Newsletter – 12/03/2021


POLAR EXPRESS – DEC 3 – After the Parade



Dear Strand Fan, 

Tonight is the annual Holiday Parade in Downtown Shelbyville.   We missed this event due to Covid in 2020 and are glad it is back.  Not only is there a parade, but it is the official opening of the renovated Public Square!   It will be fun. 

A recent tradition has been to show POLAR EXPRESS the night of the Holiday Parade.   This year is no exception!   We anticipate starting around 8:15pm.    Tonight we have a special guest on stage.   Steve Lew Real Estate came to us asking if they could sponsor the event.   Not only did they do that, but one of the agents agreed to sing before the movie.   April Grabbe, an agent for the firm, will perform a few Christmas songs before the start of the movie on Friday.   Live music is what we are all about and are thrilled April will be sharing her talents.   

The Strand has been basically unused since March 2020.   As we ease back into events, the theater is letting us know that it was not happy being dark.  (warning, tech talk ahead).   We have had failures galore the past few weeks.    We had a furnace fail, but that was an easy fix.  We have two more furnaces out, but that too will be an easy fix.   We have a computer at our sound board that acts as a music server.   The unit died.   Steve F. tried to reload Ubuntu, but to no avail.   Cody V., our resident guru rebuilt the entire PC and updated it to a Windows platform.   While he was at it he loaded all our performer’s CDs through the years.    We love to showcase music from musicians that perform on our stage.   All was well and good…until ELF.    

Cody commented the sound wasn’t right.   Investigation led us to our subwoofer not producing the proper sound.   We went through the normal troubleshooting steps without luck.  Strand board member Ron Bush, the designer of the system, to the rescue.   Ron not only fixed the problem, but tuned the entire system.  It sounds much better.   Our delays from front to back are adjusted and working, the subs are thumping away, and the music is clear and crisp.  Yippee…or so we thought.   

The work on Friday night was quickly diminished by a horrible 60 cycle hum on Saturday night.   This is caused when an item isn’t properly grounded.   We have about 500 connections to check, it was an arduous task.   We thought we got it on Saturday night, staying very late after the show.    Sunday rolled around, and nope, we still had the problem. 

During the week Ron B. and David F. worked on the system.   We found, what Ron is confident is the culprit.   When we were doing work on our new lighting, plugs in our sound room backstage got swapped and messy.   Somewhere there it decided to touch and cause the 60 cycle.   Ron did a quick clean-up of the area and no noise.    We tested the system for 3 hours playing aggressive (loud) music, and no noise.   The train will sound great coming through the theater for Polar Express.   Steve F. will make sure it rumbles.   As we do our normal January work, we are checking our sound from top to bottom and getting it back into shape.   We need to be ready for flawless performance for the 150 anticipated events in 2022.   Thank you all that helped. 

Enough of the broken stuff.    We much rather be flush with performances and talking about that, but we have to wait until next year for that.    

We are making preparations to upgrade our marquee to LED lighting.    One of the biggest problems from theaters across the country caused by the pandemic is deferred maintenance.   The Strand is no different.   We pride ourselves in everything working all the time.   As you know our marquee has several lights out.   We just didn’t have the funds to get this fixed.   For a total cost of $900 we can completely redo the marquee with 100% LED Lights.   This will lower our energy cost over $120 per month!  You business types out there, that is a whopping ROI.   This is a project that cannot be delayed any longer.    As always we will do the work ourselves to save funds, and have our electrician keep us safe.    (If you want to help with that project either installation or financially, it would be appreciated!)

Gloria Thomas returns with her Liberty United Methodist Church Choir for a Christmas Cantata on Wednesday December 15.   This free event will also feature the Hendricks High Notes.  Gloria is the music teacher at Hendricks Elementary School.   We look forward to this event.

Thank you to everyone who helps.  D.A.R.E. presenting Elf, Steve Lew Real Estate presenting Polar Express, Compass Insurance presenting Hocus Pocus.  That has made a huge difference.   Also thank you to Scott Furgeson and Cagney’s for helping us out with Coke this weekend.  We are almost out a mere 4 performances before our break.   Scott once again came to the rescue. 

Always things to do.   We have a lot to be thankful for, and for the first time in over a year we are excited about the future.    Thank you for the support.  See you at the Strand!