The Strand Theatre opened for business in the Spring of 1916. But the story started sooner than that. This is a short account of how our theatre started its life. It is a transcription from a newspaper of the day. It may also be the first public mention of the theatre.
The Shelbyville Republican, August 5, 1915
NEW MOVIE THEATRE WILL BE CONSTRUCTED
The Dorsey Brothers, William V. and S.L. Dorsey, and their mother have signed a contract with William Meloy for the erection of a building to be used by Mr. Meloy as a moving picture theatre. Much has been said about this proposed building. It is now assured and there will be some jostling among the tenants who will have to move. They have all been provided for and will get into their new locations in ample time. The building will front on Harrison street forty-one feet, three inches. It will run west to the first alley, 140 feet. The building will take out two stories of the livery stable building but will support the third story of that building. In every respect the theatre building will be modern. The ceiling will be twenty-three feet high. It will be heated with steam and ventilated by automatic machinery located in the roof. The gallery will be of cement as will much of the building. The entire construction will be of practically fire proof material. The front will be highly ornamental. The furnishings are all up to Mr. Meloy. He says they will eclipse any moving picture theatre in Indiana that he has visited. He will place 800 chairs. The contract for the building has been let to John Meloy, who will begin the work of construction as soon as the rooms now occupied are vacated.
Then, as today, there was much excitement surrounding the Strand Theatre. Shelbyville and Shelby County are fortunate to have this historic structure remaining.