Strand Theater

20 3rd Street,
Dover, NH 03820

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Casem78 on October 6, 2015 at 3:23 am

I came across this page looking up the history of the Strand Theatre in Dover, NH. I wanted to let people know that it is reopened! Dania Dance, a local dance instructor, purchased the theatre a few months back. November 29, 2015 is the first scheduled venue. The Strafford Wind Symphony is performing at 7 PM. For more information, go to Dania Dance on Facebook.

DavidZornig on May 11, 2015 at 9:09 pm

January 2nd, 1932 photo and copy added courtesy of Walter Bell. (Strand blade sign in the background)

January 3, 1932 Fire destroyed both Morrill blocks in Franklin Square. Twenty six businesses were destroyed. The blaze required fireman from as far away as Haverhill, Massachusetts, and burned so hotly that the sprinkler system in the Strand Theater was set off The Morrill Block was rebuilt on a smaller scale. The new building had only two floors and ran from Third Street to Second Street. No cause was discovered for the fire.

thequesguy on June 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hey hey people, what was the policy trailer song they always played before the movie. I cant remember, please and thank you

larryclow on September 23, 2010 at 10:15 am

Just an update, folks: The Strand is currently being rented by the Restoration Church of Barrington, NH. The city recently granted them a variance to hold church services there on Sundays. The building’s owner has suggested a second-run theater might be a possibility on days when the church isn’t holding services, but there are no official plans yet. This may be the end of The Strand. Further updates can be found on the Facebook page to which Kyle linked above.

CSWalczak on August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm

This theater closed earlier this year when Spinelli Cinemas went bankrupt. This article mentions current efforts to sell and reopen the theater: View link

theauteur on March 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I used to work at the Ioka Theater in Exeter, NH and I am very sad to hear about this theater as well. New Hampshire, and more specifically the piscataqua region or seacoast region of New Hampshire really has nothing left besides that huge/disgusting/ugly/money-making Regal at The Fox Run Mall.

I now currently work at another single screen theater down in Boston, MA…The Stuart Street Playhouse, which used to be known as The Sack 57. I worked briefly at the Somerville Theater, which to me is the best example of a profitable and busy old movie house. I left the Somervile to help The Stuart Street Playhouse take flight. I have been working as a projectionist, but I am extremely interested in attracting people to come to places like this.

It is sad to come home to New Hampshire and not have any place close by to go see a motion picture.

Here is the facebook group started to attract ideas for The Strand’s future… View link

View link

CSWalczak on March 3, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Here’s an article about a potential buyer: View link

TrevorBartlett on March 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm

The Strand was acquired by Rose Realty in September 2009. Though the marquee still reads “Will reopen in Oct” as of today, the theater is still dark, and apparently taking on water. Rumors of private investors are stirring, tough, and a community group has risen out of Facebook to support reopening the venue as an independent picturehouse.
Check ‘em out at

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 27, 2009 at 11:39 am

I have heard that Spinelli cinemas has suddenly gone out of business and that the Strand in Dover has closed. Can anyone confirm?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 23, 2009 at 5:08 am

The Strand Theatre is visible from the Amtrak Downeaster train (between Boston and Portland)when passing through Dover.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

I found a reference to the Publix-Strand Theatre in Dover, N.H., in the May 27, 1930, issue of Motion Picture Times.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 9, 2006 at 7:45 am

I understand that in the recent past the Strand in Dover was managed by a man who had worked for the old E.M. Loew Theatre circuit and that he had some EML memorabilia in the Strand lobby. I have the MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Strand, It has a photo taken in April 1941 of the facade. The triangular marquee has 3 lines of black letters on a white background. The film attraction is “Men of Boys Town”. The Report states that the Strand has been a MGM customer for 15 years, that it was built about 1925; that it’s in Good condition, and has 700 seats on the main floor and 200 in the balcony. Competing theatres in Dover are the State Theatre and the Broadway Theatre. The city population in 1940 was about 14,000.

hollister22nh on June 3, 2005 at 10:41 am

If you have a thing for old neon, the furniture store next door, ROSS, has a sign fit for a marquee. That street really lights up between the two of them. The nearby center of downtown water falls and buildings built on granite stilts in the river make this an interesting place to visit!!!

aircorps on February 17, 2005 at 4:31 pm

Many years ago myself and Chris Campbell saw “Ghostbusters” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” at the Strand. I forgot about the Asia being just two doors away, still my favorite Chinese food restaurant after many years and many miles. Thanks for bringing back some great memories, Chris!

foreverafan3n8 on February 17, 2005 at 12:05 pm

Richard is right, the address is 20 Third St (the street isn’t long enough to have 290 buildings/lots). I used to live a couple of blocks away from this theater for my whole childhood, and lived in the Dover area for over 35 years.

This theater has remained preserved, while renovating enough to stay semi-modern with the Dolby sound and upgraded to 3 screens (2 are in the old balcony). Granted the balcony seats are small but I’d rather see them small than this theater get torn down or redone into another restaurant or office space.

Speaking of restaurants, Jake’s shown in the photo is an awesome breakfast nook if it’s still there…and the Asia Chinese restaurant 2 doors down is a must visit. Dover is an awesome old town (incorporated back in the 1770’s…but settled well before then) but still modern. With a population of over 25,000 in the tax free state of New Hampshire, I’m positive that your visit to the theater and almost anywhere in the state will make this a favorite to everyone. Beaches, mountains, lakes and the large cities of Boston are all within an hour drive from Dover.

Enjoy the films at the Strand, I still remember seeing my first film there — Grease!

richardg on November 17, 2004 at 4:28 pm

Although I’d seen both the inside and outside of the Strand the year before, in early October, 2004, I finally saw a movie in the Strand. The main auditorium was showing “Friday Night Lights. I'ts a great place to see a movie but avoid the "match boxes” in the former balcony. The do a lot of things extra well in New Hampshire but turning down the lighting rheostat isn’t one of them. I only been in approximately eight New Hampshire theatres so maybe I haven’t got the complete “picture”. My idea of proper theatre lighting is when you return to the auditorium from a candy counter visit you need to stop for a second to let your eyes adjust. During my eight theatre visits not only did my eyes need no adjustment, it was so “bright” that I was able to do an entire headcount of the auditorium. On the “bright” side, if the movie was terrible, you could always read a book. I can only add: Theatre owners, please turn down those lights so the kids can make-out and the readers will stay at home in front of the fireplace

richardg on February 13, 2004 at 3:59 pm

The Strand is located at 20 Third St. Each of the balcony theatres seat approximately seventy. The main auditorium seats 360. The name of “the smokin” restaurant is The Well Dressed Hog.

richardg on February 11, 2004 at 4:20 pm

This is the flagship theatre of a small New Hampshire chain called Spinelli Cinemas. The theatre has been triplexed but the main floor auditorium left intact. Two additional screens were added in the balcony area. They’re tiny with under 50 seats in each. I’ll update with more facts as soon as my notes turn up. There’s a terrific smoked meat restaurant two doors from the theatre. I defy anyone to finish one of their portions. Dover is picturesque community and the theatre is worth seeing.