Do the Strand | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Do the Strand

There are no movie theaters in Jackson anymore, at least not any that show actual movies on a regular basis. All the big first-run multiplexes sit amidst the sprawl outside the city limits (the Parkway Place in Flowood, to its credit, continues to make space for the Crossroad Film Festival), and in J-town proper a bargain store squats where the Deville Cinema used to be. Sure, you hear talk of bringing movies back to the old Capri (or The Pix, as they like to say in Fondren), and you can sometimes catch a film festival or other special-event showing at the Alamo on Farish Street, but one-time movie palaces like the Lamar and the Paramount aren't even left standing around downtown in hope of renewed interest.

For an old-time movie-going experience—complete with newsreels and episodes of, for instance, the "Honeymooners" as warm-up to the feature attraction—Jacksonians will soon have the option of heading over to Vicksburg, where the sole surviving downtown theater (and, once upon a time, the city's first to offer "chilled air") is being restored to a semblance of its 1930s glory.

The Friends of the Strand held an open house and a free Saturday-night movie show on March 13 in an effort to attract new members and to give locals a preview of what's to come, as well as a peek at what could be. The group plans to put on more matinees and to make The Strand available for rental as a venue for live music, dinner theater and film-society screenings. Levels of "Friendship" range from "Star" ($25 for a basic membership) to "Director" ($1000, which buys you a seat on the movie-selection committee, among other perks). Film fans, historic-building buffs, and other interested parties can call 601-636-0611 to learn more.

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