The office of Community Enhancement & Engagement strives to make concrete community improvements in our place (enhancement) and also to improve people’s experience with the community (engagement).


The office of Community Enhancement & Engagement works to develop sustainable, collaborative community partnerships to improve the quality of life in Grinnell by addressing relevant community priorities. Our community partnerships include:

Partnership with Grinnell High School

In 2009, Grinnell College and Grinnell High School became "Partners in Education", joining other schools and businesses community-wide to support educational opportunities in Grinnell.  The overall goal is to enhance educational opportunities at Grinnell High School and Grinnell College.

  • Classes.  A cornerstone of the GC/GHS partnership is the Advanced Scholars Program -- enabling outstanding High School students to take classes at Grinnell College free of charge, thereby expanding the educational opportunities available to Grinnell-Newburg students.
  • Commencement.  A longstanding tradition at Grinnell College Commencement is processional and recessional music by the Grinnell High School band, adding 'pomp and circumstance' to the celebration!
  • Service.  GHS and GC students conducted a "Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat" campaign to benefit the local food bank.  In 2010, the two schools collected nearly 20,000 lbs of food donations.
  • Creative Collaborations.  Some longstanding partnerships, some new, faculty and staff at both schools collaborate with colleagues across town to strengthen our collective offerings.
Strand Theatre Special Showings

The Strand 3 Theatre

The Strand 3 Theatre is a great venue for special film showings that you'd like to make available to the general public.  This historic theatre was preserved, renovated and expanded in 2003 through a collaborative effort between a group of local investors, private donors who chose to "buy a seat" to see the old theatre restored, and the City of Grinnell.  The theatre is locally owned by the Strand LLC, a specially-formed company comprised of local investors, of which Grinnell College is proud to be a part.  The theatre is managed by  Fridley Theatres, an Iowa family-owned business. 


Any special showing must be a Grinnell College sponsored event.  That is, sponsored by a college department or program - not an individual.


The theatre features three auditoriums seating 131, 118 and 86 guests respectively.  Auditorium 3 (86 seats) can be rented for special showings for Grinnell College films.

Planning and Scheduling

  • Advance Notice/Approval.  Availability is determined primarily by existing bookings and their respective contracts with the film companies.  ***Please be advised that Fridley needs a minimum 3 week notice before a showing and all dates must be approved by Fridley Theatres before being finalized. 
  • Film Drop-Off/Pick-Up.  Films require advance preparation.  Drop off hard drive/DCP or DVD to the manager at the Strand at least 3 days before date of viewing.

Available Days/Times

  • Special shows are limited to the school year
  • Monday-Wednesday:  anytime
  • Thursdays:  unavailable
  • Friday-Saturday:
    • Morning-1:30 pm
    • 2:00-4:00 pm
    • 4:30-6:45 pm
  • Sunday:  after 4:15 pm


  • Auditorium Rental Price:
    • $50 for digital features.  Renter responsible for renting their own hard drive/DCP and purchasing copy rights for a public viewing.
    • $250 for DVD format.  Rental fee includes set-up and tear-down of Fridley Theatre equipment and auditorium rental.  Renter responsible for renting their own DVD and purchasing copy rights for a public viewing.


Fridley Theatres is able to advertise the special show on the Fridley Theatre website and with a movie poster at the Strand.  Please provide a PDF of the poster/flyer to alison[at]fridleytheatres[dot]com for website advertising and drop off poster/flyer at the theatre for display.


Concession stand will be open for all attendees.

Reservation Inquiries

All inquiries for movie dates can be submitted via email to Alison Meyer at alison[at]fridleytheatres[dot]com.  From there, Alison will get approval from the Fridley Theatres corporate office. For any other questions, please feel free to contact Monica Chavez-Silva in the office of Community Enhancement & Engagement.

Past Showings

For examples of how Grinnell College groups have used the theater in the past, please see the Humanities International Film Festival and Parisian Nights pages.


One important way that Grinnell College contributes to the vitality of our local community is through financial support for local initiatives.  This office administers the college's local contributions ranging from smaller donations and sponsorships to large capital investments.

Focus Areas

All financial contributions focus on the strategic priorities of strengthening cultural, recreational, and educational opportunities in the local area as well as initiatives that enhance the safety, beauty, and economic vitality of our surroundings.

For a list of investment, grant, and donation opportunities, click here.