Strand Theater

84 Washington Street,
Providence, RI 02903

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1919

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The Strand Theater was located directly behind Providence’s Biltmore Hotel. It opened on June 12, 1915 as a movie theatre, it also had stage facilities, which came into use in later years.

Briefly known as the Paramount Theater in the 1930’s, the Strand Theater name was afterward restored. It was twinned in the 1970’s when it was operating as an adult theater. It closed as a movie house in 1978. In the 1990’s, it became a fairly popular live concert venue, but eventually closed.

The Strand Theater then became home to a nightclub. It is now used for live peformances/concerts and is known as Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel.

Contributed by Charles D'atri, William

Recent comments (view all 53 comments)

CDAtri
CDAtri on October 29, 2010 at 12:43 am

A quick question for those who worked at the theater in its' various incarnations. I happened to see several disused old dressing rooms, including lighted mirrors, going up a couple of levels, in the backstage area at the Strand when it was operating as a rock club. Given the historical record, can you explain the dressing rooms? Did they run vaudeville acts along with the movies in the early days? Strippers with the dirty movies? Can’t figure it out….

CDAtri
CDAtri on October 29, 2010 at 12:44 am

Were the early orchestras the only live entertainment in the movie era?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 29, 2010 at 1:21 am

The Strand was opened in 1915 as a movie theatre, not as a vaudeville house. In the first years it was against the law to show movies on Sundays in Providence theatres. So live musical events often filled the bill…such as the recital here by the great tenor John McCormack. That would have required dressing rooms for the performers. See the comments posted above on October 11 & 12, 2008.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 12, 2011 at 5:20 am

In an unusual bit of programming in February 1921, Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid was booked simultaneously in five downtown Providence theatres: the Strand, the Emery, the Modern, Fays, and the Rialto. Occasionally some highly anticipated movies might play in two downtown theatres, but never five! It seems to have run only one week, in an era when that was pretty much the norm, with films running a single week downtown, then moving to second run theatres and outlying houses. Each of these theatres accompanied this feature with short subjects or live Vaudeville acts.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 15, 2011 at 5:04 am

In September 1926, this theatre was part of the eleven-theatre Celebrate Paramount Week.
Newspaper ad.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 17, 2011 at 4:23 pm

In September 1920, this theatre was part of the celebration of the 3rd annual Paramount Week. CLICK HERE for all participating RI area theatres and the titles of the films shown.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 20, 2011 at 10:54 am

In September 1922 this theatre was part of Rhode Island’s Paramount Week. Click to see the ad in Providence News, September 1, 1921, which contains a list of all participating theatres as well as the films shown that week.

PART ONE OF AD
PART TWO OF AD

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Ad announcing opening day on June 12, 1915:
NEWSPAPER AD

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 8, 2011 at 5:11 am

Sexual awareness public service films, 1924. The End of the Road, and Prostitution and the Police. MEN ONLY, OVER 16

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