The Brown Family Generations Theater named after OWU Alumna Joni Manos Brown
Delaware – The Strand Theatre is on the cusp of completing the renovation of its third and final theater, the Balcony.
With a $175,000 federal grant made possible by the State of Ohio, the first level of the Balcony was completed in November, adding 65 rocking seats with cup holders, enhanced lighting, new acoustic tile and carpeting, and new paint and railings. At the end of the month, the Balcony will add new chairs for its upper level, creating a total of 130 seats. These final improvements are made possible by a generous donation from the Brown Family of Upper Arlington.
In recognition of the gift from Joni Manos Brown, an Ohio Wesleyan University graduate and Strand Theatre Board President from 2009 to 2017; her husband, Peter Brown, CPA, an Ohio State University graduate and local business owner; and their children, Angela, George and Erin, the Balcony Theater is being renamed The Brown Family Generations Theater.
The inscription on the plaque outside of this theater will read: “Dedicated to the children of Delaware who attend the Kid’s Series and learn to give back to their community. This theater, from one of those children, is a gift from One Generation to the Next.”
Joni Brown is a retired sixth-grade math and science teacher who attended the Kid’s Series as a child growing up in Delaware.
“Now as I help out during the Kid’s Series, I see the children bringing in their donations [supplies collected for other nonprofits], and I hear each organization’s appreciation for what we do—that really grabs at my heartstrings,” Brown said. “I know we are not only providing needed supplies to those charities but also setting an example for generations to follow by teaching children to give.
“My parents led by example with their charitable acts, leadership and volunteerism, so it was only natural to continue their legacy by working to preserve and refurbish the Strand Theatre for future generations,” she continued. “I have always believed that you leave a place better than you found it. We have made so many improvements in the last 10 years, and it was extremely important to me to see the completion of all three theaters before the end of my term as president.”
The Strand is owned and operated by the Strand Theatre and Cultural Arts Association with a mission that includes working “to foster the public’s appreciation of films & historic movie theaters as part of the American culture.”
As a non-profit, the Strand relies on community and donor support, grants and sponsor ships, and governmental support to fund improvements made to the theater. Improvements to both the theaters on the first floor as well as the renovation of restrooms, marquee repair, a new building facade, and HVAC and boiler units have been some of the repairs made in recent years.
“The Strand is very fortunate to have the support of the community, its membership and its donors to make the Strand still relevant after 100 years,” Managing Director Tracey Peyton said. “This support is the lifeblood, legacy and future of the theater.”
The iconic, non-profit Strand Theatre will celebrate its 102nd year in operation in 2018 and stands today as one of the 10 longest-operating theaters in the United States and one of the few remaining independent theaters showing first-run films. Estimated to have an economic impact of $1 million annually to the Delaware community, the Strand serves 75,000 patrons per year and is open 364 days a year.
Learn more at www.thestrandtheatre.net.