Strand Theatre

35 East Avenue,
Pawtucket, RI 02860

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 2, 2015 at 1:49 pm

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the Strand; Card # 536. There is an exterior photo taken May 1941. The address is 35 East Ave. The condition is Fair. The house is over 15 years old, and plays MGM films. Seats: 1,110 in the orchestra level, and 755 in the balcony, total: 1,865.

Matinee77idol on August 30, 2013 at 9:17 pm

So many good memories of the Strand. At 77 I still remember the blue light around the clock to the left of the screen. Had to keep my eye on the time as I did not want to miss the Broad St. Bus. Now live in Minnesota.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

ARTICLE IN BOXOFFICE MAGAZINE,, June 22, 1959, about the Strand’s manager Harold Lancaster.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

The Strand Theatre first opened on August 29, 1921. The feature film was The Three Musketeers with Douglas Fairbanks. Here is a newspaper article reporting on that opening.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Announcements of what’s playing at Pawtucket and Central Falls movie theatres in November, 1921:

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Rudolph Valentino in Blood and Sand played the Strand in October 1922. THIS AD urges people who missed it in Providence to drive to Pawtucket to see it.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 17, 2011 at 6:30 am

This theatre was part of the September 1923 6th Paramount Week. In this advertisement from the (Providence) Evening Tribune, September 1, 1923, we see a fascinating list of Rhode Island area theatres, many long-gone and long-forgoten, or even unheard of, as well as what they were showing during that week. CLICK HERE

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 10:12 am

Item in Boxoffice magazine, January 15, 1955:

The Pawtucket Strand, closed by an 11-week strike of projectionists, reopened Christmas Day, using independent operators, with “The Last Time I Saw Paris.” Harold Lancaster is manager. The Strand, Pawtucket’s most popular house, has long been ranked as Blackstone Valley’s leading theatre.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Report of bomb-threat hoax, Boxoffice magazine May 28, 1955:
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 7:41 am

From Boxoffice magazine, February 4, 1956:

“In the most extensive cooperation promotion ever seen in this area, 14 Providence and nearby houses used record-breaking newspaper advertising space in heralding the joint premiere of "The Day the World Ended” and “Phantom from 10,000 Leagues.” Virtually taking over the amusement pages of the local press for several days, the following houses united in the ad: Elmwood, Hope, Uptown, Liberty, Castle, all in this city; Community, Centredale; [u}Strand, Pawtucket[/u]; Union, Attleboro; Hollywood, East Providence; Palace, Cranston; Community, Wakefield; Park, Auburn; Palace, Arctic and Stadium, Woonsocket. A brief checkup of local houses indicated that opening days were solid."

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 15, 2010 at 7:35 am

In the October 30, 1961 issue of Boxoffice Magazine, an ad was run showing how many mainstream theatres were showing Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, a subtitled Italian movie. This theatre was one of those in Rhode Island. Link to ad, then expand:
View link

dhutton on September 10, 2008 at 11:04 pm

When I was a kid (born 1951) it cost 35 cents for kids' tickets at the Strand. Disney movies cost more—50 cents! Adult tickets were, I believe 75 cents, and either 90 cents or a dollar when Disney movies were playing. All were double bills, of course. I saw many movies at the Strand.

kencmcintyre on December 30, 2006 at 5:19 pm

This gentlemen was walking in front of the Strand in 1933 when he was hit by a car. Defendants claimed that the car slowed down but the plaintiff “continued walking and walked into the car’s left fender”. Defendants lost.

Marialivia on September 24, 2005 at 12:51 pm

This one surprises me — I still wish I had gone back there a couple of times. I suppose I would have done so if I had known it was to be soon gone.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 24, 2005 at 6:22 am

…and on February 6, 1963 it was still open for It’s Only Money with Jerry Lewis and Operation Bullshine.

Marialivia on August 29, 2005 at 12:03 pm

Yes, it would be more expensive as it was a “first-run” theater, whereas the Lafayette was not. When I read these postings, it seems so impossible that so many years have elapsed!

Roland L.
Roland L. on August 29, 2005 at 10:23 am

Marialivia, I was born in 1955 and I know I went to the Srand probably twice. I seem to recall from city directory listings that the Strand disappeared from their books around 1964, so 1963 was probably the last year.

FWIW, I don’t remember a thing other than it was more expensive than the Lafayette in Central Falls!!

Marialivia on August 29, 2005 at 10:01 am

I had thought it was gone by 1958, but apparently my recollection is faulty. I moved out of RI for a couple of years (1956-58), and I had thought that the Strand was gone by the time I returned. I’m sure I never attended the theater after coming back to Pawtucket — but perhaps that recollection is faulty as well. I knew the theater so well from working there in 1948-49, but of course that’s a VERY long time ago!! I do remember wishing that I could have gone inside just one more time before it was demolished.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 27, 2005 at 8:54 am

The Strand was still open in 1962. An October program was I Thank a Fool with Fear No More.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 26, 2005 at 11:56 am

Here’s a bit about the emergence of the Leroy and the Strand, and their rivalry, as taken from Susan Marie Boucher’s book The History of Pawtucket 1635-1976:

“With the opening of the Strand Theatre in 1921, and also the Leroy, a new concept was born in the entertainment world of Pawtucket. The Strand opened with a nine-piece orchestra providing the musical background, and voice and instrumental performances were given at each program. Carrying the insignia of Paramount Pictures, it ran the best shows in town.

“Vaudeville acts, ‘direct form the Palace.’ could also be seen at the Strand. The Leroy and the Strand, both large and opulent houses, were rivals for quite some time. After the advent of the ‘talkies,’ the Leroy laid claim to the coveted title of being number one—-the best in Pawtucket and one of the largest theatres in all of New England.”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 26, 2005 at 8:31 am

I found a 1935 listing for a “Music Hall” in Pawtucket. Any idea of what or where this was? Other names?

Marialivia on April 5, 2005 at 6:11 pm

Ohmigosh the picture is wonderful!! In 1948 just prior to my being employed at the Strand, the lobby and the ticket window area were remodeled, so it became just a bit different from the picture you so kindly provided. I am printing it out and keeping it and plan to send it to my fellow movie-going friends! As to the snacks we sold back in ‘48 and '49, they consisted primarily of candy and the inevitable popcorn. The popcorn was pre-made and came in large plastic bags, but we were forbidden to fill the glass popcorn containers in front of customers, as the intent was to have them believe the popcorn was freshly made right there!! One very busy night, in an effort to keep up with customer demand, a fellow candy girl filled it in plain sight of the patrons and was summarily fired for doing so!! AND she was the manager’s own daughter. The most popular candy bars then were Mounds, Almond Joy, Chuckles, Chocolate-covered marshmallow, Old Nick … We became able to remember what the various customers would buy, as they were creatures of habit when it came to their theater snacks. I too follow this pattern and seldom deviate from licorice Nibs and Jujyfruits, although I buy them from the market or pharmacy and not the theater. Back then most candy bars were 5 cents, with a few at 10 cents. Popcorn, large, was 15 cents, and that was really splurging!

RobertR on April 3, 2005 at 10:58 pm

Could you shed some light on the snacks you used to sell back in the 40’s? I know from pictures I have seen nothing came in the obnoxious sizes it does now.