Strand Theatre finally making a comeback

posted by tonyturnbow on October 12, 2007 at 7:56 am

HOHENWALD, TN — The 1940 Strand Theatre on Main Street is being restored and it will reopen in November 2007 primarily as a performing arts theater. The Strand moved from this location in 1948 to the Park Avenue location, where the theatre burned in 1963.

This building was converted to retail space. Most of the theatre-related interior items had been moved to the last location; however, when the dropped ceiling was removed, the original theater spaces, including decorative beams, were revealed. A projection booth wall and projector exhaust vent are also still visible. The front entry alcove has been reconstructed and the screen wall rebuilt.

Fund raising is underway to recreate the front marquee. The theater is in need of period 1939-1948 movie theater items, curtains and interior marquees. We have also not been able to locate any history on the Strand name. There were Strand theaters across the country. Was the Strand a chain name? Did it have a logo?

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Comments (4)

JackCoursey on October 13, 2007 at 7:20 pm

The fine staff at the Lewis County Library was most helpful in helping me research the history of cinemas in the Lewis County area and no doubt could provide your organization with a plethora of information as well. As for the theatre name I don’t know of any chains in the states which used Strand as there trademark. Please keep us posted of how the restoration is going and please include a link to any sites containing photos of the theatre.

Broan on October 14, 2007 at 9:41 am

As detailed in The Best Remaining Seats, the Strand was the name of the second New York theater of “Roxy” Rothapfel, the creator of the deluxe movie palace experience.

tonyturnbow on October 16, 2007 at 10:39 am

Thanks for the information. We are working on a website, which will have photos. The theater opened this weekend for a showing of the 1941 and 1951 Dixie Productions films “This is Your Town”, which the company apparently filmed in many small towns in the south. They were essentially town home movies of the business districts and local residents paid to see themselves on the big screen. The films included shots of the 1938 and the 1948 Hohenwald Strand theater’s. The screen worked well and the accoustics are great.
The theater will be muliti-purpose. On November 10, our first major event will be a 21 piece big band performance of WWII era songs, when the theater was in operation.
We would like to show classic movies. Can you give me a source for licensing?

tonyturnbow on May 22, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Update. The Strand has been in operation for six months. In that time, we have presented a Big Band Concert, New Year’s Eve Concert, John Denver Tribute, Cowboy Music Concert, an Operette from the Nashville Opera and a string ensemble from the Nashville Symphony, which complimented the accoustics. At Christmas, the entire interior was turned into a Winter Wonderland Trail for the kids. “Gone With the Wind” returned to our screen earlier this month and “Wizard of Oz” is planned for June, along with a concert by the former lead singer from the Platters. The theatre is still working on a shoe string budget, volunteer help and community support, but it is surviving and thriving.

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