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Entrance of the Strand Theatre

The Strand Theatre, is a movie theater located at 28 East Winter Street in downtown Delaware, Ohio, near the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University. Opened on April 10, 1916, The Strand is the tenth longest operating movie theater in the United States.


The theatre opened on April 10, 1916. It was first owned by Henry Bieberson. The building was originally the New York Cash Store, a department store built in 1908.[1] Near the exit of the theatre, one can see the original opening announcement from The Journal Herald, printed on April 8, 1916. The Strand has never been closed since its opening. [2]

Schine Theatres was a chain of theatres run out of Gloversville, NY. The chain had operated 170 movie theatres in 6 different states during their operation.[3] [4] In 1971 a previous Schine manager and his wife, George and Cindy Johnson, bought the single screen theatre. They presided over a renovation which included adding two more screens; in 1982 the second screen was added in the adjoining storefront, and in 1986 the original balcony was walled off and turned into its own screen. George and Cindy eventually retired back to Greece, selling The Strand to Jerry and Cathy Amato on February 11, 1994. [2]

The Amatos operated the theatre until Ohio Wesleyan University took ownership in 2002. The Amatos kept the theatre running during a rough time in its history.[5] This was an effort to preserve its place in the community of Delaware city and in history. When OWU took ownership, they helped create the Strand Theatre and Cultural Arts Association, a 501 (c) 3 Non-profit board that currently owns the Strand. [2]

On February 12, 2009 the Strand Theater & Cultural Arts Association received an award for the renovations made to the concessions area, and the restoration of the second floor windows. The Strand's manager at the time, Kara (McVay) Long, also received an award recognizing her efforts to promote the community and causes.[6][2]

In 2010, the Strand announced plans for $5 million in renovations. The renovations planned to add digital projectors (which did occur), add three more screens, a blade with the Strand's name on the marquee, and a back entrance within the next three years. The Strand requested $50,000 in economic development funds each from Delaware County and the City of Delaware for new seats and wall coverings.[7][8] On October 4, 2010, Delaware County commissioners granted $175,000 for renovations to the Strand.[9] The theatre continued showing movies on 35mm film until 2012. The final movie shown on motion picture film at the Strand was The Dark Knight Rises; all movies exhibited there since have been digital.

In 2016, The Strand commemorated 100 years of continuous operation with its Century of Cinema celebration. A strip of stars in the sidewalk outside as well as a plaque inside indicate the donors that made renovations possible. A short documentary on the history of the theatre was also created at this time.[5]

Presently, The Strand is still running as a non-profit. They partner with local businesses and community members to sustain the theatre as an icon of the city of Delaware. They consistently show first-run films as well as host community events.


  1. ^ "New York Cash Store, Delaware, Ohio". Delaware County Historical Society. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Delaware Strand Theater - Heritage Ohio". Heritage Ohio.
  3. ^ Schine Chain Theatres, Inc. v. United States, 334 U.S. 110 (1948). U.S. Supreme Court. May 3, 1948. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Movie Theaters Previously Operated by Schine Circuit Inc. - Cinema Treasures". Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b Conchel, Anthony (20 December 2016). "Strand's 'Century of Cinema' continues - Delaware Gazette". Delaware Gazette. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  6. ^ Main Street Delaware gives awards | ThisWeek Community News
  7. ^ Strand Theatre seeks public funding
  8. ^ Brand new Strand — Changes ahead for historic downtown movie theatre
  9. ^ Commissioners OK $150k for Strand

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