Strand Theatre

22-15 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

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Strand Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Strand Theatre first opened on August 27, 1941, and was one of the last theatres built in Queens before the World War II ban on new construction. The auditorium was in the stadium-style, with a raised section of seats at the rear. I’ve often wondered why the Strand Theatre was ever built, since the Astoria section of Queens was already vastly over-seated at the time, with ten theatres including this one.

Operated by the Raybond Circuit, it played last-run for the area, which was dominated by Loew’s Triboro Theatre and five Skouras theatres. But the Strand Theatre survived most if not all of its competetion and operated into the 1980’s, in its last years with XXX movies.

The building still stands, with the entrance converted to stores.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

cquane
cquane on September 27, 2008 at 4:16 pm

I often went to this theater as a child in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I dont recall that it was ever an Xrated theater. That dubious distinction went to the Olympia at the north end of Steinway. the Strand had “B” movies, often double features, and catered to kids.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 4, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Listed at 25-15 Broadway in the 1959 yellow pages. Phone number was YElowstne 2-4499.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 19, 2009 at 6:49 am

A recent view of the Strand’s conversion to retail space can be seen midway through this new article about the lengthy Queens street known as Broadway: View link

Rickster
Rickster on February 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Interesting string to a movie theater that brings back many great memories! I lived on 28th street from 1967 to 70 and went many times to the Strand as a youngster with my dad. As a kid, I was fascinated with motion pictures and wanted to be a projectionist. Here’s what I recall of the Strand: you would enter the theater from behind the ticket booth outside under marquee. Thru the main doors into the lobby on the right were 2 staircases to the balcony with rest rooms in between. Directly in front was the concession stand with the manager’s office to the extreme right. On the left was a long wall with 2 sets of swinging doors to the main level of the theater. Inside the theater up on the walls were 4 large red oval shaped lights, (2 on each side). They had round black dots in the center, which is actually where the red bulbs were, which reflected a dim red in the circle, but were darkened when the feature was running. It was a very original looking light setup. Seeing it, you knew you were in the Strand. I also recall sitting way up in the balcony just below the 4 small windows for the projectors watching the changeovers take place. The beams would instantly jump from left to right and back at each changeover. The booth also had a large window to the extreme left which was large enough for the projectionist to physically lean his head out of. One Saturday, my dad got permission from the Strand’s manager to take me into the projection booth for a tour. I remember seeing what looked like Peerless lamp houses, and I believe the projectionist said the projectors were Super Simplex machines from when the theater first opened in the 40’s. The movie playing at the time of my tour was “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly” with Clint Eastwood. I also remember seeing Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and Hang Em High at the Strand. Oh, and my first introduction to watching the 3 Stooges on the big screen happened at the Strand. That was incredible! Rickster

YMike
YMike on March 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I never went to this theatre but I did go to the Bowling Alley that was under it. The Alley was still open in the 1990’s but is now closed.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm

A sign for the bowling alley – a vertical sign near the roofline spelling out “BOWL” – was still in evidence, if no longer illuminated, when I took the photos I posted back on May 25th, 2007. The photos themselves were taken in the summer of 2005.

doctorb
doctorb on July 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Went there many times as a kid. Used to bowl regularly downstairs as well. In fact, I bowled the day the Jets won the Super Bowl. Didn’t watch the game— I was (and remain) a die-hard Giants fan and root vigorously AGAINST the Jets. It’s ok, though, they haven’t won anything since.

My favorite theatre in Astoria though, was definitely the Olympia. XXX before XXX became cool. Saw my first dirty movie there. My grandfather knew some alta kocker who had an usher’s gig and he invited him in for free one day. Grandpa had never seen porn of any sort and he came home ranting about it to my grandma; I believe he was describing some exotic triple-penetration scene when she finally shut him up. Great moment in film history.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 17, 2013 at 12:16 am

Three photos of the renovated Strand Theatre can be seen on this page of the July, 1964, issue of International Projectionist.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

The Strand opened on Wednesday, August 27, 1941, according to the August 29 issue of The Film Daily.

robboehm
robboehm on November 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I wonder how much the theater cost to build in the first place compared to the renovation cost.

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