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Letter to the editor: The Strand has been an important part of Vicksburg’s culture

Dear editor,

Thanks to your reporting I understand the future of The Strand Theater, one of Vicksburg’s essential landmarks, is currently at risk.

I know it would come as a great loss to the city of Vicksburg and to countless numbers of Mississippians if The Strand were to be stripped of its central place at the heart of downtown Vicksburg.

I love The Strand and what Daniel Boone and his colleagues have done to make it a center of cultural activity and charm in the center of Vicksburg. Their years of hard, fruitful work turned The Strand into a magnet for people who care about film, theater, literature, the arts in general, and most especially about the need to support and maintain the River City’s vital downtown core.

For years the Strand has served as a kind of community center where people from all walks of life could come together to enjoy music, movies, plays, lectures and the fellowship of their neighbors and friends.

The Strand has strengthened Vicksburg’s economic foundations, promoted its growth and provided a focus for the rich cultural traditions for which Mississippi and the South are known around the world. I can remember countless nights when Vicksburg might have been almost deserted without The Strand, and because The Strand would often be busy at night, other businesses would remain open too, increasing the flow of foot traffic across the city, providing customers to restaurants and shops, and offering up a wealth of stimulating cultural activities to Mississippians from all over Warren and neighboring counties.

The Strand is a gathering place. A community center. An economic multiplier and a treasure that deserves to be protected. It is striking to consider that The Strand, which has its roots in the brutal history of segregation, has become a popular gathering place for people of goodwill — Vicksburgers of every color, class and kind who are devoted to the River City and eager to maintain and amplify its finest cultural values, its friendliness, its economic well being and its longstanding civic importance.

I hope The Strand can be preserved under the long-standing and successful leadership of Daniel Boone. Thank you.

Kos Kostmayer