Strand Theatre

200 E. Twiggs Street,
Tampa, FL 33601

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Showing 1 - 25 of 29 comments

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on August 3, 2011 at 9:08 am

Wow! Fantastic interior photo. This had to have been taken about the time when the theatre first opened. Later shots show a slighlty more modern look with curtains within the proscenium. Thanks for posting!

AndyCallahanMajorMajor
AndyCallahanMajorMajor on August 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm

It looks like “Strand” to me. Cool find!

Richard Wheeler
Richard Wheeler on August 2, 2011 at 9:17 am

This photo was listed on eBay as “Interior Strand Theatre 1920s”. It’s hard to read writing on photo, it doesn’t seem to say “Strand”.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Thanks guys enjoy the stories.

AndyCallahanMajorMajor
AndyCallahanMajorMajor on October 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I remember seeing a bunch of pictures of the Maas Brothers interior, including the Strand portion. They disappeared from Flickr for whatever reason, and I never thought to look for any theater-y details.

Richard Wheeler
Richard Wheeler on October 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Thanks for the additional details, Nick. I should have done more exploring during those lunch visits, but I guess you never fully appreciate something until it’s gone.

I was looking at a 1955 high school yearbook, and there was an ad from the “Florida State Theaters”. It listed the Tampa, Palace, Florida, Seminole, Garden, Springs, and Hillsboro Drive-In theatres. The ad used the spelling “Theaters”, not “Theatres” in the company title, but this was probably an error by the yearbook staff.

Yes, I wish they could have preserved the facade. What a shame.

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on October 17, 2010 at 8:33 pm

The Strand had already been closed for a few years by the time my interest in theatres had begun so I never had a chance to see a movie here. When the building was still standing I’d walked pass the entrance just about every day during my lunch hour curiously wondering what the theatre interior had looked like before being absorbed into Maas Brothers.

Dick, You’re right. The upper portion of the elevated floor constructed within the former theatre auditorium (the Mezzanine) became Maas' famous Suncoast Restaruant where I had lunch at many times. In looking at the photo of the auditorium interior, the walls in the restaurant evidently were left pretty much as they were when the building housed the Strand.

Each time I had lunch here I’d scope out the rear wall of the restaurant where the projection booth stood. The men’s restroom was located at just about the spot where the booth would have been. But try as I might I couldn’t find any tell-tale sign of the former booth at all.

Today that entire block is a parking lot. It’s a shame the front facade of the theatre was not salvaged. It had that classic “movie theatre” design. The Strand was a Florida State Theatre for several years prior to closing and was considered to have been a deluxe theatre in it’s day. I would have loved to have seen a movie here!

Richard Wheeler
Richard Wheeler on October 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm

That is a neat picture. I’ve stood next to that alley many times (when I was younger), waiting for the bus. The bus stop was right there where the alley was. Thanks!

AndyCallahanMajorMajor
AndyCallahanMajorMajor on October 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm

This is a circa 1987 picture of a Maas Brothers trailer, but you can see the Strand Theatre in the background. There was an alley along Twiggs between the Strand and another building, which was the Maas Brothers delivery entrance.

Richard Wheeler
Richard Wheeler on October 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm

A little bit of insignificant history:

When I worked downtown in the 1980s, the theatre (of course) was already part of the Maas Brothers Department Store. From the outside of the building, the “theatre appearance” had still been maintained. You could still very well think that you were walking up to a real theatre. Inside, a normal first-floor ceiling had been installed. When you walked inside the building (proceeding north), you followed a (north-south) aisle that had been created.

On your right (on the east side), running the full length of the aisle, were the display cabinets for the highly respected Maas Brothers Bakery, with passers-by stopping to purchase tasty desserts to take out. I don’t recall if there was a physical wall on the left of the aisle or just a wall of merchandise. The aisle proceeded to the rear where the former theatre building opened up to join the rest of the department store.

I also recall that on the mezzanine floor (if my recollection is correct), Maas’s had an informal restaurant and salad bar. I believe that most or all of the restaurant/salad bar was located over the theatre portion of the department store. If that recollection is correct, then it would mean that an elevated mezzanine floor had been constructed over the seating area of the former theatre.

As kids in the late 1940s, we watched Gene Autry movies and similar fare at the Strand Theatre. I don’t remember much about it from then, because I was too young. By that time it was no longer considered a first run theatre, but still a respectable place for kids and families to go.

Dick W.

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on April 24, 2010 at 4:23 am

Here are four more photos:

No date given for this one:
View link

This photo dated 8/3/46:
View link

Angled shot dated 2/6/30:
View link

Very nice shot of the theatre interior dated 2/21/24:
View link

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on April 24, 2010 at 4:09 am

A nice angled view dated 2/6/30:
View link

Here’s a great shot of the theatre interior dated 2/21/24:
View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Nice Strand shot here:

View photo

Patsy
Patsy on February 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm

The April 22, 2006 link doesn’t work anymore so can we confirm that this theatre was demolished? If so, the status needs to be changed from closed to demolished.

historictheatresintampa
historictheatresintampa on August 31, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Please provide any stories or information that you might have about this theatre (or any single-screen theatre in Tampa) here… http://historictheatresintampa.blogspot.com
This will assist us in preserving the history surrounding these theatres in Tampa. Thank you!!

MoonScorch
MoonScorch on March 14, 2007 at 12:54 am

Does anybody know anything about a former Strand Theatre in Miami?

One morning while communting from my home in Hollywood down to my job in Coral Gables, I decided to avoid the terrible traffic on I-95 and find some avenue that ran parallel to the interstate. And somewhere between NW 29th Street and NW 14th Street along NW 7th Avenue I found a small theatre with a marquee and classic double doors. It was labeled the STRAND with the S having fallen off some time ago. It currently seems to be a small church/prayer home now. I will try to take some pictures of it. Can anybody here identify what part of town/neighborhood we would call this area? It’s definitely industrial and very poor. Perhaps that might help with some research (where I’m finding NO luck).

Patsy
Patsy on April 23, 2006 at 2:05 pm

tampafilmfan: Thanks for the Tribune article and are you, by chance, Cloe who wrote the story?

tampafilmfan
tampafilmfan on April 22, 2006 at 6:32 pm

Here’s a link to an article from the Tampa Tribune on April 6, 2006 about the demolition of the Strand Theatre:

http://www.tbo.com/life/MGB7892BOLE.html

Patsy
Patsy on March 2, 2006 at 9:02 am

Yes, sadly “its gone now”.

drumrboy36
drumrboy36 on March 2, 2006 at 8:51 am

The Strand was located near the Tampa Theatre. It was incorporated into the old Maas Brothers Dept Store…..so who knows if any of the interior survived the conversion. Anyway….its gone now.

Patsy
Patsy on March 2, 2006 at 7:54 am

“……hailed as "the most beautiful theatre in the South”. The town fathers of Tampa need to be asked…….why?

Patsy
Patsy on March 2, 2006 at 7:53 am

Was this theatre near the present Tampa Theatre? I can’t believe that the folks behind the Tampa Theatre couldn’t pull some weight and help save the Strand. I recall another theatre in Florida by the name of Strand….it’s in Key West FL and is now a Walgreens drugstore. /theaters/2576/

Patsy
Patsy on March 2, 2006 at 7:48 am

Not good news on CT today! So sorry to read your words concerning the Strand in Tampa. It is bad enough that the building was demolished, but the fact that the Spanish facade was not kept intact and used in the proposed condo tower. The Spanish decor is such an important part of Florida’s history, too and especially in the City of Tampa! The current town fathers sure missed the mark on this decision! I hope they at least put up a historical plaque and photo. The vintage photos are really nice and shows without a doubt the architectural reasons for saving it!

drumrboy36
drumrboy36 on March 2, 2006 at 7:11 am

Just went downtown and the Strand is now a pile of rubble. The entire block is being torn down for a condo tower. At the time of demolition, The Strand building still retained 90% of its original Spanish character. Pathetic that at least the facade was not kept intact and developed into the new building.