Strand Theatre

104 S. Main Street,
Helper, UT 84526

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Strand Theatre

The Strand Theatre is owned by Don Carlow, who recently installed a new roof and who has plans to restore some of the structure and open shops. Below the theater and hotel are an old card room, a Southwestern-themed dance hall and a bar. The theater is used mostly for storage.

It cannot be used for entertainment because it no longer meets codes. Baron Willison, caretaker of the theater, says it would cost less to build a new theater on the site than to restore the old one.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

jinni4 on November 3, 2008 at 11:48 am

The Strand Theatre was sold by Don Carlow in 2007 to Morgan Lund and Jinni Fontana-Lund. The Hillcrest Hotel is under renovation, to be converted to apartments. They are looking for funding to renovate the theatre.

kencmcintyre on April 6, 2009 at 12:26 am

There is a 1986 photo on this site:

jinni4 on July 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm

344 S. Main is not the correct address. Google Maps is wrong – as are many of the Helper addresses on Main St. It’s either 104, 106 or 108 S. Main. Because there is no address on the outside, and, because there were businesses in the basement, the post office and the city do not know what the correct address is. It is most likely 104 S. Main but that is yet to be determined.

ghamilton on March 5, 2011 at 8:20 am

The 2009 photo mentions the RIO.Why isn’t it listed???

Francios on March 25, 2013 at 11:22 pm

The Rio Hotel (Rio Theater Bldg) was originally a house of prostitution. The “Hotel” located on the top second level was the working area for the “girls”. The lower levels had a bar and cafe. I have photos of the Rio before it burned leaving basically the shell of the building. After the building burned, Helper City went to the Community Impact Board of Utah for funds to convert the shell into a performing theater.

Francios on March 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

The Ossana Family should also be mentioned as the original builder and owner of the Strand Theater which also had a barber shop (Pete’s Barber Shop)on the left side of the main entrance and also the barber shop shared an entrance to the basement Strand Sweet Shop. On the right side of the Main Theater Entrance was Bessie Hogan’s dress and hat shop. The entrances on the side of the building were also for the Strand Sweet Shop located in the basement. To the rear and attached to the Strand Theater is the Hillcrest Hotel, which was also built and owned by the Ossana family. The Ossana family lived in the top western side of the hotel.

As for the statement that the theater can never be used for entertainment is not a true and valid statement. One does need to become familiar with the Uniform Building Codes and Uniform Fire Code which especially addresses codes for historical structures.

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