Strand cancels free summer kids series


The Strand Theatre’s Free Summer Kids Series, a staple in Delaware County for decades, is being canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since mid-March, the Strand Theatre has had to make some tough decisions because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tracey Peyton, the Strand’s managing director. “Unfortunately, those decisions now include canceling the 2020 Free Summer Kids Series. We know how much Delaware’s children look forward to these free movies, and we did not make this decision lightly.

“As we work on plans to reopen, we must be a responsible corporate citizen, first and foremost, to ensure the safety of our community, our patrons, and our team,” Peyton said. “We are developing protocols in consultation with the Delaware General Health District and our partners in city and state government, as well as the national theatre association. Safety is our primary concern.”

The mission of the Stand’s Free Summer Kids Series is to offer Delaware children free daytime entertainment, teach them to give to those in need, and provide essential supplies to local charities. The Strand takes great pride in this long-standing program of giving from one generation to the next, Peyton said, adding that she hopes the series is able to return in 2021.

Last summer, the Free Summer Kids Series had approximately 3,900 patrons contribute to eight nonprofit agencies, resulting in the following gifts: $420.75 in cash donations; 488 pounds of food provided for People in Need; 140 games and toys provided for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Delaware County; 1,046 personal care items; 50 laundry items; 233 baby items; and 753 school and office supply items.

Joe Pemberton, president of The Strand Theatre and Cultural Arts Association Board, proclaims: “The Strand Theatre has been an icon of central Ohio culture for 104 years. As we prepare to adapt our operations to address today’s new challenges, we continue to look to our community for their support. Together, we will adapt and thrive!”

The Strand Theatre, established in 1916, is one of the 10 oldest continuously operating movie theatres in the country showing first-run films. The nonprofit Strand has also been recognized nationally for its Sensory initiative and is a recent recipient of the Quality of Life Award given out by the Delaware Chamber of Commerce to a nonprofit group that makes a significant contribution to the community.

For more information about The Strand Theatre, please visit

Special to The Gazette

[email protected]

Follow The Delaware Gazette on Twitter @delgazette. Like The Gazette on Facebook.

No posts to display