Strand Theater

1512 11th Avenue,
Altoona, PA 16601

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Strand Marquee

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The Strand Theater opened May 29, 1916 and a Wurlitzer organ was installed. It was renamed Warner Theater on August 15, 1930, but by the mid-1940’s had reverted back to the Strand Theater name. The Strand Theater is not listed in the 1955 Film Daily Yearbook so it might have closed in the early-1950’s.

Contributed by Joe Vogel/Ken Roe/Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm

The Strand was operated by the Silverman Brothers. Isaac “Ike” Silverman had opened Altoona’s first movie house, a nickelodeon called the Pastime Theatre, in 1906. He closed the Pastime in 1917, the year after opening the Strand, which was on the same block as the Pastime.

I came across a PDF file in the Pennsylvania State University’s digital library. Published in 1922, it is a program booklet published for a local event called Old Home Week, and it mentions ten Altoona theaters by name, and includes an illustrated advertisement for the Strand on page 49. Unfortunately it gives no addresses for any of the theaters, but the ten it mentions were:

Mishler (stage productions featuring Chicago stock companies)
Orpheum (Keith vaudeville, and movies)
movie houses:
New Victoria

The PDF is in three parts:
Part 1 includes the list of theaters, and also has a picture of the Mishler.
Part 3 has several ads (all of them text-only except for the Strand’s ad) for several theaters.
Part 2 doesn’t have anything about theaters, but is interesting in any case.

The Strand ad boasts of “..the most comfortable seats west of New York…” and of the theater’s “…$47,000 Hope Jones Organ.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 24, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Another missing (or not aka'ed) Altoona Theater is the Sun, listed in the September 3, 1949, issue of Boxoffice as being under renovation by Lewis Hausser.

rivest266 on October 8, 2011 at 8:42 am

This opened on May 29th, 1916. grand opening ad uploaded on this page.

rivest266 on October 8, 2011 at 10:13 am

This was renamed Warner on August 15th, 1930. Grand opening ad in the photo section

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 17, 2015 at 2:56 am

The page needs updated with the aka Warner Theatre, per the 1930 ad rivest266 uploaded. The naming had to have been temporary, though, as we also have a photo of the house with the Strand vertical above a marquee advertising the 1945 release Of Human Bondage, and 1940s era cars in the street. Another photo has John Garfield and Shelly Winters paired on the marquee, and I believe the only movie in which they co-starred was the 1951 release He Ran All the Way.

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