Through its many
incarnations, the Strand Theatre has become a near-perfect symbol of transitions on Market Street. It hosted stage productions from 1917 until 1977, first as part of a chain run by vaudeville showman Sidney Grauman, and later under the auspice of Westside Theatre Company. In the 1990s it screened porn movies and became a den for pimps and crack dealers, who streamed in each night to accost the clientele. A police vice squad raided the building in 2003. It was boarded up for years. The walls crumbled, the roof caved, and rain puddled beneath the rotting seats. The ground floor became a bird graveyard, the upstairs a homeless encampment. Squatters decorated the walls with spray-painted messages: "Junkies for Life,"... More >>>
Carey Perloff in what used to be a porn theater lobby in the Strand Theatre.