Entertainment Restoration/Renovation

The Strand Theater to Undergo Renovation

The Strand Theater / Photo courtesy of the City of Boston

Boston – Kripper Studio, a minority-owned full-service architecture firm based in Boston, announced its partnership with the City of Boston to enhance and expand the production capabilities for The Strand Theater.

Focusing on the theater’s backstage area, Kripper Studio is tasked to assess, identify and recommend solutions to maintain access to the theater’s loading dock as adjacent development proposals take shape. The intention of proposed improvements is to benefit the theater’s production capabilities. Ultimately, The Strand’s goal is to better the experience for touring cast and crew and offer patrons a greater range of concurrent presentations.

In finding design solutions to improve and enhance existing buildings, architect Amir Kripper, founding principal of Kripper Studio, comments on taking advantage of the constraints. Specifically for this engagement, the constraints of The Strand’s limited footprint and existing site conditions in relation to the needs of adjacent new development proposals are realities that motivate ingenuity. “Our work for The Strand Theater is a piece of a larger puzzle and my design approach to address the site’s constraints is to combine architectural pieces that at first don’t necessarily match,” said Kripper.

Representatives of Kripper Studio say that a theater’s backstage functionality is invisible to patrons but is fundamental to cast and crew and ultimately to the end result, and that the seamless introduction of new, intricate mechanical systems requires a precise and logical design process focused on functionality.  Advocating for the theater’s programming needs within the context of the needs of neighboring construction is also a role Kripper Studio assumes at meetings.

Located at 543 Columbia Road in Dorchester, The Strand Theater is owned by the City of Boston and managed by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.  It was built in 1918 as a movie and vaudeville house. It opened on the evening of Armistice Day (November 11, 1918) and was billed as Dorchester’s million-dollar movie palace. The theater was designed by Funk and Wilcox in Boston and built by McGahey and O’Connor.