TO THE EDITOR: The re-opening of the Strand Theatre ignites old memories.
In 1939, Mack McCooey of Plattsburgh ran the Strand movie projector. “Gone With The Wind,” the most famous movie of that time, hit the screens, and as family friends, Mack brought me from Willsboro to see “Gone With The Wind.”
Mack, with his hearty laugh, greeted tons of people coming through the door. Then show time to projector booth with large reels of tape and bright light that projected the movie down to the stage screen. Wow!
Only thing I remember about the movie was a man saying, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” the first swear word I had ever heard in a movie.
Around the late 1950s, Paul Harvey, world-known Chicago-based ABC news broadcaster, came to Strand Theatre for a noon broadcast. I was privileged to set up equipment on stage and stay to monitor the broadcast. He had famous sayings in his broadcast like, “And now the rest of the story.”
“Captain Phillips” is the movie of his ship being hijacked on the East Coast of Africa in 2009. It is now the most popular movie in many theaters; however, not the Strand.
My brother Olan back in the 1940s was second officer on a cargo ship that sailed through the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, down the east coast of Africa, often over to Madagascar, then Cape Town, as most likely Captain Phillips did. The shipping lanes were then, as now, full of pirates and thieves.
Olan, in sweltering heat, would sleep with cotton screen over his doorway and knives under his pillow, one being a throwing knife, which he later taught me how to use. One episode, without detail, left a thief/pirate most likely as fish food.