Strand Theatre

236 Main Street,
Hobart, IN 46342

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Colonial Theatre, Gem Theatre

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Strand Theatre

The Colonial Theatre was opened prior to 1913. By 1915 it had been renamed Gem Theatre. Strand Theatre. By 1930 it was operating as the Strand Theatre. It seated 420 and closed in 1953. The site is now a restasurant.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

This theater was around for quite a while before being renamed the Strand, and had operated as the Colonial Theatre and the Gem Theatre. This is from the entry (#57) for 236 Main Street on a 1979 list of historic buildings in downtown Hobart compiled by the Hobart Historical Society:

“236 Main Street…. was the Colonial Theater owned by Ed Spencer who sold to Pliny J. Truesdell who sold to H.T. Coons of Chicago, August 19, 1913. The Theater was called ‘The Gem’ until Sam Routes bought it and renamed it ‘The Strand.’ In 1913 the program listed three one-reel movies and two acts of vaudeville. [Ed] Prusieckis took over The Strand in 1939. It is now a saloon. This building and the next one on the corner were built in 1893.”
Ed Prusieckis built the Art Theatre in 1941. The 1979 list can be found here at Scribd. Here is a photo of the Gem Theatre taken in 1916.

Chris1982 on June 9, 2014 at 10:13 pm

The vintage photo of the Gem looks like it was a one story building. But Cagney’s Saloon is at the 236 Main St. address and it is a two story building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 10, 2014 at 9:08 am

The photo just doesn’t extend high enough to show the second floor. The sliver of doorway seen at the left is the entrance to the upstairs.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 11, 2014 at 8:30 am

The earliest mention of the Gem I’ve found so far is from the October 2, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“County Treasurer Swanson, owner of the Gem theater, Hobart, Ind., is to remodel the house. An addition is being built on the rear. Manager Coons has ordered a new picture machine and a new piano.”
The March 11, 1916, issue of the same publication has an article about the Gem and its operator, H. T. Coons. So far I haven’t found any items about the house when it was called the Colonial.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 24, 2014 at 6:32 am

Here’s another one: The Moving Picture World, June 2, 1917. In the classified ads: FOR SALE: Gem Theatre, Hobart, Indiana; modern; vaudeville, pictures, 382 seats; two motor Simplex machines, transverter, orchestrion; making money.

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