Strand Theater

119 North Main Street,
Zelienople, PA 16063

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Strand Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1914, the Strand Theater began its life as a grocery store. After a few years, it was converted into a single screen movie house and ran silent films with live piano accompanyment. The theater continued operation until the early-1980’s, when the owner’s widow decided she couldn’t keep up with it anymore. The Strand Theater has stood vacant ever since.

While there have been a variety of projects planned for the structure over the years, from converting it to office space to leasing it to the FBI, none have come to fruition.

The Strand Theater Initiative, a non-profit group, was formed in May 2001, with the goal of purchasing the Strand Theater and converting it into a center for the performing arts.

It was originally hoped that by August 2002, renovations would be complete and the Strand Theater would be ready to present its first live production, but renovations are still not complete. In addition, there is a time capsule buried in the foundation, which will be recovered once renovations begin.

By 2007, the Strand Theater was open, and screening classic movies at weekends. The Initiative is still trying to raise funds.

Contributed by Ron Carter, Sean Doerr

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on July 25, 2007 at 1:12 pm

I hope not the latter!

Patsy
Patsy on July 25, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Yeah, the status should be changed though not sure how to make that important change. I surmise that many other theatre stats should be change as well.

Patsy
Patsy on March 25, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Ron Carter: “there is a time capsule buried in the foundation, which will be recovered once renovations begin.” Has the time capsule been recovered since renovation efforts were started? And what was it in? Or are you waiting for the grand opening to open the capsule?

thestrand1914
thestrand1914 on March 30, 2009 at 6:52 am

Some clarifications on the comments above. The Strand was not open in 2007. The movies that were being shown were projected outdoors onto the BACK of the theater from its rear lawn. We called it the Summer Classic Film Series, and we ran that program on weekends in July and August almost every year from 2002 to 2007. The series was suspended in 2004 because of the restoration work that was being done on the facade. We had to drop it again in 2008 when the renovation began in earnest due to a lot of heavy equipment and materials being stored on that part of the property.

It turns out the time capsule was NOT buried in the foundation, but was placed in a cornerstone of the building. Therefore, we have no plans to recover it at this time. But if we can figure out a way to do it safely, it might be something we’d consider for The Strand’s centennial celebration in 2014.

Ron Carter, The Strand Theater Initiative

Patsy
Patsy on March 31, 2009 at 1:07 pm

On your website slideshow there is a photo of vintage projectors. Do you still have them? If so, it would a great idea to restore at least one of them for display purposes. And have you researched the theatre to know who the architect was in 1914?

Patsy
Patsy on April 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm

The marquee has been completedly restored since the above 1981 photo. I do hope the original doors and ticket kios are part of the finished renovation.

Patsy
Patsy on June 30, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Love them original doors though I’m afraid they might not have been saved.

Patsy
Patsy on July 1, 2009 at 9:13 am

I just viewed the 2008 photo and there certainly there,but I was in Z in late March and there was a different front on the building while work was being done…perhaps they will be replaced when work is completed. I will email a person involved with that theatre project to get the final decision on the doors. If they don’t use them, that would be a shame. If not, I hope they at least keep them in storage.

Patsy
Patsy on July 1, 2009 at 11:07 am

Lost: I wish I had paid more attention when I went through the plywood temporary entrance as they might have been there, but I really doubt it. I was to meet someone at the theatre, but couldn’t coordinate our schedules in late March. However, I do plan to attend one of the functions to celebrate the opening of the restored theatre.

Patsy
Patsy on July 15, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I’m hoping to attend an event for this theatre’s grand opening next week. If so, I’ll report back here.

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