A “90 Years of Film” series will launch the Embassy Theatre’s 90th anniversary celebration. The downtown Fort Wayne landmark at 125 W. Jefferson Blvd. also will celebrate with music and tributes in 2018.
Kelly Updike, Embassy president and CEO, said the theater is tapping into nostalgia for the celebration. “Since opening day on May 14, 1928, the theater – and Grande Page pipe organ – have served up thousands of magical moments,” Updike said.
The theater was originally known as the Emboyd, and welcomed stars of stage and screen.
The Embassy staff picked movies from the past 90 years, representing every decade in the theater’s lifetime. Guests are encouraged to dress up as a favorite character or sing along to the soundtrack. Each movie includes a pre-show Grande Page organ performance.
The featured movies are:
• “Back to the Future” (1985), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19.
• “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20.
• “Grease” (1978), 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20.
• “Casablanca” (1942), 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10.
• “Frozen” (2013), 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 13. A Mother’s Day brunch option will be available for purchase in the spring.
• “Wings” (1927), 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 17.
• “Independence Day” (1996), 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 13.
• “Pirates of the Caribbean” (2003), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24.
• “The Sound of Music” (1965), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21.
Movie tickets are $10, with savings available for passes to four or all nine movies, and are available at the STAR Bank box office at the Embassy, through TicketMaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.
The emphasis on audience participation continues at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 19, when the arts organization re-creates the theater’s 1928 grand opening. The “90th Anniversary Community Celebration,” sponsored by Mutual Bank, will be a throwback to the 1920s, showcasing vaudeville-style entertainment, musical performances and a black-and-white movie screening and red carpet arrivals. Organist Mark Herman headlines the festivities. Tickets are $9.
The 90th celebration year also will include: the grand opening of a history center, a dedicated space displaying memorabilia from the theater’s archives; a new recording featuring the Grande Page pipe organ; restoration of one of the theater’s original still-image projectors (Brenograph); and more.
The Embassy is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The Embassy belongs to the people of Northeast Indiana,” Updike said. “We look forward to celebrating this milestone together.”
Watch for updates at www.fwembassytheatre.org.
The yearlong celebration is presented by Sweetwater and Chuck and Lisa Surack. Ambassador Enterprises, Mutual Bank and Markey’s Rental &Staging also are supporting with sponsorships.