Strand Theatre

235 Pike Avenue,
Long Beach, CA 90802

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 25 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 3, 2021 at 10:20 am

Issues of Southwest Builder & Contractor from November 22 and December 13, 1918 say that the new theater soon to be built on The Pike for Otis Hoyt was being designed by local architect W. Horace Austin. The new house was on the site of the Columbia Theatre, which was to be demolished after the first of the year.

rivest266 on February 21, 2021 at 4:11 am

This opened as the Hoyt’s on June 30th, 1919. Pictures at Grand opening ad posted.

DavidZornig on March 19, 2016 at 9:21 am

1946 photo added, photo credit Charles Phoenix.

BillCounter on April 18, 2011 at 5:30 am

Well, it’s not a facade view – but you get the sign for the Strand:

View link

It’s a vintage postcard view on Card Cow looking west along The Pike with the Bathhouse in the foreground (the columned building) and the steel framework of the Strand sign beyond.

kencmcintyre on May 8, 2010 at 9:44 am

The Strand can be seen in this 1938 photo from the Long Beach library:

kencmcintyre on March 31, 2009 at 9:26 am

Here is a December 1947 ad from the Long Beach Press-Telegram:

kencmcintyre on October 26, 2008 at 7:33 am

Here is an LA Times article dated March 5, 1908. It looks like the new theater was going up on the Pike, but the theater itself is not named.


The city, after a famine, is to have a surfeit of playhouses. A deal for a third theater was closed today between the Seaside Water Company and the E.C. Edmundson and R.C. McDonald, former manager of the Long Beach Theater. The site leased is a 58x200 foot lot between the bath-house and the Majestic Rink, and heretofore has been used as a children’s playground. Mr. McDonald has the plans and capital for a modern theater which will be erected at once and will cost $40,000. Meanwhile, the new Tarrytown, a block west, is being built, and the Naples Construction Company today signed contracts to begin work on the Bentley Theater, west of the Majestic Rink.

kencmcintyre on September 22, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Here is a May 1958 ad from the Long Beach Independent:

DennisM432 on March 13, 2008 at 10:10 am

I have 2 friends currently living in Long Beach who played at the Strand. One, Art Claar, played trumpet in the vaudeville band and the other sang at the Strand. I am working on a documentary film about the old movie theaters in Long Beach. I would like to talk to anyone who has any memories or pictures of the old theaters. Contact me at

kencmcintyre on February 21, 2007 at 2:17 am

Criswell was known for his appearances in Ed Wood films. He was a purported psychic, who later admitted to a career-long hoax. When he appeared at the Strand in March 1950, he as still known as Jeron King Criswell, Press-Telegram columnist. Criswell left us, presumably having been informed ahead of time, in 1982.

Criswell Closes at Strand Theater

Jeron King Criswell, who has been appearing in Long Beach theaters over three weeks, closed his run at the Strand Theater last night. He will devote this week to catching up on questions and answers submitted by Press-Telegram readers for his daily column.

On Wednesday, March 22, Criswell will open at the Lakewood Theater for a four-day appearance and will give a special ladies' matinee March 24, at 1 o'clock. He will open a week’s engagement
March 26 at the Atlantic Theater and will give a ladies’ matinee March 31.

kencmcintyre on November 23, 2006 at 7:05 am

By 1956, the price of a ticket had climbed to 35 cents. Kids under 12 got in for 9 cents. The vaudeville acts were gone, though. The theater was open from 1 p.m. to midnight.

davidLBC on November 10, 2006 at 3:00 am

I’m facinated by the waves on the beach you can see in that 1925 picture. We have no waves today thanks to the huge 7-mile long breakwater built to during WWII. The navy used to park ships behind the breakwater while they were waiting repair at the shipyard. Now the navy shipyard is gone (replaced by a Chinese cargo terminal) and the breakwater serves only to retain the flood of trash dumped into the sea from the LA river every time it rains. Everyone thinks Huntington Beach is “surf city”, but Long Beach was the forerunner, hosting the first national surf contest in 1938. Now the beach is empty nearly year-round. In my opinion, the breakwater slowly strangled beach attractions such as the Pike and led to the deterioration of the city through the 70’s. I live two blocks from the beach and I never put even a toe in the water.

kencmcintyre on October 21, 2006 at 9:02 pm

Here is the text of an ad in the Long Beach Independent, dated 5/13/48:

Strand Theatre
Phone 647-33
Vaudeville- 2 Big Stage Acts

Bargain Matinee – 25 cents plus tax Daily 12-1
Except Sat Sun Holidays

Now Playing:

“Bombers Moon” plus “Immortal Sergeant” with Henry Fonda

kencmcintyre on October 8, 2006 at 6:07 am

There are some interior shots on this page, including a color photo:

kencmcintyre on October 4, 2006 at 6:28 am

Here is the back end of Hoyt’s in 1925:

GaryParks on January 9, 2005 at 4:25 am

The Strand was originally called Hoyt’s Theatre. It opened in the Teens. It was remodeled in the Twenties, the architect being either William Lee Woolett, who was the architect for Grauman’s Metropolitan (later the Paramount) in Downtown Los Angeles, or at the very least, someone who had access to either his designs or the same supplier of ornamental plaster details. The remodeling of Hoyt’s made the auditorium look like a scaled-down and simplified version of the Metropolitan—with many of the same motifs employed. In its last years, these auditorium details were painted over in pink, aqua, and white.

When Hoyt’s was new, my adopted grandmother, Mary Tolson (Bruce) was a girl. A neighborhood couple “employed” her to be on babysitting duty while they attended a vaudeville and movie show at the theatre. Before it was time for them to leave, Mary kept hinting, “I’ve never been to Hoyt’s Theatre.” She was so persistent in her hinting that finally the couple wound up taking her with them on their date, employing someone else to do the babysitting. Mary is now in her mid-nineties, and her stories of moviegoing in Long Beach played a significant part in my becoming interested in old theatres.

dougsarvis on February 20, 2004 at 2:41 pm

even by the 50’s the strand…which was on the midway of the Pike(an old amusement park)had seen better days….in thos edays Long beach was a Navy town…and a lot of sailors sobered up in the strand9or passed out after visiting places like the New Yorker bar…it showed mostly b-movies…and was long gone by late 60’s when major elements of the fleet left Long Beach and the Pike gradually faded into memoy and gave way to redevelopment