Perhaps more quietly elegant than others of the 3,000 seat category, the Embassy was still loaded with excesses of French Marble on walls and trimming in the outer lobby, Italian Vaulted ceilings in the inner lobby, mirrors on landings halt way up the Grand Staircase, five foot sconces dripping with crystal spangles, Spanish Tiles on the risers of the staircase descending to the Moorish Pillars leading to the Vestibule of the Gentlemens' Lounge which had its traditional fireplace (why, I have never figured out), and intricate ornate plaster molds and figures in profusion throughout. The upper levels of the auditorium had as many seats as the first floor, and the huge chandeliers in front of each of the two side organ chambers lent an air of authority to the thunderous sounds which the organ was capable of producing. Heavy damask draped every arch, mirror, and exit The architects were noted John Eberson and Alvin Strauss.
In 1972, the threat of demolishing this gem to make room for a parking lot to serve a planned housing development for the elderly in the adjoining long-vacated Hotel Indiana was the catalyst for forming the Embassy Theater Foundation which ultimately purchased the Theater, originally costing over $1,000,000.00 for $250,000 including the adjoining 7 story Hotel, together with all of the equipment in both buildings AND the Page Pipe Organ, fully equipped projection booth, unpopped popcorn, bags, stage equipment etc. etc. The money was raised in a grass root effort, appealing to the average family and particularly those individuals whose nostalgic memories recalled "first dates" and occasions celebrated at the Emboyd. The business community also responded generously.
Cost of this project is in excess of $5,000,000.00 and will be completed by September 15, 1996. There is still money to be raised, but we are optimistic. Gifts, grants, volunteer labor, and in-kind donations since 1972 have been conservatively estimated at $12,000,000.00.
Events during the coming year will hopefully include for the first time a major Ballet production and an Opera in addition to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra's Grand Series, a Theater Organ series of popular music programs, A Broadway Musical Series including Les Miserables. Movies, Travelogues, and Concerts presented by well known artists.