The Strand Opera House was built in 1909 at 37 Market Street in Ipswich. It hosted operas, plays, travelling shows and even the Boston Symphony. It was quite a big deal to have such a grand venue in town.

In 1930 the Strand burned, then re-opened as a movie theater featuring first run films. It was owned by Phil Smith and Theatrical Enterprises, catering to local customers and “an upscale clientele who sometimes arrived in limousines. ”

In November, 1985 the Strand Theater was demolished. In it’s place was constructed the First National Bank of Ipswich. Most of the photos below are from Bill Varrell’s book, “Ipswich.”

The Strand Opera House on Market Street, 1909
The Strand Opera House on Market Street, 1909
Inside the Strand Opera House
Inside the Strand Opera House
The Strand theater re-opens, September 11, 1930 after a fire damaged the auditorium three months earlier.
The Strand theater re-opens, September 11, 1930 after a fire damaged the auditorium three months earlier
The Strand Theater is demolished in 1985, replaced with a bank. The town no longer has a theater.
The Strand Theater was demolished in 1985, replaced with a bank. The town no longer has a theater.

 

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One thought on “The Strand Opera House and Theater

  1. Too bad your theater was demolished. There is a theater in my small town which could have been built with the same plans, to judge by the interior. It fell on hard times, and was purchased by an out of town company. But a group of citizens decided that it was too important to let go. They held meetings and fundraising events and succeeded in saving it. Now, it is an important venue for many different forms of entertainment, from dance recitals to nationally known performers, and a landmark on the town’s main street.

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