Erie’s first Strand Theater opened in 1915 at 922 State Street. The
theater could accommodate 1,300 people, and exclusively showed
Paramount and First National Pictures films. The theater was originally
owned by the Rowland and Clark Company of Pittsburgh, but in the 1940s
it was operated by the Warner Brothers Circuit Management Corporation.
The theater was demolished in the 1940s, prompting the construction of
a new theater in 1948.
In 1948, Stanley-Warner, who operated several movie theaters across the
United States, commissioned the construction of the second Strand
Theater at West 10th street. The theater was designed by Victor A.
Rigaumont, and accommodated 980 seats. From 1962-1964, the Strand
Theater was used as a Cinerama, which featured a large curved screen.
The new theater was unable to live up to the grandness of the original
theater. It remained vacant from the late 1960s until 1983, when it was
purchased by the Erie Playhouse, a community theater company. The
building was renamed the Erie Playhouse, and is host to various live