Dec 08 2017

Strand Weekly Email: December 8, 2017

Published by at 12:04 pm under Weekly Emails

Dear Strand Fan,

You still have time to see THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER.   This delightful production by the Shelby County Players will be performing tonight and Saturday at 7:30pm and a matinee on Sunday.   This production is for the whole family, especially our younger Strand Fans.    You can get your tickets in advance or at the door.  


The week we finish the run by the Shelby County Players and prepare for a busy week ahead.   After the matinee on Sunday, the Strand will prepare for the Christmas Cantata and Holiday Concert on Tuesday December 12th.


The Cantata is performed by Liberty United Methodist Church under the direction of Gloria Thomas.  The cantata that Liberty United Methodist Church will be performing is called “Welcome to Our World.”  The music is a combination of many styles of music from contemporary to traditional.  It even has some Celtic flair.   We will also hear holiday music sung by the Blue River Community Choir under the direction of Francis Jackson.   The event is free and starts at 7:30pm.   


Wednesday December 13th the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce holds their monthly NETWORK LUNCHEON at the Strand.   This will be fun and different for our fellow Chamber Members, as we will have entertainment on our stage!    Thank you to our volunteers who are making this possible in the middle of a work day.   Sometimes that is not the easiest thing to do.


On Saturday December 16th we welcome DONNIE BAKER to the Strand.   There are two shows, 7:00pm and 9:30pm.    The 7:00pm show is SOLD OUT!    There are still tickets available for the 9:30 show.  This year’s show will have a bar provided by The Fly.    We will also be using our upper lobby bar located in the balcony.     We look forward to a packed house next weekend.


This show is always fun and exciting.   For the changeover we need to get 350+ people out of the Strand, clean up, then welcome 350+ new patrons into the Strand…all in the span of 30 minutes.   To make it more fun, our friends and neighbors at the First Baptist Church have their annual Christmas Program that night too!    Cleaning the auditorium that quickly needs an army of helpers.     This performance would be a great time to volunteer at the Strand as we always need the help!   


We have been working on our renovation plans for this coming January.   The primary focus is working on our lighting system.  With a generous grant from Shelby County, we are able to install much needed equipment.  This is not a renovation, but an upgrade.    This week the Strand ordered 20 Ellipsoidal lighting instrument (545 Watt at 19°) along with side arms, safety cables, and knuckles.     We also ordered our new light board.   This board will solve our “flicker” problem when the house lights are set to low.   It will also provide greater flexibility, reliability, and usability.   It also has integrated video capabilities so it will grow with us in the future.    Based on the usage of our current light board, we should be good until about 2039.    Thank you to our friends and partners at Beck Studios for helping us achieve our goal of installing this new equipment.


We also working on our wifi infrastructure this week.   This came to the top of the to-do list because it failed!  Uhg.  (warning, tech talk ahead)  Our free Wifi, generously sponsored by Comcast & Mach 1PC, works via a small PC running firewall software called pFsense.  This helps us provide a free and secure wifi network, where we can easily manage its use.  Unfortunately, that PC failed last week.  To try and get everything back up and going, a VM (virtual machine), was spun up on a server that resides at the Strand.  This server has fiber optic links and is located in a historic place, the nitrate film vault in our projection booth dating from our opening in 1916!  Software incompatibilities with the VM software would crash the server after only running for a few hours.  Luckily Strand volunteer  Cody V., our resident tech guru, was able to bring down his recently retired firewall that runs the same software.  He was able to get the free wifi back up and going just minutes before the Shelby County Players opened the doors to their performance this past Saturday.    


One of the items on our January list is to move the location of our Coke bibs (those are the VERY heavy boxes of syrup that provide the flavor).   They are currently located in the basement under the concession area.   This was the only location available when we opened the Strand in 2008.   This past year Bob S. built a section off the lobby to house this equipment.   This week we prepared that space and are ready to have the Coke Company execute the move!   This will be a welcome upgrade for our volunteers who lug those heavy boxes to the basement.


The Shelby County Historical Society and Grover Museum are preparing for our January renovation too.    They have selected and are preparing a new set of historical photographs for the lobby.    This has been a very popular addition to the Strand and we appreciate the partnership with SCHS and the Grover Museum!


We maintain our equipment meticulously.   We have to take care of what we have and are respectful of the investment in the Strand.   We always do an annual cleaning of our popcorn popper.  This is very thorough.   We had to do a little advance work this week and replace some light bulbs in the machine.   We do not like burned out light bulbs!


We have many things yet this year.   There is something for everyone!   We enjoy hosting wonderful and diverse entertainment.   This week we go from POOH to SINGING to LUNCH to COMEDY!    This is all because of you and your support for all the art that performs at the Strand.   Thank you!   See you at the Strand.

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