Mar 04 2008


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The Strand Theatre has been a mainstay of the Shelbyville, Indiana cityscape since 1916. With the exception of the transition period beginning in the spring of 2005, the Strand has been in continuous operation since opening in the spring of 1916.  It is the only surviving “old” theatre in the city limits of Shelbyville.

The Strand Theatre of Shelbyville, Inc., owners of the theatre, are guided by the following beliefs:

  • The Strand is about Quality of Life
  • The Strand is about Community Self Esteem
  • The Strand is about Economic Development
  • The Strand is about Artistic Freedom

We believe that we live in a community of wonderfully talented people.   Too many times we fail to realize the talent that walks amongst us every day.   The Strand is a place to showcase our community for who we are and what we do.   Shelby County has a proud history.  The Strand is committed to helping our citizens realize our proud heritage of the past, present and future.   We believe that through the efforts put forth on our stage, we can positively impact the quality of life for all citizens of our County.    To do this, we are committed to bringing a variety of entertaiment to our theatre, while making it accessible for the novice to the professional.

The Strand believes that in order to be successful our theatre must provide two essential components without fail:

  • Audience Safety
  • Audience Comfort

Our theatre, although old, must be a place where an audience can experience any event with the confidence they are safe and comfortable.

The Strand’s tranformation began when MainStreet Shelbyville, Inc. acquired the building from its owners in the summer of 2004 to help preserve this important part or our local history. There was a strong sentiment among the board members of this group that if this important step were not taken, the building could possibly be lost to history.

Beginning in the spring of 2006, a transition team made up of members of the MainStreet board of directors and members of the new not-for-profit Strand Theatre of Shelbyville, Incorporated worked diligently to transfer ownership of the Strand and is assets. The focus of the new group was solely to renovate, rejuvenate and operate the Strand Theatre.  On Thursday, October 12, 2006, a media event was held at the Shelbyville City Hall to announce to the public the final transition. This announcement was made with Shelbyville Mayor, Scott Furgeson, members of the board of MainStreet Shelbyville, Incorporated and members of the new board of directors of Strand Theatre of Shelbyville, Incorporated. Other groups present at the event were members of the Shelby Arts Council, the Shelby County Historical Society, the Shelby Community Band, the Blue River Community Choir and the Shelby County Players.

Now, the real work began!  A project of this magnitude requires participation from the entire community. The Strand Theatre project was set up to allow all who wish to participate to opportunity to do so.  Our mantra was if you see the doors open or the lights on, come on in to see what’s going on.  This project is truly one of inclusion.

The renovation started April 7, 2007.   The theatre was completed and reopened as a Performing Arts Center on January 17, 2008.    The renovation was made possible by the efforts of hundreds of volunteers of all ages and economic backgrounds.   The theatre is now open an fufilling it’s mission to be a venue for the performing arts in Shelbyville and Shelby County.   As of 2017 for more than 1000 events we have had 100,000 patrons have passed through the doors of the Strand.

The Strand continues with over 100 performances per year encompassing a wide variety of entertainment.

For information about helping out, call 317-421-ARTS or email

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