Strand Theatre

4232 Whittier Boulevard,
East Los Angeles, CA 90023

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According to old newspaper movie guides, there were at least six Strand theaters in the Los Angeles area and this may be the most unknown and forgotten, and probably the only one remaining. Although it was listed in the guides from the 30s and into the 50s, always as an independent theater, judging from the looks of the building, its history probably goes back much further.

It has a prominent stage protruding from the back of the building, which would lead one to believe that it was an early vaudevillian house that seated no more than 500.

On the outside of the building, are large faded letters, barely discernible, that read: STRAND ADULTS 30c CHILDREN 10c. The Strand is located across the street from a large cemetery and is now a warehouse for a company that sells grave monuments.

The building was re-roofed in November of 2001, so the owner apparently plans on keeping it around.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 24, 2007 at 4:25 am

This 1990 LAPL photo shows more detail than you will see in my photos from Saturday:
http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics06/00002651.jpg

Homeboy
Homeboy on May 31, 2009 at 10:52 pm

From “Ask Chris,” a column in Los Angeles magazine, June 2009:

“The Strand Theatre opened as a neighborhood movie house in 1929 and soon became a center of Eastside kid culture. Cowboy star Buck Jones had a Ranger Club of almost 4,000 ‘courteous and obedient’ youngsters headquartered there. One of the Rangers' activities was to invite celebrities like Boris Karloff and Gene Autry to write their names (and Ranger safety slogans) in wet cement in front of the theater. When the Strand closed in 1952, owner Paul Swickland removed the cement blocks and used them to pave his San Marino patio. About a mile west of the former theater I found slabs autographed by Tom Mix and Tonto (their fragile state and my Ranger Club oath forbid me to reveal the location). As for the building, it’s now owned by the L.A. Archdiocese.”

DonS
DonS on June 25, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I am Donald R Swickard, and have made many comments above. I now have a YOUTUBE showing before, during, and some of the Movie Stars that appeared there. Hope you enjoy these past memories.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOPv0pGLVOQ

frankie
frankie on June 25, 2009 at 9:42 pm

STUNNING !!! THANK YOU !!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 22, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Very interesting slide show.

William
William on April 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Thanks for sharing those memories here!! I really enjoyed them.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Great.Simply,Great.

MJuggler
MJuggler on June 21, 2010 at 7:07 am

Just found out that my Dad was an usher at the Strand in the 1940’s. A great Father’s Day tale but I need to find out more info.

thefilmguy
thefilmguy on July 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

Hi Don, thank you for that Youtube video. I have a question. Has there ever been any interest in the building or theater as a cultural landmark? Has the interior been totally gutted of it’s movie theater past?

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