Strand Theatre

76 Main Street,
Old Town, ME 04468

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Early photos of the Strand Theatre show a facade of the type popular in the very early years of movie theaters, with an arched entrance to an open lobby, and no marquee.

About 1915, the Strand Theatre was taken over by the partnership of McPhee & Fernandez, who also operated the New Central Theatre in Old Town and the Lincoln Theatre in Lincoln, and had interests in theaters in Bangor as well. They operated the Strand Theatre for at least twenty years.

In the mid-1930s, the theatre was modernized, with the entrance lobby being enclosed and a modern marquee added. The Strand Theatre operated at least into the early-1960’s.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Old Town has changed so much over the last century that old photos of Main Street are all but unrecognizable. Almost every building in this photo, which appears to be from the 1910s, is gone, including the Strand Theatre. Many of the buildings were already gone by the time this photo was taken, probably in 1959, though the Strand was still there with its modernized front from the mid-1930s.

The October 17, 1936, issue of Boxoffice published before and after photos of the recently remodeled Strand Theatre, which can be seen at lower right on this page. As near as I can tell, the Strand was on part of the site of a modern building that currently houses a Rite Aid drug store, and its front has been replaced by a blank brick wall.

LeslieH724
LeslieH724 on March 10, 2013 at 1:06 am

My Grandfather was O.B. Fernandez of Fernandez and McPhee. At some point in time my Grandfather bought out McPhee and upon my Grandfather’s death in 1948 my mother, Alice Fernandez Harkins, inherited her father’s business interests. My mother became partners with Sid Epstein of Bangor, Maine, and eventually she sold her shares of the Strand business to Sid. I believe the Strand was torn down in the mid 60s to make room for Doug’s Shop and Save, now the home of a Rite Aid store. It was a beautiful old theater and in its earliest days there was an orchestra pit in the front of the ‘house’.

To Joe Vogel’s point, the Old Town of old is no longer recognizable. What used to be a vibrant main street is now comprised of run down, seedy buildings. Sad.

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