Bauer. A 1902 list of theaters in Ohio had only a 500-seat, second-floor theater listed for Van Wert, so the Auditorium was built between 1902 and 1908.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 16, 2014 at 4:42 am

Address was 232-236 W Main St.

SethG on March 26, 2020 at 1:26 pm

None of the pictures appear to be of the Strand. The Van Wert was a different building, and was not demolished.

SethG on March 27, 2020 at 4:37 pm

The Auditorium appears on the Nov. 1907 Sanborn. In Oct. 1901, the lot is vacant. The map shows it was very large, as can be seen on the postcard. Two small storefronts flank a central entrance covered by a large awning. The balcony is extremely deep, and bowed out toward the stage, which was likewise very deep and bowed out. By 1924, the stage had a flat front, and strangely, one of the storefronts had been extended deeper into the building. The theater seems to have been about where the motel is today, or perhaps a bit to the east.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 27, 2020 at 8:20 pm

The Auditorium is listed in the 1905-1906 edition of Julius Cahn’s guide. It is listed as a ground floor house with 1,000 seats, but there is no breakdown of seating by floor. The stage was 60 feet between side walls and 35 feet from the footlights to the back wall, with a proscenium 32 feet wide, so a decent size for road show productions.

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