Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Haunting is Coming

Join us at the Strand for Robert Wise's classic flm from1963: The Haunting. It is set in a house that may be haunted. It's in black and white; it features no special effects, and no gore, so how scary could it be? Join us to discover the answer.

It's at the Strand at 8 PM on Saturday, October 4. Advance tickets are only $5. Available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse. After the film members of the Delta Paranormal Project will explain their plans to conduct an investigation in the theatre.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Charlie Chaplin Shorts at the Strand

A Hundred Year Old Tramp is Coming to Eighty Year Old Strand Theatre

A caterpillar mustache + a bowler hat + one funny walk + a comic genius = “The Little Tramp.”

Actor, director, writer, composer Charlie Chaplin was born in 1889, but the “Little Tramp,” his most famous persona, was born in 1914 - one hundred years ago. The Strand Theatre will celebrate the centennial of this icon of the early days of motion pictures (and its own eightieth anniversary) with special screenings of 12 short Chaplin silent comedies on Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21. The films each last about 25 minutes and will be shown in blocks of three. Discount advance tickets will be on sale at Highway 61 Coffeehouse. Advance tickets for each block (3 films) will be $5. An advance pass to see all 12 films will be $15. At the door tickets will be $7 per block.

This collection of Chaplin's comedies for the Mutual Studio features 12 newly restored films, all scanned under the aegis of Association Chaplin at a resolution of 2,000 lines from original 35mm prints gathered from archives all over the world, then digitally assembled and restored, a collaborative effort of Lobster Films in Paris and L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy.

Daniel Boone, film programmer for the Strand said, "Yes, these are old silent films, but they were made at a time when a person of any age could watch them and understand the humor as well as the emotions of the actors. I think grandparents should bring their grandchildren, (and vice versa) to these films. We have scheduled two programs that children 12 and under can see for free with their family. This will be a perfect family outing. We have spent all Summer working on a new air conditioning system for the theatre, and we are excited about having audiences come experience it."

Show Times:
Saturday, September 20
                3 PM - Block 1: The Floorwalker, The Fireman, & The Vagabond. (Children 12 and under get in free to this show with accompanying adult).
                5 PM - Block 2:  One A.M., The Count, & The Pawnshop.

Sunday, September 21
                1 PM - Block 3:  Behind the Screen, The Rink, & Easy Street. (Children 12 and under get in free to this show with accompanying adult).
                3 PM -  Block 4: The Cure, The Immigrant, & The Adventurer.

The Strand is exhibiting these films courtesy of Flicker Alley, Lobster Films Paris and Film Preservation Associates. 

The Strand Theatre is located at 717 Clay Street in downtown Vicksburg. Call 601 529 7252 for more information.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

2 Events in July to help cool the Strand

In our efforts to cool the Strand, we are branching out. Here's two very different events for July:

1. Video Games: The Movie. It's a new film about the world of gaming. We'll hear from the creators of all the classic games. Then we will hear about the world of gaming as it exists today. Check out the film's website:
It's Saturday, July 19 at 9 PM. Advance $5 tickets available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse downtown. ($7 at the door).

2. Dinner at Main Street Market Cafe.
Chris and Sally are cooking up a fund raising dinner for us on Friday, July 25 at 6 PM.
Sandy Shugars and Joann Ryan will be entertaining us during the cocktail hour.
Proceeds will go to the Strand AC fund.
Tickets are $30 and available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse. They may also be purchased with credit card over the phone: 601 529 7252.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dinner & a Movie to benefit Strand

We have reached about 85% of our goal for a new ac/heat system. A series of events is planned to raise funds for this goal. "Dinner and a Movie at Roca" is the first of these. 

On Friday, June 27 at 7:30 Roca will be serving a full dinner (salad, entree, and dessert) in their Banquet Room.  Following dinner "Mystery Train," will be shown. The film is a quirky comedy about a young Japanese couple, a recently widowed Italian woman, and a working class Englishman who all end up spending the same night in a seedy hotel in downtown Memphis, a city where the spirit of Elvis is never far away.

The cost of Dinner and a Movie at Roca is $36 per person. Price includes full dinner and movie (cash bar). Advance reservations are highly recommended and are available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse downtown. Call 601 529 7252 for more details.

Roca is located at 127 Country Club Drive.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The time has come...

It was a great Spring at the Strand: Kosfest, 7 films (including 2 live Skype interviews), 6 performances of the Great Gatsby, 2 performances of 3 Women 3 Paths, One True God, 2 music concerts - all in 10 weeks.

Now the weather tells us it's time to take a break until Fall, because we have no air conditioning.

But we say "no." Not this time.

A sympathetic contractor has offered to help us design and install a system.

A generous donor has given us a challenge. He will give us $2500 if we can match it.

We need about $9000.

Our friends are making contributions to our newly established AC fund.

It looks like we may be able to crank up our programming before Fall.

Maybe. Hopefully.

The Westside Theatre Foundation is a 501 (c) (3). We are accepting donations to make this project happen ASAP.

Contributions in any amount may be made to 
Westside Theatre Foundation
717 Clay Street
Vicksburg, MS 39183

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Two great events over Mother's Day Weekend 2014

The Strand, Friday, May 9: Annie explains it all for us after a screening of Walking the Camino. It was a packed house and they loved getting the inside view from Annie O'Neil via Skype.

The Strand, Saturday, May 10: Daniel interviews Kos Kostmayer during Kosfest. Kos told great stories, then graced us with readings of his poetry and short fiction. Then there was cupcakes and homemade ice cream.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2 Special Events

Join us at the Strand in downtown Vicksburg (717 Clay Street) for 2 special events

Walking the Camino
Friday May 9 at 7 PM

 with live SKYPE appearance by one of the pilgrims featured in the film.

Saturday, May 10 at 7 PM

 featuring an interview with and readings by Kos Kostmayer


Exploring the Transformative Power of

Pilgrimage Along The Renowned

Camino de Santiago

Award - Winning Documentary comes to Vicksburg
Opening Friday, May 9 at 7 PM
Vicksburg: Strand Theatre - 717 Clay Street

What is it about Spain's ancient Camino de Santiago trail that lures hundreds of thousands of people from around the world to spend weeks, even months, walking 500 miles with nothing more than a backpack, a pair of boots and the promise of experiencing something truly extraordinary? The award-winning documentary WALKING THE CAMINO explores the enduring and mysterious attraction of this pilgrimage.

Called a “brilliant documentary” by actor Martin Sheen, (star of the 2010 fictional account “THE WAY”), WALKING THE CAMINO uniquely captures authentic stories from the trail itself as it follows in the footsteps of six pilgrims, ages 3 – 71, as they make their way across the picturesque countryside of Spain to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and beyond. While each of the pilgrims come from a different life experience than the next, their stories converge as they share in the transformational journey of the Camino.

WALKING THE CAMINO has received critical and audience accolades across the country. From Washington to Florida, it has won an award, sold out, or both in every film festival where it has screened; that’s thirteen laurels and counting, including one awarded overseas in Spain. It won Best Documentary in its debut at the American Documentary Film Festival in Palm Springs, and went on to garner that same honor at five more festivals, including the respected Hollywood Film Festival. Plus, the film received an honorable award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking from the Newport Beach Film Festival.

Now this best-selling film is on a U.S. cross-country theatrical film tour and is coming to Vicksburg. After the screening Annie O’Neil, one of the featured subjects of the film, will do a live Skype Q&A.

WALKING THE CAMINO: SIX WAYS TO SANTIAGO is produced by Lydia B. Smith, Sally Bentley, and Theresa Coleman. Director Lydia B. Smith is a veteran documentary filmmaker, a former resident of Barcelona, and an alumna of the Camino de Santiago herself.

Interview, images, and video available upon request.
Media Contact:
Chad Westbrook | 503-206-4968 |


Kos Kostmayer has lived in Vicksburg for more than twenty years, but Westside Theatre Foundation's upcoming Kosfest will give the community a chance to become familiar with this award winning writer's work. The event, which will be held downtown at the Strand Theatre at 7 PM on Saturday, May 10, will feature a conversation with Kos, excerpts from a feature film he wrote, and readings of a number of his poems, along with some of his short fiction.
“Putting a spotlight on Kos is something I have wanted to do since we started showing films at the refurbished Strand," said Daniel Boone, programmer for the cinema.  “One of Kos’ plays recently enjoyed an extended run in Los Angeles, where it received rave reviews, so I thought this would be the perfect time."  The theater critic for the LA Examiner, in a review echoed by numerous other critics, had this to say about the play:  "Kos Kostmayer's exhilarating tale On The Money is a brilliant revelation of human emotion exquisitely executed by a truly stellar cast.  This is live theatre at its very best."  Kos' plays have also been seen in New York City, Harare, Berlin, Toronto and a number of colleges and universities, including Millsaps College where he has been a visiting artist on two occasions.  He has received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, numerous Dramalogue Awards and an Otis L. Guernsey Prize from the Association of American Theatre Critics.
Kos was born in New Orleans, but moved to New York as a child. “We were a Southern family in New York City, but I always considered myself to be a New Yorker,” Kos explained.  While supporting his growing family with a variety of blue collar jobs, from loading and off loading trucks on the Brooklyn docks to shuttling cars to painting houses to working in some of Manhattan's busiest bars and restaurants, Kos pursued a writing career, writing plays and poems late at night or early in the morning before going off to work.  Kos published some of his early work and came to the attention of the producers of Big Blue Marble, the Emmy Award winning educational TV series for children.  Kos landed a job writing narration for Big Blue Marble, later becoming the supervising writer and field producer for that show before going on to work as head writer and producer for a number of documentary television shows.  He wrote and directed several documentaries, including films on The National Theatre of the Deaf and The First All Children's Theatre.
Kos moved to Los Angeles for a 1983 production of his play entitled On The Money. Based on a true story, On the Money was about the robbery of a bar much like the one he worked in. On The Money ran for nine months and was named Best Play of the Year by the Los Angeles Drama critics.  The success of that play led to a pair of producers approaching Kos about writing a screenplay based on another true incident, this one involving a scorned wife's repeated attempts to murder her philandering husband. That movie was eventually made as I Love You to Death, starring Kevin Kline, William Hurt, River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, and Tracey Ullman.  The movie was a box office success, getting two thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert and high praise in a good many publications, including People Magazine, which described Kos as a cross between Henny Youngman and Samuel Beckett.
While in Los Angeles, Kos reconnected with a friend from New York, Martha Ferris, who starred in Kos' play The History Of Fear, which was produced at The Victory Theatre in LA, earning Kos another Dramalogue Award.  His success as a playwright opened up more opportunities for Kos, who found plenty of work writing for movies and television.  When he was asked to name the most challenging assignment he faced as a writer in Los Angeles, he said, "Persuading Martha Ferris to marry me."  Apparently his powers of persuasion were up to the task, and he and Martha were married in 1984.  They eventually moved here to Warren County to her family’s farm, where they reside today. As Kos says, “a writer can write anywhere.”  Kos continues to write plays, screenplays, short fiction and novels.  He is currently in conversation with producers who would like to turn his play On The Money into a film.  (Please see below for an excerpt from one of the reviews for On The Money).
Kosfest will be at the Strand Theatre at 717 Clay in downtown Vicksburg on Saturday,
May 10 at 7 PM. The program will be followed by a dessert reception. Tickets will be
$10 each, and can be purchased in advance at Highway 61 Coffeehouse. For more
information call 601 529 7252 or visit
advance tickets available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse

601 529 7252

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lee H & the Boones at the Strand - free!

Lee H & the Boone brothers will be giving a free concert Sat. April 19 at the Strand Theatre (717 Clay St). It's from 5 to 7 PM. Free food, pay bar.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Join us at the Strand Theatre
717 Clay Street

for an exclusive showing of an Italian classic film: 

Il Sorpasso
Friday, March 28 at 7 PM

$5 advance tickets available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse

$7 at the door 

Dino Risi, Italy 1962, 107 min.Racing into Rome early one morning, smooth-talking, fast-walking Vittorio Gassman just needs to borrow someone's phone - even sleepy, uptight law student Jean-Louis Trintignant's will do. Bored and with nothing better on tap, the two hit the road in Gassman's souped-up Lancia Aurelia, blazing past farmers, priests, and bicyclists, honking horns at beautiful tourists, and shambling through Italy's beautiful beaches. But what's at the end of the road? Perhaps the first modern-day road movie, and a favorite of directors from Martin Scorsese to Alexander Payne, Il Sorpasso was a smash hit in Italy and abroad, yet has remained unavailable in this country for decades. Janus Films is proud to present this masterpiece of the Commedia all'italiana in a new restoration sourced from the original camera negative.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Japanese comedy coming to the Strand March 22

Join us at
the Strand
(717 Clay St.) for
Key of Life
$7 at the door
$5 in advance at Highway 61 Coffeehouse
From Twitch Film:
Key of Life is the sort of film that seldom plays outside of the festival circuit and that, is nothing short of a tragedy. Because as much as the typical distribution argument that films such as this - films that are too quirky for the genre crowd and too genre for the arthouse - makes a certain degree of objective sense this is simply brilliant storytelling rife with sterling performances and a completely original, completely compelling spin on both the gangster film and the romantic comedy. And, yes, you read that right.

Uchida's third feature revolves around a trinity of key characters, each of whom could easily have anchored a film all on their own but whose stories mesh into a whole even greater than the sum of its parts. 

First we meet Kanae (Hirosu Ryoko), a driven and somewhat neurotic woman pushing into her mid thirties. While she's risen through the ranks of her chosen profession, Kanae's meticulous and unemotional manner have left her a single woman and she's decided it's time for that to change. She's going to get married. She doesn't know to whom yet but she's got it all scheduled out so it's time to get cracking.

And then there is Sakurai (Sakai Masato) a failed actor who also proves to be a failure as a suicide artist. Yes, one more thing for Sakurai to feel bad about not being good at. Shaken and a little sweaty from his suicide attempt Sakurai heads to the local bath house to clean up. Because, why not? It's not like he's got anything else worthwhile on the go and he's all out of rope to hang himself with.

It's at the bath house that Sakurai meets Kondo (Kurosawa Kiyoshi regular Kagawa Teruyuki), an elite hit man looking to unwind after a job. But 'meet' may be too strong a word. Because Sakurai's first encounter with Kondo begins with the assassin flying ass over teakettle after stepping on a bar of soap and crashing to the floor, knocking himself unconscious.

At its heart Key Of Life is a movie about isolation and the desire for community, the need to be recognized and accepted, with the identity change being the mechanism that allows each of the three characters to strip away their outer facades and be at least a little bit honest about who they really are and who they want to be. Uchida is well aware of the irony of truthfulness coming out of an extended lie, the entire film delighting in finding emotional truth by subverting factual truth. 

A romantic comedy of errors with a bit of a body count and a few smashed cars, Key Of Life is an absolute delight that could not possibly come more highly recommended.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

March 2014 Films at the Strand

On Saturday, March 1 at 7 PM the Strand will be showing Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty.

This new film is a colorful trip to current day Rome, where we meet Jep (Toni Servillo), the self styled king of nightlife, who on the occasion of his 65th birthday, begins to wonder if he will ever find Great Beauty. It's a lush, decadent visit to the ancient city and its people, who party through the nights. (in Italian with English subtitles.)

View the trailer.




2014 Film Independent Spirit Award Nomination - BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM 


Tickets are $7 at the door and $5 in advance at Highway 61 Coffeehouse. 601 529 7252

And coming to the Strand, Saturday, March 8 at 7 PM:
2ndAnnual Feature Film Project: Everyone's Going to Die

Come cast your vote - help decide the fate of this film.

Everyone's Going to Die, The feature directorial debut of British filmmaker duo Jones tells the story of two lost souls and one last chance.

Melanie's life in a seaside town is going nowhere until she meets Ray, back in town with a shady job to do. A moment's escape becomes a chance to save themselves and each other. Everyone's Going to Die is a modern British story about coming home, getting by and the redemptive power of feeling you're not alone.

Everyone's Going to Die is one of a new breed of British independent films where story is the key driver in the film. Shot on a tiny budget in the summer of 2012, the film stars Rob Knighton, a former carpet fitter in his first ever acting role, and German star Nora Tschirner. The film was shot over one month in a small seaside village, where local townspeople worked as crew, extras and supporting artists. The Film was quickly selected to World Premiere at SXSW in 2013, and then nominated for Best British Film at Edinburgh International Film Festival. Then floowed a tour of Russia with the British Film Council, Dinard in France where the film received a special mention, the prestigious Mar Del Plata in Argentina, nominated for Outstanding British Debut at the British Independent Film Awards and Premier Plans in France. It is now this year's selection for the 2nd Annual Feature Film Project. 

Watch trailer for Everyone's Going to Die

Tickets: $7 at the door ($5 in advance at Highway 61 Coffeehouse) 

601 529 7252

Coming to the Strand Saturday, March 15 at 7 PM
Directed by Cao Hamburger 
Country: Brazil
Runtime: 102 min

From the Producers of City of God comes Xingu. The film tells the incredible story of the Villas-Boas brothers - Orlando (Felipe Camargo), Cláudio (João Miguel) and Leonardo (Caio Blat) – and the events leading up to the creation of the Xingu National Park, the first major Indian reservation in Brazil. It salvages a forgotten and dramatic moment in Brazilian history that remains up-to-date and urgent still today.

Tickets: $7 at the door ($5 in advance at Highway 61 Coffeehouse) 

601 529 7252
And one of my favorite Italian films will be
at the Strand on Friday, March 28 at 7 PM
  • Italy
  • 1962
  • 105 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.85:1
  • Italian (With English subtitles)
The ultimate Italian road comedy, Il sorpasso stars the unlikely pair of Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant as, respectively, a waggish, freewheeling bachelor and the straitlaced law student he takes on a madcap trip from Rome to Tuscany. An unpredictable journey that careers from slapstick to tragedy, this film, directed by Dino Risi, is a wildly entertaining commentary on the pleasures and consequences of the good life. A holy grail of commedia all’italiana, Il sorpasso is so fresh and exciting that one can easily see why it has long been adored in Italy.

Tickets: $7 at the door ($5 in advance at Highway 61 Coffeehouse) 

601 529 7252

Friday, January 24, 2014

Promises of the Art House Convergence

I just returned from a week in Utah wading through the snow at the 2014 Art House Convergence. The AHC is a conference / get together of people who show art house films and those who distribute them. In addition there are representatives of firms who supply equipment and services needed to show films and run a cinema: credit card processing, ticketing, advertising, etc. The idea is to get these folks together to discuss ways forward to accomplish the goals of getting these more challenging films before an audience; also to make art house theaters more versatile and more integrated into their communities.

My goal was to meet the people I am already dealing with for films and to make connections with new sources. I accomplished this and much more. The months and hopefully years ahead should reveal strategies, sources, and ideas gleaned at the AHC. Already I am hearing from new connections as we get acquainted and try to determine how to work together.

In the foreseeable future we do have a number of films coming up, some featuring interviews with the filmmakers either in person or utilizing technologies such as SKYPE. We will be showcasing more local and regional filmmakers. We will participate in a short film competition later this year. We will have more silent films with live music.

We hope to eventually offer new kinds of entertainment such as live streamed opera, concerts, dance, and plays to our community. I am excited about how this tiny downtown theater could become a gathering place where cultural events as well as entertainment, and educational programs originating anywhere on the globe can be shared.

As always, let me hear your ideas and suggestions.

Stay tuned.
Daniel W. Boone
Westside Theatre Foundation / Strand Cinema