Local History: The Grand Strand Theater


Camden Celtruda, Local History/Local News Writer

Grand Strand theater circa 1943. Notice the ads for Lassie Come Home and Frank Sinatra’s Higher and Higher. Also the gate for the Mystic drawbridge is seen in front of the marquee. (Picture from the Mystic Historical Society’s Jesse Ball Stinson Collection)

Mystic- From the late 1930s until 1960 most people who lived in Mystic didn’t have to travel far to see a good film. Originally an opera house, the Grand Strand later became a movie theater  located in the now small space between where present day Mystical Toys is located and the Mystic River. As seen in this picture from the Mystic Historical Society’s Collections, famous films with actors like Frank Sinatra were common sight in this theater. Only two movies could play at the same time, but it was a nice convenience because afterward people might visit the surrounding stores or even take a nice walk. Sadly the theater, along with two other buildings, was victim to the Main Street Fire in the winter of 1960 and was never rebuilt. Firefighters had trouble containing the fire and saving the theater because the hoses were freezing from the cold. The picture shown below is the theater from after the fire. 

(Picture from thisismystic.com)