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State Regency Theatre

2000 Photo from the Scott Neff collection.
426 Alvarado St
Monterey CA

Record #13461  
 Opened: 1917
 Closed: 2008
 Current Use:
Capacity: 310 seats
Architectural Style(s): Spanish
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Strand, Rio, Regency, State 4
 Previously operated by: United Artists Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Tom DeLay.

This theatre was built by the local BPOE. Their lodge hall was directly above the theatre auditorium. The Strand theatre opened with the silent film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The theatre has a very small stage that originally had a proscenium opening of just 16 feet. The stage depth was about 15 feet. Remains of the original stage rigging is still in place above the stage. There were six primitive lines presumably used to roll-up any stage scenery as there never was a fly loft.

In 1924, San Francisco-based architect Mark T. Jorgensen was brought in by the Monterey Theatres Company to give the Strand a complete redecoration and remodel. The original photoplayer-type pit organ was replaced with a 4-rank Wurlitzer style 135 with a piano console. The original 15-foot depth of the stage was reduced to about 10 feet with a large platform on the rear of the stage to house the Wurlitzer's swell box for the organ's pipes. The organ was repossessed from the Ackerman and Harris Theatre in Stockton, CA. During the depression, the Strand remained closed. When the theatre reopened as the Rio, the interior was totally modernized and the organ was junked. In the early 1990s, the auditorium was totally draped with "sound-fold". Recently, some of the original Jorgensen-inspired stencilwork in the lobby was uncovered. This is the last vestige of the 1920s era theatre.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

March 2018 photos from the Scott Neff collection.

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2003 photos from the Eric Hooper collection.

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December 2000 photos from the Scott Neff collection.

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Last featured 3/20/2005. Last edited 2/1/2020.

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