Strand Theatre

3601 Germantown Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19140

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TheALAN
TheALAN on September 29, 2014 at 6:31 pm

A discrepancy exists on what the seating capacity was for the Strand. PAB says the theater seated 1,679 while Cinema Treasures says 1,641. This could have resulted during the 1916 alterations. If anyone has an answer, please share, and thanks!

TheALAN
TheALAN on September 29, 2014 at 6:17 pm

This Strand Theatre, on the corner of Germantown Avenue and W. Venango Street was designed by Philadelphia architect Carl P. Berger, AIA (1873-1947) and opened in 1914 — not 1917. Alterations were made to the theater in 1916 by William H. Hoffman ( ? -1925) of the Philadelphia architectural firm of Hoffman & Co. It was redecorated in 1924. The Strand Theatre was demolished in 1971 after a devasting fire. The site is now a PPA Municipal Parking Lot and a location for Enterprise CarShare.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Engineering News might simply have gotten the name of this house wrong, or the owners or lessees of the theater might have decided before it opened to call it the Strand instead. Any maybe it did open as the Stratford. Our page for the Stratford on 7th Street says that it opened in 1913 as the Becker Theater, but doesn’t give a date for the name change.

But the existence of both the April item about plans for a theater and the September item about construction of a theater, both noting Ketcham & McQuade as builders, one noting the Hoffman company as the designers, make it clear that a big theater was being built at this intersection in 1916. Maybe the Strand was an expansion of or a replacement for a smaller theater that had opened in 1914, or maybe Glazer just got the opening year wrong.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 26, 2012 at 10:47 am

Joe; We now have a bit of a mystery here, as in Irvin R. Glazer’s book ‘Philadelphia Theaters’ published in 1994 by Dover Press, the Stratford Theatre is listed as opening in 1913, located at 1443 S. Seventh. He lists the Strand Theatre located at 3601 Germantown as opening in 1914 with Carl Berger as architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 26, 2012 at 4:31 am

Here is another 1916 reference to a theater to be built at this intersection, this from the April 1 issue of Motography:

“Theater at Germantown avenue and Venango street, Philadelphia; to Ketchem & McQuade. One story, brick, stone, concrete and terra cotta. For J. Effwager. Cost, $125,000. The Hoffman Company, architects.”
Are we sure that the Strand’s opening year was 1914?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm

The September 14, 1916, issue of Engineering News had an article about a Stratford Theatre at Germantown Avenue and Venango Street (Google Books scan.) The article described the construction of the concrete girder supporting the theater’s proscenium arch. As the Strand is the only theater at that intersection listed at Cinema Treasures, I’m wondering if this house opened as the Stratford?

spectrum
spectrum on December 12, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Just a big parking lot there but you can see the footprint.

atmos
atmos on October 17, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Opened in 1914 and closed in 1971.