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Kyle Hadley clears mystery with history of The Star

Old photo was of the Strand Theater in Jamestown and the Star in Russell Springs. The Star building, built for A.V. Luttrell in 1949, is approaching its 60th year since construction started in May, 1949. It continues today with outstanding live performances
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By Kyle Hadley

In June 25, 2008 you posted a photo #27520 of the Strand theater and Star Theater. Here's some information on the photos. Hope it helps. The top is the old Strand Theater, which was located on the square in Jamestown and the Star was built to replace it.

This is the oldest photo of the Star that I have found. It was taken before the Star opened probably in Fall 1949 because the Star opened on in 1950.


Construction of Star began in May, 1949

Construction of the Star theater began in May 1949 by A.V. Lutrell, who owned The Strand Theatre in Russell Springs. W.F. Walston of Catlettsburg, KY, was the architect and Alvin Gaskin was the general contrtractor.

The Star originally opened its doors to the public on Tuesday evening, February 28, 1950 at 6:00pm with the show Mrs. Mike starring Dick Powell and Evelyn Keys, and showed films for nearly three decades before finally closing its doors.

First building in Russell County with air conditioning

It was the biggest and most lavish place in the county to be at the time. It had the newst technological advancements and is believed to be the first building in Russell County with air conditiong.

The 50 X 85 foot auditoruim had a bowl shaped floor and 510 blue and yellow cushioned chairs.

It was acoustically treated for sound proofing. The walls were covered with burgundy and silver damask.

The theater featured a small lobby which opened into the standee. The concession bar was located under the arch in the lobby.

When the Star opened, the sewer system on Main Street in Russell Springs wasn't finished, so it was advertised that they would be open to the public as soon as it was finished.The theater featured a brand new Motiograph projection system and a Starke Cycloramic Screen which guaranteed a perfect view from any seat.

When Drive-In's became the rage, The Star fell out of popularity and eventually closed its doors. After it closed it served as a furniture store, clothing store, restaurant and disco before setting empty for a number of years.

In 1984, group formed to reopen The Star.In 1984 a group of Russell Countians with the goal of promoting arts in the county formed the Russell County Arts Council. The Council was made of the Ruscotown Players, the acting group; a volunteer choir; The Russell County Community Choir, and The Russell County Guild of Artists and Craftmens, which focused on the visual arts.

In 1994, "Anybody for Tea" was reopening performance.

In December 1988 the Russell County Arts Council was able to purchase the theater due to a donation from Dr. Rodger Grider. After several years of fundraising and renovation the Star re-opened its doors to the public with a second in July 1994 with the one-act play Anybody for Tea.

The Star appears to still be under construction in the picture because the poster boxes on the front of the theater don't look finished.
About the author: Kyle Hadley, is a Lindsey Wilson College Secondary Education Biology Major and a Russell County Arts Council Member at Large. For more The Star To ring The Star for information and reservations: (270) 866-STAR (7827)


This story was posted on 2009-04-24 07:49:11
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The Strand and the The Star in Russell Springs, KY



2009-04-24 - Jamestown & Russell Springs, KY - Photo submitted by Ed Polston.
On June 26, 2008; ColumbiaMagazine.com ran the photos above with this caption:
CAN ANY READER HELP? Ed Polston sent these two photos and wrote, "I found these pictures among my deceased Sister's pictures. Doe anyone know where the Strand Theatre was located. I know the Star is in Russell Springs." If anyone has more details on the photos, please send the information to ColumbiaMagazine.com. Were they both in Russell Springs? One of the vehicles appears to be a 1951 Ford. But it's hard to make out the guy in the doorway of the doorway of the market on the left. And letters on the hanging sign are hard to make out. A barber shop? "Talt Jones?"
Now Kyle Hadley, a member of the Russell County Arts Council and a sophomore at Lindsey Wilson College, has submitted a detailed history on the two buildings. The top one, he says, was The Strand Theater in Jamestown. The bottom one is of A.V. Luttrell's theater, The Star, in Russell Springs, on which construction started in 1949, and which, in February 2010, with be able to celebrate six decades of top entertainment for the people of Russell and surrounding counties. New Information David Hill wrote Sunday, 14 December 2014, that the Strand, too was in Russell Springs, and the white frame building in the middle right of the frame was Talt Montgomery's Barber Shop. (Top Photo).

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