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Indianapolis symphony gives away old theater seats

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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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  • Just curious...
    Just curious, is the ISO selling the other 1,377 seats? I am sure that other ISO fans besides myself might be interested in purchasing a few.
  • Opportunity Lost
    Wow - what an unbelievable fundraising opportunity for the ISO that they just gave away. I'm sure The Strand is a worthy beneficiary, but the ISO isn't in a great position to miss out on that sort of financial opportunity.
  • The seats at Hilbert?
    The seats at Hilbert are much more comfortable than those at the Paladium. Those are a cramped up together to get more seats in a space, smaller widths and depths to the seats and are very uncomfortable. I'll take the seats at the Hilbert any day over the others.

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