Strand Theatre

18 Elm Street,
Southbridge, MA 01550

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Showing 17 comments

MikeMarketti on January 6, 2018 at 7:33 am

I live in Southbridge. This picture is of a building on Main St. which the Strand Theatre had a sign attached to. The theatre was behind this building. This building burned in 1926, but still stands today. It may have had a theatre in it, but it was not the Strand. The Strand was demolished in the 60s. It is now a parking lot. Thanks

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 4, 2015 at 10:59 am

Of the 3 old photos posted, only the second one which shows a small 2-story building matches the photo on the 1941 MGM Theatre Report for the Strand on Elm St. in Southbridge. The big color photo appears to have 1960-era cars in it, with a Strand Theatre at the far left end of the business block. That photo isn’t anything like the 1941 MGM photo.

Cinerama on November 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm

I uploaded three pictures that I found searching on the web

Cinerama on June 13, 2014 at 10:34 am

I lived in Southbridge on Mechanic Street till 1961 and use to walk to a movie theatre. It might have been this one.

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.

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 ??

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 –

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.

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.

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 1:34 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 12:49 pm

Here are two photos from 1920 and 1927, respectively. The latter photo is referenced in the preceding post:

atmos on April 21, 2007 at 5:41 am

Found a photo on a library website which shows the damage by fire to the Strand Theatre on the corner of Main and Elm Streets on 13 Jan 1927.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 6, 2006 at 8:49 am

The link posted above by Lost Memory on Oct 28 2005 is of this theatre. The old photo is of the same building as in the 1941 MGM Report; however, by 1941, the theatre had a new glitzy marquee; also the vacant lot to the right of the theatre in Lost’s old photo has a structure on it in 1941.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 6, 2006 at 8:42 am

The MGM Theatre and Photograph Report for the Strand Theatre on Elm St. in Southbridge has an exterior photo taken in May 1941. The entrance was on the right side of a 2-story building with a shop to the left. There was a glittering marquee with the movies posted in black letters on a white background: Lucille Ball in “A Girl, A Guy and a Gob”, plus “Border Vigilantes” . The Report states that the Strand has been showing MGM product for over 10 years; that it’s over 15 years old, is in Good condition, and has 1,586 seats. There were no other competing theatres in Southbridge and the 1940 population was 16,800.

atmos on December 11, 2004 at 3:01 am

Designed by architect, Louis Destramps in atmospheric style, and opened on 14 Jan 1926.It had a seating capacity of 1800 and closed in 1965.