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Historic Prestonsburg theater set to close for good

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - It is official, the historic Strand Movie Theater in Prestonsburg will be closing after a deal with a potential buyer fell through. While there were glimers of hope that the Strand Theater might stay open that hope has quickly faded and many people say they are sad to see this day come.

Longtime Strand Theater customer Suda Gearheart says she is,"a little disappointed". Amanda Addison adds, "I think it is horrible for a small town. I have 2 kids and they are always complaining there is nothing to do, and the theater is pretty much all we have and now it is going to close."

This weekend will be the last time folks will be able to catch a movie at the Strand because officials say unfortunately their doors will be closing for good this Sunday. Lana Calhoun says, "It saddened me so much, because it is another historical site closing down and we are losing so many of them in Prestonsburg."

The theater has been around for decades, a staple in the community and a place generation after generation has visited. Gearheart explains the theater is special to her family, "My niece, we took her little girls, 3 and 4 years old, they saw their first movies there, they loved it." Calhoun and her family have been going to the theater for years, " I grew up going there and my children went there."

Even though time is running out for the Strand Theater, movie goers still have hopes that this piece of Prestonsburg's history will be saved.
Calhoun says she hopes, "that somebody will come up at the last minute and decide they want to keep it open and buy it." In an attempt to save a piece of history after so much has been lost as Calhoun explains, "We lost the old elementary school, then Jerry's, and now the theater. It is like our little town is dying away."

Workers at the theater say they are expecting large crowds at all of their show times this weekend. The theater will be showing 'This is 40' and 'The Guilt Trip' this weekend. There will also be a midnight showing on Friday of the1982 science fiction horror film by John Carpenter called 'The Thing'.

Officials with Absher Enterprises, who owns the theater, did not wish to comment.

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