Newsletter – 07/23/2021


JULY 24, 2021

9am – NOON

Dear Strand Fan, 

We got a lot done this past week.  We are inching ever closer to getting open.  We have booked several things from October on.    2022 is just starting and we already have some fun shows planned including comedian HEYWOOD BANKS on March 12, 2021!

We love music.   Right now we feel we are in a White Snake song.    Things are progressing.  Our stage renovation is basically a repair.   We met with the City inspector before we started and he agreed it was a repair.   Last week we got contacted by the State Fire Marshal’s office stating they want a Construction Design Release on the work we are doing.

We checked with the City and they recommended doing what the State has asked.    The State does not agree with the City on the scope of work.   The cleaning under the stage is not an issue.  We will do what is asked, as we always do. 

When we removed the 1916 beams from under the old stage we found that two were pieced together!  They provided no support.   Thank goodness that is fixed and we are doing this project.  It is a major safety upgrade.  

So now the arduous process begins.  We stop what we are doing, go through the required steps and expenses, then finish what we intended.    To be honest this is wearing us down.  We need to get the Strand open and open soon.    This will be something else to manage so not to cause our demise.    Another obstacle… just like White Snake says “Here I go..”

The good part is we are making headway in all the areas needed to open the Strand.  We had some failures of the exit light batteries.  Those are on order and will be fixed.   We are replacing all the batteries, as it will just be safer all the way around. (Warning, tech talk ahead)  The Strand, like all venues in the State of Indiana, receives an Entertainment and Amusement Permit from the State Fire Marshal’s office of the Department of Homeland Security.  We get inspected yearly.   Our last inspection was August 2020.   Needless to say, we haven’t even been open since then.   

As part of the inspection, we have to show our logs on our safety equipment.  This includes the alarm tests monthly, the fire extinguishers, and emergency light tests.   The emergency lights have to pass an extended test once per year.  To do this, we just pull the main electricity off to the theater and let the lights run on their batteries.   This year, four didn’t make it the required time, hence the replacement needed.    It is a lot to do, but after years of practice, we are used to it. 

We have booked an exciting weekend for October 7-10.   We are helping premiere the new movie MAYBERRY MAN.   Below is the official press release:


Feature-length family comedy Mayberry Man inspired by The Andy Griffith Show

is slated for limited theatrical release beginning October 1, 2021.

Carmel, Ind. (July 12, 2021) – Drawing inspiration from one of the greatest hits in American sitcom television, the film Mayberry Man is an original story set in modern day that pays homage to The Andy Griffith Show and its legacy. The film was written and directed by family entertainment mastermind Stark Howell and produced by award-winning producer Cort Howell.  They are sons of actor Hoke Howell who played “Dud Wash” on the original series. The film stars Brett Varvel, Allan Newsome, Rik Roberts, Jakob Winter, Ashley Elaine, and Karen Knotts.

The film follows an arrogant movie star who, upon facing trouble with the law, is sentenced to attend Mayberry Fest, a weeklong festival celebrating The Andy Griffith Show. As he becomes immersed in the vibrant and welcoming community of Mayberry, he has the opportunity to discover what friendship and family is all about. The touching, light-hearted story plays homage to the 60s series through replicated sets, vintage wardrobe, Mayberry squad cars and vehicles from the period as well as a film score that includes music from the original series.

“Mayberry Man is a fun, heartwarming story that I know would make my father proud,” says Dixie Griffith, Andy Griffith’s daughter and Executive Producer.

The film production process stayed true to Mayberry family values relying on a grassroots crowdfunding effort to support the film. This enabled the producers to maintain creative control while giving fans the opportunity to participate both onscreen and behind the scenes in central Indiana and North Carolina, the two primary filming locations.

About Mayberry Man

Mayberry Man ( is an upcoming 2021 American family comedy film written and directed by Stark Howell and produced by Cort Howell. The film follows an arrogant movie star sentenced by a small-town judge to attend a weeklong festival celebrating The Andy Griffith Show. It stars Brett Varvel, Allan Newsome, Rik Roberts, Jakob Winter, Ashley Elaine, and Karen Knotts. Mayberry Man is set for theatrical release beginning October 1, 2021.

As you can see, we are one of the first to show this film. In the vernacular of TV product pitchmen “But wait! There’s more.”

The Strand is taking the premiere and kicking it up a notch.   We are showing the film Thursday, Friday nights, and matinees on Saturday and  Sunday.   On Saturday night we will present KENNY JAMES as BARNEY FIFE along with his BUDDY HOLLY TRIBUTE SHOW.   This will be a fun way to see one of the most memorable characters of the Andy Griffith Show come to life on our stage.   We will post more about tickets and specials in the weeks ahead.  It will be a great weekend of entertainment in Downtown Shelbyville!

Be on the lookout for our marquee change tomorrow.   Our volunteers are hard at work combing literature, music, and drama from the best quotes.   Until then, our work session is Saturday.  Stop by and say hi! 

Thank you for your support.  See you at the Strand.