Indiana’s Restored Theaters, The Second Act

The Historic Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne is an Eberson design and was opened on May 14, 1928. Built as a movie palace and Vaudeville house, it provided a majestic backdrop for the entertainment of the day, complete with a Page theatre pipe organ. The theatre came complete with the seven-story, 250-room Indiana Hotel wrapped around the north and west sides of the theatre.

The revitalization of this theater as well as others such as the Tivoli in Spencer and the Civic Theatre in Muncie seem to be part of a trend not just in Indiana but across the country.

With its glaze green tiled front and bold letters spelling “Scott” on top of the marquee, the former Scott Theatre in Scottsburg, now the Ross Country Jamboree, has been recreated as a vital part of the city’s historic courthouse square.

“It isn’t unusual for there to be 300 or more people there to hear the live music,” says Brandon Polley, marketing director of Scott County Visitors Commission. “That’s not bad for a theater that holds about 450.”

Indeed, according to Polley, well known country entertainers and bands like the Doo-Wops All Stars, bring people in from all over the Midwest.“I was driving by there one evening and I saw all these cars with Canadian license plates, says Polley. “And I thought ‘what’s this?’ and then I realized they were at the theater.”

Newly renovated with a classic Art Deco front, this 1949 theater is a great second act in the annals of Indiana’s ever-growing list of architectural gems as well as, in Polley’s words, “a little Grand Ole Opry in Southern Indiana.”

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