Upham's Corner Online

Strand Theatre Celebrates 93rd Birthday

Posted: November 11, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday TributeOn November 11, 2011 the Strand Theatre celebrated its 93rd Birthday in a warm four-hour tribute to its rich history, its continuing presence in Upham's Corner and the City of Boston's commitment to maintaining the Strand as one of the last working vintage neighborhood theatres in America.

In a fitting recognition of the day and the mission of the Strand Theatre in supporting the communities of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, the event engaged the artistic contributions of  members of the black community and representatives from our nation's armed forces.

Area politicos graced the event including Councilor Tito Jackson, State Representative Carlos Henriquez and Main Street Board President Matt Bruce but the nostalgia of these many years were created by the fans of the Strand Theatre who walked the halls and sat in the seats of the main theater much as Upham's Corner residents did on their very first day of life 93 years ago.  On that evening of November 11, 1918, the Strand Theatre opened with a double featuer - Queen of the Sea and Out of a Clear Sky.

Since that momentous date, the Strand Theatre has featured all manner of arts and entertainment including vaudeville comedy and circus acts to concerts, theater and boxing.  In 2011 the Strand is under renovation, with a goal of restoring it to its original gilded condition while upgrading the building systems to modern standards including a state of the art infrastructure (sound/lights/controls).


View Strand 93 Birthday Tribute Program

The Strand 93 Birthday Tribute Program shows the evening structured in three acts but it's not true!  There were four acts - the last being the most important - offering a toast to the Strand on her 93rd birthday and partaking in the gloriously artistic cake - more photos below

Act One - 93 Quilts
John Crowley, Curator
Presented by Sisters in Stitches Joined by The Cloth and Friends

Today, the Strand Theatre celebrates its 93rd birthday with 93 quilts from New England Quilting Guild, Sisters In Stitches Joined By The Cloth. Two
new gallery exhibit spaces open for display featuring awonderful 2 month showing of quilts from the region.

Gallery talk: Strand Gallery (1st floor); Hall of Mirrors Gallery (lobby); Mayor's Gallery (2nd floor); and Funk &Wilcox Gallery(4th floor) 4pm-8pm

Act Two - Performances
Aida Marshall, Mistress of Ceremonies
Anointed Biblical Scripture Gospel Quartet
AImerica Scores Poets Poetry, elementary school children
Art of Black Dance DeAma Battle, Artistic Director
Boston Dance Company Dance Theatre, James Reardon, Director
Haywood Fennel Poetry, Tri-Ad Veterans League
Marcel Victor
Haitian FolkArtist
One Luv'Dance Company Choreography by Jose Gonzalez
Phyllis Toben Bancroft Veterans Tribute, Film Maker, 'Burned"
Ray Romero Poetry
Segura Quartet & Friends Featuring pop artist Marena Segura

Act Three - Veteran's Salute

Short film - "Burned"
Color guard salute to War Veterans - Boston University Color Guard
Poetry Haywood Fennel



Act Four - Toasting her majesty and sharing the Birthday Cake A Toast to the Strand and Enjoying the Birthday Cake

Thank you for helping us celebrate the Strand, one of the last working vintage neighborhood theatres in America.

The birthday cake was truly a work of art.  Humbly behind the scenes was the artistic creator - Ms. Melodi Greene who is also the Strand Manager.

Melodi's daughter officiated over the (non-alcoholic) "cider champagne" toast and shared with us that her very talented mother made the cake by hand.  Truly a work of art. (see photos below).



Upham's Corner is grateful to: Alda Marshall, Director of Public & Private Partnerships
Edward Burnett, Stage & Lights Director
Melodi Greene, Strand Manager


Extablished in 1997, Sisters in Stitches Joined by the Cloth is currently the only African American quilt guild in New England dedicated to preserving the art, history and tradition of African American quilting. 

"Our mission is to express a plethora of ideas interwoven within our religious, social and economiccal practices.  We use this medium to document our family traiditions, remind us of our history and honor our ancestors."

Sisters has exhibited and demonstrated their quilting techniques at the Museum of Fine Arts, The Fuller Craft Museum, Bridgewater State College, Boston City Hall, and many other venues.

For more information, view their website:  http://www.sistersinstitches.org/     

Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Alda Marshall
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Poet Haywood Fennel
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Boston University Color Guard
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Boston Dance Company
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Art of Black Dance
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Anointed Biblical Scripture
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Sisters in Stitches Joined by The Cloth
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Matt Bruce, Main Street
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Councilor Tito Jackson
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Strand Theatre Birthday Cake
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Singing Happy Birthday
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Toasting her Majesty
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute
Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute Strand Theatre 93rd Birthday Tribute

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