Strand Theatre

345 Main Street,
Rockland, ME 04841

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The Strand Theatre

Additional Info

Architects: Joseph Dondis

Functions: Concerts, Live Performances, Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent), Special Events

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Strand Cinemas

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 207.594.0070
Manager: 207.594.0070

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News About This Theater

Strand Theatre

The Strand Theatre is an old Art Deco style movie theatre was opened in February 1923 with Pat O'Malley in “My Wild Irish Rose”. It originally had a seating capacity of 626. It stayed open as a movie theatre until 2000 when the local multiplex bought it and closed it. In February 2004, the theatre was purchased by a long-time summer resident with plans to restore it and open it again as a movie theatre.

The Strand Theatre reopened July 3, 2005, with a block party, theatre tours, and a screening of the silent movie “The General” starring Buster Keaton. A new marquee was added. During renovations, workers found the 1940’s marquee underneath the recent marquee. The interior was redone and the current main auditorium has 257 seats. The balcony auditorium has 92 seats, and there is Dolby Digital Sound.

The Strand Theatre is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Contributed by Donna Daly

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

ticklemetorgo on April 12, 2005 at 11:01 pm

Renovation is still going on with the theater, I saw some of it before it was completly borded up, the whole inside was gutted out. I guess it’s being completly re-done, hopefully to it’s old glory. I don’t know what it was like before, but I’m glad it is being restored instead of torn down.

teecee on August 31, 2005 at 10:17 am

A Robert Morton organ was installed in this theater in 1923.

DennisLeight on October 18, 2005 at 10:36 am

This theatre is now open and looks grand. My wife and I were there on the opening night to see a screening of The General, accompanied by a pianist. A former Rockland newspaper editor once told me that he believed that the Robert Morton theatre organ had been removed and stored for a time at the Rockland Recreation Center but no one else ever verified this. I have never spoken with anyone around here who knew anything about it for certain.

Merrill on April 25, 2007 at 1:44 pm

My understanding is the projectionist is a multi-talented young lady who dresses in 1940’s clothing and adds greatly to the character of the theatwr. She is an excellent writer specializing in early entertainment history particularly radio. She has written the best book available on Amos n' Andy.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 6, 2008 at 6:02 pm

This theatre has reopened.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 15, 2008 at 7:19 pm

The Strand opened in February 1923 with 626 seats and was designed by Joseph Dondis, according to info from the Theatre Historical Society of America.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 8, 2015 at 7:51 pm

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the Strand; it’s Card # 439. Address is 343 Main St. There is an exterior photo dated May 1941. Condition is Fair. The report says that it’s over 15 years old and was showing MGM films. There were 497 orchestra seats and 291 balcony, total 788 seats. 1940 population was 8,800.

DavidZornig on January 26, 2020 at 4:14 am

Images added.
Additional condensed and edited history credit Rockland Historical Society.

“The Strand Theatre was built after the Berry Brothers Stable fire of 1920. Joseph Dondis opened the theater in 1923 with stores on either side of the entrance, a confectionery on the left and a florist on the right. It opened showing the silent film "My Wild Irish Rose”. In 1929 the first “talkies” were shown at the theatre."

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