Strong Theatre

203 Main Street,
Burlington, VT 05401

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dallasmovietheaters on January 2, 2018 at 6:22 pm

The last shows at the Strong Theatre – a matinee of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and an evening showing of “Klute.” A fire on October 9, 1971 ended the theater’s long run.

susanhpage on December 8, 2016 at 11:08 pm

I was born in 1961 and grew up in Burlington. My dad was on the volunteer fire department. As a kid we went to the Strong Theater every weekend to see a movie. At the time there were a series of fires set by an arson, who was eventually caught, but he managed to destroy many historical buildings before then. The Strong wasn’t rebuilt and as kids we lost an amazing resource. I have wonderful memories of being dropped off out front by my Mom, so that my friends and I – for only about $1 a person, got to see whatever movie had just been released. I remember my Dad talking about the frustration of the local authorities about catching the person who was starting the fires, and the fear about fire fighters or civilians being injured. I also remember my Dad talking about how someone was taking photographs of all the people in the crowds when the fire was burning, because they knew the arsonist would be in the crowd watching what he had done. I don’t know if that is how they caught him.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 27, 2015 at 11:13 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the Strong Th., Card # 576. Address is Burlington Street. There is an exterior photo dated Feb. 5, 1941. Condition is Fair. The report says the Strong was opened in 1900, and that it’s not showing MGM films. It had 750 main floor seats, and 250 balcony.

CSWalczak on September 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

A video about the fire that destroyed the Strong and State theaters as well as a cathedral and other buildings can be seen here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm

The University of Vermont library has four photos of the Strong Theatre, most of them showing the street sides of the building, like this one dated 1950, but there is one photo showing the other side, where the auditorium and stage tower were visible.

Quite a few sources note that the Strong Theatre opened on October 24, 1904. Most Internet sources I’ve seen say that the fire that destroyed it took place in 1970, but the caption of a photo on this page of the book Burlington Firefighting, by Liisa Reimann and James M. Woodmanthe, says that the fire took place in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 9, 1971.

An item in a 1933 issue of Motion Picture Herald, which I’ve only seen in a snippet view from Google Books, says that the Strong Theatre was being remodeled at a cost of $20,000. The architect for the project was Frank Lyman Austin, of Burlington.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

Here is an image of a poster advertising a film at the Strong in 1916 with a newspaper boy nearby.Poster

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm

From the early 1900s a picture postcard view of the Strong Theatre in Burlington.