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The Paper


Strand stands in the way of progress
From the Isthmus archives, Nov. 3, 1989

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News editor Bill Lueders leads his "On the Town" column with an update on the Strand Theater. Architect Kenton Peters and developer Jerome Mullins have bought the property and plan to raze it, along with five other buildings between Manchester Place and 44 on the Square, as part of a $14 million mixed-use development. "There's no market for movie theaters," says Peters, whose original design would have preserved the theater. The city plans to study the feasibility of preserving the faades of these other buildings, built between 1860 and 1884. But saving the Strand auditorium, added in 1918, is a lesser priority. Peters says preserving the faades would be architectural tokenism that would "keep us from moving into the future." The Strand yields to the future, as do the cinemas at East Towne, South Towne, West Towne and Westgate, the Hilldale and Middleton theaters, and University Square Four; while the Barrymore, Esquire and Majestic become live-performance venues.

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