STRAND spotlight

Maine Public Members can enjoy 2-for-1 movie admissions at the Strand throughout the month of May!

Simply present your plastic MemberCard or the MemberCard Mobile App at our box office, for any of our regularly scheduled films, to receive this benefit.

For more details about MPBN's MemberCard, and how to download the mobile app, visit MPBN's website.

AIO Food and Energy Assistance hosted its second annual FILL THE STRAND food and funds drive to benefit AIO’s Food Assistance, Energy Assistance, Weekend Meal and Diaper Assistance Programs on Monday, January 17 at the Strand. This event challenges the community to fill every seat in the historic theater with bags of food and funds for AIO’s programs.

The results are in-- and together we filled the Strand more than three times, raising almost $25,000 in sponsorships and donations and more than a 1/2 ton in food donations.

It was a wild weather day with 60-mile per hour winds, sideways rain and a power outage, but that didn't stop volunteers from Allen Insurance & Financial and AIO from being at the ready to greet visitors, nor donors from braving the weather to drop off their donations.

THANK YOU to everyone who helped “Fill The Stand” and provide AIO with much-needed funds and food to help families throughout Knox County endure another challenging winter. The response from the community has been tremendous!

AIO is grateful to its partners and sponsors the Strand Theatre, Allen Insurance and Financial, First National Bank and First National Wealth Management, Rockport Steel, Fletcher and Michael McNaboe of City + Harbor Real Estate Group for their support of the event.

Thanks to the local businesses who were food collection sites including:

Allen Insurance & Financial offices, First National Bank, The Strand Theatre, Main Street Markets, Camden National Bank, and Rock City Coffee

By Liz McLeod

Ever Your House Manager


“You cannot be serious!” thundered Miss Carol T. Cat.

“That’s true,” I acknowledged. “It’s one of my many personal failings. On the other hand, look what being serious gets you. Years of therapy, that’s what being serious gets you, and do you know how much that costs? My way, everybody thinks you’re weird, but at least you have emotional security.”

Miss Carol glared balefully, her bright green eyes fixed upon me like a magnifying glass in a little kid’s hand on a hot day. Only instead of burning her initials into the doorstep for want of anything better to do, Miss Carol burned her eyes into my soul. Or maybe she was just looking past me, at the cobweb hanging from my kitchen ceiling. Whatever. Like I said, I don’t take her very seriously.

“You mean to tell me,” she continued, “that these wretched shortages CONTINUE? That you cannot purchase the required merchandise to sustain my diet – so you instead feed me this – this – substance?”

“It’s baby food,” I replied, throwing up my hands and catching them again before they could hit the floor. “Pureed Chicken, to be exact. It’s very healthy – and besides, you’ve only got one tooth left, and licking it up off the dish is probably an easier way to go at this point.” I didn’t mention my ulterior motive, of course, which was that I’ve been grinding up Miss Carol’s thyroid medicine and lacing the spoonsful of baby food with the resulting powder. Little does she realize.

“And do not for one moment presume to think that your tampering with these gelatinous meals has gone unnoticed,” she rasped as she lowered her head to the dish. “I shall attend to you presently. As soon as I have” – and here she commenced to lick furiously – “finished this flavorsome repast.”

That’s how it is, though. Have you looked at the cat food aisle in the grocery store lately, its yawning emptiness a fitting representation of the erratic world in which we are forced now to live? Those shortages have hit us at the Strand as well – well, not to say we’re planning to sell cat food at the concession stand. Unless there’s a demand, of course. But the other things that we *do* sell at the concession stand, well, the shortages are rampant. Junior Mints? Fuhgeddaboudit. Peanut M&Ms? I wish. And Moxie, blessed Moxie, once and forever Maine’s Official Gentian-Flavored Carbonated Drink? The distribution office at Coca-Cola New England has no idea when we’ll be able to get a shipment again. Once these shortages were unexpected and annoying. Now they just lie there and throb, like a migraine at 2 AM. We’ve gone from expecting the unexpected to living in a world where expectations are irrelevant.

And yet, we carry on, because in show business that’s what you do. The world needs entertainment and escape and moments of distraction, and we’re doing everything we can to provide them. And when expectations don’t quite materialize, we simply shift those expectations ahead. If we’re unable to do a show on a given date – like our GoldenOak concert, originally scheduled for January 21st – then we roll up our sleeves and say “all right, we’ll do that show another time.”  There’s nothing to be gained by complaining that the world right now isn’t what we’d hoped it would be. Shift your expectations. Bend, don’t break. And eventually, there’ll come a time when there’ll be plenty of entertainment, plenty of escape, plenty of distractions, plenty of Junior Mints, plenty of Peanut M&Ms and, we assure you, plenty of Moxie. Because that’s what we need right now. Plenty of, as they used to say, Moxie.

Oh, and plenty of cat food, too. 

AIO’s second FILL THE STRAND food and funds drive to benefit AIO’s programs will be held on Monday, January 17, 9:00am-2:00pm at the Strand Theatre in Rockland. AIO’s goal is to fill every seat in the historic theater with bags of food and funds for AIO’s Food Assistance, Energy Assistance, Weekend Meal, and Diaper Assistance Programs.

AIO invites the community to hold their own mini-food and fund drives within their groups, workplaces, and neighborhoods to help with the drive. Individuals can sponsor a bag at $25, which will fill one seat in the theater. Non-perishable food is also appreciated. To learn about most needed items or to sponsor a seat visit A downloadable event poster is also available at that website. Volunteers will be at the Strand Theatre on 1/17 to receive food and funds donations.

The Strand Theatre has been selected by local Hannaford store leadership as the benefiting non-profit in the brand-new Hannaford Bloomin' 4 Good Program for the month of December!

The program is designed to give back in local communities with every floral bouquet purchased. Every $12.00 Bloomin' 4 Good Bouquet with the red circle sticker sold supports a non-profit local to the Hannaford in which it was purchased. Every month, at every Hannaford a different local non-profit is selected to benefit from the sale of these special Bloomin’ 4 Good Bouquets.The Strand Theatre was selected as the December beneficiary by local Hannaford leadership at the store located on Maverick St. in Rockland. Friends of the Strand Theatre will receive a $1 donation for every $12.00 Bloomin' 4 Good Bouquet purchased at this Hannaford location this month.  

We're so grateful for the support from local businesses! Plus, FLOWERS IN WINTER! 

For more information about this program, please visit

By Liz McLeod

Still Your House Manager


“Can you believe it?” I exulted to Miss Carol T. Cat. “We’re gonna be doing LIVE SHOWS AGAIN! “

Miss Carol T. Cat responded to this announcement with a slow blink of her bright green eyes, and turned her attention to bit of congealed gravy on her otherwise-immaculate fur. 

“Indeed?” she finally replied, opening her eyes in order to facilitate viewing me with disdain. “Am to assume from this that those evenings will mean further delays in the presentation of my bedtime meal? Rest assured that the lateness of the hour will in no way compromise my careful examination of the food served for hidden drugs.”

“Look, we’ve been over this, alright?” I sighed. “You have to take those pills for the rest of your life, an’ that’s that. Besides, this is exciting news! LIVE SHOWS AGAIN! Do you realize how long it’s been? Do you have any idea how long since we’ve had a live audience in the theatre watching a live stage performance?”

Miss Carol’s eyes flicked rapidly, as her razor-sharp mind performed the necessary calculation. “635 days,” came the response. “This was, however, a daytime performance, and thus my evening meal was not delayed. My afternoon meal, however, was presented exactly one hour and thirty eight minutes late. As I advised you at the time, this was unsatisfactory.”

“Six hundred and thirty five days!” I exclaimed back. “So do you UNDERSTAND how exciting this is for us – to welcome a happy, excited crowd back to our theatre to see LIVE PERFORMERS? LIVE PERFORMERS ENTERTAINING PEOPLE again?”

“I must take your word for this,” Miss Carol sniffed. “I have, as you know, expressed my dismay concerning your refusal to admit me to the theatre so that I might view these performances and judge their merit for myself. As you know, my standards are extremely high.”

“Well,” I continued, “you know Paula Poundstone, right? You’ve heard her on the radio, right? She loves cats! She told me so!”

“Bring this person to me at once,” commanded Miss Carol. “I shall permit an audience.”

“I’m sure she’d love that,” I winced, “but she’s on a tight schedule. I’ll give her your regards.”

“That will be acceptable. I would not be displeased should she mention my name over the course of her performance. Any publicity, as they say, is good publicity.”

“But that’s not all,” I pushed on. “On December 4th, we’ve got Kat Edmonson!”

Miss Carol’s ears jutted forward, her eyes flared, and her whiskers commenced a violent oscillation. “YOU PERMIT A *CAT* TO APPEAR ON YOUR STAGE? AND YET YOU DO NOT PERMIT ME, A FELLOW CAT, TO VIEW THE PERFORMANCE? THIS IS MONSTROUS!”

“No no no no no,” I babbled. “That’s just her name. Kat. With a ‘K.’ She’s not an *actual* cat. I checked. She’s a human, not a cat at all.”

“You present your acts under false pretenses?” Miss Carol sneered. “An even greater outrage! I shall take action at once!”

“No, please,” I pleaded. “It’s nothing like that. She’s really a wonderful singer, a jazz-cabaret type of singer, and she’s going to be doing a swingin’ Christmas show for us. I promise I’ll bring home her CD so you can listen.”

“I prefer a long-playing record,” Miss Carol growled. “As you know, I am an audiophile.”

“Sure, sure,” I hastened. “Whatever ya want. And then on December 9th, it’s the Squirrel Nut Zippers!”

Again with the ear-jut, the eye-flare, and the whisker-oscillation. “A SQUIRREL???” erupted Miss Carol. “YOU PERMIT A SCURRILOUS ARBOREAL CREATURE TO…”

“THERE’S NO ACTUAL SQUIRRELS!!!” I cried. And I did, by now real tears. “It’s just a band name! And they’re a great band too, real hot swing stuff – and they’re doing a Christmas show as well. You never heard of a Christmas that swung as much as this one will!”

Miss Carol glared in stony silence. She has for years considered squirrels a mortal foe, and has gleefully fantasized over the prospect of an ultimate confrontation between she and they. Her disappointment was palpable. And I have learned thru many years of deep scratches to avoid palpating her disappointment. So I took a deep breath and plunged on.

“And then, on December 20th, yet another Christmas show – a CELTIC Christmas – with string-band favorites Coig!”

“You will not entice me by dangling a string,” huffed Miss Carol. “Do not attempt to do so. I have grown beyond such kittenish – one moment please.”

A flicker of light from a passing car traced rapidly across the kitchen floor. Miss Carol reared back and pounced and whirled with dismay at her failure to capture the fleeting photons.

“Live entertainment,” I sighed with satisfaction. “There’s nothing like it!”



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