Arts & Entertainment, etc. and Theater and Performing Arts

Indianapolis symphony gives away old theater seats

June 24, 2013

A central Indiana city's nearly century-old theater will be getting new seats as replacements are installed in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's concert hall.

The symphony is taking out some 1,700 seats dating as far back as the 1930s as part of a renovation of the Hilbert Circle Theatre, with The Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville taking enough to redo its 377 seats.

Symphony spokeswoman Jessica DiSanto said it sought out ways to avoid trashing all the old seats, some of which remain in good condition.

"We wanted to find out if there were any other performing arts venues or concert halls that would be interested in seats," DiSanto told The Shelbyville News.

David Finkel, chairman of the Strand's board of directors, said that the Hilbert theater's seats could cost more than $350 each to buy, so the symphony's gift is worth well over $100,000.

The donated seats will replace plastic seats on the Strand's main floor and balcony seats that were installed in 1938. The former movie house was built in 1916 and now hosts community performing groups and showings of classic films in the city about 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

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