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The Strand and Encore

Ribbon cutting in The Strand Theatre, front row, from left, Debbi and Greg Albritton, Sam Roberson, Richard Maxwell, committee members Stephanie Barnes, Myrna Monroe, Dale Ash, and Foster Kizer; Mayor Jim Staff; Tripp Ward; Charlie Ramsey, Sarah Wooten.
The Andrews Sisters, from left, Ellen Johnson, Abi Mascaro, Amanda Miller, Jasmina Staley
Exposé founder and director Lashonda Marshall, center, with several members of the dance team
Boy Scouts present the colors

News Publisher

At long last … after seven-plus years … The Strand Theatre and Encore opened Saturday, July 8, with an afternoon event at the theatre and an evening event at Encore.
But first, the ribbon cutting. This was a ribbon cutting for the books, not only in terms of people attending, but also in terms of the amount of time and effort it took to get here.
The Pride of Atmore cut the ribbon on The Strand Theater and Encore Friday, July 7, after years of fund-raising to save the Strand and the old Atmore Hardware Store (now Encore). The Pride committee was joined by in-kind donors, Chamber Ambassadors, and others.
For the photograph, the first two rows in the theatre were occupied by POA committee members, volunteers, sponsors, and in-kind donors (in-kind donations totaled about $300,000.)
POA executive director Foster Kizer kicked off Saturday’s open house welcoming everyone and making brief remarks about getting to this point.
“We are proud of what Pride of Atmore has accomplished,” he said. “ … This represents about $5 million over seven years.”
The Rev. Bernard Bishop did the opening prayer giving thanks to God for Pride of Atmore and the city of Atmore.
With the posting of the American flag by the Boy Scouts, Felicia Bishop sang the National Anthem
In his remarks, Mayor Jim Staff said, “They got this right. First the Lord, then the United States of America … This project has been ongoing for seven years. From the time it started, has excited me … This is one of the better things that has ever happened to Atmore. We are declaring from the Legion building to Boxcar Willie an entertainment district … This is one of the most fantastic projects ever undertaken in Atmore.”
Then it was on to entertainment on The Strand stage.
Railway Arts Guild presented some vaudeville acts, including the Andrews Sisters singing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” and “Sing, Sing, Sing.” A barbershop quartet entertained with “Moonlight Bay” and an original piece for this occasion “In the Atmore Strand.”
LaShonda Marshall’s dance group, Exposé, performed several numbers.
Opening day concluded Saturday evening celebrating the opening of Encore and the 100th birthday of the Strand Theatre. Several dressed in 1920s themed attire for the evening. Folks enjoyed a night of dancing to live music by Southern Approach.