Embassy Theatre Revamp Ready For Its Closeup

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The renovation work involves the spaces surrounding the Embassy Theatre. The renovation work involves the spaces surrounding the Embassy Theatre.

A grand opening is set for later this month to showcase the $10 million overhaul of the space connected to the historic Embassy Theatre in downtown Fort Wayne. The work has involved four floors of the former Indiana Hotel and other areas of the building that have been unused for more than 40 years. The renovations wrapped up earlier this month.

The project, which is around 10 years in the making, includes a two-story ballroom, rooftop garden, studio and rehearsal space, the "Lessons" learning center, Embassy Heritage Center, improved public access and updated concession areas.

Major gifts along the way include the $2 million lead donation to the "A Vision for the Embassy" fundraising campaign from the Fort Wayne-based Robert Goldstine Foundation Inc.

Robert Nickerson, a founding member of the Embassy Foundation, which has been taking on the project for years, says the redevelopment serves as a "spark plug" for the continued resurgence of the city's downtown.

Fort Wayne-based Weigand Construction is the project's developer and has worked with the foundation and officials at the Embassy Theatre to coordinate work schedules around shows and events. Construction began in 2014. You can connect to more about the work, including videos detailing the project's challenges, by clicking here.

The Embassy Foundation was set up in the early 1970s to save the building from demolition, following the bankruptcy of its owner. It opened in 1928 and was previously called the Emboyd Theatre, and changed its name to the Embassy in the 1950s.

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