Thank you for Strand let­ter

The Covington News - - Opinion -

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 Cov­­tion/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

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