Strand Theater

811 5th Street,
Moundsville, WV 26041

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Strand Theater

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Sybert’s Strand Theater began life in 1920 as a silent movie/vaudeville playhouse and continued until 1996 as a first-run movie theater.

It is a three-story brick structure reinforced with steel containing a 2,000 sq. ft. stage, five dressing rooms, a 60 ft. scenery fly, twin box seats, and a full balcony containing 280 seats.

The building has undergone very few renovations during it’s 80+ years and retains a wealth of archival material including the original hand-painted firescreen, original magic lantern projectors, old dual phonograph turntable, four original "New York" style chandeliers, tile lobby, beveled glass hardwood entrance doors, the original ticket shredder plus old posters, signage, antique stage lights and more.

The stagehouse is hemp and still works. Two Xenon projectors operate from the projection booth. The building is in better-than-fair condition and is the object of a community-based restoration project. It has always been privately owned, the most recent for 40 years. Now under the management of a 501©3 non-profit entity.

“Would appreciate hearing from others who have mounted a similar restoration project. Major aspects of this job include: Roof replacement with restoration of ornamental cornice; upgrades for HVAC; new stage floor; new apparatus for backstage; electrical upgrades; ADD codes; new seating, sound lighting, projection, interior decoration & marquee. Estimated costs: $1.75 – $2.0 million.”

Contributed by Tom James

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

tomjames
tomjames on August 19, 2006 at 3:27 am

A custom-built replica marquee has been installed containing all the design elements of the original 1920 marquee. Period photos supplied by Tom James guided this process. The wooden entrance doors have been conserved and are fresh-looking with new brass pulls and kickplates. All windows have been replaced or repaired in a manner consistant with historic conservation and replica announcement boxes have been mounted under the marquee. The sole remaining steel/iron counterweighted fire escape has been restored and all exterior ornamental metalwork has been repaired and painted. The exterior of the building looks brand new again. Restoration of the interior spaces will now begin with an expected completion date of 2012.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 22, 2007 at 7:01 pm

A few photos of the Strand Theater can be viewed here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 31, 2007 at 6:11 pm

More photos of the Strand Theater can be found here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 31, 2007 at 5:17 pm

A Moller theater organ opus 4577 size 3/14 was installed in the Strand Theater in 1926 at a cost of $9300.00.

tomjames
tomjames on August 31, 2007 at 7:23 pm

A full page announcement was printed in the Moundsville Daily Echo newspaper on 25 September 1926 describing the 1,400 pipes making up this Moller-Concert Theatre Organ. Credit for this successful and valuable addition to the Sybert Strand Theatre goes entirely to Merton A. Sybert, builder, owner and operator of the theatre. His faith in the people of Moundsville and his generosity in giving freely of his time and fortune set the best example of civic pride. The Strand’s early success was shouldered entirely on the strength of Merton A. Sybert, b. 5 Jul 1871, d. 26 Mar 1928.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 20, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Here are two photos of the Strand from 1981:

Photo1

Photo2

tomjames
tomjames on June 29, 2009 at 4:00 am

Thank you Lost memory for the photos. 1981 was about the time I became a regular volunteer working for John Ramser to run the projectors and make popcorn. Mr. Ramser managed the Strand from 1976 until its closure in 1996. He also still operates the Plaza Theater in Weirton and the Glendale Drive In. He is a theater man of the old stripe. His presence at the Strand for 20-years insured that the lights were on at night and that there was always a new movie to watch. He sacrificed much during the video tape era when patronage at the Strand shrank annually, but his love of the place helped insure its integrity and make the Strand a cherished part of our shared collective conscience.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 20, 2011 at 10:34 am

Restoration of the Strand Theatre is continuing. Here is the theater’s new official web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

The correct address of the Strand Theatre is 811 5th Street (5th and Jefferson.) The related websites link still needs to be updated as well.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on May 19, 2012 at 1:58 am

The Strand is about to reopen as a mixed-use facility with an invitation-only event. View link with video

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