5831 Sacramento Avenue,
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According to the National Register of Historic Places, the Wagoner building, home to the Strand Theatre, was constructed in 1903. As early as 1907 the Sanborn Insurance Maps list an opera house at this location on the second floor. The Woodland Daily Democrat reported on October 6, 1916, that W.S. (Stuart) Webster of the Woodland Strand Theatre had returned from Dunsmuir where he had just opened another Strand Theatre. Moving Picture World reported in November that the Strand Theatre was previously called the Lyric Theatre. It was also noted that Mr. Webster also operated the Strand Theatre in Sacramento and in 1917 he opened another Strand Theatre in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Apparently Mr. Webster entrusted the Dunsmuir Strand Theatre, which is nearly 200 miles from Woodland, to the local manager. The Daily Democrat reported on September 29, 1917, “W.S. Webster left this morning for Dunsmuir, to oust the manager of his Strand Theatre. One of the Pinkerton force has been trailing the Dunsmuir man for several days, with the result that he notified Webster that it would be to the best interests of his pocketbook to change the management".
In August 1921 more drama entered Mr. Webster domain when his other theatre in Dunsmuir, the Auditorium, burned down sustaining a loss of $18,000. He had owned the theatre less than two years and the building was insured for only $3,000.
By 1922 Mr. Webster still operated theatres in Dunsmuir, Dixon, Vacaville, and Woodland but in November of 1923 the Daily Democrat reported that Mr. Webster had sold his Granada Theatre and Strand Theatre in Woodland to the National Theater Syndicate of California. Apparently at around that time he gave up all of his theatre interests. It was reported in December that he and his wife were going to South America for a year where he would represent the Metro Pictures exchange.
A later operator of the Strand Theatre and contributor to Exhibitors Herald was Clay H. Powers, who sent in his movie reviews until around 1924. Although the new California Theatre in Dunsmuir opened in 1926, the National Register of Historic Places notes that the Strand Theatre, located on the second floor, was still located there at least through 1928.
The Wagoner building has been drastically remodeled over the years but still exists. The publication “Images of America Dunsmuir” has a photo of the building, circa 1924, with the ‘Strand Theatre’ sign barely visible.
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