Strand Theater

62 St. Paul Street,
Rochester, NY 14604

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Happy Hour Theater

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Rochester NY Democrat Chronicle 1914

Opened in the former St, Paul’s Church in 1907 as the Happy Hour Theater. It was designed by its owner George D. Curtis and had 1,500 seats. The Happy Hour was remodeled in 1913 and renamed the Strand Theater. The Strand Theater was closed and demolished in 1953.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

shoeshoe14 on May 30, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Closed in 1959.

mikeplugh on December 27, 2007 at 10:54 pm

Several excellent photos of this theater are available here:

View link

The owner of the theater, George D. Curtis, is a relative. If anyone has information about the theater, beyond what is listed here, please contact me.

mikeplugh on December 27, 2007 at 11:23 pm

If you are unable to access the photos at the above link, click “New Search” and enter “Strand.” You will find 2 photos. A further search of St. Paul Street may turn up several more photos of the theater in the background, including one as “The Happy Hour.”

JeffBertsch on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Jeff Bertsch I am very pleased that there is still knowledge of the Strand Theater.My greatgrandfather,George Curtis,opened the Strand. My grandmother(Jenny[Curtis]Bertsch) owned the Strand with her two sisters until it was sold in the 1950’s and lamentably became a parking lot. I note that mike plugh above is also a relative of George Curtis.I would like to communicate with him (Jeff )

dplugh on February 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

George Curtis and his wife, Kate, are my maternal great grandparents. I have more information on “The Happy Hour” and George and Kate’s longtime businesses in the entertainment industry.

dplugh on August 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

For more information on the Happy Hour and the Strand, you may go to my blog.

lorijo on December 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I have recently learned my late grandfather was part owner of this theatre until it was demolished.

DavidZornig on July 3, 2018 at 1:08 am

1941 Captain Marvel serial handout, front and back added. Via Larry Zdeb.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 31, 2018 at 5:37 am

This theatre showed a huge number of Italian films between the 1930s and 1950s, perhaps more than many others in the country outside of New York City.

dallasmovietheaters on December 15, 2022 at 8:05 am

The Strand building lasted 105 years in downtown Rochester. It opened as St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 62-70 St. Paul Street in 1848. When St. Paul’s moved to new digs in 1896, the venue became home to Colonial Hall on a ten-year leasing agreement from 1896 to 1906. It hosted wrestling events and was a place to skate.

Famous Rochester movie pioneer George D. Curtis bought the venue creating the early movie theater, the Happy Hour in 1907 joining the Bijou Dream Theater as the city’s only full-time nickelodeon movie theaters. The building received a refresh and new operators in 1913 as the Strand Theatre operating on a new, 20-year lease. The Strand converted to sound in 1929 to remain viable.

In 1933, the Strand got one more 20-year leasing deal. It struggled after the War with neighborhood theaters, drive-ins and television draining coins from aging downtown theaters. James J. Hayes, Albert M. Zack and Vincent P. Faga took the operation on in its final years closing up on March 24, 1953 at the end of lease. It was razed not long after the completion of the RKO Temple Theatre and concurrently with the Empire Theatre in May of 1953.

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