Strand deal falls through
by Ralph B. Davis
PRESTONSBURG — The future of the Strand Twin Theater — Floyd County’s only cinema — is in doubt once again, after a deal to purchase the troubled theater has now collapsed.
On Christmas Eve, a tentative buyer stepped forward, offering to purchase the property and keep it operational. That person, who asked to remain anonymous until a deal was finalized, had plans not only to continue operating the theater, but also to expand its offerings by having private rentals and live events at the venue.
All appeared on track throughout Christmas week, as the theater began notifying patrons via its Facebook page that it would remain open.
Now, however, the future of the theater is once again uncertain.
Citing unexpected operational costs and a lack of time to devote to the project, the tentative buyer informed Absher Enterprises this week that he has withdrawn his offer for the theater.
Absher Enterprises announced the closure of the Strand last month, citing declining ticket sales and an upcoming industry-wide conversion to expensive digital projectors. When the closure was first announced, Jan. 6 was slated as the final date the theater would be open.
Calls Thursday to Absher Enterprises did not make the Strand’s future any more clear. Owner-operator J.T. Absher was out of town and could not be reached. An employee who answered the phone at Absher Enterprises said she did not know if there were any other deals in the works or whether the theater would remain open past this weekend.
The theater will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, premiering “This Is 40” and “The Guilt Trip,” along with a midnight showing Friday night of John Carpenter’s 1982 science fiction horror film “The Thing,” as part of the East Kentucky Fear Festival film series.
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