Strand Theatre

12905 Philadelphia Street,
Whittier, CA 90601

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres

Functions: Restaurant

Previous Names: Gale Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Opened in 1916 as the Gale Theatre. The Whittier News noted the opening of the Strand Theatre on August 2, 1922. The Oxnard Daily Courier reported in September of 1922 that the current three managers, who had leased the building in May, were suing the previous manager, who had sold them the business and equipment. On December 29, the Courier reported the dispute was settled in favor of the defendant, Mark Hansen, an Oxnard theatre man.

Fox West Coast Theatres management of the Strand Theatre, also operated the Scenic Theatre, and ran the Strand Theatre until May 21, 1929 when they closed it. Although the entrance was on Philadelphia Street, according to the Sanborn Maps, the auditorium was in back of the four shops. The entrance to the theatre would be about where Just Deadly, a tattoo parlor, is located today. The building to its left, another early twentieth-century building, was the IOOF lodge hall.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 31, 2013 at 2:32 pm

The L.A. County Assessor gives a construction year of 1902 and an effective build year of 1950 for the 10,766 sq. ft. building on this lot. Google’s camera car went up the alley alongside the building, and there is a parking lot behind it, so you can get a good view of the section that once housed the Strand Theatre’s auditorium.

It is currently part of the Marco Polo Pizza parlor, which has its main entrance on Philadelphia Street, but has another door facing the parking lot off of Comstock Avenue. The structure doesn’t look like it would have a ceiling high enough for a movie theater. Perhaps it was lowered as part of the 1950 alterations.

Although the Assessor’s office says the entire building was built in 1902, I suspect that the part with the auditorium might have been a later addition, and the Assessor’s office just lost track of the paperwork for it.

dallasmovietheaters on October 23, 2020 at 6:25 am

The former Gale Theatre turned Strand Theatre was reacquired in 1923 by its original owner Henry J. Siler. Siler had created the Scenic and closed the Gale shortly thereafter in 1921. New operators had reopened the Gale as the Strand. Two new operators failed to get much business to the Strand. But in 1923, Gale and partner Henry Gwin decided to purchase the Strand and move it to this location as the New Strand. It opened on January 21, 1924 with “Alias the Night Wind.”

Margaret Raysor played the pipe organ there. In 1925, the Strand was closed in the summer and open just on weekends beginning that Fall. The Strand appears to have closed after shows on May 21, 1929 not converting to sound. Robbins Pharmacy took on the venue changing the front and leveling the floor for its opening there in May of 1936.

dallasmovietheaters on October 25, 2020 at 10:31 pm

The Gale Theatrical Company and Henry Siler opened the Gale Theater in 1916.

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