1906 was a great year to be an American. The country at peace, everywhere new inventions and thrilling entertainments. And in little Wabash, Indiana the fabulous Eagles Theatre threw open its doors, a venue for traveling Vaudeville acts that would arrive in town on the afternoon train, do one show on the Eagles stage and head for the next town on the evening train. For a hundred years the good folks of Wabash found their entertainment at the Eagles but in the 21st century the abandoned theatre stood empty and decrepit. Until an angel stepped in.
“It's great, it's a great city to live in and there's a lot of stuff to do in terms of entertainment,” says Morgan Ellis with the Honeywell Foundation.
And now there's something else entertaining in Wabash with the reopening of the reborn Eagles Theatre. Three years ago the Honeywell Foundation launched a multi-million dollar renovation. The main draw, the 560 seat theatre was restored to its original Art Deco look but with new seats and state of the art projection, sound and lights. The rest of the five story building remodeled for arts education and performance...the upper stories now classrooms and music rehearsal space, recording studios, television production classes. On the lower level the new fifty seat intimate Ferguson theatre for showing independent films and student projects. And on the fourth floor the spectacular Parkview Ballroom. A couple of years ago it looked like this, the roof caving in, the floor rotted. All restored now including the intricately stenciled ceiling
“We want to bring more arts opportunities to the Wabash community,” says Morgan Ellis. “Lots of educational outreach programs we're really excited about that we have been providing at the Honeywell Center that we now can bring to Eagles Theatre as well.
A full house packed the theatre for opening night a couple of weeks ago, headlined by Wabash favorite daughter Crystal Gale. An enthusiastic crowd many of whose ancestors sat in this same theatre one hundred years ago, laughing, crying, applauding..find respite from the daily grind in a sacred spot the good people of Wabash thought too precious to lose.