The History of I.A.T.S.E #17

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories, and Canada was founded in 1894. Our union has embraced the development of new entertainment mediums, craft expansion, technological innovation and geographic growth. I.A.T.S.E made their start in movie houses, television, and theater. 


Since the early days of the musical, and the dawn of the film age, we have created indelible images; entertaining the world for generations. You can find your Local #17 behind the scenes; we've been there since 1894.

The Transition of Theatre

The Future


Today, our members work in all forms of theater, motion picture, trade shows, exhibitions, and concerts as well as the equipment and construction shops that support all these areas of the entertainment industry.


The I.A.T.S.E has maintained and enhanced its position in the vanguard of the entertainment industry through the effective rank and file empowerment, political engagement, and our dedication to grassroots organizing.


We represent virtually all the behind-the-scenes stage employees in crafts ranging all the way to the theater usher.



During a period when private sector union membership has been in sharp decline the IATSE has continued to grow. We continue to serve the U.S and Canada.


In 2016, our membership reached over 130,000. This growth is attributable to our willingness to adapt our structure to protect our traditional jurisdiction and accommodate new crafts. But that alone is insufficient.

On both the International and local union levels, the motivating principle of the I.A.T.S.E is to represent every stage employee employed in our crafts.


119 W. Breckinridge St. Louisville, KY 40203

Phone Number
Office Hours

Monday - Friday:

8 am - 4:30 pm

Office: 502-587-7936

Cell: 502-593-3269

Fax: 502-587-3422