Fine Arts Theatre

36 Biltmore Avenue,
Asheville, NC 28801

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Fine Arts Theatre

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This Art Deco style theatre is the only theatre left operating in downtown Asheville. It originally opened as the Strand Theatre and had a seating capacity of 800 in orchestra and balcony.

It is the home of the Asheville Film Festival held in November of each year. The Fine Arts runs first run art and independent films.

The building itself is a cream color with two sets of block glass running from the top of the building down to the marquee on each side. It has a small triangle-shaped marquee with the theatre name in neon on each side.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm


EXOTIC FRENCH FANTASIES plus PEACH FUZZ. no one under 18 admitted. Admission $4.00 Couples $6.00 and get this written on the ad in the Ashville paper,,,, MALES AND FEMALES only as couples.

ADULT FILM LADIES WELCOME. Box office opens at 12;45 continuous shows from 1p.m. til 10;45 p.m. WOW. This town that let Ashville’s IMPERIAL be torn down, for THE FINE ARTS i would be afraid to sit in a seat there.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Jan 6 1980 NOW PLAYING is “MYSTIQUE” and “DUTCH GIRLS” All Films X- rated.

canibfrankwithyou on September 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm

In the mid 90’s I was involved in the installation of the new projection and sound equipment for the renovation of the theatre. The interior was completely removed and replaced with new seating, lobby and updated restrooms. A new projection room was added for the main auditorium while the existing booth was used for the balcony auditorium. A stage was added to the main auditorium for live performance events. Stage curtains were implemented in both auditoriums.

canibfrankwithyou on September 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm

The theatre is independently owned.

Patsy on March 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Was the Strand originally on College?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 2, 2012 at 5:37 am

Patsy, there was an earlier Strand Theatre in Asheville, from 1915 to about 1935, but it was on Patton Avenue. It was renamed the State Theatre in the 1930s.

Mikeoaklandpark on March 2, 2012 at 11:40 am

It will be interesting to see if this theater will add digital projection or fold. I hope they invest and add the digital.

Mikeoaklandpark on August 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Theater was converted to digitall the first week of August.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

Mikeoaklandpark on August 23, 2013 at 4:23 am

Chuck 1231 I think the Asheville film festival is in Oct. It was last year. A note this theater has started showing slides, but still use the curtains about 5 minutes before the start of a film and at the end of a film. Very nice compromise.

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