Strand Theatre

415 S. Gay Street,
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Additional Info

Functions: Office Space

Previous Names: Gay Theatre

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Strand Theatre

The Strand stands on the west side of Knoxville’s main downtown thoroughfare, Gay Street. It was converted to office space long ago. An old postcard shows the Strand across from the Riviera (q.v.) and along side the Queen Theatre. The photographers back would have been to the Bijou and Lyric, the Tennessee would not yet have been built.

Contributed by Will Dunklin

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on July 5, 2006 at 10:21 am

Thanks to tntim: this theatre was built as the Gay Theatre (known to have been operating in 1914 from newspaper ads). It was remodeled and renamed Strand to compete with the luxurious new Riviera across the street.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on September 1, 2006 at 9:37 am

According to the Knoxville City Directories, the Gay Theatre (later called the Strand) opened in 1911 with Charles Champe as manager. Mr. Champe was also manager or owner of the short-lived Bonita Theatre a block away. The city directories show this hall at 403-405 S. Gay.

tntim on September 1, 2006 at 10:32 am

Will: Charlie Champ later became a member of the projectionist’s union which the local in Knoxville was formed in 1920. At that time a theatre owner or manager could not be a union member. So I would guess that he closed or sold off his theatre interests before 1920.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 20, 2009 at 3:17 am

Was the Gay Theatre’s name changed to the Strand as early as 1917, or was there an earlier Strand Theatre in Knoxville? The July 7, 1917, issue of the trade journal The Music Trade Review said: “The Signal Amusement Co. of Chattanooga has opened the new Strand Theatre in Knoxville.”

tntim on July 31, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Here is a 1923 picture of the Strand:
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 31, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Any one up there hear of a LENOX THEATRE?

TLSLOEWS on August 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Nice photo tntim.

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