Located across the street form Marietta Square, the Strand Theatre is a historic movie palace in downtown Marietta, Georgia. Built in 1935 by the Manning-Winks Theatre Company, it is a fine example of Art Deco architecture, featuring a decorative front facade and a large marquee. Officially called the Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre, the Strand is a popular entertainment venue today, hosting a variety of events including concerts, musicals, lectures, and film showings. There is also the Lumiere Lounge, which offers live music, comedy, and silent film showings. Every year the Strand also produces their own cabarets that range from summer Motown hits to popular contemporary songs.
Backstory and Context
The theatre was built in just seven months and opened on September 24, 1935. It boasted the latest technology available at the time including heating and air conditioning, an acoustical sound system, and a fireproof projection room (it also features a replica theatre organ that it acquired in 1999). The Strand remained a popular film venue for several decades, even as TVs and drive-in theaters increased competition. However, by the early 1950s, it was in bad shape and the Manning-Winks Theatre Company sold it to the Martin Theatre Chain. It was during this time that the Strand started to host musical acts in addition to showing films.
The next company to own the Strand was The Georgia Theatre, which completely renovated it in 1964. Movie showings ended in 1976 and the old building was then used as a live music venue, church, a club. In 2002 it closed but efforts to revive and renovate it began. These concluded in 2008 and the Strand reopened in January 2009.
An additional source led to the understanding more about the earlier renovation in 1935. According to the Marietta official attractions website, The strand theatre was originally just a local movie theatre house. Live performances did not really come until The Atlanta Lyric theatre opened their show of Beauty and the Beast in 2009!
According to a current article written by Kathy Ruth Camp there has been a renaming of the Strand Theatre. Formerly, the theatre’s name is “The Earl Smith Strand Theatre”, but now the new name is “The Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre”. The Strand faculty received a large donation of $500,000 and wanted to celebrate the wonders that it would actively create to the theatre. Earl Smith donated this to the strand for it to help with the loan debt they had when they were renovating and trying to reopen the theatre to the community. Camp says that “Smith credits his late wife, Rachel, for being his partner in business, politics and community service and especially in spearheading the efforts to raise money for the renovation of the Strand. So it was only natural that his latest donation, in an effort to close the debt on the Strand renovation loan, was done in memory of her.” (Camp) So this is why the new name at the Strand now states “The Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre”.
Camp, Katy Ruth. “Marietta's Iconic Strand Theatre Gets a New Name after Donation.”
MDJOnline.com, Marietta Daily Journal , 18 Oct. 2017,
This article gives new information on the latest update with The Strand. It discusses the new official name change of the theatre from “The Earl Smith Strand Theatre” to “The Rachel and Earl Smith Strand Theatre”. Earl Smith donated half a million dollars to the theatre in honor of his late wife Rachel, who had so much love for the theatre. This mysterious donation and name change was done in memory of her. This article gives specific information on the processes on the donations and the benefits it will be doing for the theatre.
"Earl Smith Strand Theatre." Cinema Treasures. Accessed February 24, 2020. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/4278.
The Earl Smith Strand Theatre’s website is structured very nicely. The fact that it is a historic landmark and it is still functional is impressive. In the website It tells you a list of the historic moments that occurred involving the strand theatre. Everything else on the website is about information on purchasing tickets, events that occur on the calendar, directions on how to the theatre, and rental information on renting out. This website also has information on auditions and hiring. Since the Strand Theatre is located in the square, it also contains information about the historic downtown Marietta.
"Strand Theatre History." Strand Theatre. Accessed February 24, 2020.
This website is just known for locating and finding historic spaces that celebrate art. Specifically on The Strand Theatre’s page it keeps an update on information that goes on. It lets viewers know how to get to the location and shares the link to buy tickets. I like how it states that the Strand Theatre is an open live theatre with some cinema showing events.
“The Strand.” Marietta.com, Marietta's Online Magazine and City Guide,
This magazine article talks about the history of The Strand Theatre. This information is based off of the background information on the official Strand Theatre website. The only difference on this website is that it mentions The Strand’s partnership with the Atlanta Lyric, a professional traveling theatre company that rents out spaces to hold productions. The Atlanta Lyric reopened at The Strand Theatre with the musical Beauty and the Beast in December in 2008.
“The Strand Theatre.” Eventful, Strand Theatre Schedule ,
This is a fun ticket website where there are a list of ticketed events at The Strand Theatre. This website gives information on the background of each event. This website has information about the theatre’s location and box office hours and phone information. When you buy a ticket it allows you to either print it out or have it reserved for when you arrive at the theatre.
Idawriter, via Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Strand_Theater_-_panoramio.jpg