Prez of OB Historical Society Shares Memories of the Strand – and Snags Its Old Projector

by on November 19, 2020 · 2 comments

in History, Ocean Beach

Editordude: Eric DuVall – the president of the Ocean Beach Historical Society – recently shared some of his memories of OB’s old Strand Theatre, plus gave an account of obtaining its last motion picture projector – which we repost below. In addition, we share more memories of the Strand below Eric’s piece. Hey – add some of your own in the comments.

By Eric DuVall / Pt. Loma OB Monthly / Nov. 18, 2020

The last motion picture projector from the old Strand Theatre in Ocean Beach sat abandoned and forlorn in the Wings Beachwear store for 20 years. Maybe 21. A store employee posted a few lines on Vintage San Diego early last year, mentioning the existence of the old projector and suggesting the store might be interested in its relocation.

Would the Ocean Beach Historical Society be interested in such a thing? We sure would!

The situation with the projector seemed to be in flux. We visited the store and it was there all right, and seemed to be in great condition, considering the circumstances. Did it look as if we could stoke it up and start screening “Pacific Vibrations” in the back yard? No. But as a very local semi-significant pop-cultural artifact, we dug it.

Then, one sunny Saturday morning last fall, a rather amusing and unlikely episode occurred in which we rolled the old projector out the back door, up the alley and through the streets of Ocean Beach to its new home. Rumors that video evidence exists of the projector being pushed across Newport Avenue at Cable Street are accurate.

I loved the Strand. It seems like I must have seen dozens of movies there, but I am finding it hard to name more than 20. In the early 1960s, I was able to attend a number of Saturday matinees with a group of kids from my block. I don’t recall any parental involvement in those adventures. How great was that? We did have a couple of older, maybe junior high kids — already veteran Strand patrons — to keep a loose eye on everybody.

For the remainder of Eric’s article, please go here.

Here are more memories and history of our favorite neighborhood theater.

The Strand Theater-Part 1: the Year the Porno Theater Was Stopped

The Strand Theater of Ocean Beach – Part 2 – Memories from the Seventies


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric L DuVall November 21, 2020 at 4:35 pm

Frank – for what it’s worth, in the paragraph about the Strand Building itself, the line ” . . . and for one brief and shining moment, The O.B. Rag had offices upstairs in the Strand Building,” got edited out. And for those interested, the site of the Ocean Theatre, the predecessor of the Strand, was in the space where Sapporo Japanese Restaurant recently closed.


Roderick T. Long November 29, 2020 at 11:11 pm

When I first lived there (early 1970s), there were matinees for kids; parents were supposed to stay with their children but instead usually just dropped them off. It was chaos in there!


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