Strand Theatre

22-15 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

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1949 photo credit John M. Fox via the Shorpy Photo Archive.

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 competition 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 24 comments)

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.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 7, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Added to Photos Section a 1949 photo credit John M. Fox, via the Shorpy Photo Archive.

The original link also has a View Full Size feature. Copy & Paste to view link.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/19175

ed90631
ed90631 on February 7, 2015 at 4:46 pm

You beat me to it Dave.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Oh, sorry. I have Shorpy on Facebook, and it just popped up.

joe1751
joe1751 on March 7, 2016 at 1:27 pm

So based on Rickstar’s comments, if I understood correctly, the theater itself was to the left after entering the lobby? I recently went to The Strand Smokehouse, located three doors to the right of the theater entrance. The bartender was confident that the restaurant space was the theater location. It is a huge space. Great meats by the way. Any comments? Thanks.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm

joe1751: The bartender at the Smokehouse was mistaken. Look at Google’s satellite view of the block and you can see the roof of the auditorium extending toward Crescent Street, to the left of the theater entrance. The Smokehouse is in what appears to be former retail space. Its building’s roof is much lower than the theater’s roof was.

joe1751
joe1751 on March 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Thanks for the map suggestion. It all makes sense.

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