450 Wabasha Street North,
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The Starland was opened in 1912, for both movies and live stage performances. In 1916, it was remodeled, and was one of the major Saint Paul theaters at the time, including the only smoking lounge in the city, uniformed “usherettes”, and a discretely illuminated clock in the auditorium, before wristwatches became commonplace.
In 1921, the theater was remodeled once more, and was renamed the Strand at this time. Also, a pipe organ was installed, and admission rose from a dime to a quarter.
By 1931, the Strand was declared structurally unsound, and was torn down, but a new theater of the same name was built on the site, which opened in 1933, in elegant Art Deco style, seating around 800. The new Strand cost over $75,000 to erect, and included a long, curving canopy marquee which swept around the corner of Wabasha and Eighth, where the theater was located, with a two-story tall vertical marquee above, shaped something like an upside-down rocket. Retail shops flanked the Strand’s main entrance, which originally featured an outdoor ticket booth, with two sets of three doors on either side.
The Strand continued to operate until 1975, and was demolished about a year later.
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