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 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 30 comments)

canibfrankwithyou
canibfrankwithyou on September 23, 2011 at 5:06 am

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
canibfrankwithyou on September 23, 2011 at 5:11 am

The theatre is independently owned.

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

Was the Strand originally on College?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 2, 2012 at 1:37 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 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm

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 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Theater was converted to digitall the first week of August.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 12, 2012 at 8:01 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
Mikeoaklandpark on August 23, 2013 at 12:23 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 21, 2016 at 6:21 pm

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 1:15 am

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

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