The Strand Theatre

KLG Going for Gold - Historical Tour

The Strand Theatre

Kirkland Lake, Ontario P2N, Canada

Created By: KLG SRC


The Strand Theatre was a key fixture of downtown Kirkland Lake from its opening in 1925. The Strand was the first of many theatres owned by the Kaplan brothers, presenting plays, concerts, and movies. The Strand was one of five local theatres that operated in Kirkland Lake throughout its history. Others included the Lasalle, the Capitol, the Uptown, and the Lyric. The Capital and Uptown were also owned by the Kaplans. Brothers Hyman and Max Kaplan also operated a general store located at 29 Government Road West from the time of their arrival in Kirkland Lake until the early 1930s.

The first film shown at the Strand was Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush in 1925.

Local legend states that the infamous Kirkland Lake character Roza Brown was one of the first in line to buy tickets to the show, purchasing nearly an entire row of seats for her and several of her dogs. The colourful Roza was known to frequent the theatre with her furry entourage for years to come, despite the protests of other moviegoers.

The brothers refurbished the theatre in 1939, making it the premier theatre in the community, and able to hold 1000 persons. It featured state of the art equipment, and beautiful art deco sculptures at the front of the theatre on either side of the stage.

It continued to be a premier establishment in Kirkland Lake until its unfortunate loss when a blaze began late in the evening on July 16, 1986. It required 40 permanent and volunteer firefighters to fight, and it spread through two other buildings on Government Road, that of Joe Dash Men’s Wear and Gordon Stationary. The power to many other businesses downtown had to be cut in the process of fighting the flames. Kirkland Lake’s mayor at the time, Joe Mavrinac, was quoted calling the fire a “blow to the community”. The owners at the time felt incapable of rebuilding given their age, thus was the end of an era.

This point of interest is part of the tour: KLG Going for Gold - Historical Tour


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