INSIDE LOOK: Century-old theater reopens after large restoration, renovation

Local News

WABASH, Ind. (WANE) – A community’s centerpiece has gotten new life thanks to donations, grants and a lot of work. Built in 1906, Eagles Theatre in downtown Wabash has been restored and renovated, ready to welcome guests to a list of shows.

The 114-year-old building has a long history in Wabash, serving first as an entertainment venue for vaudeville shows. It later became a movie theater. Despite still showing movies, several sections of the building fell into disrepair. The Honeywell Foundation began work in 2017.

“It is so exciting,” Honeywell Foundation Vice President of Development and Marketing Cathy Gatchel said about the completion of the project. “We’ve been working on this for so long and it’s such a wonderful community broad-based effort that brought this building back to life.”

The work began in 2014 after Wabash was presented a Stellar Communities grant, which included Eagles Theatre as a cornerstone project. That grant was followed by several other large donations.

The five-story building now houses two theaters.

New seats have been added to the main Eagles Theatre space, where live shows have been scheduled, making a total of 560 seats. Two private balcony suites have been added as well as new audio and video technology.

Below the lobby, a 49-seat theater has been built along with music rehearsal rooms.

Among other additions, a lower-level backstage area offers space for groups and a star performer to get ready for a show. Upper floors offer classroom and studio spaces that can be used by students.

The building is topped off with a restored ballroom. The event space includes wood flooring and hand-painted details on the ceiling.

The first weekend of performances has been set for this Saturday and Sunday featuring concerts from Wabash’s own Crystal Gale. Addison Agen is set to take the stage Saturday, March 7. In addition to live music, movies will play at the theater, with the first being Coal Miner’s Daughter. It’s set to happen on Sunday. Click here for a list of events:

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