746 S. Main Street,
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The Strand Theatre launched in December of 1931 and struggled under two operators. The theatre had more success under Robb and Rowley Circuit which took on the theatre in 1933 and under Paul Hoag and the Val Verde Theatre Circuit. On August 4, 1941, V.V. closed the Strand Theatre to undertake a major expansion leaving little of the original building.
Vasbinder and Rowlett Contractors created a 900-seat facility that looked nothing like the Strand Theatre including a new moderne front. The theatre re-launched on December 14, 1941 with “Sierra Sue” starring Gene Autry. On December 16, 1941, the theatre had its first Spanish language feature with “ni Sangre ni Arena”.
But on February 26, 1943, the theatre was engulfed in a blaze that destroyed the facility. The construction was solid enough that firewalls protected the neighboring Penneys and Kress stores until firefighters doused the flames. A new Rita Theatre would launch September 29, 1943 in the same spot where the previous building was.
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