Thank you for Strand letter
Dear Editor: Thank you for printing my article pertaining to the Strand Theater. I have received an unusually large number of favorable comments regarding the letter. All were from people over 50 who said it brought back childhood memories and reminded them how things were around the square at that time.
Two women told me they read the letter to their husbands who had dementia. They told me their eyes lighted up and they smiled while they read it. The sad part is that they said they were unable to retain it.
Many people asked me why I left the other movies out. Also many people told me that Stewart Murray called out Bingo numbers at the Hub Drive-in. This was after I went in the Army. He was more popular than I thought.
Could you print the other part of the letter?
Below is the left over from the previous letter. To view the entire letter visit CovNews.com/section/83/.
The Strand had the general admission seats and a plush one level (upper) balcony. It also had an attic type balcony with the entrance at the rear of the theater on Elm Street. After “Whites” had bought their tickets and the movie had started, “Blacks” could buy their tickets. They would go to the rear of the movie and up along a long flight of stairs to the attic balcony. The balcony was directly above the projection room. I could tell when they arrived because rats would run down a pipe into the projection room. I would take a broom and run them back up the pipe into the attic. This went on the entire movies.
Mr. Aubrey Savage ran the projectors at the Hub Drive In. Mr. Joe Moss, a high school student (like myself), worked the concession stands. Cars would put on their parking lights, and Joe would go to the cars, take their orders and deliver them. Joe has retired from Covington Moulding and lives at the old Moss home place on Moss Road. Mr. Roy Varner cooked and ran the concession stand. He was later elected Newton County’s Commission Board chairman and Lake Varner was named after him. I cannot recall who sold tickets.
The Porterdale movie was located in the old Porterdale grammar school building that was torn down by Mr. Boots Moon in the early 1970s. The post office and police department now occupy this location. Mr. John Hackney managed the movie for Mr. Osburn. Mr. Eb Butler ran the daily operations. His house still stands on the hill across from the Covington Veterinary Clinic on Ga. Highway 12. Mr. Hugh Price or “Mr. Bunkham” Sears (Holland?) may have run the projectors at this time. Mr. Calton Bone may have sold tickets along with Mr. Howard Walden. Mr. Sydney Moore along with Jack Moore may have handled some of the ticket duties and also run the popcorn machine. Mr. Richard “Ludie” Childers also worked at the move.
Mr. John Hackney also managed the “Black” movie. Mr. Rusty Jones ran the projectors at this movie. I went to the movie several times for Ms. Ozburn to check on things, and as I recall I never saw anyone selling tickets.
Many of the above mentioned people have passed on. If someone thinks I left something out or did not get something right, he can contact Ms. Alene Burton for verification or more information or to correct something said. Ms. Burton said this would be OK and she is, in my opinion, the best county historian and has been a friend of mine for over 50 years. I am retired from the IRS as an enforcement officer, and I do community service mostly with underprivileged children.
Harry L. Long