PRESTONSBURG — Another local landmark will soon be closing its doors for good.
Next month, the Strand Twin, Prestonsburg’s only and longest running movie theater, will show its last movie.
Owner operator J.T. Absher says declining sales, as well as the upcoming industry wide conversion to digital projector systems, have left the Strand without a viable way forward.
“Beginning in 2013, everything is going digital,” Absher said. “We won’t be able to get 35mm film to show on our projectors. The necessary upgrades would cost about $200,000. There’s no way we would recoup that investment, and with our slowest time of year coming in January, we need to try to minimize our losses.”
The Strand Twin will be show its last movie on Sunday, Jan. 6.
The Strand Twin is only the latest Prestonsburg business owned by Absher Enterprises to find itself on the financial chopping block. Last year, the company also closed one of Prestonsburg’s longest running restaurants, Jerry’s.
The Strand Twin has been the sole Prestonsburg theater since the closing of the Abigail Theatre, once located on Court Street, and the demolition of the Prestonsburg Drive-in on Univesity Drive. .
The Strand will be open on its regular weekend schedule through the Jan. 6 closing and will be open for the full week of Christmas, Dec. 23-29. The Strand will open Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” on Friday, Dec. 14.
“I’d like to give special thanks to all our employees and customers, both past and present,” Absher said. “Thank you for your support all these years.”
All hope is not lost that the theater will be gone for good.
Absher Enterprises intends to sell the building at 203 South Lake Drive. The building is 13,500 square feet, consisting of 11,500 square feet of theater space and 2,000 square feet of office space. The asking price is $425,000.
Anyone interested in the property can contact Absher Enterprises at (606) 886-6397.