Strand Theatre

609 Main Street,
Danville, VA 24541

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Additional Info

Architects: J. Bryant Heard

Styles: Colonial Revival

Nearby Theaters

Hotel Leeland / Strand Theater( HILES)

The Strand Theatre was designed by architect J. Bryant Heard of Danville, VA. It was built as part of the Hotel Leeland complex in 1914-1915 at a cost of $100,000.

The Strand Theatre lobby was divided into two sections, the box office and the waiting parlor. The box office portion was open-air and was 20ft deep and had a ceiling 15ft high. The floor was laid in a green-white Greek-key pattern. The baseboards were white marble topped with oak panelling. The walls were covered with custom designed plaster picture frame moldings, accented on each side by a plaster wreath. Within each molding were two crystal light fixtures. The crown moldings for the lobby were designed in a rose pattern.

The box office stood about 10ft in height and 5ft in width and was octagonal in shape. The waiting parlor was of the same design and led to three doorways which provided entry into the auditorium. The staircase was located on the right as you passed through the doorway into the auditorium. At the base of the staircase was a doorway which led to the theatre lounge.

The auditorium had a balcony with a possible seating capacity of 200-300 people. The main floor of the auditorium had seating for 500 people. The colors of the auditorium were buff and white with green accents as needed.

The ceiling of the auditorium was a coffered design. The middle portion of the ceiling contained a large hole which allowed cool air to be pumped into the auditorium during the summer months from a fan operated by a belt/motor system. One of the earliest examples of indoor cooling in Danevile. It was capped off by a custom grill. The proscenium arch of the Strand Theatre measured 30ft wide and 25ft tall and the stage was about 15ft deep.

The original intent of the theatre was strictly for movies but could accommodate small vaudeville acts numbering no more than 10 people. The theatre also employed a full-time band of 7-members. The band members were later employed by the Bijou Theatre in the lower 300 block of Main Street after the Strand Theatre closed. Sadly, the Strand Theatre only operated a year, and was closed because of World War I and higher ticket prices.

The Strand Theatre was later repurposed as a ballroom for a time and was eventually divided up to include a full commercial kitchen for the hotel restaurant, called the Tea Room, located in the former theatre lounge. This restaurant space would operate most famously as The Royal Palms and most recently as King Cropp (now relocated). The former theatre lobby would be occupied by a flower shop and later be occupied for decades by HILES Gift Shop (now closed).

The Hotel Leeland was closed in 2018 and later sold to Watershed Ventures who currently own the property to this day (9/20/2022).

Contributed by Jonathan T. Hackworth

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

jthackworth2000 on November 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Just added a photo of the proscenium arch of the Strand. I took it a while back while the store owner took me through.

vwiles34 on August 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm

I have a great interest in any photos,paintings,poster’s or anything showing the Strand Theatre or Hotel Leeland during it’s early year’s.I work and live at the Leeland.But haven’t been able to see inside the area the theatre was in.But can say the owner has no interest in opening the theatre under any circumstances.Also I saw where Hile’s was mentioned several times.So want to let you know Hile’s closed in 2016 after about 85 years in that location.And there are no plans on renting that space.It will be used for storage for the hotel.Which is still in operation.As it has been in continuous operation since it was built over 100 yrs ago.But was happy to see this site as I’m often ask question’s about the Strand and find this to be my best source yet to get any details.

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