Strand Theater

1363 Pleasant Street,
Fall River, MA 02720

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rphoton1 on September 8, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Here is some additional information on the Strand. It closed for renovations in 1967, an later reopened as the Cinema I. The first movie that played there after it reopened was The Graduate. Right after it closed completely years later, another theater with the name Cinema I opened on South Main Street. It was very small, showed mostly adult movies, and was only in business a short time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm

The Strand was one of several Fall River theaters originally designed by the local architectural firm of J.M. Darling & Son (Joseph M. Darling and George S. Darling.)

spectrum on January 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm

As of 2010 it appears to be still standing as a furniture store. A long lobby leads to an auditorium way out back behind the neighboring retail buildings. Looks rather long and narrow – not much of a stage house on it – that may have been removed during the 1948 remodeling.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Of the 10 Fall River movie theaters listed in the 1927 FDY, the only one I couldn’t find here in Cinema Treasures is the Globe (500 seats, open daily).

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm

The Strand is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook as having 1200 seats and open daily.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 22, 2010 at 10:36 am

Article, with photo, on the re-opening of the restored Strand Theatre in 1948. Boxoffice magazine, September 18, 1948:
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 28, 2006 at 3:10 am

On March 24, 1970 the Strand, then known as Cinema I Theatre, was among the 1,000 theatres in 300 cities which participated in a one-only showing of a full-length motion picture dealing with the life and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King. The film was called King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis. It was intended in part as a fundraiser to advance the slain civil-rights leader’s causes.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 26, 2006 at 10:01 am

The Strand Theatre opened on Tuesday evening, March 13, 1918 and was Fall River’s first neighborhood movie house. The opening film was The Turn of a Card, starring J. Waarren Kerrigan and Lois Wilson. The reporter who covered the Strand premiere was so impressed by the excellence of projection that he commented, “…a great deal of eye strain was saved by the absence of the exhausting quiver whjich accompanies most motion pictures.” Guest speaker at the opening was William C. Gray, president of the Board of Aldermen.

The Strand was remodeled during the summer of 1922. In 1948 the Strand was completely remodeled and redecorated and furnished with new equipment. The modernistic lobby with marble and formica terrazzo floor had reputedly the largest mirrored wall in Southern New England. New push-back seats were installed in the auditorium. The new theatre was entirely on one floor. Six solid glass doors were installed. The first program for the “new” Strand on September 4, 1948 was Fighting Father Dunne and The Noose Hangs High The Strand was then a Nathan Yamins theatre under the supervision of Norman Zalkind as director and Herman Duquette as house manager. Israel T. Almy of Fall River was the architect, and William Riseman Associates of Wrentham the designer and decorator. (Information gleaned from articles in the Fall River Public Library “Theatres” folder.)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 6, 2006 at 7:38 am

An impressive collection of rare photos of historic Fall River theatres can be seen by clicking here.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 6, 2006 at 11:36 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph & Report form for the Strand has a facade photo taken in May 1941. There’s a boxy marquee with 3 rows of white letters on a black background. Movies are “Pride of the Bowery” and “The Man Who Lost Himself”. To the right of the entrance is a Woolworth’s store. The address is 1363 Pleasant St. The Report states that the Strand has been showing MGM product for over 10 years; that it’s over 15 years old; that it’s in Fair condition; and that it has 1227 seats on the main floor and 270 in the balcony; total: 1,497 seats. The type of patronage is listed as “low income”.

DickMorgan on August 3, 2005 at 8:47 am

I wish I could help you on the photos of the Durfee Theatre, Id love to see some myself. I suppose your best source for photos for the Durfee or any theatre in Fall River would be the microfiche for Fall River Herald News.

As far as my “climactic” finale goes, lets just say it was a “slip of the tongue” ;)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 2, 2005 at 11:36 am

Love the “climactic” finale. Is the name a double-entendre? No matter. Those ads would certainly be nice to look at. I used to clip ads too, but lost a lot of them. I plan to pop into the Fall River Library one of these weeks to peruse microfilm. Some libraries have indexing to articles and I may be able to find additional info, although R.I. theatres occupy most of my scavenging time. If I find nothing else ever on Fall River, I would really like to see photos of the Durfee.

Yes, I always thought it was tragic what happened to downtown Fall River and know that I-195 going right through the belly of the city was responsible for a good deal of it. The place exudes tristesse, if not outright catatonic depression. Tragic too that not even one of its theatres could have been saved and opened as a venue for touring Broadway shows and other entertainments, as Loew’s State (PPAC) is in Providence and the Zeiterion is in New Bedford and even the itsy-bitsy Orpheum in Foxborough. The Durfee might have suited the bill perfectly, had there not been that Godzillian rampage of civic destruction.

DickMorgan on August 2, 2005 at 10:37 am

Mr. DeLuca, You may be right on US 6 taking you through Downtown Fall River and Up Pleasant ST. which would have taken you by the Stand Theartre. However, back in the 50s and 60s Roads in and out of Fall River as is many places were going through tremendous change and my hunch is that US 6 was re-routed a number of times through the city. I do believe that I-195 going right through downtown Fall River probably doomed many downtown theatres earlier than other areas. Even though no theatres were taken by this highway the whole project ripped the heart out of downtown and made this area for years a horrible place to be. I couldn’t believe the day I saw the beautiful old granite city hall fall. This building was the anchor of downtown dividing North Main Street from South Main Street. I remember at this time my folks opting to go from Somerset to Taunton for shopping and whatever rather than deal with Downtown Fall River.

Thanks for posting the photo and I remember that view of the theatre well. I think of all the theatres in Fall River, the Strand was the newest and most “modern”. Somewhere in a box here in Virginia, I have an old scrapebook of movie ads, mostly cut out from the Herald News that I had kept when I was a child. I will try to dig that up and will scan some of these ads to post here. Most of these adds would have been from the 1958-1960 era and I have a number of them for the Durfee, Empire, Strand, Center and numerous drive ins around the Fall River area.

This website has prompted me to ask fellow Virginians here of movie theatres in the Roanoke area (listing at this website is Very Incomplete) and I am getting many interesting comments about theatres here, including ones that were black only and white only. I also discovered not to far from here in Danville, VA (on the NC border) that there was a movie theatre which seated 5,000 +. My partner Joe, grew up in this area and he has no memory about it but he is sure his Dad will know something of this threatre. More to cum! ;)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 2, 2005 at 9:25 am

Here is a recent photo I took of the rear of the Strand Theatre. I took some of the front, which is now a furniture store entrance and show window, but I don’t think they are worth posting. Many decades ago, before Route 195 existed between Providence and New Bedford, I remember seeing this theatre when being driven through the city on the way to New Bedford, perhaps on the way to Lincoln Park, an amusement park near New Bedford. Perhaps Pleasant Street might have been part of Route 6? I know I saw it several times and filed it away in my memory, but I never had or found the opportunity to actually go there to see a film.

DickMorgan on August 2, 2005 at 6:32 am

The first time I visited this theatre was in 1958 to see “Fatiche di Ercole, Le” (Known as “Hercules”) with Steve Reeves. I also saw “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” and “Ercole e la regina di Lidia” (Hercules Unchained). The Strand seemed to showcase children’s movies which were not from Disney (the Disney films usually played the Durfee or The Empire and occasionally the Center). I recall seeing a few other films here including “The Nun’s Story” with Audrey Hepburn.

I have no memory of attending any other movies here until 1970 when the musical Scrooge (Albert Finney) was featured. By this time the Strand had re-opened as the Cinema I, after having been closed for a long time, I think from at least the early 60s. During the 1960’s I remember there was a period of time when Fall River was down to only 2 theatres, The Durfee and The Center. The Empire theatre I don’t think made it into the 1970s but don’t recall what year this Theatre folded. I believe it was that horrible downtown mall in Fall River that doomed the Empire. By this time I was taking excursions to the new Four Seasons Cinema in RI and the new Brockton Mall Cinema to see the latest releases. The age of the Mall Cinema’s had arrived!

The only other recollection of this theatre is that they made the saltiest pop-corn I have ever had (probably to boost soda sales). Everytime I eat popcorn today I always think of the salty popcorn from the Strand.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 3, 2005 at 6:11 am

This theatre was renamed Cinema I at some point and was showing the X-rated The Senator’s Daughter, with John Holmes and Leslie Bovee (“Complete uncut-uncensored version”) in August, 1978, according to an ad giving that address.

ghpetrin on October 14, 2004 at 2:28 pm

The Strand Theatre was located at 1363 Pleasant Street in the eastern section of Fall River known as the “Flint”. It had a sister theatre, “The Park”, located in the southern part of the city known as the “Globe”. Both theaters would show first-run movies that had previously been shown at Fall River’s premier Durfee Theatre. It is now houses a furniture store.