Strand Theatre

4950 Newport Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92107

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Showing 23 comments

Richard87 on January 30, 2018 at 8:16 pm

Goodness, The Strand! Went there many, many, many times in the early 70s, and there began a lifelong love of cinema. Yes, saw On Any Sunday and Rocky Horror. Also many others I haven’t seen exhibited anywhere since: Things like Candy & Putney Swope. Used to be able to smoke there. Many joints of the lowest quality Mexican grass only added to the experience.

LomaUsher on March 14, 2014 at 4:26 am

I remember going to the Strand Twice. Once an older friend took me to see “Emanuelle: The Joys of a Woman” as a way of introducing me to the concept of the birds and the bees although, if the truth be told, I really didn’t need the introduction. I pretty much had the idea anyway. Later another friend and I went there to see a double bill of the original 1954 television production of “Casino Royale” starring Barry Nelson, along with the 1967 film starring David Niven, Woody Allen, Orson Welles et al. I never forgot certain bits of Emanuelle, but on the whole I really would have rather seen it by myself.

quonundrum on October 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm

The Strand operated into the late 1990s I remember going on a date there as a teenager… there WERE movie theater seats.. never saw carpet and pillows, which would be a dumb idea anyway.

neeb on September 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Look for Photos 22 and 23.

malmer on February 9, 2011 at 3:11 am

I seem to recall that in the late 70s or early 80s the Strand changed hands and for a while showed old black and white films. The seats were removed and replaced with carpet and pillows so the audience could lounge around on the floor while watching the movie.

danwhitehead1 on August 9, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Actually there wasn’t balcony at the Strand. That was an area to the left of the projection booth where someone had literally cut a hole in the wall and put a piece of thick plexiglass in it and placed a couch in front of it. There were a series of rooms upstairs which had been two small apartments with one bathroom (never could figure that one out). I don’t know when they ceased to be apartments, but they became the manager’s office and store rooms. I really don’t know how that little sitting area worked into the shceme of things, but it was never a balcony. The first time I was ever in the Strand in 1974 (to run the special showing of “Woodstock”) that viewing window wasn’t there, so it had to have been done some time between 1974 and 1982 or ‘83 which is when Walnut took the place over and it became on of my responsibilities.

MBahl on August 9, 2008 at 9:31 pm

I “worked” at the Strand in OB in the later 1970’s pushing popcorn at the midnight shows of “Rocky Horror”. I was usually dressed as the character of Magenta. REAL bikers rode their Harleys up and down the aisles whenever Meatloaf came on the screen as the doomed biker, Eddie. It was the wildest! There was a private, tiny soundproof screening room on the balcony that fit two or three people; that was our hangout. I’ve seen “Rocky Horror” midnight shows in LA and New York City and the one at the Strand was by far the wildest!!

monika on May 5, 2008 at 12:07 pm

A 2004 photo I took of the Strand can be seen here:
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shoeshoe14 on September 5, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Right. I saw it last night and saw “..rand” and the next scene indicated it was San Diego.

brentmcd on June 19, 2007 at 6:21 pm

The Strand Theater in OB is now a Wings store ( For the community, I think the general idea at the time was to get the place renovated as it had experienced years of neglect and disrepair. Heartbreaking to walk inside and see what it has become though — a classic single screen converted to selling beach-themed schlock merchandise….

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CHICTH74 on July 12, 2006 at 9:55 pm

The Strand DOES show up in the movie “Almost Famous” it is rather hard to see you have to stop the DVD and advance it to see it and all that is seen is the name it is found in the start of the movie when “San Diego 1969 is writen across the screen. Thank You for you time :)

BrooklynJim on June 19, 2006 at 1:02 pm

To Rufus Quail, re your post on 4-27-05:

Yep, you get the prize. It was the Strand in the background.

Cameron Crowe lived in San Diego for a few years, even attended Clairemont High as a “student.” That eventually produced his first instant classic, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” (In a letter Cameron sent me back in ‘83, he’d indicated just how much fun he had with the composite character of Spicoli. Sean Penn was letter perfect: “Let’s party, dude!”)

But, yeah, the O.B. Strand…Good eye, sir!

danwhitehead1 on March 29, 2006 at 3:55 pm

Does anyone out there remember the downtown San Diego theatres of the 1970s?

danwhitehead1 on March 29, 2006 at 1:40 pm

I hung around OB in the days of my youth in the early ‘70s. At the request of the manager of the Strand, a lady named Marie Mahre (spelling?), I was the projectionist at a special showing of “Woodstock” in 1974 (I think it was '74; that was so long ago now). At that time I was the day projectionist at the Aztec Theatre which was on the corner of 5th and “G” Streets downtown. I did a lot of shopping at The Black and my favorite restaurant was a mexican place across the street from the Strand called Margarita’s. Ah, those were the days.

kencmcintyre on November 1, 2005 at 6:02 pm

This is the Strand in Ocean Beach:

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kencmcintyre on October 21, 2005 at 6:43 pm

The Superba may also have been called the Mirror:

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kencmcintyre on October 21, 2005 at 6:41 pm

I am also looking for any information on the Superba Theater on Third and C Street. Here is a picture:

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kencmcintyre on October 21, 2005 at 6:33 pm

The theater mentioned above may also have been called the Empress:

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kencmcintyre on October 21, 2005 at 6:25 pm

This picture from the San Diego Historical Society shows a Strand Theater at 6th and B Streets, which is in the Gaslamp District, I think. This may have been a live venue as opposed to showing films.

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Jantexsf on August 20, 2005 at 7:49 am

I too have great memories of The Strand. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s I lived in Ocean Beach and The Strand was the only theater we ever went to. I especially remember seeing the classic surf flick “Endless Summer”. The theater was nothing fancy, but was a definite focal point in the town where the only other indoor entertainment was the bowling alley. I recognized Newport street in the movie “Almost Famous” too. Having been back to OB a few times in recent years, I’m always delighted to find that it has barely changed at all since the hippie/surfer/sailor days of the 1960’s.

muxloek on April 27, 2005 at 9:52 am

I’m not positive, but I think the Strand appears briefly in the background in a scene from Cameron Crowe’s movie “Almost Famous.”

ghehsv41 on November 16, 2004 at 10:28 pm

I have good memories of the Strand Theater. The Strand was really just your basic neighborhood movie house, nothing fancy. In the late 1970’s it was a “second run” movie house – that is playing fairly recent films that were no longer being shown in the more mainstream theaters for about a quarter of what the “first run” houses charged and also showed some indies that probably wouldn’t have been shown anywhere else. On Friday and Saturday nights, the main event was the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”; I must have seen it at least 12-15 times. The Strand rocked on those nights. The Strand was a cheap way to spend an evening; the theater showed 3-4 different movies each week. I’m sorry to hear it’s no longer open, but after 25 years later I’m not real surprised. The Strand was a real treasure in the Ocean Beach district of San Diego; I’m sure there are many others with fond memories of the place.

keeba on April 24, 2004 at 7:18 am

The Strand Theater was located in Ocean Beach. For decades, it was the only venue in town for THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.