The Strand Theatre was founded in 1918, in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. It was Boston’s first venue designed specifically for motion pictures. The Strand was renovated and restored about 10 years ago, with a $6 million capital investment from the City of Boston, which owns the theater, to turn it into a theater performance space.
But the theater lacks programming and is desperately underutilized, in part because it has a massive 1,400-seat capacity. The Upham’s Corner neighborhood, for better or for worse, doesn’t generally draw crowds that large for cultural events.
Today, I signed a petition to support the creation of a black-box theater inside the Strand. Creative entrepreneur and activist, Tory Bullock, launched a campaign to open a 40-seat black-box theater to encourage local engagement with this gem of a venue. Here’s his video (if the embed code doesn’t work, just click through to check it out):
The Mayor’s office has already taken note of the petition, according to this WBUR article. Let’s hope it gets included in the Boston Creates Cultural plan that is currently under development.
Special bonus, here’s what the Strand looked like back in the day, from the Cinema Treasures website: