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The 725-seat Strand Theatre - a former vaudeville stage on Market Street that dates back to 1917, when it was known as The Empress - closed its doors on April 2, 2003. Less than a month earlier, the theatre was raided by the SFPD for open drug dealing and prostitution. Officers said crack smoke filled the air in the theatre, where prostitutes served johns in the balcony and in the theatre seats. Used condoms and pipes were strewn all over the floors. The Strand, 1127 Market Street, became an adult theatre in 1994. It's decline as a vice parlor marks the end of a once great cultural landmark.


Copyright 2003 Hank Donat
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