Thanks to Ben Budick, Class of 1967
For This Piece of Rockaway History
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Long Story Short….In the Spring of 1969 I was friends with some of the people that ran the Fillmore East.  They were looking for a place to do Summer Concerts….I suggested the Strand…Which had been an old Vaudeville house and at that point had only been closed a couple of years and was STILL in very good condition…

I escorted a group of people on a tour of the Strand….the owners even sent me the relevant papers…The DRESSING ROOMS were a bit dusty but still in good shape and I don’t think those rooms had been used since the early 30’s…We ALMOST opened the Strand as a Summer Fillmore….UNFORTUNATELY the zoning Laws gave a church that was within, I believe, 100 or 200 yards of the place a veto on anything going on and of course St Mary’s wanted NOTHING to do with long haired dope smoking hippies…Remember this was 1969…So the idea died.

However I kept these papers….It might clear up some historical questions about when The Strand was built, how much it held, etc….If you notice Mal’s PAL gym was originally a dance hall!...I don’t remember much of the specifics. Remember this was almost 40 years ago!...but I do remember that while the theatre had 1775 seats at the time it was converted into a movie theatre in 1940, the actual number of seats in 1969 was 1520…So there must have been some sort of renovation done to the Strand somewhere between 1940 and 1969.

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