Strand Theater

80 Water Street,
Auburn, NY 13021

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The Burtis Auditorium was listed in the 1914-1915 edition of American Motion Picture Directory. Renamed Stand Theater by 1941, when it was listed as (Closed) in that year’s Film Daily Yearbook, and the same in in the 1943 edition.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 28, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Here is a June 18, 2006 article about some former Auburn, NY theaters.

“Reminiscing about Auburn’s theaters

Source: The Citizen
By Carmelo Signorelli

In my last article, as submitted, I said that the Burtis Auditorium was on Water Street. When the article was published, Water Street somehow became West Street.

For purposes of clarification only, not criticism, I would like to again state that the Burtis Auditorium, which later became the Strand theater, was located on Water Street. All three theaters of the period I referred to – the Strand, Jefferson and Palace – were in the downtown area.

The Jefferson was on State Street, around the corner from the Strand. It was a quality theater and was built around 1910 for vaudeville and other stage shows. However, it soon added movies to its programs, and I recall being taken there several times in the late ‘20s to see a feature film and several acts of vaudeville.

When I was a child, our family lived for a short time on a street behind the Jefferson. Several of us mischievous neighborhood boys of 6 and 7 years of age would sometimes look in a basement window of the theater at performers in a basement dressing room. If we were seen by the performers, we would be yelled at, and we’d beat a hasty retreat. Ah well, boys will be boys.

After a few years, with the increasing popularity of motion pictures, the Jefferson became strictly a movie theater. It became part of the Schine chain of theaters and showed the better-rated films. The Strand, also a Schine theater, showed both A and B movies and serials.

The Palace, at 60 Genesee St., was another Schine theater and offered a variety of fare, including reruns. It was previously the Universal theater and before then, the Morgan theater.

During the time that there were three movie theaters downtown, there was a fourth theater, at 20 North Street, which was closed. I used to wonder about it and later learned that it had been the Burtis Grand. Originally, it was the Burtis Opera House and had been built in 1889 on the site of the Academy of Music.

The Burtis Grand was reopened around 1930 or so as a movie theater and was renamed the Capitol. It was not part of the Schine chain as were the other three theaters.

To compete with the established Schine theaters, the Capitol charged lower admission prices – 10 cents for adults and 5 cents for children. When it began getting its share of business, it raised prices so that they were more in line with those of the competition".

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 28, 2007 at 3:28 pm

According to the above article, this theater should have an aka name of Burtis Auditorium.

spectrum on September 29, 2007 at 7:43 pm

The Strand seated 1,725.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 2, 2007 at 7:12 pm

A Marr & Colton theater organ size 3/11 was installed in the Strand Theater in 1925.

spectrum on October 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Google photos just show a parking lot at this address.

auburnbeer on September 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I have a program from the Burtis Grand in Auburn. I am an Auburn NY breweriana collector. The Burtis family were also brewery owners in Auburn. There is a nice Koenigs Brewery ad on the back of the program.

auburnbeer on January 14, 2013 at 1:42 am

I just added a Burtis Auditorium program to my collection. I have a Burtis Grand and know a Burtis Auditorium program! Now I just need an Opera House program.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm

The January, 1905, issue of National Magazine mentioned the Burtis Auditorium in Auburn as having been “just erected.” It must have opened in late 1904 or early 1905.

The March 6, 1907, issue of the Auburn Citizen said that a five-cent vaudeville and movie theater had opened the previous night in the Burtis Auditorium Annex. As early items abut the Burtis Auditorium gave it a seating capacity of up to 6,000, and one report said that its stage was 100 feet wide and 42 feet deep, I wonder if it was this annex that eventually became the Strand Theatre? If not, then the auditorium itself must have been downsized considerably.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm

A partial list of the works of architects Leon H. Lempert & Son compiled by Ranjit Sandhu (it says “Rough Draft- Not for Publication or Distribution” but somebody has posted a PDF to the Internet) credits Leon Lempert Sr. with the design of both the Burtis Opera House and Burtis Auditorium.

It gives the opening date of the Auditorium as June 14, 1904, and gives the house the aka Loew’s Strand. I think Sandhu got the demolition dates of the two house reversed though, as he says that the Capitol Theatre (former Opera House) was demolished in 1939 and the Strand in 1953. We know that the Capitol was still in operation in the early 1950s, so I’m thinking it was more likely the Strand that was demolished in 1939, even though it was still being listed in the FDY in the early 1940s.

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