Strand Theatre

165 Main Street,
Seymour, CT 06483

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The Strand Theatre has been operating since at least 1941, when it was listed with 698 seats.

It underwent renovation in 1991.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 4, 2006 at 1:48 pm

From the Naugatuck Arts Commission:

The Strand Theater in Seymour is primarily a second-run movie house seating about 266 patrons. The theater also schedules live performances 3-4 times a year, and has worked with the Thomaston Opera House in running family events previously staged in Thomaston. The Strand Theater does not have its own lighting system, and theater productions must rent or borrow lighting when needed. There is a small orchestra area directly below the stage, and this allows for additional seating, if necessary. The theater is owned by the Knights of Columbus, and leased by the town of Seymour. The manager of the Strand Theater, Jeri Swinik, works with David Duff of the town’s Arts & Cultural Commission to program special usage.

anexwaterburian
anexwaterburian on October 11, 2006 at 12:16 pm

Waterbury Republican-American Online, 10/11/06:

The movies are stale, but the popcorn’s fresh. Second-run theaters show blockbusters after other theaters tire of them, but pushing a slightly used product for $2 to $4 a ticket doesn’t always pay the rent.

While many old theaters in Connecticut have been closing, others like the Strand Theater in Seymour stay open because people keep coming back for the atmosphere and the familiar faces. “It’s nice. You get to know the people,” said Jeri Swinik, who has been the manager at the Strand for 11 years. “They come like clockwork. This is their thing to do on a Friday or Saturday.” The regulars — seniors, families, couples — vary, but Swinik knows them all by name or story.

At the Strand, the red velvet curtains drawn back to reveal the screen make the theater seem like an old playhouse. The three regular employees — Swinik, the concession operator Amanda Dezolt, and the projectionist John Jelasko — make the outing seem like visiting a friend’s house.

Even the popcorn, soda and candy don’t feel like another movie theater: They only cost $2.50 each, less than half the cost of concessions at other theaters. “I don’t want to gouge the people,” Swinik said.

But that’s where these theaters make their money: the concessions. Film distributors can take anywhere from 50 percent of ticket sales upward, the number depending on which company the film comes from. On a night when Swinik rents out the theater to a private party, she said she will still open the concession stand to try to make a profit. It’s important, she said, that she can keep the theater self-sustaining.

If the money brought in from birthday parties, theater rentals, ticket stubs and concessions isn’t enough to pay the rising utility and rent bills, the town chips in the rest of the cost. Some years the town doesn’t pay toward the theater. Some years it gives as much as $20,000, according to the town budget.

But Swinik likes to be able to pay those bills. It’s often a battle, though, with movies playing in the first-run places longer, creating fewer crowds when the Strand finally gets the show. On a good night, Swinik said she can get 150 people. An average show brings about 75.

The customers said they hoped the Strand will remain open for more reasons than the cheap tickets and fun atmosphere. It’s the memories that keep some of them coming back. “It reminds me of the theater I used to go to as a kid,” said regular Strand customer Susan Grobnagger. “And I like that it’s trying to revitalize the downtown area. It’s nice.”

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on September 14, 2007 at 6:20 pm

The theater was mentioned in the New Haven Advocate’s Annual Manual and it said, “Downtown Seymour is straight out of the 1950s, with a retro diner, a movie theater with ticket prices under $5 and antique stores galore. The Strand Theater still bears its original neon marquee and is one of the las single-screen movie houses in Connecticut.

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on November 5, 2007 at 2:02 pm

I was in Seymour but when I called on Saturday to see if she could let me in to check the place out, the only time she gave me was 4:30pm, when she gets there. I was biking to New Haven from Southbury and couldn’t make it. Anyway, the interior lobby/hallway chandeliers are quite interesting. They look like 70s circular bathroom lights that you would put on the ceiling but they made them slightly ornate with faux gold chains to hang them from the ceiling. There’s some art deco glass squares on the outside of the theater. The building is quite long like a box, with no apparent stagehouse, even though it’s from 1921. Standing at the rear, there’s a small old school diner to the right and a big billboard directly in front of the rear. There’s a metal staircase going up under the billboard and then a platform and stairs going to the right and left to stagedoors.

The area it’s in is so interesting. The population is now 17,000 and when it was a booming factory town, it was still small. The Main Street is the smallest I’ve ever seen. Very quaint and spooky.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on November 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Good to see that it is still open,if only on the weekends, hope they can just repair the marquee instead of putting up those cheap looking replacements like most old theatres do.

Dramatrauma
Dramatrauma on April 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm

The listed website doesnt seem to have info about the Strand. Does anyone know of a link where folks can donate towards the theater?

Godard
Godard on August 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm

To donate, please send checks to:

Town of Seymour Culture and Arts Commission
1 First Street
Seymour, CT 06483

Make checks payable to: Town of Seymour Culture and Arts Commission
Please write in the space provided on your check: Strand Theatre Donation

If you want to call them, use their phone number posted on their website.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on January 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm

The operators of the Strand are considering auctioning off a collection of movie posters currently stored in the theater’s basement: View link

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on December 23, 2013 at 5:34 am

The Strand has closed as the town has pulled out as the operator. The final movie was “It’s A Wonderful Life” on December 15, 2013. The theatre hosted live community show on December 21, 2013 and is now dark as the Knight of Columbus who own the building ponder its future.

strandtheater
strandtheater on March 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strand-Theater/609587672459199?ref=hl

The Strand Theater is not closed. One lease has ended but operations continue.

The Strand is owned and operated by the Knights of Columbus, Aurora Council 53, for over 50 years.

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