The Strand Theatre on the corner of Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs is about to experience another rebirth after having been closed since the start of the pandemic.

The theatre with nine lives will once again be showing movies this fall, beginning Oct. 27, thanks to seasonal Vineyarders Steve and Dorothy Capers, who recently leased the space from Hall family, which owns the Strand Theatre, along with the historic Island Theatre across the street and the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven.

“Turning on the lights, it’s like we have purpose now — that theatre has purpose,” Mr. Capers told the Gazette this week. “It needs to be utilized.”

Mr. Capers is the owner of Knock Knock Productions, the production company that puts on the annual Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest at the Strand Theatre. He said that in the years since the first festival in 2011, he and his wife have come to view the theatre as a place of opportunity.

“It’s such a destination place that we thought we could provide quality entertainment,” Mr. Capers said.

Theatre experienced a second life in 2015, but closed again during the pandemic. — Jeanna Shepard

The theatre was built in 1915, coming into its own during the silent film era. In 1932 Alfred Hall, grandfather of the theatre’s current owners, formed a business group that leased and later purchased all three of the historic Island cinemas. Under the Hall family’s ownership, the theatre operated until 2011. It was leased, renovated and given a second life along with the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven by Winnetu owner Mark Snider in 2015.

In a phone call with the Gazette this week, Mr. Snider said his goal for the theatre was always to preserve it for future generations. He expressed sadness over its closure at the outset of the pandemic, but was excited at the prospect of its new life under the management of the Caper family.

“I’m just happy that someone would come along and take advantage of the work that we did,” Mr. Snider said.

Mr. Capers said he plans to bring festive movies to the theatre throughout the fall, beginning next week with showings of Monsters, Inc. in celebration of Halloween. Screenings of Top Gun: Maverick are planned around Veterans Day, he added, and classic Christmas movies for the holidays.

Mr. Capers said programming this fall is something of an ongoing soft-launch of the theatre. He hopes to hit the ground running again in the spring, with plans to expand on the forms of entertainment offered in the space.

“We’re crawling right now, but we want to be running come April,” he said.

Fundraisers, talks and private events are also on the table for the 210-seat theatre in the future, Mr. Capers said. He added that he’d like to explore non-traditional mediums of entertainment, like video games and virtual reality experiences in the space.

“We’re going to really dig hard and explore,” he said.

Mr. Capers said it’s likely the theatre will close this winter as it is prepped for the spring, but said in the future he intends to make use of the year-round lease he has on the space.

Mr. Capers said it’s time for new life at the Strand, after sitting empty for the past two years.

“We really want to complement the other theatres on the Island,” he said.