Though most cinemas offer such a concoction, we cannot imagine a “Graveyard” served anywhere else could possibly taste as sweet as the one offered in our hometown Strand.
It has been a difficult year for those who call Prestonsburg home and remember fondly all the old, familiar places that made the town unique. Earlier in the year, the old Prestonsburg Elementary was torn down, followed quickly by the closing of Jerry’s Restaurant. In one fell swoop, two icons of the city landscape were gone.
Then, last week, we learned that the curtain will soon fall on the Strand Twin Theater. After nearly 60 years of bringing laughs, tears, scares and thrills to local residents, the closing credits will roll Jan. 6 for the final time.
We watched as many of our childhood memories disappeared in a cloud of dust when the elementary school was demolished. We mourned the loss of J-Boys and Hot Fudge Cakes when the lights went out at Jerry’s. Losing the Strand, however, just might be the cruelest loss of all.
It goes without saying that the magic of Hollywood was felt inside the Strand. We sang along with “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” soared into the heavens with “Star Wars,” plunged into the depths of our fears with “Jaws,” wiped away tears when “Titanic” sank, and stared in wide-eyed wonder at “The Lord of the Rings.” But the loss we feel is about more than just the movies.
There are bigger theaters elsewhere, with fancier offerings, more screens and all the latest technological doodads. The Strand, however, is a home of sorts, a place where many Floyd Countians first experienced some of life’s most precious experiences. The Strand represents the threshold across which many ventured from childhood to adolescence, and for that reason, it holds some of our most dear memories.
How many children had their first taste of independence inside those darkened halls, after their parents dropped them off to hang out with their friends? How many nervous young boys first felt the touch of a girl’s hand beneath the silver screen? How many girls experienced their first kiss, their first love, in the darkened back row? How many first dates at the movies turned into marriages spanning decades?
The answer to those questions is unknowable. All we can really say for sure is that watching cowboys or monsters or lovelorn couples on any other screen in the world simply cannot compare.
— The Floyd County Times