The Strand Theatre in Quincy, MA opened on September 6, 1926. It had 1,800 seats and originally hosted vaudeville shows, political rallies, plays, and silent films. It was converted to show “talkies” or motion pictures with sound in 1928, and the first one shown at the theater was “The Lion and the Mouse” starring Lionel Barrymore. During the Great Depression, the Strand used a common tactic called “dish night” to get people to come back again and again. A single dish was given out to each patron on specific nights of the week, the idea being that people would keep coming back because they would want to complete the set.
In the late 1970s, the theater was purchased by Tony Delpidio, who wanted to turn it into a roller rink with a video arcade, but was met with community opposition. Delpidio then tried to raise funds to turn the theater into a multiplex by dividing the interior, but could not do so.
A planned concert by Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics caused the city of Quincy to suspend the Strand’s operating licence. Williams was known as “The Queen of Shock Rock” and she would smash TVs with sledgehammers, and use chainsaws on stage. The concert was cancelled, and Strand was put up for sale.
It closed on June 26, 1982. The last film shown was “Victor, Victoria” starring Julie Andrews and James Garner. South Shore Bank purchased the theater, and it was torn down in 1983. It is now a parking lot.
Matt Lambros MA Quincy Feb 09, 2023 Architecture History Then & Now