Strand Theatre

3609 Forbes Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 5, 2014 at 10:48 am

The August 12, 1978, issue of The Pittsburgh Press said that the Strand Theatre in Oakland, which had recently closed, was being converted into space for three stores. The total space being converted was 8,500 square feet, so the Strand must have been a good-sized theater.

edblank
edblank on November 22, 2013 at 4:38 am

The Etna Theater in Etna was another locally in which you entered the theater from behind the screen. Was never in that one but was in the Strand many times. One marked disadvantage: Anyone entering or leaving the theater during a movie or anyone going to and from the concession stand (behind the screen) tended to pull one’s focus from the screen. There are auditoriums of Manhattan multiplexes like this, also.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

The design of the Strand was unusual, but not unique. There have been more than a dozen reverse theaters, designed so that audiences enter at the screen end of the auditorium. The only one I ever attended myself was the Hastings Theatre in Pasadena, California, but I have come across several Cinema Treasures pages for theaters with this rare configuration. There have probably been quite a few more that have not yet been listed here.

johnbarchibald1
johnbarchibald1 on November 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Yes, the design of this theatre was unique. You entered the theatre, then had to walk either right or left, to reach a long aisle, sloping upward, to reach the back of the theatre. The whole thing was built into the side of a hill, and used the elevation as a natural element in raking the audience. For some reason, I saw a lot of MGM reissues there, like “Brigadoon,” and “Quo Vadis,” mostly in the mid-to-late-60’s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 31, 2013 at 11:38 pm

The Strand Theatre was in operation by 1916. The January 22 issue of The Moving Picture World said that it would open about the first of February. Like several other Rowland & Clark houses of the period, the Strand was designed by architect Harry S. Bair.

simpsonr
simpsonr on March 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I went to this theater which showed mostly 2nd run movies several times while in college in the early 1950’s, Unusual theater design in which the audience entered the auditorium from behind the screen. The theater organ was no longer there.

asa11030pgh
asa11030pgh on February 1, 2012 at 11:57 am

The best show was the Schenley Theater,second was the Strand,third was the New Oakland many people would not go in the Oakland.

asa11030pgh
asa11030pgh on February 1, 2012 at 11:51 am

Above the theater was a 36 alley bowling alley 2 floors of Duck Pins third floor Ten Pins.I sat up pins there in 1944 & 1945 I was 15.Cost of bowling was 35 cents a line.The other show on Atwood St was the New Oakland (also called the Boom-Boom )I lived in Oakland from 1934 till 1948 at 400 S.Craig St.Now called Lu Lu

Becca
Becca on February 11, 2009 at 9:46 am

I know some info on this building. Who knows when it was changed, but the building’s address is now 3609 Forbes. As far back as I know from the 80’s and 90’s..the Strand Theater became a hub for bars. It house the legendary Upstage…The Attic…and Club Laga. Club Laga closed years back to make ‘upscale loft’ apartments. Then the Attic closed, and The Upstage held on until December of 2006, and is now a grocery store! When Upstage closed and was being gutted, they found TONS of buried old movie memorabilia and theater remnants under the floors and in the walls!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 28, 2008 at 10:49 am

The Chipotle restaurant mentioned on 4/22/06 is at 3619 Forbes, which is a new building. 3615 is an older building, three or four stories, with retail on the ground floor.

raubre
raubre on July 16, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Yep those are all there.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 9, 2007 at 4:59 pm

Googling shows a bunch of fast food places at 3615 Forbes Avenue (not street, is there a difference?). I counted Baja Fresh, a bagel store and a pretzel shop.

Glndrsn
Glndrsn on July 9, 2007 at 4:33 pm

As I was reading this, a sign that said, “Strand Bowling” flashed in my brain. I open the picture, and there it is. Thanks Mr. Aubrey.

raubre
raubre on June 18, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Here is a picture of the Strand

View link

raubre
raubre on April 22, 2006 at 7:33 am

The Mt. Oliver Theater building is still there. It now houses a religious congregation of some sort.

I heard somewhere the Strand used to have a bowling alley. Was it demolished? Apparently the address matches a Mexican restarant chain that hardly resembles a theater. Does anyone have any old pictures or photos of the Strand?

TomBryant
TomBryant on May 14, 2004 at 10:22 am

The Strand was originally a Warner Bros. Theatre, later a Stanley-Warner operation and the as part of the Pittsburgh-based Associated Theatres circuit. The theatre was built in was was a health club. The auditorium floor was above the tiled swimming pool (the air conditioning compressor sat in the center of the abandoned pool below the theater). Entrance to the auditorium was from behind the acreen (the audience was facing you as you entered) and booth access was via a ladder from the rear of the seating area. Film was hoisted up and down via a system of ropes and pulleys. The theatre played mostly third run double features.