City Council Approves $750K For Embassy Theatre Renovations (PHOTOS)

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

City Council Approves $750K For Embassy Theatre Renovations (PHOTOS)

December 4, 2013 Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 3:55 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- City Council members voted 6-3 to Tuesday night approve giving $750,000 from the Legacy Fund to the Embassy Theatre for renovations of the Indiana Hotel.

Officials with the Embassy already raised $5.8 million in private funding but the proposed renovation will cost $10 million.

The plans to create a two-story ballroom that will seat 300 people and include a roof-top garden and bar overlooking downtown go back 40 years. In the 1970s the community raised funds to avoid having the Embassy be turned into a parking lot and according to Embassy board members, this new renovation is the final stage of this 40-year project.

The plan is to move the administrative offices from the second floor to the fourth floor and convert the second floor into public space/lounge. The fifth floor will become a rehearsal studio and classrooms and the sixth and seventh floors would become the above mentioned ballroom. There is undeveloped space near the backstage dressing rooms that could be used to create more dressing rooms.

Three board members voted against giving the Embassy the Legacy dollars, John Crawford, Russ Jehl and Mitch Harper. Harper said he thought Embassy officials should have sought support from the Capital Improvements Board first. The Capital Improvements Board is funded by the county food and beverage sales tax.

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