71 Atlantic Street,
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In 1885, the Burlington Arcade Building at 73 Atlantic Street was completed. It is the current site of the Kiwanis Park, adjacent to the Palace Theatre.. The Arcade Building was a glass-enclosed “shopping center,” which housed many of Stamford’s most exclusive stores. The Arcade Building was also home to the Strand Theatre, which opened its doors to the public on December 11, 1914. Mrs. Mary Vuono managed the 400-seat theatre for six years until her husband Mr. Charles D. Vuono stepped in and purchased the entire building, giving Mrs. Vuono the control and artistic freedom she had been holding back for years.“
The Stamford Advocate reported on July 20, 1920: “A real estate deal involving more than $200,000, and the largest transacted for years, was consummated this morning, with the sale of the former Stamford Opera House and the Arcade Building to Mrs. Charles D. Vuono, proprietress of the Stamford Theatre.”
With this mega real-estate purchase, Charles D. Vuono had given his wife Mary total control of The Strand Theatre, which she was managing at the time, and of the Grand Opera House building, which would later become The Palace Theatre directly next door. Mrs. Vuono didn’t waste any time in making improvements to her newly acquired treasures.
On February 23, 1921, plans for alterations to the Strand Theatre were approved. It was going to be expanded from a 400-seat house into a house seating 1,400 people, by the addition of a balcony and extension to the rear of the building. The new Strand Theatre opened its doors on November 23, 1921 with the motion picture, “The Old Nest.” With the success of the Strand Theatre, Mrs. Vuono engaged Thomas Lamb as the architect to design and build the Palace Theatre directly next door, where the Grand Opera House once stood.
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