ATMORE, Ala. (WKRG) — A big effort in a small town is bringing an Alabama theatre back to life. The Strand Theatre is set to reopen soon after being closed for a decade. The theatre has had quite a history in Atmore. It was once the center of entertainment. Later it was an eyesore. Today, it’s almost ready to once again be a Main Street crown jewel. Bub Gideons, the Chairman of The Pride of Atmore could tell you a lot about this theatre. It’s been restored from the floor to the rafters.
“Our parents, and grandparents all went, dated, and saw movies everyone in Atmore can circle back in life as we remember what we saw here it’s a part of Atmore that cannot be let go,” said Gideons. Odds are, if you live here, you have fond memories of the Strand.
“This is history, when I was a kid this was everything,” said Atmore Mayor Jim Staff as he fondly reminisced. In 2013 the Strand closed due to competition from surrounding multiplexes, but the dream of making this place a landmark never died. A group of citizens put together the group “The Pride of Atmore.” They worked hard fundraising through donations, grants, and other partnerships to bring this place back.
“This is not just a master plan sitting on a shelf but this is something followed through with and made real,” said Gideons. The dream was made even more real by buying the old hardware store next door and restoring that too. Soon the theatre will play host to movies but they’ll also have space for special events, a dance studio, recording studio–hopefully making this a hub for everything joyful in Atmore.
It’s not clear when they’ll be open–a soft opening planned for the end of the month had to be delayed as they continue to wait for theatre seats to be delivered. Organizers said this was a special project made possible through hours of hard work and goodwill. For more information on the project, you can check out the website for “The Pride of Atmore.”