Strand Theater

520 Atlantic Avenue,
Morris, MN 56267

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Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Chris1982
Chris1982 on June 28, 2014 at 3:49 am

The Strand Theatre was open prior to 1926 and at that time seated 325. No longer listed after 1940.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

The Strand Theatre in Morris had been operating as a playhouse when this item appeared in the August 12, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Morris, Minn.—The films have captured another playhouse built for the ‘legitimate’ business. The new Strand theater here has been turned over to the projection machine and the screen.”
The opening of the Strand as a movie house was also mentioned in the June 24, 1916, issue of The Billboard, which named the owner as J. J. Gaffnery.

The Strand was listed as the home office of the B. J. Benefield circuit in the 1935 FDY. Bennefield’s houses were the Star, Beardsley; the Clinton Opera House in Clinton; the Crystal in Elbau Lake; the Opera House in Glenwood; the Grand in Graceville; the Hancock in Hancock; and the Orpheum and Strand in Morris.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm

I now think it very likely that the 1935 FDY entry I cited in my previous comment was already out-of-date. The same entry appears in the “Circuits” section of the 1950 yearbook, even though the only house in Morris listed in the “Theatres” section that year is the Morris Theatre. Local sources in Morris say that the Orpheum was shuttered in the mid-1920s and the Strand closed when the Morris Theatre opened in 1940.

Also, the FDY almost always gives the owner’s name as Benefield, while local sources (and at least one item in a rival trade journal) use Benfield. I suspect that this is a case where the FDY failed to update its listings, this time for at least a decade, as well as repeating a misspelling year after year.

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