Photo Friday

Photo Friday: Strand Theatre of Eskridge


The Strand Theatre was located in the Earl Building at 115 South Main Street in Eskridge, Kansas. This view from the Dean Dunn photo collection dates from about 1959.

The Strand Theatre, located at 115 South Main Street in Eskridge, Kansas, opened in the mid-1950s, providing a modern movie house for residents of the surrounding area. The theater was owned by Luke and Irma Johnson, owners of the Ford dealership in Eskridge, who partnered with Dean and Inez Dunn, owners of Dunn Home Supply, and Dean’s father, Preston Dunn, and Lake Wabaunsee resident Pete Lundgren to operate the theater. Bill Mix was the movie house’s projectionist.

The theater harkens from the golden age of small towns in Kansas, experienced during the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1950s Eskridge, with a population numbering around 500 citizens, supported two grocery stores, two banks, three new-car dealerships, four gas stations, a lumber company, a hardware store, an undertaker, a doctor, dentist, a few lawyers, and a movie theater. Virtually no one commuted to Topeka to work. In fact, prior to 1956, K-4 Highway between Eskridge and Dover was an unpaved sand road.

Today, the Eskridge Public Library occupies this building.


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