The subject of this post is the Strand Theater, located in the Adolph Rose Building at 717 Clay Street. The Adolph Rose is the handsome gold-colored building in the undated postcard, from the Cooper postcard collection at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
The prominent local merchant, Adolph Rose, built the handsome Victorian Romanesque building about 1890 for his goods company (Vicksburg Post, 12 June 2011). At that time, it did not contain a theater. Around 1930, it was sold to Feld Furniture, and the ground floor was renovated to house two long thin commercial establishments, a store on the left (now an antique store), and the theater on the right. The seating area extended most of the way from the lobby to the stage at the rear of the building. It must have been a rather odd tunnel-like geometry where the front patrons were practically under the screen and the rear patrons a long way off. The photograph above shows the original stage at the back of the building. This is the area that Vanishing glory closed off and was unused after 1963.
The good news is that Westside Theatre Foundation, a Vicksburg theater group, is renovating the old Strand and plans to hold live performance there. They have removed the partition wall and will expand the original 1920s stage. Jack Burns generously let me take photographs a few weeks ago. It is an ambitious project and I'm thrilled they have taken it on. They currently hold their productions at the Coral Room in the Vicksburg Hotel, another historic building in Vicksburg that needs its own blog entry.
All photographs taken with a Sony DSC-R1 digital camera, tripod-mounted.
Update April 2012: stage productions are being held in the Strand and a movie program has begun. The movies are projected from a digital projector, not film as in the old days, but a 16mm projector is available if ever needed. Here is a poster from the famous (infamous?) Reefer Madness.