Strand Theatre

157 Main Street,
New Britain, CT 06051

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Strand Theatre

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New Britain’s largest theatre was the Strand Theatre, which seated 2,084. It opened November 11, 1926. By 1941 it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. It was closed September 30, 1972 and was demolished later in 1972.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on October 3, 2007 at 4:57 pm

There’s a picture on page 92 of Images of America: New Britain, Volume I of the staircase to the balcony. The lobby is amazing. “Was as grand as that of any New York Theatre” and was considered one of the largest theatres in New England. In 1972, it was demolished.

There’s another picture on page 124 with an overview of Main Street with the Strand on the right with a 3-sided marquee and the stage house is visible.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 8, 2011 at 2:46 am

In May, 1921, The Bridgemen’s Magazine reported that bids would soon be taken for a theater to be built on Main Street in New Britain for the William Fox company. The projected cost of the project, designed by architect Thomas Lamb, was “about $500,000.”

Could this have been the theater that became the Strand? The item described the house as being two storeys, and 105x130 feet. A photo of the Strand’s exterior would help. The interior photos in the book shoeshoe cited earlier show that the house was certainly ornate enough to have been a Lamb design, though I don’t know if it would have cost half a million dollars.

ahbboss
ahbboss on October 31, 2016 at 8:09 am

My understanding was that the Strand Theater, when completed, cost one million dollars. It was then known as the “Million Dollar Strand” when it opened in 1926. As a youngster in the 1950’s and early 1960’s I saw many great Disney movies there on the giant screen. Alan

ahbboss
ahbboss on July 13, 2017 at 1:57 pm

The local news paper then known as the “New Britain Herald”, today known as “The Herald” published numerous pictures (interior and exterior)of this magnificent theater during its final days of closing and the subsequent demolition. They also ran a souvenir full page layout of pictures of the theater in 1972. I still have my copy of the newspaper’s pictures. It would be nice if they would allow these pictures to be printed here. The demolition in my opinion was a BIG mistake on the part of the City government in their ill-fated “urban renewal movement” The first one story mall that replaced the theater and its surroundings remained practically empty until it too was demolished a decade or so afterward. As a former resident with family ties going back to the founding of the City, New Britain went from the “Hardware City of the World” to the “Parking Lot City of the World” according to my late father who saw his beloved City demolished during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Sort of what like happened to Penn Station in New York City.. A monumental act of vandalism! Alan

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