Saturday, August 30, 2008

Strand Theatre (Downtown)













Anonymous said...

Address: 200 Twiggs Street
Seats: 850
Built: 1915-1917
First movie: 1918
Closed: Late 1940's

Anonymous said...

Located at the NE corner of Twiggs and Tampa Streets.

From the late 1940's to 1991 it was part of the Maas Brothers department store.

Anonymous said...


Built in the Spanish Colonial style in 1917 it opened in 1918 and was hailed as "the most beautiful theatre in the South". The Strand featured air-cooling (not air-conditioning mind you!), twinkling stars in the ceiling and clouds that passed over the ceiling. The nearby Tampa Theatre had opened in 1926 with air conditioning and the Strand couldn't compete, finally stopping it's run as a theatre in the late 1940s.

The Strand was absorbed into the Maas Brothers Department store building on that block in the late 1940s and was used for their women's department. The Strand portion of the block was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the late 1970s; roughly the same time as the Tampa Theatre. Maas Brothers was absorbed into the Federated Department Store chain in the 1980s and closed this location in 1991.

The whole block including the Strand was not well maintained afterward and sold in 1998 to an investor who has not maintained it since, resulting in it's condemnation in 2000. Current plans are for the city to demolish it as the owner cannot afford to, but plans for that have been moving very slowly.

Contributed by Todd Frary

Just went downtown and the Strand is now a pile of rubble. The entire block is being torn down for a condo tower. At the time of demolition, The Strand building still retained 90% of its original Spanish character. Pathetic that at least the facade was not kept intact and developed into the new building.
posted by drumrboy on Mar 2, 2006 at 4:11am

Aethelmyr said...

The Strand Theatre had a handsome, and expensive, if small Wurlitzer pipe organ. It was a style 160, 2 manual keyboards and 6 ranks of pipes, and a piano which could be played from the organ console. (Wurlitzer opus number 753) It was installed either in late 1923 or early 1924.