Strand Theater

1318 Park Street,
Alameda, CA 94501

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The Strand Theater, one of downtown Alameda’s foremost theaters, was built in 1918, re-modeled in 1936, closed in 1950, and demolished in 1964.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

gsmurph on June 18, 2004 at 2:51 am

The Strand’s address was 1318 Park Street.

seabeee5 on November 10, 2004 at 8:51 pm

1955 when going to alameda high school a bunch of us kids knew how to get inside the old strand theater, it still had the old piano located in the front of the theater the piano was used beacause there no sound with the picturesin those early days, there was movie film all over the floor area. there was still film inside the film cans, all of the curtains were sill hanging up. all in all the place was not in bad shape. every now and then i wonder what what the movies were inside those canisters thanks leon

gsmurph on June 16, 2005 at 8:32 am

The Strand opened April 15, 1918. Closed for a time, it reopened on August 11, 1942; it closed for good in 1948.

gsmurph on June 24, 2005 at 8:06 am

The Strand’s original name was the Hamblen; it became the Strand on December 31, 1918. When the Nasser Brothers opened the (current) Alameda Theatre on August 16, 1932, they closed the Strand, which remained closed until July 10, 1936. This, coupled with the closure mentioned in the previous post, indicates that the Strand had a rather checkered off-on existence.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 3, 2005 at 1:12 am

Motion Picture Herald issue of May 30, 1936, contained an item in its “Better Theatres” section announcing that Nasser Brothers intended to remodel the Strand, with plans by architect F.F. Amandes. If it re-opened little more than a month later, on July 10th of that year, the remodeling must not have been extensive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 3, 2005 at 1:45 am

This must be the theatre referred to in the December, 1917 issue of Architect & Engineer, which announced the erection of a “Class C theater to seat 1500 persons for Mr. James Hamblen; on Park street near Encinal Ave”

gsmurph on March 26, 2006 at 1:23 am

So, what was the Strand’s seating capacity—-1500 as stated by Joe Vogel, or 1400 according to the “Seats” listing above? Just wondering…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 26, 2006 at 2:10 am

Original announcements of new theatres sometimes exaggerated the seating capacity a bit, and sometimes the plans were altered between the time of the announcement and the actual beginning of construction, and the capacity would end up a bit larger or smaller than originally announced.

It was also fairly common for a theatre to be reseated during its lifetime, most often by installing wider seats, sometimes by more extensive alterations that increased leg room by reducing the number of rows, and either of these would thus reduce the seating capacity. There were also some occasions when seating capacities of a theatre went up. This happened most often when a theatre originally built with an orchestra pit would have the pit covered over and a couple of rows of seats added in the new floor space.

William on August 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Over the years seating capacities can change to go with local union contracts. In the past in the Los Angeles area projectionist contracts had a provision dealing with theatres seating over 1000 people. Theatres over seating over 1000 people had tobe manned by two projectionists a shift. To get under that clause in the contract the theatre owner or chain removed seats to get under 1000 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 14, 2017 at 8:47 pm

The December, 1917, issue of The Architect & Engineer had this item about a theater project in Alameda which was most likely the Strand:

“Alameda Theatre

“Mr. George F. King, Berkeley architect, has prepared plans for a Class ‘C’ theatre of 1500 persons capacity for Mr. James Hamblen. Construction has already started, the site being on Park street, near Encinal avenue. The building is to cost $75,000.”

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