Strand Theater

When was the last time they showed a movie at the strand?

How awesome would it be if there where shows there like the ones at Newton.

Roywhite Roywhite
2 weeks ago

While they don't show movies there, the theater can be rented if you wish to screen a movie (look under "Rentals") and they do host various events. They go by the name "Hackettstown Center for the Arts":

I was there for the Paranormal Symposium last October. I don't see any events posted yet for this year, but the website does have their copyright date up until 2020, so that means someone must be keeping it current.

I think the last movie was 1986 or 87...just trying to remember when and what it was

Something like the shows at the Newton would be nice and go great with the dining options in Hackettstown; dinner and a show! Currently we enjoy shows at Centenary and dinner in town.

Mrs. Pipes```` Mrs. Pipes````
2 weeks ago

Ceased operation as a movie theater in September 1986.

Yes, September 1986 is the right month/year. I can't remember what the movie was though. I do recall that we paid between .50 - 1.00 at most for tickets there. Lots of memories!

hktownie hktownie
2 weeks ago

I'd dearly love to have an option such as the Newton Theater right in our town. I think about it every time I walk by the Strand, which is often.

Back when we used to go there my dad referred to the Strand as "The Buck House" because movies were a dollar. Saw a lot of great shows there.

We do have an option; Centenary Stage. Concerts going on right now; theatre too.

Try it, it’s a gem.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
2 weeks ago

We've only lived here a little over a year, and we have attended a few things at Centenary Stage. But it seems, at least in the time we've been here, that Centenary leans more toward plays than music, and that they have far fewer "name" bands/musicians than does Newton Theater. Which is great; variety is a good thing. But we could have both. From what I've seen there is very little, if any, overlap between the offerings of Newton Theater and Centenary Stage.

I would agree that Centenary could up its musical game. I like that they strive for "artistic" acts intended to expand our minds, but you can have that and popular too. You hit that one spot on. They are missing a sizeable chunk of revenue there. Likewise, I would love to see more music in town, the Strand is the perfect size.

However, let's face it, most of Newton is cover bands or tribute bands. Yes, they have name bands, musicians, but they are the minority. I still rue the day I saw Todd Rundgren at NJPAC to find out he was at Newton the next day. That must have been a show. However....he does Penn Peak regularly, never has returned to Newton.

There's also Roy's Hall in Blairstown. Smaller venue bands, lots of individual players, folk, and bluegrass. Seldom Scene, bluegrass, will be there end of Jan. That's a class bluegrass show. I should know, grew up with them....literally.

I would love to see acts come to The Strand. Given our restaurant district, it's a double play at minimum, could be a home run of a business and gots to be more revenue than they are facing today. Parking is good, the main difficulty is managing the crowds and crowd type. The other events seem to have that down as good as it gets, Penns Peak even serves beer and such.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
2 weeks ago

There's still a large space inside the Strand?

I remember taking guitar lessons upstairs at Studio 46 many years ago. If I recall, the main floor seemed very small/cramped (not that upstairs was much bigger). Never really looked around for the "theater" room.

Mark Mc. Mark Mc.
2 weeks ago

Re: Strand Theater

I took this picture from the Strand Studios website, they occupy the theater and give music lessons there, and blew up the small pic. Looks like they have a theater that will hold a couple hundred people maybe.

I am not sure if they are representing this as the inside of The Strand, but I would hope so since it is on their website.

The Rhyme Animal The Rhyme Animal
2 weeks ago

Someone on here will know but I doubt they have new seats with cup holders on them in there. I looked couldn’t find much info or pix of inside.
Who knows?

Roywhite Roywhite
2 weeks ago

Unfortunately, I don't remember what the seats looked like when I was at the Paranormal symposium last October, or if they were even in folding chairs, lol. That's because we were in a smaller area that had a curtain behind it that seemed to be a smaller performance area. I have no idea how the theater portion itself is configured or can be reconfigured (if so) from my visit.

On another note, Al DiMeola is going to be playing the Newton Theater!

I had an idea for a venue not far away which I thought would lend itself to concerts, but it would take much more capitol and experience than I have, lol.

The Strand Theater is owned by Vienna Piano. Vienna Piano occupies much of the downstairs of the Strand, including where the original stage was and where the film screen was. Vienna Piano sells piano, offers piano storage, tuning services, restoration, moving, etc. Vienna Piano can be found here:

You can also read more about the history of The Strand here:

The rest of the building is occupied by Strand Studios and Hackettstown Center for the Arts. I co-own both business with Prof. Chris Lance.

Strand Studios is located on the second floor of the building. Chris had taught there under the previous ownership of the music school for many years and took it over about 4 years ago under a new name (previously called Studio 46). In the past 4 years, we have done several renovations to the school/studio. If anyone took lessons here when it was Studio 46, I think you will be happy with the updates and we’d love if you stopped by sometime. We currently have 10 teachers and offer music lessons, as well as acting and film classes. We have expanded quite a bit - music lessons, KiddyKeys preschool classes, group acting classes, private acting lessons, film lessons, music production lessons, young voices class, instrument rentals, summer music camp, and more. We teach over 300 students per week and continue to grow and educate. Strand Studios can be found here:

Hackettstown Center for the Arts is located on the first floor. HCA was started in mid-2018. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. HCA can hold up to 70 seats. While they are not movie theatre seats, they are not folding chairs either. They are removable chairs so we can arrange them for different events, but they are padded seats and quite comfortable. The art center is host to several resident groups including the Strand String Ensemble and the Strand Performance Group, who host several shows per year. We have had many events over the past year and half including a harpist (Anju Felix), a Jazz Tenor (Ty Shank), A Cole Porter Cabaret (Claire Mckinney-Mulhern), a painter/wood carving art exhibition (Gennadii Sporyshev), NJ Paranormal Symposium (featuring Frank St. James and Stacy McGovern), Diva Night (featuring 3 sopranos, Angelica Parisi, Monica Naxera, and Lauren Layfield), Poetry Night (featuring John Dorsey), and many more. HCA is also set up for film screening. We are currently setting up the 2020 season. Information on HCA and the 2020 season can be found here:

Alison Ervin Alison Ervin
2 weeks ago

I grew up in NC and played in a bluegrass band for about 9 years during my teen years. Was thrilled to learn about Roy's Hall a few weeks ago, just in time to catch Jerry Douglas's solo show there. Can't make the Seldom Scene show, unfortunately, but I'm happy to know there's a venue nearby that is willing to cater to the bluegrass audience.

My son took Guitar Lessons there. He learned a lot and enjoyed the teacher. Last movie I saw there was Summer Vacation with John Candy.

John Candy was never in a movie named Summer Vacation... think you meant Summer Rental. Probably one of the worst movies in the history of Hollywood. Sorry you spent good money on that pile of dog poop...

"Probably one of the worst movies in the history of Hollywood."

LOL, not even close. Not a good movie, but not one of the worst in the history of Hollywood.

Calico696 Calico696
2 weeks ago

It may be tied with 600 other movies that were "just as bad"... including just about every other movie where JC was the "leading man" rather than a supporting actor... but you can't get less than zero.

Worst movie ever? are you serious? I'm with Calico

thaimaster1978 thaimaster1978
2 weeks ago

That was a funny lowbrow comedy, along with a lot of other ones he was in. He was a great comedic actor in my mind. Enjoyed him from his days on second city TV through his movie career.

"one of the" worst movies ever...

Denis, I'm a big fan of funny lowbrow movies... Caddyshack, Vacation series, Airplane, Happy Gilmore, Easy Money, Back to School, etc...

Summer Rental was an UNfunny low brow comedy, probably one of Candy's worst. Hell, Canadian Bacon, while not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, was head and shoulders above that stinker.

John Candy was at his best in a supporting role. The only movie I can think of that was tolerable with him doing the heavy lifting was Uncle Buck... and that was borderline at best. But, he was brilliant in Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and The Great Outdoors with Aykroyd and The Blues Brothers w/ Aykroyd/Belushi.

We just disagree, no big deal. I think costar is more appropriate for his roles in the great outdoors, and planes trains and automobiles. Loved Easy Money, hated Back to School.

Scuse me: worst movie ever; Travolta’s Battlefield Earth.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
2 weeks ago

"I think costar is more appropriate for his roles in the great outdoors, and planes trains and automobiles. Loved Easy Money, hated Back to School."

Fair enough... I think "co-star" is more appropriate for The Great Outdoors than for PT&A, though... Steve Martin was definitely the main character with JC playing the antagonist.

I think your issue with B2S is probably the whiny kid who ruined Stephen King's Christine, lol.

Been a very long time since I saw Easy Money... was it Joe Pesci in the truck with him when he pulled the joint out of the "roach motel"?

Alison Ervin

Thanks so much for coming on here and expanding on what little I knew from having attended the Paranormal Symposium. It was great speaking with both Prof. Chris Lance and Frank St. James, though of course the discussion was on many other things besides the theater itself and everything it had to offer besides me being able to post the Arts Center website above.

"Scuse me: worst movie ever; Travolta’s Battlefield Earth."

Strangerdanger You mean the tribute by Travolta to the mostly mediocre Sci-Fi writer who at a conference told some of his fellow writers that the best way to actually make any money is to form your own religion? While I pretty much agree, the generally accepted worst had always been "Plan 9 From Outer Space", but then again some consider it SO bad that it's good, like "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes";-D

Well, since the talk has been about John Candy and sci-fi, with a recent thread about Star Wars, I’ll add one of my favs here. In fact, I’d go so far as to call it the best Star Wars movie ever while also having one of the best songs of all time on its soundtrack ;-) ... Space Balls with Bon Jovi’s “Raise your Hands”!!

justintime justintime
2 weeks ago

@ianimal, yes that was Pesci. Great sidekick to Dangerfield.

Nah, Plan 9, Killer Tomatoes, have some level of cult following. And the real Plan 9, with the right aspect ratio, has less boo-boo’s than the wrong one that’s out there too. Like where you can see tge guy reading the script.... Battlefield Earth, not so much so. No cult, most leave/turn off early.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
2 weeks ago


Exactly my point. The only folks that consider B.E. to be redeemable are likely his followers. The book itself is considered by most to be his only actual good book. I read a reissue of one of LRH's other SciFi books and of course it had the overly florid and flattering "genius-level biography with an obligatory picture of him wearing a Naval uniform where they claim it shows him as a "Captain". Yes, he had metal Captain's bars on his collar, BUT of course only 2 medium width gold stripes on the epaulets. Anyone who knows anything about military ranks knows that means that his rank was actually a Naval Lieutenant (O3). An actual Naval Captain wears the Eagle device which is the same rank as a full "Bird" Colonel (O6) and has 4 medium width gold stripes on his epaulets

I love good shlocky movies. I have to admit that I found "Killing Them Softly" to be a boring grind of a flick for the most part in terms of modern movies.

KTS? Brad Pitt 2012 or earlier noire movie? Don’t matter, never saw/heard of it.

BE - followers? Author, Travolta, or Religious? Don’t matter. That’s a different type of cult than a movie cult fan base..... agreed.

I like coming of age flicks, lots of bad to be liked there. And Westerns where B flicks are a staple. Specially like Audie Murphy series. Forever young, always short, and mostly a good guy, certainly make me laugh.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
2 weeks ago


Yes, the relatively lauded Brad Pitt one. While I could appreciate the mid 70's periodicity with the news reports of Nixon's shenanigans in the background (if I remember correctly) and the cars, just about anything beyond the original heist itself started to put me to sleep, it was just that disinteresting to me.

Yep, I agree on Audie Murphy. Of course since I stand only 5'6", it's always great to have a guy you can identify with as the hero (and a hero in real life), rather than just the tallest guys in the room, such as brothers James Arness and Peter Graves. Of course Bronson, being born about 20 miles (if that) from where my Dad was born and being an Eatern European ethnic minority was always a fave, as well as the general 60's on "Spaghetti Western" class of folks. All those John Hughes flicks and the parodies of them - yep, love 'em.

As I noted on the other Cinepolis thread though, show me a good Korean Martial Arts/Horror movie, such as "The Chaser" or "A Bittersweet Life", or Swedish, such as "Let The Right One In", "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" series, etc. Then of course Thai and Indonesian martial Arts and other movies, such as "The Raid", "Raid II", "Chocolate", "The Protector" and others just blow me away for their fight choreography. Then of course "Kung Fu Hustle", "House of Flying Daggers" and others are amazing, especially with respect to cinematography and fight choreography.

Sadly, when I run across many of these at Target or Walmart on the shelves the description that says "A Visual Feast", etc. is only offered in the base DVD and not Blu-Ray Disc and I have to just shake my head. It would be nice to see them in the theater and if not that, then at least at Blu-Ray resolution, rather than basic DVD resolution, even though that's better than VHS was, lol.

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