The Indiana Insider Blog

Fort Wayne’s Embassy Theatre Unveils New Features

The Avett Brothers were a new name to me, but knowing they combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, indie rock, honky tonk and ragtime is intriguing. I might have to give it a go!

 

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For the past couple of years those of us who live in the Fort Wayne area have heard of a new batch of Embassy renovations taking place. The good news is the $10 million renovations are completed! This month the Embassy Theatre will throw open its doors to welcome visitors for a special open house event.

In my opinion of all of the wonderfully historic and renovated sites in the northern half of the state, possibly few could match the beauty of the Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne

But this gorgeous piece of architecture was almost demolished.

Embassy old

Built in 1928 in the heart of Fort Wayne’s downtown district, the historic Embassy Theatre was originally named the Emboyd. From its beginnings it featured national productions from the Broadway stage.

Having taken a recent backstage tour, I learned several famous entertainers had stopped in Fort Wayne to share talents with audiences, first as vaudeville acts, then on their own. Some easily recognized names are Perry Como, Bob Hope, Doris Day, Lawrence Welk. Signatures of some entertainers are etched on the stage’s frame where entertainers presumably took time to scrawl while waiting to go onstage.

In the 1950s the Emboyd was sold and renamed the Embassy. The Indiana Hotel, attached to the theater, was closed in 1971.

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Thankfully a concerned group of citizens, fearing the Embassy could follow the fate of other theaters that had been closed, formed a nonprofit organization called the Embassy Theatre Foundation. The story goes they came up with necessary funds to save the theater just two days prior to its destruction!

I was not a part of that amazing group of people, but I’m so thankful to have this beloved downtown structure still in our midst, looking so stately and attractive!

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In my opinion the Embassy has been lifted to the ranks of one of the best maintained and most lovely historic theaters in the Midwest. In the 1970s it was given the prestigious honor of being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Since the 1970s, the Embassy has provided a steady schedule of concerts of all musical formats, cinema, educational programming and seasonal attractions like Festival of Trees hosted there.

Fest of Trees K Mad

The Festival of Trees is a must-do event for my family. It is a low-cost event that encourages families to take part in the breathtaking beauty of the trees, number of events to coincide with the festival and a chance to sit on Santa’s lap!

I’ve also enjoyed listening to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic play there and many traveling events like Broadway at the Embassy.

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The unbelievably popular show of multi-platinum Irish music sensation Celtic Woman will appear there on Friday, March 18 at 7:30.

Celtic Woman - Destiny

The free community open house at the Embassy Theatre will take place March 30, 2-7 p.m. Those of us who plan to attend will see renovations completed on various parts of the Embassy, including the former Indiana Hotel, rooftop patio, two-story ballroom, rehearsal, mezzanine lounge, theater bars, box office, heritage center and classroom spaces and administrative offices.

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On April 19, a fundraiser/ formal event will be held when the Embassy hosts a Celebration Ball & Concert featuring The Avett Brothers.

The Avett Brothers were a new name to me, but knowing they combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, indie rock, honky tonk and ragtime is intriguing. I might have to give it a go!

The evening will feature a dinner and live auction in the Ballroom at the Embassy and The Avett Brothers concert on the Embassy stage. Tickets are on sale now.

Won’t you join me in welcoming the new look to the Embassy Theatre by attending either or both of these events?

Tickets for major events are available through ticketmaster.com or the Embassy box office (260.424.6287).

Box office hours : Monday-Friday 10-6pm

Embassy Theatre125 W. Jefferson BlvdFort Wayne, IN 46802

 

 

 

 

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Written by : Kayleen Reusser is a lifelong resident of northeast Indiana and loves to write about her home state to excite others about its treasures. She has written 11 children’s books and had stories published in Chicken Soup, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Bluffton News-Banner.