Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Strand Theater, 1915-1973

The Strand in 1932

The Strand Theater was opened in October of 1915 by the Phoenix Amusement Company. The building was designed by the Louisville firm of Joseph and Joseph and originally had seating for 1,600 patrons. The Strand was the first large-scale theater venue built and operated to exclusively show films in Lexington, with none of its schedule dedicated to live entertainment. The Strand was up-graded to sound projection equipment in December of 1928.

Audience in 1953 for the opening night of Bwana Devil, the first American 3D movie shot in color

The Strand was renovated again in 1958, and decorating touches such as new carpets and murals were added. Faced with the loss of downtown foot traffic and the rise of suburban movie theaters, the Strand closed in 1973. In 1979, despite some effort to designate the building a historical landmark, the Strand was demolished.

May Day Parade in 1939

Image 1264a, Lafayette Studio photographs
Image 1.04-1777, John C. Wyatt Lexington Herald-Leader Collection
Image 4253g, Lafayette Studio photographs

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