Strand Theatre

18 Elm Street,
Southbridge, MA 01550

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The Strand Theatre in the center of Southbridge was leveled many decades ago. Any memories of it would be appreciated.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 17, 2007 at 1:34 pm

According to the interior photo link above, the Blanchard Theater was destroyed by fire in 1927, so it must be a different theater than the one listed here.

kencmcintyre on November 17, 2007 at 1:34 pm

The 1920 and 1927 photos appear to show the same building, so I would think it was constructed before 1926. There may have been a name change from Blanchard to Strand sometime after the opening. It was the Strand in 1927, when the fire occurred.

kencmcintyre on November 17, 2007 at 1:35 pm

I’ve been down that path before. A lot of these theaters that are “destroyed” are rehabbed and put back to work.

kencmcintyre on November 17, 2007 at 1:36 pm

The Blanchard is noted in the interior photo to be on the southwest corner of Main and Elm Streets. I believe that is the location of the Strand as well.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 17, 2007 at 1:38 pm

If the Blanchard and the Strand are the same theater, the information with that photo is wrong to say the least. Destroyed is not the same as damaged.

kencmcintyre on November 17, 2007 at 1:46 pm

I agree. I’ve made the same assertion based on newspaper accounts of fires only to find out later that the theater was rebuilt and demolished years later.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 17, 2007 at 1:54 pm

I’ve found a number of digital photo sites similar to that one with incorrect information. If part of the information is wrong, I usually discard all of it. Some of those photos need a disclaimer such as, this photo is labeled the Blanchard Theater. Could that be another name for the Strand Theater? Or something to that effect.

atmos on November 18, 2007 at 4:28 am

The building was erected in 1916 by the Blanchard brothers for use as a dance hall and roller skating rink.Originally known as The Hippodrome it was also used for vaudeville and converted into a cinema in 1926.This information from this website –

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 15, 2008 at 11:34 am

The 2 photos, from 1920 and 1927, posted by Ken Mc on Nov 17 2007 are of the same building, from 2 different vantage points. The theatre entrance bears no resemblance at all to the Strand’s entrance in the 1941 MGM photo and Lost’s photo of Oct 28 2005. The newer entrance is a small 2-story building with a store on the left and the theatre lobby on the right. After the 1927 fire, were they able to salvage the auditorium, or was the entire theatre complex of new construction ? Was the Strand which opened in 1926 a reworking of the Blanchard Theatre; then it was burned out in 1927? Then the Strand was rebuilt with a new entrance, or was the entire post-fire Strand Theatre a new building ??

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 10, 2010 at 11:37 am

The 1927 Film Daily Yearbook lists 3 movie venues for Southbridge: the Plaza Theater, 600 seats; the Phelps Theatre, 725 seats; and Blanchard’s Theatre, 876 seats.

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