Fine Arts Theatre

36 Biltmore Avenue,
Asheville, NC 28801

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Fine Arts Theatre

This Art Deco style theatre is the only theatre left operating in downtown Asheville. It originally opened as the Strand Theatre on October 24, 1946 and had a seating capacity of 800 in orchestra and balcony. It was renamed Fine Arts Theatre on June 8, 1962.

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 31 comments)

canibfrankwithyou
canibfrankwithyou on September 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

The theatre is independently owned.

Patsy
Patsy on March 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

Was the Strand originally on College?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 2, 2012 at 9:37 pm

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
Mikeoaklandpark on March 3, 2012 at 3:40 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
Mikeoaklandpark on August 21, 2012 at 4:26 am

Theater was converted to digitall the first week of August.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on August 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm

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.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 22, 2016 at 1:21 am

October 24th, 1946 grand opening ad as Strand as well as the June 8th, 1962 grand opening as Fine Arts in the photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 22, 2016 at 8:15 am

December 13th, 1996 grand opening ad also in the photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 6, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Here is an item about the Strand from the July 18, 1946 issue of The Film Daily:

“Asheville, N. C. — The new Strand Theater building, which has been under construction for some time, is expected to be completed sometime in August. The new house, when completed, will have a seating capacity of 750 persons. It will be operated by H. B. Meiselman, of Charlotte.”

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on September 7, 2018 at 3:49 am

Great locally owned theater that shows art fare documentaries and not mainstream blockbusters. They close the curtains ( both theaters are vertical top to bottom) at the end of each movie and they do the slide show for about 15 minutes or less than lower the curtains again before each film starts. Both theaters have masking that is at the top of screen and comes down for scope presentations.

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