Strand Theatre

111 4th Street,
Monett, MO 65708

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Strand Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Gem Theatre was opened by 1911 and operated until around 1928. It was renamed Lindy Theatre by 1929. It was closed as a silent movie theatre by 1932. It reopened by 1938 as the Strand Theatre when at that time it was operated by Commonwealth Amusement. They still operated the Strand Theatre in 1950. It was demolished in the mid-2010’s

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

The Strand Theatre was at one end of the building that was built in 1910 as the Martin Hotel. About 1947, the hotel closed and was converted into a factory for the Vaisey-Bristol Shoe Company. By sometime the 1950s, the factory had taken over the entire building, including the theater space.

At some point the building was expanded along the entire block of Front Street to 5th Street. It’s possible that the auditorium portion of the theater was demolished as part of this expansion, or it might have been incorporated into the expansion, but it’s impossible to tell from the aerial views of the structure.

After the shoe factory moved out, the ground floor of the 4th Street side of the building, which had been extensively altered, was returned to something more closely resembling the row of storefronts it had featured when it was a hotel, but the location of the Strand’s entrance is still closed up. The building now houses a tire retailer and brake repair shop.

There are photos from ca. 1947 and from the 1950s on page 35 of the book Monett, by Elaine L. Orr (Google Books preview.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I should add that I’ve found no evidence to show that the theater was opened as part of the hotel project in 1910. It might have been added sometime later, either converted entirely from existing space, or with a new auditorium added behind the hotel and its entrance in former retail space.

The house might also have operated under a different name in its early years. I’ve found references to theaters called the Rialto (1924) and the Gem (1926) operating in Monett in the 1920s, but no details about either of them. So far I haven’t found the Strand mentioned in any of the trade journals.

Darren_Snow
Darren_Snow on March 30, 2017 at 12:35 pm

The building housing the Strand last appeared on Google Street View in July 2013, but more recent aerial photos show that it has since been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 22, 2018 at 9:40 pm

This article from the November 27, 2013, issue of The Monett Times is about the building the Strand was in, but it has some pretty serious inaccuracies in it. It notes that the 1917 Sanborn map shows a movie theater on the site of the Strand, but incorrectly says that it was the Bijou. The Bijou was on Broadway.

The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists at Monett the Bijou, at 417 Broadway, and the Gem Theatre, with no address. It seems likely that the Gem, which I’ve found mentioned as early as 1911 and which is listed in the Film Daily Yearbook as late as 1928, was the house that later became the Strand. The Gem 375 seats, and in the 1929 FDY had been replaced by a house called the Lindy Theatre, also with 375 seats.

Only the Rialto is listed at Monett in 1930, but in 1931 the Lindy is back, listed as a silent house. After that the Lindy vanishes, and then the Strand first appears in the 1938 Yearbook, with 400 seats. My surmise would be that this theater was indeed built as part of the Martin Hotel project in 1910, then operated under three names before closing.

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